CSUF News Service

Educators Join University to Prepare Future Teachers for the Classroom


The College of Education is welcoming three new educators in special education, reading and literacy and educational leadership this academic year.

Joyce Gomez-NajarroJoyce Gomez-Najarro
Assistant professor of literacy and reading education
Ph.D. urban education policy, USC
M.S. curriculum and instruction-reading specialist, University of Nevada Las Vegas
B.A. communication studies, UCLA
Multiple subject teaching credential, CSUF

Research interests: Preparing teachers to utilize valid assessment and engage in effective literacy instruction with culturally and linguistically diverse student populations; teachers’ understandings and approaches to literacy assessment in the context of implementing 'Response to Intervention,' a process to help students struggling with a skill or lesson; teachers’ treatment of student identity within educational policies and teaching practice; and social justice in teacher education.

Most impactful academic experience: My participation in the Bruin Corps program at UCLA, where I had the opportunity to serve as a mentor and tutor for students in the Los Angeles area.

Something you'd like others to know: Having completed the teacher credential program at CSUF more than 10 years ago, I'm thrilled to return as a faculty member and work with incredible scholars and teacher educators that inspired me, including Dean Lisa Kirtman.

Favorite book: I am a big fan of the Harry Potter series.

Calli Lewis ChiuCalli Lewis Chiu
Assistant professor of special education
Ph.D. special education–emotional/behavioral disorders, University of North Texas
M.Ed. special education-multicultural issues, University of Texas at Austin
B.F.A. art education, Texas Tech University
Teacher certification in special education, English language arts, art (Texas)

Research interests: Improving outcomes for students with emotional and behavioral disorders; classroom and behavior management; and culturally responsive teaching.

Most impactful academic experience: I had the opportunity to present at the National Art Education Association convention with one of my art education professors and three of my peers.

Something you'd like others to know: I previously worked as a special education teacher and taught students with mild to moderate disabilities.

Favorite book: "The Blind Assassin" by Margaret Atwood

Nancy A. WatkinsNancy A. Watkins (Starts in January)
Assistant professor of educational leadership
Ed.D. educational leadership, CSUF-UCI joint program
M.S. management, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
M.A. public policy, Claremont Graduate School
B.A. political science, UC Santa Barbara
Single subject teaching credential-social science, San Francisco State University

Research interests: Educational policy and leadership, equity and access and closing the opportunity gap.

Most impactful academic experience: As an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara, I distinctly remember when I realized that I was in control of my own learning. Professors may assign tasks, but how I completed requirements and the output was all me. I recognized I was in charge of my own learning and that realization changed how I approached my education.

Something you'd like others to know: I have been a public high school teacher and administrator for 30 years. I believe strongly in the value of quality and equitable public education.

Favorite book: I'm a fan of anything written by Isabel Allende. 

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