Illana Lane, Ph.D.Illana Lane, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Education
Associate Professor

Dr. Illana R. Lane has taught at Medaille since 2001, instructing undergraduate and graduate students in the graduate programs. She has instructed students in math, science, and technology methods of education, foundations of education, diversity and research in education. She has also advised student teachers and directed master's thesis projects. She earned a Ph.D. in the sociology of education from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2003. In addition to serving on many College committees, Dr. Lane has served as chair of program director for the Elementary Education programs. She serves on the Amherst Central School District Board of Education and is a board member for the New York Association of Teacher Educators (NYSATE). Her participation in other organizations includes, Jack and Jill of America Inc., and Delta Kappa Gamma. In addition to presenting at local, national and international conferences on educational issues, she has also received recognition from Madison Who's Who of Executives and Professionals and Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.


Kelly Ahuna, Ph.D.Kelly Ahuna, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Kelly Ahuna ( is a visiting Assistant Professor in Adolescent Education. She holds a bachelor's degree in English with secondary teacher certification from Dickinson College, a master's degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Vermont and a doctoral degree in sociology of education from UB. Prior to coming to Medaille, Dr. Ahuna ran a critical thinking program at UB for ten years. Her research interests include the role of gender, race, and social class in education, critical thinking, and how to develop students into autonomous learners.


Virginia Batchelor, Ph.D.Virginia Batchelor, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Dr. Virginia Batchelor ( is an associate professor in the Education Department, and has received over a dozen awards for community service. She earned her Ph.D. in the sociology of education from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2001, and has taught at Medaille since 2001. Her courses in Education Methods and Materials, Foundations in Education, and Explorations in Diversity draw from her research and lecture experience. She is currently researching women's health and social issues.



Lauren Block, M.A.Lauren Block, M.A.
Visiting Instructor

Lauren Block ( began teaching at Medaille College in 2008 and became a full-time instructor for the School of Education in 2010. She earned her Master's Degree from Simmons College in Boston, MA and her B.A. in English Literature from Michigan State University. Lauren holds a New York State permanent certification in Elementary Education, Nursery school-grade 6. Prior to teaching at Medaille, Lauren taught in Nairobi, Kenya for one year and in the public school classroom for 15 years, K- grade 2. She currently teaches various courses within the School of Education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels with a focus in reading and literacy.


Michelle Cefaratti, Ed.M.Michelle Cefaratti, Ed.M.
Visiting Instructor

Michelle Cefaratti ( began teaching at Medaille in 2006. Prior to coming to Medaille she taught at D'Youville College in Buffalo and in the Williamsville Central School District for 8 years. Michelle earned a B.F.A. from Syracuse University in 1991 and an Ed.M. from SUNY Buffalo in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Reading in 2003. Michelle teaches Developmental Literacy and Reading Assessment courses, along with the Early Intervention and Elementary Reading Practicums in the newly established Reading Center. She is a member of the International Reading Association and Niagara Frontier Reading Council.


Craig Centrie, Ph.D.Craig Centrie, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Dr. Craig Centrie ( is an assistant professor in the Education Department and is the director of the curriculum and instruction graduate program. As a specialist in ethnographic data collection, he is the department's resident anthropologist. His work explores schools as a site for identity and culture construction. His most recent publication, Vietnamese Youth in an American High School, examines the identity formation of young Vietnamese refugees and their experiences in American schools. Dr. Centrie is an experienced world traveler and has lectured widely in Europe, Latin America, and Asia on education, art and human rights. In June 2005 he presented at the United Nations' Women's World Conference in Seoul, South Korea, on the experiences of Vietnamese female refugees and human rights. For over 25 years, Dr. Centrie has been an active member of Western New York's cultural community, co-founding el Museo Francisco Oller y Diego Rivera, the area's only visual arts organization dedicated to the visual art of Latinos. As a photographer and videographer, he inspires creativity in his students and encourages new ways to explore academic issues.


Claudia Conway, M.S.Ed.Claudia Conway, M.S.Ed.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Program Director for MSED Literacy
Chair of Undergraduate Education Programs

Claudia Conway is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Literacy, assuming the role of Program Director for MS Ed. in Literacy in 2007. Conway’s area of expertise is in language development and early literacy. Prior to coming to Medaille, she taught for twenty-five years in public schools in Ohio. In 2000, she joined John Carroll University and the Institute of Educational Renewal as a literacy specialist working on-site in the Cleveland Public Schools. Her work included teaching graduate courses focusing on literacy instruction and whole-school renewal, providing classroom coaching, and presenting whole-school and district staff development seminars. She also mentored building principals in the implementation of professional learning communities. Conway currently teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy.


Elaine Correa, Ph.D.Elaine Correa, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Dr. Elaine Correa ( earned her Ph.D. from McGill University in the Department of Administration and Policy Studies in education. She has taught in Canada and the United States in the fields of Education, Women's Studies and Canadian Studies. Her research areas are critical feminist pedagogy, popular culture, educational equity, multiculturalism, and law. She is an associate professor in the curriculum & instruction graduate program in the School of Education.



Susan Dunkle, M.S.Ed.Susan Dunkle, M.S.Ed.
Visiting Instructor

Susan Dunkle, a visiting instructor in the Education Department, has taught at Medaille College since 2006. She instructs undergraduate and graduate students in math, science, and technology methods of education, foundations of education and children's literature. She is the Team Leader for Children's Literature and serves on the Early Childhood Education Committee. She taught previously for D'Youville College's Education Department and Canisius College in the Department of Military Science. As a former military officer, she has extensive experience in leadership, team building, and professional development. Her affiliations include OAME, NSTA, NCTM, and serves on the Board of Managers for the Lancaster YMCA. She is presently engaged in research for her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at D'Youville College. Her research focuses on Remediation of Math Anxiety in Pre-Service School Teachers.


Jeffrey A. Faunce, Ph.D.Jeffrey A. Faunce, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Jeffrey Faunce is an Assistant Professor at Medaille College teaching various courses including Social Studies, ELA and Arts Methods, Foundations of Education, The Core of Education, The Teacher as Researcher, and others. He also supervises student teachers in elementary schools throughout the area. Before coming to Medaille, Dr. Faunce was a full-time instructor at Canisius College and an adjunct professor at Daemen College (in the Canadian Scholars Program) and at D'Youville College. Prior to teaching at the post-secondary level, Dr. Faunce was a middle school building principal, a middle school and high school assistant principal and a 10-year public school teacher. He enjoys music, reading, golf, running and most of all spending time with his wonderful children.


Patricia K. Heffernan, Ed.D.Patricia K. Heffernan, Ed.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor

Dr. Patricia K. Heffernan ( is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Medaille College teaching graduate students on both the Amherst and Buffalo campuses. She has 35 years of experience in the field of education. Prior to coming to Medaille, she held various administrative positions including principal, vice principal, coordinating administrator of special education and curriculum coordinator in addition to teaching. Her experience is in public urban and private schooling at both elementary and secondary levels. Also, she spent many years in the field of education of the deaf.

Dr. Heffernan earned her doctorate in curriculum planning and instruction at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Additionally she holds degrees in deaf education and administration. Previously she taught as an adjunct professor at several colleges and recently she taught full time in Rochester. She has written a number of articles, given numerous presentations and served in various state and national capacities.



Belete Mebratu, Ph.D.Belete Mebratu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Dr. Belete Mebratu ( has taught in the Education Department since 2004. Mebratu earned a Ph.D. in elementary education from the State University of New York at Buffalo, with previous studies and teaching experience at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Mebratu's courses include curriculum studies, educational research, and transitions from education's roots to the present. These courses draw from Mebratu's publications and presentations on early childhood education and international educational systems.


Carol O'Connor, M.S.Ed.Carol O'Connor, M.S.Ed.
Clinical Instructor

Carol O'Connor ( has taught at Medaille in the Education Department since 2004. Prior to this, she was an elementary education teacher in Cheektowaga, with experience in every grade level from K-6. O'Connor supervised student teachers and junior participants as a public school teacher, and now instructs student teaching and field experience courses, among others. She was involved in instruction programs for enrichment students and learning disabled students, and emphasized computer literacy in the classroom with integration in all subject areas.



Donald O'Connor, M.S.Ed.Donald O'Connor, M.S.Ed.
Clinical Instructor

Donald O'Connor ( has taught in the Education Department at Medaille since 2004. Prior to this, he instructed grades 4-6 in the Cheektowaga Central School District. Throughout that time, he continually attended workshops, conferences and in-service training, focusing on curriculum and New York state standards for science and mathematics. O'Connor has experience teaching in self-contained classrooms and as part of a two-, three-, four- and departmentalized team. He teaches courses in mathematics methods and math, science and technology.



Amanda Schaus, M.S.Ed.Amanda Schaus, M.S.Ed.
Visiting Instructor

Amanda Schaus ( is a Visiting Instructor in the Education Department and has taught at Medaille since 2004. She earned her Master's Degree from Canisius College in Adolescent Literacy and is also a graduate from Buffalo State College, holding degrees in Elementary Education Pre-K through 6 and Special Education Pre-K through 12. Mrs. Schaus has taught in various classrooms during her 10 year public school teaching career ranging from Grade 2 General Education to working in a Self-contained classroom with students with Emotional and Behavioral disorders. As an educator Mrs. Schaus strives to provide real world teaching experiences for her students built on sound research based strategies. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, reading, and any outdoor activities.


Mary Beth Scumaci, M.S.Ed.Mary Beth Scumaci, M.S.Ed.
Clinical Assistant Professor, Academic Technology Coordinator
Assessment Coordinator for the School of Education
Program Director for MSED Elementary Education

Mary Beth Scumaci ( became a full-time instructor at Medaille College in 2005. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor, Academic Program Director for the Canadian Education Program, and Technology Coordinator for the School of Education. Scumaci holds a BS Ed and MS Ed. from the State University College at Geneseo. She holds New York State permanent certification to teach Nursery School – Grade 6, has an endorsement in Early Childhood Education, a minor in psychology and a specialization in advanced teaching. She designs, implements, and teaches online courses for the School of Education. She teaches in the traditional and virtual classrooms, and supervises students during fieldwork and student teaching. One of her favorite roles is serving as the advisor for the Education Graduate Student Society (EGSS).


Jane Scura, Ed.D.Jane Scura, Ed.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor

Dr. Jane Scura ( is a visiting assistant professor at Medaille College, teaching courses in Developmental Literacy, Literacy Assessment and Early Field Experience. She received her B.S. from Mercyhurst College in general education and special education, an M.S. from Nazareth College in special education, a C.A.S. in administration from SUNY Brockport and an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Southeastern Nova University.

After dedicating 31 years of service to the students and families in the inner city schools of the Rochester City School District, she came to Medaille College to further her work in teacher development. While with the Rochester City School District, she served as a special education teacher, director of two preschools, principal of three elementary schools and lead principal. Dr. Scura provided teacher training in several areas including literacy, classroom environment and working with parents as well as leadership training for administrators. She also served as an adjunct professor at SUNY Geneseo. Believing that the optimum working environment is within a community of learners, the leap to higher education with Medaille College has proven to be a positive experience within her new learning community. She feels that her work in public education allows for the opportunity to not only coach future teachers, but also share experiences to enrich their understanding of the world of education and to promote student academic and life-long success.


Renee Sturm, Ed.D.Renee Sturm, Ed.D.
Visiting Professor

Dr. Renee Sturm ( began teaching at Medaille in 2007. Prior to coming to Medaille she taught in the Canadian Education program at D'Youville College for three years. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Buffalo State College, and both a M.S. in Secondary Education and an Ed.D. in Educational leadership from D'Youville College. Dr. Sturm has taught several courses within the School of Education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her current research focuses on nontraditional female students' higher education success rates.



Jim Thompson, M.S., C.A.S.Jim Thompson, M.S., C.A.S.
Visiting Assistant Professor

James R. Thompson began teaching in Medaille's Education department in 2007. He earned his M.S. at SUNY New Paltz, a C.A.S. at SUNY Oswego, and is permanently certified by New York for teaching elementary and secondary students, and as a school district administrator.

Prior to coming to Medaille, Thompson was the principal of Wolcott St. School in LeRoy for twenty years. He worked for the Liverpool Central School District as a social studies and reading teacher, and as assistant principal. Thompson has also taught graduate courses in SUNY Brockport's Educational Administration program.

As an educator for the past 35 years, Thompson tries to "do what is best for kids each and every day." Thompson was the New York State Elementary Principal of the Year in 1993, and was a National Distinguished Principal in 1994.

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