DeRicci in Summer

Meet Your Faculty and Directors

All programs in the School of Education at Edgewood College are offered within the context of a liberal arts educational framework and in keeping with the Dominican values of truth, compassion, justice, partnership and community. We invite you to learn about our faculty and directors here and, better yet, to contact them if you have questions or wish to get to know them.


Timothy Slekar
Timothy Slekar, Ph.D.

Timothy D. Slekar is the Dean of the School of Education. He began his career in education as a second grade teacher in Williamsburg, VA and later taught fifth grade in York, PA. He attended the University of Maryland at College Park where he earned his Ph. D. in social studies education. During his studies, Dr. Slekar worked with seventh and eighth grade teachers in the city of Baltimore. He has published his research in some of the top educational research journals including Teacher Education Quarterly, Theory and Research in Social Education, and the Journal of Thought. Prior to coming Edgewood College, Dr. Slekar was at Pennsylvania State Altoona for ten years where he was responsible for building an elementary education program and leading the Division of Education, Human Development and Social Sciences. His wife, Michelle, is the CEO of the Slekar household. She and he are the parents of Luke and Lacey.


Associate Deans, Directors, and Faculty Members

Sara  Jimenez Soffa
Associate Dean
Sara Jimenez Soffa

Sara Jimenez Soffa is the Director of Research for the Edgewood College Ed.D. program. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Ripon College, a Master’s Degree in Instructional Design and Adult Education from Alverno College, and a Ph.D. from UW-Madison in Educational Leadership specializing in higher education administration. Sara is an accomplished researcher specializing in research design, data analysis, and outcomes-based assessment. Sara began her work in the doctoral program as the Coordinator for the Higher Education concentration of the program. Since 2010, Sara has been the Director of Research responsible for developing and teaching the research sequence of the program, both in blended and online formats. Her research interests include exploring research self-efficacy in students navigating the doctoral experience, cultivating inclusive collegiate classrooms through the implementation of multicultural pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning, and exploring features of quality graduate programs that prepare leaders in all educational settings (PreK-20). Outside of the classroom, Sara lives in Madison with her husband Gerardo and three beautiful boys, and is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys running marathons and triathlons. She believes by modeling her commitment and enthusiasm for education, her boys will become lifelong learners as well.

Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, School of Education
Julie Luecke

Julie C. Luecke, Associate Professor in the School of Education, received her BS in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her M.Ed. in Curriculum from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was an elementary classroom teacher for nine years before moving into higher education. During her graduate studies, she took a year off to volunteer at Ongwediva College of Education in Namibia, and joined the Edgewood faculty in 2006. She teaches undergraduate courses in educational foundations, courses in children's literature for the undergraduate program and Advanced Certification Elementary (ACE) graduate program, and a course for the Edgewood College COR program, The Conception of Gender. This class grows out of Julie's research interests in building support structures for gender creative students and their peers, both through educational policy and practice and through children's and young adult literature.

Director, Clinical Experiences
Dana Hagerman, Ph.D.

Dana Hagerman has been the Director of Clinical Experiences at Edgewood College since July of 2011. She earned her PhD in December 2013 from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, Department of Curriculum and Instruction.  Dana has taught both first and third grade and is passionate about teaching young students how to read and write. 

Her research interests include early language and literacy practices, teacher education, and teaching literacy with a social justice emphasis. Her dissertation, Funds of Knowledge and Apprenticeship Practices: A Longitudinal Case Study of One Nepali Immigrant Student’s Language and Literacy Learning, spans across three years of data collection.

Dana also serves on a task force for the Department of Public Instruction for the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA), a high stakes assessment that must be passed by all teacher candidates beginning in August 2015.

Gerado Mancilla
Director of Education Administration and Leadership
Gerado Mancilla

Gerardo Mancilla is the Director of Education Administration and Leadership in the School of Education. Prior to working at Edgewood College, Gerardo was working for the Madison Metropolitan School District where he was a Dual Language Immersion teacher at Cherokee Heights Middle School.  Gerardo teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses at Edgewood College. Gerardo’s research interests include Critical Race Theory, LatCrit, the school-to-prison pipeline, bilingual education, and immigration.  Gerardo has also been active in the Madison community for many years.

Donna Vukelich-Selva
Donna Vukelich-Selva
Donna Vukelich-Selva received her Ph.D in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011.  She also holds a Master of Arts in Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies from UW-Madison.  Before coming to Edgewood College in 2008, she taught at a K-12 bilingual school in Managua, Nicaragua, where she also founded and ran a study abroad program for US college students.  Vukelich-Selva teaches both undergraduate courses in the School of Education, as well as graduate courses in the CTELL/TESOL program.  She also teaches in Edgewood’s COR program for freshman students, and piloted a course on the history of immigration in the United States that is cross-listed with Ethnic Studies.  Among her college responsibilities, Donna serves on the advisory board for Edgewood’s Center for Multicultural Education.  Donna’s research interests include critical race theory, education and immigration, bilingual education and restorative justice.  She has been active in the Madison community for many years.


Jesslyn Hollar
Assistant Professor and Director fo the Accelerated Secondary Education Program
Jesslyn Hollar
Jesslyn Hollar is an Assistant Professor and Program Director of the Accelerated Secondary Education Program (ASP) in the School of Education. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the School of Education. Prior to working at Edgewood College, Jesslyn directed an Alternative Pathways to Teaching program at Central Washington University. She also taught secondary English at James Madison Memorial High School and Operation Fresh Start in Madison. Jesslyn’s research interests include place-based and community-driven teacher education, democratic schooling and processes of knowledge mobilization in educational policymaking.
Assistant Professor
Talonda Lipsy, Ph.D.
Talonda Lipsey earned her doctorate in Urban Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  She was a student and teacher in Milwaukee public schools and as an Assistant Professor at Edgewood brings a strong commitment to preparing K-12 teachers able to guide, support and advocate for students.  Her dissertation is a qualitative case study on teachers' identities, ideologies and commitment to teaching in urban and suburban schools.
Frances Johnson

Fran Johnson is the Director of the Cross-categorical Special Education Program. She earned her Master’s from the University of Wisconsin Madison Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education while teaching in the Madison Metropolitan School District where she served as a Special Education teacher, Program Support Teacher, and Positive Behavior Support Team Middle School Teacher. Fran was an investigator on several Federal Grants, designed and implemented administrator and faculty staff development on K-12 Language Arts Standards, changes in IDEA (1991,1997,2001 & 2004) and developed and taught multiple Professional Development courses for general educators and special educators. During her public school career, Fran served as Cooperating Teacher, Teacher Trainer and Supervising Teacher to many students and teachers. In addition to her work at Edgewood, Fran serves as a trainer and consultant in the area of Positive Behavior Supports for area school districts. Current research focus is on Brain Targeted Teaching, Executive Function Strategy Instruction, and Culturally Responsive Teaching Practices.

Katie Glass
Katie Glass, M.Ed, CCLS

Katie Glass, an Edgewood graduate, is the Director of the Child Life Program. She has been apart of the Edgewood College faculty since 2008. She is Certified Child Life Specialist and has practiced clinically both at the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth in Lebanon, New Hampshire and the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, WI. She is an active member of the Child Life Council and sits on multiple national committees promoting the profession and national academic standards. Katie has created several liaison programs which provide actual experience within the Child Life Program for students at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison as well as various community health organizations.

Director, Advanced Certification Elementary Program
Lisa Carey

Lisa Carey is the Director of the Advanced Certification Elementary Program.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education which she earned at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She earned her Master of Education in Instructional Leadership from Loyola University. She teaches social studies methods courses for the ACE program as well as courses for undergraduate education programs.

Emily Zoeller
Director of ESL/Bilingual Education
Emily Zoeller

Emily Zoeller is passionate about leading for equity by developing teachers of language learners at Edgewood College.   Emily earned a B.A. from University of Notre Dame, an M.A. from University of San Diego, and is working on her doctorate at Edgewood College. Prior to her role at Edgewood, Emily worked as an instructional coach at Nuestro Mundo Community School, and promoted collaboration and reflective practice.  Emily developed expertise in emergent literacy through her work in Descubriendo la Lectura/Reading Recovery in Madison Schools, where she trained reading specialists throughout the school district.  Her current research interests include biliteracy development, educational leadership, and teacher preparation. A fluent Spanish speaker, Emily is happy to be raising her three daughters bilingually in Madison, Wisconsin.

Tom Holub, Ph.D.

Tom Holub is a professor in the School of Education.  He routinely teaches Education 306, 614, 671A, and 616. Dr. Holub facilitates the partnership with Cabrini Green, in Chicago, IL and hosts two WDPI grants at Edgewood. Tom recently returned from a visiting scholar experience at the U.S Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC and is interested in patterns of oppression toward individuals with disabilities.