Jennifer Altieri, Ph.D.
Jennifer Altieri, Ph.D., comes to St. John’s University as a
Full Professor in the Department of Human Services and
Counseling. She received her Ph.D. with a focus on language,
literacy and culture from Texas A & M University. Shehas spent
the last 10 years serving as coordinator for the graduate Literacy
Education Program in the School of Education at The Citadel in
Charleston, SC. Dr. Altieri’s research interests involve
disciplinary literacy and the use of informational texts at the
elementary level. Her most recent text, focusing on content area
connections, will be published Fall 2013 by the International
Reading Association. Dr. Altieri also has a B.S. from Bowling Green
State University and an M.Ed. from the University of Houston.
Anthony J.Annuniziato, Ed.D.
Anthony Annunziato, Ed.D., Associate Professor, Department of
Administration and Instructional Leadership, has served in public
schools for 27 years, the last eight as Superintendent of Schools.
He received his Ed.D. and Ed.M. from Teachers College, Columbia
University in Educational Administration. He also holds a B.A. in
History and an M.S.Ed. in Social Studies Education from Queens
College. Among his research interests are the financial
sustainability of public education, the recent reforms in teacher
and principal evaluations and the preparation of school
Della DeKay, Ed.D., J.D.
Della Dekay, Ed.D., J.D. is an Assistant Professor, Department
of Human Services and Counseling. She has been an adjunct at St.
John’s for 10 years. Her research interest is developing methods
for teaching TESOL within the legal, social, cultural context
encountered by new immigrants. She also holds B.A. and M.A.
Michael P. Downton, Ph.D.
Michael Downton, Ph.D., comes to St. John’s as an Assistant
Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. He is
interested in the role intuition plays in learning, as well as the
integration of the arts and music and the design of constructionist
learning environments. He also holds a B.A. in Psychology.
Samuel E. Jackson, Ph.D.
Samuel E. Jackson, Ph.D., comes to St. John’s University as an
Assistant Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction. As
an Adjunct Assistant Professor, he taught courses in mathematics,
math education and issues in urban education at City College,
Queens College, Brooklyn College and Long Island University. His
research interests include teacher education; cogenerative
dialogue; and construction of mathematical knowledge in urban
schools. He also has a B.A. in Mathematics and an M.A. in
Adolescent Math Education.
Ishita Khemka, Ph.D.
Ishita Khemka, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Human
Services and Counseling, has extensive experience in bilingual
assessment, arts program evaluation and intervention research for
individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her
ground-breaking research on social interpersonal decision-making
theory and risk/abuse prevention training is well-recognized and
published in the field. Her new research focuses on designing
effective interventions for building positive peer relationships
and reducing social bullying in schools for adolescents with
intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. She also
has a B.A. in Economics from Delhi University, India, and an M.A.
in Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia
Helen U. Kwah, Ph.D.
Helen Kwah, Ph.D., comes to St. John’s University as an
Assistant Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, with
a background in the arts and developing health educational media.
In addition to her Ph.D. from New York University, Dr. Kwah has a
B.A. from Yale University and an MPH from the University of Hawaii.
Her current research examines the mediating roles of multimodality
(especially gesture and movement), emotions and social structures
on STEM teaching and learning practices in technology-enhanced
learning environments. A goal of her research is to draw
understandings of how to promote effective teaching and learning
through the effective design of these environments, and engagement
of multiple modalities and emotional/social experience.
John McKenna, Ph.D.
John McKenna, Ph.D., comes to St. John’s University as an
Assistant Professor, Department of Human Services and Counseling.
He previously worked at numerous programs for students with
emotional and behavioral disorders and learning difficulties
including The New England Salem Children’s Trust, The Italian Home
for Children, The Walker Home and School and Newton Public Schools
Elementary Stabilization Program. While employed as a Graduate
Research Assistant by the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational
Risk, Dr. McKenna worked on research projects related to elementary
reading instruction, adolescent literacy, Algebra I instruction and
positive behavior supports. His research interests are
evidence-based instructional practices for students with EBD and
students at risk; responsible inclusion; effective methods for
training and supporting pre-service and beginning teachers; and
function-based interventions for students with challenging
behaviors. He also has a B.A. in English from the University of
Massachusetts at Amherst and an M.A. in Special Education from
James S. Vacca, Ph.D.
James S. Vacca, Ph.D., comes to St. John’s University as an
Associate Professor, Department of Human Services and
Counseling. Prior to coming to St. John’s University, he was
Chair of the Department of Special Education and Literacy and
Director of the CASE Program, a master’s degree program for
graduate students specializing in teaching children with autism
spectrum disorders at Long Island University, C.W. Post. Dr. Vacca
worked for 35 years as a Teacher, Principal, Special Education
Administrator, Guidance Director, Special Programs/Reading
Director, and Director of Pupil Personnel Services in several
school districts in New York State and on Long Island. For the past
12 years, Dr. Vacca has served as Educational Consultant and Foster
Child Advocate for the Department of Social Services in Suffolk
County, Long Island. Dr. Vacca also holds B.A. and M.S.