We are pleased to announce that Dr. Stephanie A. Kurtts and Sam Parker have been appointed as interim Chair and interim Associate Chair, respectively, of the Specialized Education Services (SES) Department for the UNCG School of Education. Both UNCG alumni, Dr. Kurtts and Mr. Parker will assume their new roles on June 16, 2018. Dr. Kurtts joined the UNCG faculty in 2001 to become part of the newly established Department of Specialized Education Services, following positions at Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina and Nazareth College of Rochester, New York. Mr. Parker has taught in the Professions in Deafness Program at UNCG for 13 years, and has worked as a community interpreter across the nation for more than 30 years.

Dr. Stephanie A. Kurtts received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Teaching from UNCG in 1998 with an emphasis in inclusive and special education. As a faculty member in the Department of Specialized Education Services, she collaborates with colleagues on program initiatives addressing inclusive practice between special and general education teacher preparation programs, as well as community agencies that serve individuals with disabilities. She teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses and has supervised field-based experiences of teacher candidates in the dual major in elementary education and special education. She has published more than 30 articles and book chapters, and has presented papers at annual meetings, including international conferences in Beijing and Barcelona. Dr. Kurtts’ research interests include teacher preparation for inclusive practices, academic service-learning experiences with community partners that impact teacher attitudes and beliefs toward inclusion of individuals with disabilities, and implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in ensuring access to and engagement with the general curriculum. Over the past 18 years, Dr. Kurtts has received over $2.2 million in federally funded grants to support personnel preparation for teacher candidates in special education.

Sam Parker received his Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in acting with an emphasis on voice in 1997. He is a Clinical Professor at UNCG and a Licensed Professional Interpreter, holding a CSC certification with the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and a master certification with the American Sign Language Teachers Association. He is currently the coordinator of the Professions in Deafness and Interpreter Preparation programs at UNCG. As a facilitator, Mr. Parker has presented more than 50 professional development seminars internationally and nationally. Mr. Parker’s area of interest is theatrical interpreting, and he has performed/interpreted at world renowned stages in Washington, D.C (including lead interpreter for President Clinton’s Inauguration) and Los Angeles. He has interpreted at Triad Stage in Greensboro for the past 12 years, and for more than 20 productions at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Mr. Parker was recognized for his teaching with the School of Education Teaching Excellence Award from UNCG in 2009.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Stephanie A. Kurtts and Sam Parker in their new roles. We are confident that they will be highly collaborative and effective in working with SES and the broader UNCG community.