Courses in the online Advanced Certificate in Literacy Specialist program are led by educators with years of experience in working with students at a wide range of developmental levels. These faculty members are highly engaged in current research, designing classes for today’s teachers that are informed by advanced thinking in pedagogy and take advantage of the latest technology. Their insights guide a program that values multimodal literacy and welcomes diverse perspectives. Faculty members provide online students with individualized feedback in one-on-one conferences and guide them through the final practicum.
Gerald Ardito has worked in education for almost three decades. His experience includes adult education, adolescent biology, and, most recently, higher education. He is the assistant chair and assistant professor of STEM-D education at Pace University’s School of Education. His research interests include the development of self-directed, technology-enhanced learning environments.
Tasha Darbes received her PhD in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from New York University in 2014. She has taught in Pace’s School of Education since 2015. Her research interests include classroom engagement and integration into the community college environment for English language learners.
Francine Falk-Ross received her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction-Reading from University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the coordinator for the online literacy specialist graduate program. Based on the Pleasantville campus, Falk-Ross has taught on both Pace campuses as well as online. She has published extensively on topics of literacy, new literacies, and development for all ages. Her recent publications are Language-based Approaches to Support Reading Comprehension and articles in Reading Writing Quarterly and Middle School Journal.
Emily Keating is director of development and education at the Kunhardt Film Foundation (KFF). KFF is a not-for-profit educational media company that produces documentary films, interviews and teaching tools about the people and ideas that shape our world. Prior to KFF, she was Director of Education at the Jacob Burns Film Center, where she oversaw the creation, implementation, and expansion of curriculum and professional development for 18 years.
Keating has presented at conferences hosted by MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning Research Hub, the National Association for Media Literacy Education, and the Turnaround Arts National Retreat, among others. She is particularly interested in close reading across texts, self-expression, and story as the most powerful tool for connecting across age, race, and space. At Pace, she teaches Writing Process and Media Production and Literature and Digital Storytelling.
Keating graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature and a focus in film studies. She received a master’s degree in education, communication, and technology from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education.
Peter McDermott received his Ph.D. in Literacy Education from SUNY-Albany. He teaches courses in literacy education in Pace’s School of Education and is the current NYC chairperson. He has taught literacy in urban high schools and adult education programs, and for many years he co-directed an after-school literacy program in a public housing project.
McDermott is a former Fulbright Scholar to Bosnia-Herzegovina and former president of the New York State Reading Association. He taught with the International Literacy Association’s projects in Kazakhstan, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone. His research interests pertain to urban education, international education, and arts integration. He has a special interest in strategies for integrating digital literacies into classroom teaching. His work has appeared in journals such as the International Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, the Middle School Journal, and Journal of Learning through the Arts.
Jennifer Pankowski completed her doctorate in education at Long Island University in 2013, specializing in curriculum and instruction. She joined the Pace University School of Education as the coordinator of Special Education in NYC. Her responsibilities include overseeing the proper functioning and quality of the special education program.
Pankowski’s research focuses on working with individuals who have autism spectrum or attention deficit disorders. She works in the field with new teachers and addresses the role of technology in supporting both students and teachers in the classroom environment. She has also researched the role of simulation in developing novice teachers.
Raquel Plotka is an associate professor of early childhood education at Pace University. She received her master’s degree at Teachers College, Columbia University and her doctorate at Fordham University. Her research focuses on socio-emotional development and on parent-child interactions in early childhood. Plotka has studied the role of culture, language, media, and policy in supporting parenting. She has presented her research at several national and international conferences.
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