After returning from Jordan where she completed research on inclusive teaching practices in Palestine refugee camps, Dr. Jackie Rodriguez has joined the School of Education as Assistant Professor of Special Education. A former general and special education teacher, she will be teaching undergraduate and graduate coursework in Special Education including Characteristics of Exceptional Student Populations and Differentiating and Managing in Diverse Classrooms Secondary Practicum. Throughout her education and career she has fused her passion for international studies with teaching and learning. She received a BA in International affairs with concentrations in International Development, Latin American Studies and Culture and Society from George Washington University. She then completed a Master’s Degree in Special Education and Learning Disabilities from American University before returning to her home state of Florida to pursue a PhD at the University of Central Florida in Exceptional Education with emphasis in Global Inclusive Education Practices and STEM Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners.
While attending UCF, Dr. Rodriguez was part of a grant team that was awarded funding for summer STEM camps and she also worked as a Co-Director for a Summer STEM camp for culturally and linguistically diverse middle school students in Central Florida. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses she supervised pre-service teachers in their internship settings. Dr. Rodriguez also had the opportunity to be a principal investigator and Co-Director for the TLE TeachLivE™ Lab and the University of Central Florida. TeachLivE™ is a mixed reality virtual Lab for pre-service and in-service teachers. She hopes to bring this program to William and Mary as a unique learning tool for students.
For her dissertation at UCF, Rodriguez investigated inclusive teaching practices in schools for Palestinian refugee students located in Amman, Jordan while working as an intern for the United Nations Reliefs and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. She was amazed to see how teachers in the UNRWA schools include students with exceptionalities into to all aspects of general education. She hopes to find opportunities for William and Mary students to participate in study abroad programs in Jordan and the West Bank, Palestine (oPt: Occupied Palestinian Territory). In 2013, Dr. Rodriguez was honored to receive UCF’s prestigious “Order of Pegasus Award” for excellence in academics, service, leadership and research.
Dr. Rodriguez has a variety of research interests and has published and presented in the areas of inclusive education practices, STEM for underrepresented youth, and the use of technology in pre-service and in-service teacher education and training programs. She is an advocate involved in professional associations in the fields of exceptional education and higher education and is an active member of the Council for Exceptional Children. She has been impressed with the warmth and friendliness of the faculty, staff and students at William and Mary. In her spare time she enjoys running and being outdoors. She loves to travel and is looking forward to her next visit with family in the West Bank.