Meet our new faculty
Director of the McGinnis Reading Center and Clinic and assistant professor of literacy studies
Dr. Elizabeth Isidro finished a B.S. in Tourism in 1995 at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. In 2012, she also received a master's in education with an emphasis in language and literacy at the College of Education at Texas Tech University. She received a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in language and literacy also from the College of Education at Texas Tech University. Most recently, she was a post-doctoral research associate and served as curriculum anchor for the Department of Teacher Education in the College of Education at Texas Tech University from 2016-2018. Her work primarily involved curriculum design using design-based research and personalized learning models, as well as supervision of literacy courses in both face-to-face and distance programs. Her research interests are in methods of instruction that support pre-service teacher preparation in teaching reading and writing, teacher identity research using reader response theory and self-study research of teacher education practices. Earlier in her career, she earned a national distinction by receiving the Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award at the National Council of Teachers of English in 2014.
Assistant professor of Special Education
Dr. Kate LaLonde is a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst and assistant professor in special education at Western Michigan University. She is an expert in developing behavioral therapy programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, with specific expertise in teaching early language skills to young children. She obtained her Ph.D. at Western Michigan University with Dr. Alan Poling. Her dissertation work used behavioral intervention to increase physical activity in adults with autism spectrum disorder. After graduation she was an assistant professor at Michigan State University and the clinical director of the Early Learning Institute. At MSU she taught Master’s level ABA courses and was responsible for the assessment and treatment of children enrolled in an early intensive behavior intervention center. Currently her research focuses on teaching special education teachers how to incorporate evidence-based practices in the classroom setting and teaching language skills to young children with autism. Specifically, her research aims to teach language skills using naturalistic behavioral interventions and developing interventions that lead to emergent learning and that can be implemented in group settings and during functional routines.
Assistant professor of TESOL
Dr. Magda Tigchelaar completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in French studies at the University of Guelph, Canada. She received her Ph.D. in second language studies from Michigan State University in 2018. Dr. Tigchelaar has taught English and French language classes at home, in North America and abroad, in France and South Korea. She now works with current and future language teachers in the ESL graduate certificate and M.A. in TESOL programs at Western Michigan University to prepare them for language teaching, research and assessment. Her research interests include second language proficiency testing, self-assessment and second language writing. Her current research centers on language learners’ use of self-assessment materials for evaluating their own language proficiency and the development of language proficiency standards.