Education — Special Education & Counseling (323) 343-4400


Sheri Atwater

Assistant Professor of School Psychology Program; Ph.D., UC Berkeley Contact: (323) 343-4280

E-mail: satwate@calstatela.edu

Dr. Atwater’s research interests focus on the multicultural attitudes, beliefs, and classroom practices of teachers working with diverse learners, specifically the use of the “color-blind” ideology and its effects on students of color. Her teaching interests include developmental psychology as a foundation for school psychology practice, issues in alternative and dynamic assessment, and school-based consultation.


Sherwood Best

Associate Professor of Education; Ph.D., UC Riverside

Contact: (323) 343-4407

E-mail: sbest@calstatela.edu

Dr. Best has distinguished herself in the education of students with physical and health disabilities. She was vice president of the Division of Physical and Health Disabilities of the International Council for Exceptional Children, co-chaired a state-wide consortium in higher education teacher training, and served as the Los Angeles area regional director for California State Council for Exceptional Children. Dr. Best has made numerous professional conference presentations and is the author of several articles and book chapters in the area of physical and health disabilities. Her professional interests include quality of life, psychosocial aspects of disability, curriculum modifications in special education and teacher education.


Martin G. Brodwin

Professor of Education; Ph.D., Michigan State University

Contact: (323) 343-4440

E-mail: mbrodwi@calstatela.edu

Dr. Brodwin, well-known for his work with rehabilitation services for the disabled, has served as coordinator for the undergraduate program in rehabilitation services and graduate program in rehabilitation counseling. He is also active in testifying for workers compensation cases. He is a member of the Los Angeles Multicultural Task Force. In 2004, he was one of only four faculty members in the 23-campus system to be honored with the CSU Wang Family Excellence Award. He is also the recipient of the 2005-2006 President’s Distinguished Award and the 2005 Distinguished Faculty Alumnus Award at CSULA.


Randy V. Campbell

Professor of Education; Ph.D., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Contact: (323) 343-4257

E-mail: rcampbe@calstatela.edu

Dr. Campbell specializes in applied behavior analysis, rehabilitation counseling and services, child abuse and neglect, and child and parent behavior. Experimental design, program evaluation, developmental disabilities and staff development are also among Dr. Campbell’s interests.




Mary A. Falvey

Professor of Education; Dean, Charter College of Education; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin

Contact: (323) 343-4320

E-mail: mfalvey@calstatela.edu

Dr. Falvey is a national authority on inclusive education for students with disabilities, which entails incorporating students with moderate to severe disabilities, including those with autism, Down syndrome and mental retardation into the mainstream. Dr. Falvey has worked with numerous school districts locally and nationally to design inclusive educational programs for students with and without disabilities. Her latest book, Believe in My Child with Special Needs: Helping Children Achieve their Potential in School, is for parents and teachers. Dr. Falvey received recognition as an Outstanding Professor at Cal State L.A. for 1987-88.




Diane Fazzi

Professor of Education; Ph.D., Cal State L.A./UCLA

Contact: (323) 343-4411

E-mail: dfazzi@calstatela.edu

Dr. Fazzi has expertise in the field of visual impairment and blindness with a specialization in orientation and mobility. Fazzi coordinates the Orientation and Mobility Specialist training program at Cal State L.A. and is project director for three federally-funded personnel preparation grants in the area of orientation and mobility. She has authored texts, chapters and articles on the topics of visual impairment, orientation and mobility for young children, and orientation and mobility for young children and youth with multiple disabilities.


Margaret Garcia

Associate Professor of Education; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Contact: (323) 343-4448

E-mail: mgarcia2@calstatela.edu

Dr. Garcia served as a panelist for the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to revise the state standards for training school Psychologists, and was a Southern California representative of the School Psychology Educators of California. She is the School Psychology Program coordinator in the Charter College of Education at Cal State L.A. with expertise in cognitive and academic assessment, and mental health consultation.


Diane Haager

Professor of Education; Ph.D., University of Miami

Contact: (323) 343-6158

E-mail: dhaager@calstatela.edu

Dr. Haager’s expertise focuses on education and social adjustment of students with mild-to-moderate disabilities, such as learning disabilities, behavior disorders, dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and mild mental retardation. She co-coordinates and teaches courses in the mild-to-moderate disabilities and resource specialist teacher education at Cal State L.A. Dr. Haager has conducted research and written chapters in professional books and journal articles related to social competence of students with learning disabilities as well as the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education classroom.




Nancy Hunt

Professor of Education; Ph.D., USC

Contact: (323) 343-4415

E-mail: nhunt@calstatela.edu

Dr. Hunt currently teaches both general special education courses (relating to all students with disabilities and those who are gifted) and in early childhood special education. Dr. Hunt’s particular expertise is in the development of high-risk/premature infants and in working with their families. Dr. Hunt is the first author, with Kathleen Marshall as the second author, of the published textbook, Exceptional Children and Youth, 4th edition (Houghton, Mifflin, 2005).


Christina H. Kimm

Professor of Education, Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Contact: (323) 343-4416

E-mail: ckimm@calstatela.edu

Dr. Kimm brings an extensive background of research in special education and rehabilitation for adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities. She has expertise on transition services from school to career for young adults with disabilities in diverse cultural and social environments. Her primary area of research is developing community-based services, rehabilitation programs, and applied policy research on economic factors related to community-based services and rehabilitation. She works collaboratively with faculty members in rehabilitation counseling to conduct research in the transition from high school to work for young adults with disabilities.

Fluent in: Korean.


Pauline Mercado

Associate Professor of Education; Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara

Contact: (323) 343-4445

E-mail: pmercad@calstatela.edu

Dr. Mercado is well-known for her work in rehabilitation training.


David B. Peterson

Associate Professor of Education; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison

Contact: (323) 343-6161

E-mail: dpeters3@calstatela.edu

Dr. Peterson has provided over 17 years of rehabilitation psychology-oriented services over the course of his clinical and academic career, with expertise in adjustment to the emotional and physical consequences of disability, and coping with and confronting environmental and attitudinal barriers, stress, and related social adjustment. He is a licensed clinical psychologist, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), and National Certified Counselor (NCC), and serves as a Medical Expert in psychology for the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review. His evaluation expertise includes assessment of neuropsychological functioning, functional and environmental assessment, analysis of transferable work skills, and assessment of values and interests for vocational planning.

Fluent in: Spanish, American Sign Language.


Marcel Soriano

Professor of Education; Ph.D., U.S. International University

Contact: (323) 343-4255

E-mail: msorian@calstatela.edu

Dr. Soriano developed a certificate on cultural proficiency at Cal State L.A., designed for human service paraprofessionals and professionals, educators and mental health professionals. Dr. Soriano served on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) School Violence Panel as a researcher and prevention expert on issues of school and street violence. He was also appointed by the CCTC to develop the standards for preparation of Pupil Personnel Service professionals, which includes expertise in parental involvement, cultural proficiency, violence prevention and self-esteem. He is a licensed psychologist and credentialed counselor. He collaborated with Judge Tucker in the development of Parenting Education Standards through the Edelman Dependency Court in Los Angeles. He served as an expert witness in the state litigation on Proposition 187.

Fluent in: Spanish.


Jennifer B. Symon

Assistant Professor of Special Education & Counseling; Ph.D., UC Santa Barbara

Contact: (323) 343-4429

E-mail: jsymon@calstatela.edu

Dr. Symon’s research interests and applied work include parent education, family support, intervention for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, positive behavior support, and service delivery models.


Andrea G. Zetlin

Professor of Education; Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University

Contact: (323) 343-4410

E-mail: azetlin@calstatela.edu

Dr. Zetlin is director of the C. Lamar Mayer Learning Center and coordinator of the Multicultural/Multilingual Special Education M.A. Program at Cal State L.A. She is also a principal investigator on numerous grants related to the education of high-risk student populations and special education teacher preparation. She is an expert on developing strategies that address barriers to student learning, developing school/university partnerships, and creating programs the address the needs of high-risk urban students, students with special needs, and students in foster care.