Faculty for Master of Arts in Special Education

Get to Know Our Faculty

Following are the bios of our full-time and part-time M.A. in Special Education faculty members, whose primary commitment is teaching, but who also lead and participate in activities such as:

  • Mentoring and advising students and help them build their professional networks
  • Leading grant-funded programs, research and teaching initiatives
  • Serving in leadership positions in their fields of expertise
  • Authoring books, book chapters, and journal articles related to their academic and professional fields
  • Presenting scholarly work and research at local, regional, national and international conferences
  • Providing faculty service to support the functioning of the Education Department and the University

Full-Time Faculty Bios

Part-Time Faculty Bios


Full-Time Faculty Bios


Kathleen CookKathleen Cook, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
605.274.4623
Madsen Center #212
kathleen.cook@augie.edu

Ph.D. (Special Education), University of Georgia
M.A. (Audiology), Louisiana State University

Dr. Kathleen Cook is an Assistant Professor in the Education Department at Augustana University. She received her doctoral degree in special education with an emphasis in autism spectrum disorders and applied behavior analysis from the University of Georgia. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D), an executive director for the South Dakota Association of Behavior Analysis, and serves on the editorial board of TEACHING Exceptional Children. Before coming to Augustana in the fall of 2015, Kathleen taught students with special needs in Georgia public schools for 10 years. Her research interests include self-management and applied behavior analysis with teens and young adults with autism and developmental disabilities.


Laurie DailyLaurie Daily, Ed.D.
Associate Professor and Department Chair
605.274.5211
Madsen Center #208
laurie.daily@augie.edu

Ed.D. (Education Leadership), Argosy University
M.S. (Special Education), University of North Carolina

Dr. Laurie Daily is an Associate Professor, Education Department Chair and Director of the Master of Arts in Education Program at Augustana. She received her doctoral degree in educational leadership at Argosy University and earned a master’s degree in special education at the University of North Carolina. Coming to Augustana in the fall of 2015, Laurie Daily had been the education chairperson at Northwestern College (Orange City, Iowa), where she was chair for seven years and also taught for twelve years. Before that, she directed a field-based special education teacher training program in New Hampshire, coordinated the special education program at Plymouth State College, and taught children with special needs in North Carolina.


Matt JohnsonMatt Johnson, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor
605.274.4733
Madsen Center #217
matthew.johnson@augie.edu

Ed.D. (Curriculum and Instruction), University of South Dakota
M.A. (Elementary Education), Augustana University

Dr. Matt Johnson received his bachelors and masters from Augustana and his doctorate from the University of South Dakota. He joined the Education Department at Augustana in 2006. Matt is an Assistant Professor and faculty advisor for the Student Council for Exceptional Children (SCEC); and also a Co-PI of Augie Access, a post-secondary education program that allows adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to attend college. Matt is also a Discipline Head in the LEND program through the USD Sanford School of Medicine Center for Disabilities.


Dr. Michelle PowersMichelle Powers, Ed.D.
Assistant Professor
605.274.4632
Madsen Center #218
michelle.powers@augie.edu

Ed.D. (Educational Leadership), University of South Dakota

Ed.S. (Educational Administration, PK-12 Principal), University of South Dakota
M.A. (Special Education), University of South Dakota

Dr. Michelle Powers joined the Education Department in August of 2017 as an Assistant Professor. She received her master’s degree in special education and her educational specialist degree in Educational Administration from the University of South Dakota. She recently completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of South Dakota.  Prior to joining the faculty at Augustana, Michelle served as the director of special education for the Brookings School District for twelve years. Before that experience, she was the state director of special education for the state of South Dakota and worked for the department for thirteen years. She has also taught in public schools in the area of special education in South Dakota and Nebraska.


Dr. Brad UhingBrad Uhing, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
605.274.5410
Madsen Center #213
brad.uhing@augie.edu

Ph.D. (Mental Health: Psychological Studies), University of Nebraska-Lincoln
M.Ed. (Mental Health: Emotion/Behavioral Disorders), University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Brad Uhing joined the faculty in the Education Department at Augustana in August 2018 and since August 2015 has taught in the Master of Arts in Education Program. Dr. Uhing received his doctoral degree in Emotional and Behavioral Disorders from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Part-Time Faculty Bios
 

Lisa BrunickLisa Brunick
Reference Librarian/Instruction Coordinator Librarian
605.274.4921
lisa.brunick@augie.edu

 

M.S. (Library Science), Emporia State University

Lisa Brunick joined the Education Department in June 2017 as a part-time faculty member in the Master of Arts in Education Program. Lisa is a reference librarian and the instruction coordinator at Mikkelsen Library. She provides classroom instruction on information literacy skills and is a member of the Masters of Arts in Education committee.  In 1999, Lisa received her Masters in Library Science from Emporia State University. She has participated in the Association of College & Research Libraries’ Immersion programs including the Teaching with Technology Track. Lisa received her Instructional Design certificate from the Online Learning Consortium in June 2017.


Daniela Cambetas-SyedDaniela Cambetas-Syed, Ph.D.

 

 

 

Ph.D. (Educational Psychology), University of South Dakota

Dr. Daniela Syed received a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Research Methodology and Statistics from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D. and a B.A. from Hunter College in New York, NY. Dr. Syed joined the faculty in the Education Departments at Augustana in May 2016 as a part-time faculty member in the Master of Arts in Education Program. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in education, psychology, statistics, and research for over a decade. Previously, she served as an Assistant Professor of Psychology for Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.


Sandra Hoover-Kinsinger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
605.274.5317
Madsen Center #219
sandra.hoover-kinsinger@augie.edu

Ph.D. (Human Development and Educational Psychology), University of South Dakota
M.A. (Art Therapy), University of Illinois at Chicago

Dr. Sandra Hoover-Kinsinger is an Assistant Professor in the Augustana Education Department. Dr. Hoover-Kinsinger joined the Augustana faculty in the fall of 2016. Prior to this she was an Assistant Professor of psychology at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. She began her career as a child and adolescent art therapist in inpatient psychiatric facilities and outpatient rehabilitation centers. She also worked extensively with at-risk students and their families through district-based, grant-funded prevention programs. Her research involves the identification of factors that predict academic hopefulness and empirically-based faith development pedagogy with children.


Dr. Kristi Oskar-GroenKristi Oskar-Groen, Ed.D.

 

 

 

Ed.D. (Curriculum & Instruction/SPED) University of South Dakota
M.A. (Special Education), University of South Dakota

Dr. Kristi Oskar-Groen joined the faculty in the Education Department at Augustana in May 2016 as a part-time faculty member in the Master of Arts in Education Program. Prior to joining Augustana, Dr. Oskar-Groen is currently teaching at Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls, S.D.


Dr. Summer SchultzSummer Schultz, Ed.D.

 

 

 

Ed.D. (Educational Admin.: School Superintendency) University of South Dakota
M.S. (Computer Education and Technology), Dakota State University

Dr. Summer Schultz joined the faculty in the Education Department at Augustana in May 2016 as a part-time faculty member in the Master of Arts in Education Program. Dr. Schultz received her Ed.D. in Educational Administration from the University of South Dakota; her Administrative Licensure was obtained from Saint Mary’s University of MN; and both her M.S. in Computer Education/Technology and B.S. in Elementary Education/Special Education were earned from Dakota State University. Dr. Schultz is the Superintendent at Dell Rapids Public School.


Dr. Cate SommervoldCate Sommervold, Ed.D.

 

 

 

Ed.D. (Education Leadership), University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis, MN
M.A. (Plant Physiology), University of South Dakota

Dr. Cate Sommervold joined the faculty in the Education Department at Augustana in February 2015 as a part-time faculty member in the Master of Arts in Education Program. She received her doctoral degree in educational leadership at the University of St. Thomas and earned a master’s degree in biology/plant physiology at the University of South Dakota. Dr. Sommervold is currently the Director of the Doctorate of Education Program for Doane University. Prior to Doane, she served as the Academic Dean for National American University in Sioux Falls, SD. Dr. Sommervold has post-secondary teaching experience in science, education, leadership and research and worked with teachers and administrators as a Cognitive Coach, through East Dakota Educational Cooperative. In 2010, Dr. Sommervold co-authored a book about increasing creativity, critical thinking and communication in students. When not creating, teaching or presenting, she spends her time consulting, reading, gardening, cooking or spending time with her husband and three sons.


Dr. Lila SybesmaLila Sybesma, Ed.D.

 

 

 

Ed.D. (Curriculum and Instruction), University of South Dakota
M.A. (Reading ), University of Sioux Falls

Dr. Lila Sybesma joined the faculty in the Education Department at Augustana University in February 2018 as a part-time faculty member in the Master of Arts in Education Program.

Dr. Sybesma is an Associate Professor, specializing in reading and early childhood. She received her doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction at the University of South Dakota and earned a master’s degree in reading at Sioux Falls University.

Dr. Sybesma began her career serving as an elementary education teacher. Presently, she teaches at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. During her career, Lila designed numerous online classes, led many workshops, and taught both bachelor’s and master’s level courses.

A former president of the Northwest Iowa Reading Council, and an active leader in early childhood education, Lila has a heart for children and a passion for teacher training.