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School of Education Faculty

  • Natalie Cobb

    Natalie Cobb, Ed.D.

    Director of Clinical Experiences & Associate Professor of Education
    Office: 906, Foyle
    Phone: 816.501.2432

    B.S.Ed., M.S.Ed. & Ed.D. -- University of Kansas


    Mrs. Cobb is an Associate Professor, and Director of Clinical Experiences for graduate and undergraduate programs. Within these roles, she supervises the Teaching Excellence Team, Practicum and General Methods placements, teacher candidates and interns. She is the instructor for the Final Clinical Experience Seminar class, and she teaches other Education courses. She is also an Academic Advisor in the School of Education. Previously, she taught high school English for ten years in the Shawnee Mission and DeSoto school districts. She also served on the Curriculum Council, and was the Department Chairperson. She has certifications in secondary English and Social Studies. Her areas of expertise are curriculum, instruction, and teacher development. 

  • Nilufer Guler

    Nilufer Guler, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Education
    Office: 912, Foyle
    Phone: 816.501.2960

    B.A. from Middle East Technical University, M.A. from Ohio University, Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia


    Dr. Guler specializes in TESOL, ELL education and teacher education. She taught ESL/EFL courses both in the United States and abroad. Her research mainly focuses on preparing pre-service and in-service teachers to teach English Language Learners.  She is widely published, has presented at numerous conferences, and has more than 10 years of ESL/ELL teaching experience at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Guler teaches undergraduate and graduate education courses. She serves as the academic advisor for middle school and secondary education students and supervisor of student teachers. 

  • Dr. Jessica Kamuru

    Jessica Kamuru Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor
    Office: 912, Foyle
    Phone: 816-501-2960

    B.S. -- University of Central Missouri

    M.A. -- University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO

    Ph.D. -- University of Missouri, Columbia, MO



    Dr. Jessica Kamuru’s expertise is in special education with an emphasis in learning disabilities and mathematics. She is a 13- year veteran special education teacher, who taught students with disabilities in self-contained, itinerant and co-teaching settings in Kansas City, Mo. She recently received her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU).  Before leaving MU, Dr. Kamuru was presented with the Graduate Student Diversity Award and was nominated for Graduate Teacher of the Year Award. Dr. Kamuru has presented at a number of conferences for both special education and mathematics education. Her most recent presentations were at the Council of Exceptional Children-Teacher Education Division (CEC-TED) conference in New Orleans November (2019), and Psychology of Mathematics Education of North America (PMENA) in St. Louis (2019).  Dr. Kamuru is new to Avila but is excited to inspire the next generation of educators.

  • Stacy Keith

    Stacy Keith, Ed.D.

    Chair of the School of Education & Assistant Professor of Education
    Office: 914, Foyle
    Phone: 816.501.2446

    B.A. -- University of Missouri-Kansas City

    M.S.E. -- Graceland University

    Ed.D. -- Saint Louis University


    Dr. Keith serves as the Chair of the School of Education and as the Director of Graduate Education programs.  Her background in public education includes classroom teaching as a high school English teacher, and as a Gifted Education teacher.  She also worked as a curriculum and instruction supervisor.  She served as a member and as the Vice-President for the Missouri Staff Development Council. Dr. Keith has worked as a consultant in the areas of curriculum, assessment, and professional development. During her years of service at Avila, Dr. Keith has taught and advised both graduate and undergraduate students. She serves on the advisory council for the School of Graduate studies, and Undergraduate Council.

  • Sue Ellen McCalley

    Sue Ellen McCalley, Ph.D.

    Professor of Education
    Office: 922, Foyle
    Phone: 816.501.2443

    B.S. -- Northwestern University

    M.A. -- University of Missouri-Kansas City

    Ph.D. -- University of Kansas


    Dr. McCalley’s expertise is in special education. She has traveled internationally to consult on developing programs for children with special needs. In recent years, she has traveled to China, Russia, South Africa, India and Singapore. She is also a member of the Oxford Round Table on Children with Disabilities, Oxford University, England. Dr. McCalley teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes in education and psychology. She serves as an academic advisor and supervisor of student teachers. Dr. McCalley has served on the executive board of the Missouri Association for Colleges of Teacher Education. Currently, she is the Avila project coordinator for CEEDAR.

    Review Dr. McCalley's Top Priority High Leverage Practices for the Classroom.

  • Catherine Miller

    Catherine Miller Ed.D.

    Office: Foyle Hall, 924
    Phone: 816-501-3663

    B.S. -- Missouri State University

    M.A. -- Webster University

    Ed. Sp. -- University of Central Missouri

    Ed.D. -- University of Missouri - Columbia



    Dr. Miller is an instructor in the School of Education undergraduate program. She is retired after 30 years serving as a teacher and elementary principal in the Raytown School District. Throughout her tenure, she served on numerous teams and professional committees focused on student achievement and professional learning. Dr. Miller has presented at the state and national levels and is published for her work in cultural competence and principal preparedness. Her areas of expertise are instruction, data review teams, and teacher leadership.

School of Education Staff

  • Alicia Murillo

    Alicia Murillo, MA

    Director of Assessment & Accreditation and Certification Officer
    Office: 910, Foyle
    Phone: 816.501.2465

    B.A. & M.A. -- Indiana University of Pennsylvania


    Mrs. Murillo serves as the Director of Assessment and Accreditation.   Mrs. Murillo has a background in Psychology and Student Affairs in Higher Education.  In addition to overseeing program assessment and accreditation processes for the School of Education, Mrs. Murillo represents the School of Education on the Missouri Technical Advisory Committee and several state work groups.  Mrs. Murillo assists students with the completion of the state teacher certification process. She also serves as an academic advisor for undergraduate Elementary Education teacher candidates and supports students preparing to take the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments.  Mrs. Murillo teaches courses to aid students in transition, such as First Year Seminar, Strategies for Academic Success, and Test Prep for Educators.  

  • Cory Roup

    Cory Roup, M.S.Ed.

    Assistant Director of Graduate Education
    Office: 908, Foyle
    Phone: 816.501.2464

    B.S. & M.S. Ed. -- Northwest Missouri State University


    Mr. Roup has an educational background in psychology and education, focusing on guidance and counseling. He has earned his certification as a 7-12 School Counselor and has taught a variety of Student Success and Academic Strategies courses in higher education. He specializes in the areas of the state teacher certification process, student recruitment and retention, and the admissions process. Mr. Roup coordinates the enrollment of all Graduate Education students, and serves as the Academic Advisor for all Graduate Initial Teacher Certification students and the Teaching and Learning masters degree.  He also serves as a member of the Graduate Studies Committee. 

  • Julie Saviano

    Julie Saviano

    Office Manager, School of Education
    Office: 911, Foyle
    Phone: 816.501.2467


    Mrs. Saviano is the office manager for the School of Education. She began her career at Avila in August 1999 where she served as Director of the Child Care Center. In August 2004, she joined the School of Education. Mrs. Saviano provides administrative support to the School of Education faculty and staff. She also serves as the Placement Coordinator for education students' initial and mid-level field experiences and is responsible for maintaining the School of Education's Teaching Excellence Team (TEXT).

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Alum Receives Free Classroom Supplies

Jenn Murphy was the recipient of much needed classroom supplies through the Country Music Teacher Classroom Initiative sponsored by country singer, Jake Gill. Click on the link for more information. Congratulations Jenn!

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