Dr. Donna Karno teaches in the on-campus BS program, the off-campus BS program, the MS Ed. in Early Childhood degree program, and the MS Ed Instructional Technology collaborative degree program. Since entering the profession of early childhood education, she has worked in many different capacities including as a consultant, lead teacher, and preschool director. She brings all of these experiences to the classroom as a way to connect the academic with field work. Dr. Karno is involved in teaching and research using digital technologies in the early childhood profession on the local, state and national levels. With an MA in political science and teaching experience in post-secondary social science, Dr. Karno maintains an active interest in public policy.
Dr. Overstreet’s interest in popular culture has lead her to teach several First Year Seminars focusing on the television work of Joss Whedon and the films of Joel and Ethan Coen. Her interest in young adult literature has culminated in writing two books that examine this literature—the most recent being vampire literature. Additionally, Dr. Overstreet teaches writing and teaches future teachers to teach writing.
Ming-Ming Pu teaches courses in linguistics and first-year composition. She specializes in psycholinguistics. Her research interests lie mainly in exploring the fundamental relationship between language and cognition, especially how universal cognitive factors of memory and attention constrain the way we use language, and what general cognitive strategies we employ to facilitate language processing. She has been conducting empirical studies as well as comparative discourse analyses between Chinese and English, which have demonstrated that these two historically unrelated languages share common characteristics in discourse processing regardless of their morphosyntactic differences. In addition to her book Discourse Anaphora, she has published in linguistic journals such as Discourse Processes, Chinese Language Studies, Cognitive Linguistics, Canadian Journal of Linguistics and contributed chapters in numerous books.
Dr. Christopher Strople teaches social studies methods and diversity courses. He taught elementary school in southern California for over ten years before transitioning into higher education. Prior to joining UMF he taught at the university level for several years while working to complete his doctoral program. His research interests include social justice, curriculum theory and art/aesthetic education. Chris enjoys art, traveling, and spending time outdoors.
Clarissa Thompson teaches courses for prospective secondary and middle teachers. For all students in the Secondary Education program, she teaches a Content Literacy course. For students preparing to be English teachers, she teaches English Methods and Young Adult Literature. Her interests, both teaching and research, center on new teachers, and the process of learning to teach, as well as the transition students go through, as they travel from their college and teacher preparation experience into their first few years of teaching. She loves reading Young Adult Literature, both for work and for fun, as well as trying to make poetry a more daily and fun part of her classroom. In what little free time she has, she loves baking cakes, looking at birds, and skiing and hanging out with her children.
Before joining the Secondary/Middle Education faculty at UMF, Maja Wilson taught for ten years in Michigan's public schools, and she was a lecturer in the Literacy Program at University of Maine, Orono. Her scholarly interests include writing assessment, automated essay scoring, teacher agency, the accountability movement, and the history and consequences of behaviorism in American education. She is the author of Rethinking Rubrics in Writing Assessment (Heinemann, 2006), which won the Conference on English Education's James Britton Award in 2007. In addition, her work has been published in several edited collections and in Educational Leadership, Rethinking Schools, English Journal, Kappan, Education Week, Journal of Teaching Writing, and the Washington Post Answer Sheet. She currently teaches History and Philosophy of Education and Introduction to Secondary/Middle Education.