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Stories We Tell Course Pairing

Introduction to Special Education (SE 296)

Provides an introduction to the terminology, identification, and issues commonly encountered when addressing the needs of diverse students with disabilities. Emphasis is placed on inclusion, diversity issues, federal and state legislative mandates pertinent to nondiscriminatory assessments, parental involvement, individualized education programs, and professional practice and foundations in special education. Participants investigate the major areas of exceptionality, addressing the characteristics and educational needs of students with orthopedic, visual, hearing, speech, emotional, cognitive, and health impairments, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, and those with learning disabilities. Connections between theory and practice are developed to enhance acquisition of course competencies. 

Faculty biography

Professor Monique Yates is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Teacher Education Department at Loyola University Maryland. She has more than 30 years of experience in the field of education, teaching, supporting, and preparing teachers who will advocate for equitable education for all students, particularly those with diverse learning needs. Monique's career included teaching general education, special education, and working in the central offices of Baltimore City and Baltimore County schools supporting teachers, students, and their families. Monique came to Loyola in 2012 to teach as an adjunct professor before joining the school of Teacher Education full time in 2021. During her time at Loyola, she has worked with teacher interns and local school partners to enhance our teacher preparation program. Monique is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Council for Exceptional Children and has worked as a certified trainer for the Crisis Prevention Institute and the International Institute for Restorative Practices.

First-Year Seminar in Psychology: The Science of Memory Making (PY 102)

How do we make sense of human thought, emotion, and behavior? The stories we tell, about who we are and why we do what we do, form the basis for this course's exploration of psychology. Using research to challenge our assumptions, we ask such questions as, "Is personality an outcome of nature or nurture?," "Are memories accurate or stories we create?" and "If we revise our internal narratives about stressful events can we improve our physical and mental health?" This course draws on numerous theoretical perspectives to introduce the key theories, principles, and findings in contemporary psychology. As a diversity-core course, this course also emphasizes the different social and structural biases that have (and continue to) shape the the field of psychology. By taking this course, you will develop a strong foundation in psychology fundamentals, including recognition of the methods used to ask and answer questions in psychology and the primary themes that link the many sub-fields of psychology. This class will help you see the "stories you tell" about yourself through a new scientific lens, while highlighting the diversity and complexity of the human experience.

Faculty biography

Dr. Theresa DiDonato is a professor in Loyola's Psychology Department and a social psychologist who studies romantic relationships, with emphasis on romantic attraction and authenticity. She teaches Introductory Psychology, Social Psychology, and Research Methods, as well as upper-level courses on relationships. She is the author of "Meet, Catch, and Keep," a blog for Psychology Today.

Mentor biography

Garrison (Garry) Schmitt moved to Maryland and joined the Loyola team in 2018 having departed from his former role in Hospitality Administration with the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan. Garry has a diverse educational background, having served in both K-12 as well as higher education roles. Garry finds true joy when empowering students to pursue their identity and passions. Bring on the Jesuit value of cura personalis!  Originally from Berlin, CT, Garry completed his B.A. in Psychology from fellow Jesuit institution, College of the Holy Cross, and his M.Ed. degree in Higher Education Administration from Post University. In his free time, Garry enjoys leadership/special interest podcasts, games with friends, and spending time with his Wife, Steph, and his Chihuahua, Luke.

Virtual Advisor

This course pairing is recommended for students interested in majoring or minoring in education.