Dr. Rick Dale teaches a variety of special education courses (assessment, law, foundations, practicum) as well as a First Year Seminar focused on the writing of Jack Kerouac. He earned a Doctorate in Educational Administration from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master's Degree in Special Education from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. He has been a special education teacher, consultant/trainer, administrator, and the special education advisor for policy for the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Lance Neeper is an Assistant Professor in special education. His commitment to the field of special education has led to a variety of experiences in the areas of teaching, research, and advocacy. Although Lance enjoys all facets of special education, his primary teaching and research interests revolve around experiential learning opportunities such as service-learning, inclusive education, transition programming, teacher education, and assistive technologies. His primary goal is to develop future teachers with the skills and dispositions to meet the needs of all learners. Currently, Lance is collaborating with colleagues from UMF and other universities on several research projects including a service-learning project between UMF and a local middle school, special educators’ use of iPad technologies, and variances in teacher certification in the field of special education.
Karen G.Smith is an Instuctor in the Special Education Department. She has many years of teaching experience as a Maine public school special educator at the elementary and middle levels. Her research and academic interests include special education methods, curriculum & instruction, response to intervention, and paraeducators. She is currently working toward her doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction and Special Education at the University of Maine. Karen is proud to be a member of the UMF community because of its longstanding reputation for its quality special education teacher preparation program and Farmington is the best place to live, work, and raise a family.
Kathy Miles has been an educator for forty years. She began her teaching career in elementary education. After teaching for eighteen years in Maine, she ventured to Europe to teach at a NATO base for the Department of Defense at The Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Belgium. As Kathy says, "This was a game changer for her professionally." She worked with children from many diverse cultures and after five amazing years in Europe, Kathy and her husband, Bruce, returned to Maine so she could begin her new teaching adventure working with student teachers at UMF. Her passion for teaching and working with preservice teachers has remained strong throughout her seventeen years at UMF, and she continues to marvel at the dedication and committment that her student teachers bring to their new professions. She is proud that UMF graduates are highly regarded and that children everywhere benefit from having a UMF-trained teacher.