Helping the next generation
As a student in the Department of Human Services and Educational Leadership, you will work alongside faculty members with a deep well of clinical, research and educational experience. Our instructors have learned firsthand how classroom theory and real-world practice feed off each other. They are here to guide your professional development before and after you walk off the stage with your degree. State-of-the-art labs and a wide network of internship and externship partners guarantee hands-on experience for every student. Our passionate, caring professors are dedicated to seeing you join their ranks as professional helpers to all who are in need.
Dr. Luis E. Aguerrevere
Dr. Luis E Aguerrevere is the director of the Human Neuroscience Laboratory at SFA. He is from Barquisimeto, Venezuela. He has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Tennessee Technological University and a Master of Science and PhD in applied biopsychology from the University of New Orleans.
Dr. Aguerrevere’s focus is the examination of the biopsychological factors that contribute to chronic pain, post-concussion syndrome and sports performance. His specific areas of research are pain assessment, neuropsychological and neurophysiological assessment, somatization and malingering differentiation and the experimental validation of neurotherapy.
Dr. Maria Betancourt-Smith
Dr. Maria Betancourt-Smith is an adjunct faculty member in the educational leadership program. She earned a PhD in curriculum and instruction at Texas A&M University. Her focus on instructional leadership led her to take courses in curriculum and instruction and in educational administration. She has used qualitative and quantitative methods to conduct process product research in the area of instruction and teacher attitudes and to identify those likely to leave their teaching careers.
Betancourt-Smith completed her Master of Education in secondary education at SFA. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with minors in Latin and bilingual education from Southwestern University. She holds several Texas educator certifications. In addition to being a college professor, she has been a pre-K-12 public school educator and a university administrator.
Dr. Rochelle Cade
Dr. Cade has an undergraduate degree in psychology, a master’s degree in counseling and a PhD in counselor education from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor whose clinical work focuses on correctional settings.
Dr. Cade is an active member of the American Counseling Association with service on the Editorial Advisory Board and the Research and Knowledge Committee. She also is active in two ACA divisions: the International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors and the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling.
She is particularly passionate about teaching courses students generally avoid, fear or express little to no interest in such as assessment and career. Additionally, teaching the practicum and supporting and supervising students as they transition from graduate counseling students to emerging professional counselors are passions for Dr. Cade.
Jessica Conn is a speech-language pathologist and faculty member in the graduate speech-language pathology and undergraduate communication sciences and disorders programs. She received both her Master of Science in speech-language pathology and Bachelor of Science in communication sciences and disorders from SFA. Mrs. Conn’s experience as a speech-language pathologist includes working with children and adults in outpatient, acute, in-patient rehab and skilled nursing facilities.
Layne DeBardelaben is a speech-language pathologist and part-time clinical instructor in the speech-language pathology program. She received her Master of Arts in the early childhood intervention specialty training track from the University of Houston. She received her Bachelor of Science in speech and hearing with a minor in child development and family from SFA. DeBardelaben is a long-standing member of the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
She has years of clinical experience as a speech-language pathologist in a variety of settings that include outpatient rehabilitation, hospital, nursing home, early childhood intervention and private practice. DeBardelaben supervises graduate-level student clinicians at the Greater East Texas Community Action Program Head Start in Nacogdoches and teaches undergraduate diagnostic methods.
Amy Durham is a speech-language pathologist and part-time clinical instructor in the communication sciences and disorders program. She is a proud alumna, receiving both her Master of Science in speech-language pathology and Bachelor of Science in speech-language pathology, with a minor in hearing impairment, from SFA.
Durham has experience as a speech-language pathologist working with early childhood intervention, geriatric rehabilitation, and children and adults in outpatient and hospital settings. She is a member of the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Durham supervises graduate-level student clinicians at the Greater East Texas Community Action Program Head Start in Nacogdoches and teaches undergraduate clinical phonetics.
Dr. Nina Ellis-Hervey
Dr. Nina Ellis-Hervey is an associate professor in the school psychology program. She completed her PhD in educational psychology/school psychology at Oklahoma State University. While there, she also completed a specialty in applied behavioral analysis through extended work with children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Ellis-Hervey worked on various studies with faculty, peers and research teams and presented much of this work at national conferences. Some of these studies included topics such as various math interventions, peer and sibling victimization, PTSD and autism spectrum disorders.
Within the school system, she served as an integral part of student assistance teams and individualized education program teams. She also worked with students and teachers on various behavioral and academic interventions. Ellis-Hervey’s dissertation study, The Comparison of Sensory Integrative Therapy (Specifically Weighted Vests) and Applied Behavioral Analysis (Specifically a Differential Schedule of Reinforcement) in the Treatment of Children Who Have Autism Spectrum Disorder, proved to be quite beneficial, and she is working to publish the results of the study while furthering her research in the area.
Dr. Jaime Flowers
Dr. Jaime Flowers received her PhD at Chapman University and specialized in applied behavior analysis and psychometric testing. She is the coordinator of SFA’s applied behavior analysis certification program.
Dr. Ali Hachem
Dr. Ali H. Hachem is an associate professor in the educational leadership graduate program. His experience in the field of education spans nearly two decades. Hachem’s teaching areas of interest include the philosophy and practice of educational inquiry, educational administration and leadership, cultural foundations of education, and democratic theories of educational practice. His scholarly interests include the philosophy of education, science and educational inquiry, and administration.
Hachem's publications appear in leading journals in the field such as the International Journal of Leadership in Education and Policy Futures in Education. He is also a reviewer for a number of top journals in the field such as the International Journal of Educational Management; Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership; Pedagogy, Culture and Society; Leadership and Policy in Schools; Journal of School Leadership; and Action Research.
Sarah D. Irvin, PhD
Dr. Sarah D. Irvin, assistant professor in the professional counseling program, received her PhD in counselor education and supervision from the University of Holy Cross. She received her Master of Arts in clinical mental health counseling from Delta State University and her Bachelor of Arts in educational psychology from Mississippi State University. Her research interests include counselor wellness and self-care, forgiveness and counselor supervision. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor who specializes in working with clients who are coping with severe mental illnesses. She has presented on multiple topics, including coping with mental illness, psychosocial rehabilitation programs, coordination of online clinical supervision, self-care and forgiveness.
Dr. Kelly Jobe
Dr. Kelly Langston Jobe serves as a clinical audiologist for the Cole Audiology Lab. She received her Doctor of Audiology from the University of Florida, Master of Science in audiology from the University of Texas at Dallas-Callier Center and Bachelor of Science in communication sciences and disorders from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She has dedicated her career to clinical excellence and enjoys the role of supervisor for graduate students during clinical practicum rotations.
Erin Keeling received her Bachelor of Science from SFA and her Master of Science in speech-language pathology from Texas Woman’s University. Keeling has nearly 15 years of experience as a speech-language pathologist in public schools. She joined the SFA faculty as a clinical instructor in fall 2016.
Dr. Wendy K. Killam
Dr. Wendy K. Killam received her PhD in counselor education from the University of Arkansas. She received her Master of Science in community counseling from Texas A&M University-Commerce and her Bachelor of Arts from Baylor University. She also holds an MBA with an emphasis in health care administration. Her research interests include college student wellness and adjustment and issues older adults face. She is a member of the American Counseling Association and a past president of a division of the Association for Adult Development and Aging. Killam has delivered numerous presentations and written many publications on various topics in the field of counseling.
Dr. Leigh Kirby
Dr. Leigh Kirby earned her PhD in counselor education and supervision from Texas A&M University-Commerce. She holds a Master of Science in counseling from Texas A&M University-Commerce and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from SFA. Kirby is a licensed professional counselor and supervisor in Texas and Oklahoma. Her research interests include gatekeeping, ethical standards, legislative changes, and grief and bereavement. She is a member of the American Counseling Association, Texas Counseling Association and Oklahoma Counseling Association (serving as treasurer since 2016). She has delivered many presentations on various counseling topics at local and state conferences.
Dr. Daniel F. McCleary
Dr. Daniel F. McCleary is the coordinator for and an associate professor in SFA’s master’s and doctoral school psychology programs. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Drury University, Master of Science in applied educational psychology from the University of Tennessee and PhD in school psychology from the University of Tennessee. Upon graduation, McCleary began working as a school psychologist in the public school system, serving students in middle, high and alternative schools. In addition, he worked in Tennessee as a licensed psychologist in a private clinic to provide assessment and intervention services to individuals with identified disabilities.
Dr. Summer Pannell
Dr. Summer Pannell earned her Bachelor of Science in health, physical education and recreation at Delta State University, Master of Education in curriculum and instruction at Union University and her PhD in educational leadership at the University of Mississippi.
Deena Petersen received her Bachelor of Science in speech-language pathology from Abilene Christian University and her Master of Science in speech-language pathology from the University of Southern Mississippi. She also has early childhood special education and principal Texas educator certifications. She has been a speech-language pathologist for nearly 30 years and has worked in public schools, private clinics and the Department of Defense Education Activity in Japan.
Dr. Raul Prezas
Dr. Raul Prezas received his PhD and Master of Arts in communication sciences and disorders from Wichita State University and his Bachelor of Arts in business and Bachelor of Music in vocal performance degrees from Trinity University. Prezas holds a certificate of clinical competence in speech-language pathology and has several years of clinical and research experience in the university, public school and home health settings, particularly working with bilingual children and their families.
His research interests include the areas of speech sound disorders, bilingual/multilingual assessment and treatment, phonological treatment models/outcomes, multicultural issues and school-based issues.
Dr. Barbara Qualls
Dr. Barbara Qualls is the program director for the Master of Education in educational leadership degree, athletic director concentration and advanced leadership certifications for principal and superintendent at SFA. Her research is focused on K-12 governance and policy, especially the board/superintendent relationship. In higher education research, her agenda is geared toward expression rights, equity and ethics.
In 2019, she received the Educator of the Year award from Delta Kappa Gamma and was recently named recipient of the E.J. Campbell Endowed Chair: Professor of Educational Leadership for 2019 through 2022. She is a member of the board of directors for the Education Law Association.
Dr. Lydia Richardson
Dr. Lydia Richardson, director of and assistant professor in SFA’s communication sciences and disorders program, received her SLPD in speech-language pathology from Nova Southeastern University and her Master of Science and Bachelor of Science at SFA. Richardson has many years of clinical experience as a speech-language pathologist in a variety of settings, including outpatient rehabilitation, hospital, nursing home, public schools and home health. Her areas of interest are child language and articulation, autism and aural/oral habilitation. Richardson is a Hanen-certified speech-language pathologist and is certified in the picture exchange communication system.
Ralf Schuster, MEd, BPsycSc, CRC, is a visiting instructor of profession counseling. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from James Cook University as well as from San Diego State University. He graduated with a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from Auburn University and is revising his dissertation to fulfill the requirements for a PhD in counselor education. He enjoys inspiring students to become researchers and educators and appreciates teaching courses in helping skills, human lifespan development, counseling theories, rehabilitation counseling, behavioral statistics, diagnosis and assessment, and substance abuse counseling. His research interests focus on the treatment of alcohol use in older adults, the empirical evaluation of the validity of common practices used in clinical mental health and rehabilitation counseling, and the imaging techniques used in cognitive neuroscience. He also is involved in comprehensive statistics-driven research projects in rehabilitation counseling.
Dr. Richard Skuza
Dr. Richard Skuza is an adjunct faculty member in the educational leadership program. He earned an EdD in educational administration at Texas A&M University. His focus on instructional leadership led him to a career as a public school administrator. Skuza completed his Master of Education in educational administration at the University of Houston-Victoria. He has a Bachelor of Arts in biology from The College of St. Scholastica. He served 30 years as a public school educator, 26 of which were as a public school administrator. Skuza has served as an adjunct professor for Texas A&M University-Commerce, Navarro College and SFA.
Dr. Elaine Turner
Dr. Elaine Turner is an assistant professor in the school psychology program. She is an SFA graduate three times over with her BBA and her Master of Arts and PhD in school psychology. She worked in the public school system for three years before joining the SFA faculty. She focuses on social-emotional learning in children and adolescents, especially children with autism.
Dr. Brian Uriegas
Dr. Uriegas spent 17 years as a teacher, coach and principal in Texas public schools. He graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts in history, Southwest Texas State University with a Master of Education in secondary education and Texas A&M University-Kingsville with an EdD in educational leadership. His research interests are centered on rural education with focuses on post-secondary readiness, students of poverty, and career and technical education.
Dr. Bill Weber
Dr. Bill Weber is a professor in and program director of the undergraduate rehabilitation services training program. He is also director of the Rehabilitation Services Career Planning Laboratory. Weber received his EdD in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Northern Colorado and his Master of Education in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Texas at Austin. He also received his Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Texas and an Associate of Arts from Weatherford College.
Weber is a licensed professional counselor, certified rehabilitation counselor and certified vocational evaluator. He is an active member of the National Rehabilitation Association, Texas Rehabilitation Association and Texas Rehabilitation Counseling and Educators Association. In 2001, Weber was named the Outstanding Rehabilitation Educator by the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals.
Bonnie has been an administrative assistant for the Department of Human Services and Educational Leadership since 2008. In addition to handling incoming calls and transfers, Bonnie issues class permits for students, orders supplies for the department, updates department directories, monitors textbook adoptions and orders faculty desk copies. She handles room reservations, assists with classroom scheduling and handles incoming and outgoing mail. She is responsible for all aspects of the Community Coalition grant, placing SFA work-study students in local businesses as well as in the department clinics, while supervising the department work-study office assistant. Bonnie also serves as administrative assistive for the counselor education programs.
Whitney has been the senior administrative assistant for the speech-language pathology program since 2010. She maintains the budget for the program as well as the budget and schedule for the Stanley Center for Speech and Language Disorders and Cole Audiology Lab.
Dr. Chinedu Malcolm Ifoezeh
Dr. Malcolm Ifoezeh earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Houston, a Graduate Certificate in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Science in Generalized Human Services from Capella University and a PhD in Human Services from Capella University. Dr. Ifoezeh has been working in the human services field for more than 20 years, working mainly with individuals with mental and physical disabilities.
He started his professional career as a case worker with a mental health agency and then moved on to become a vocational rehabilitation counselor and a manager/supervisor with the Vocational Rehab State agency.
His is presently teaching rehabilitation, counseling and human services courses. He also taught sociology, social psychology, forensic psychology, child abuse and substance abuse course in the past. Dr. Ifoezeh's dissertation focused on how supportive employment contributes in the management of and recovery from mental illness.
John Mlinar earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from SFA. He previously worked as a career counselor and primarily as a personal counselor for the Center for Career and Professional Development and Counseling Services, respectively, at SFA. He currently works as a clinical therapist for Connections Counseling and Psychological Services, specializing in trauma, complex trauma and couple's counseling. He also works as an adjunct instructor for SFA, most often teaching Interviewing and Helping Skills.