Faculty Spotlights

Ayse Torres, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling at Florida Atlantic University
Ayse Torres, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Of Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling


Ph.D. Counselor Education, Florida Atlantic University

M.Ed. Counselor Education, Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling, Florida Atlantic University

B.S. Counseling Psychology, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey


Assistant Professor, Department of Counselor Education, specialization in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling


  • Outcome research on rehabilitation counseling interventions
  • Utilization of Artificial intelligence for suicide prevention among individuals with developmental disabilities
  • Community integration for veterans with disabilities
  • Youth with disabilities transitioning to adulthood


The underlying theme of my research encompasses life transition counseling among individuals with disabilities. Throughout our lives, we experience many transitions; some are predictable, such as transitioning out of school, entering into adult life, and some are unpredictable, such as acquiring a physical or mental disability due to a traumatic accident. There are also major transitions that impact communities at large, but are not well-understood, such as military veterans’ reintegration into civilian life. Adaptation to changes can be challenging and may lead to less than optimal mental health, which is detrimental to the individuals’ wellbeing. Appropriate rehabilitation services to help prepare individuals for change or adaptation are critical, especially for individuals with disabilities and their families.

My research has evolved in the following areas: youth with disabilities entering into workforce, veterans reintegrating into civilian life, and community-based programs for suicide prevention. Recently, I partnered with colleagues at FAU Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing to understand our military veterans’ mental health challenges. As a result of our collaborative efforts, we received a $250,000 funding award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). As a Principal Investigator in this project, I lead teams to develop a veteran-centered, community-engaged, mental health research agenda. For more information about this award, please visit: https://www.pcori.org/research-results/2021/operation-red-white-blue-building-pcor-competencies-veterans-and-mental-health

I am delighted to be selected as a featured person for this episode of faculty spotlight, and I would like to express my gratitude to all of my colleagues and students at FAU.


2020-2021 Researcher of the Year, Florida Atlantic University College of Education

2017-2018 Outstanding Dissertation Award, Florida Atlantic University College of Education


External - Funded

Torres, Ayse (Principal Investigator). Grant, Research. Operation Red-White-Blue: Building PCOR Competencies of Veterans and Mental Health Providers. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards. Funded, $250,000. March 2021 – 2023.

Torres, Ayse (Co-Principal Investigator). Grant, Training. Rehabilitation Training: Rehabilitation Long Term Program – Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling, The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). PI: Michael Frain, Florida Atlantic University. Funded, $1,200,000. August 2020 – July 2025.

Torres, Ayse (Co-Principal Investigator). Grant, Research. Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Employment (VRTAC-QE). PI: Timothy Tansey, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Subcontractor: Florida Atlantic University. Funded, $16,700,000. January 2021 – July 2025.

Torres, Ayse. (Principal Investigator) Contract, Research Support. Initial Analysis for Rehabilitation and Mental Health Needs in Quindío, Colombia. Sponsored by University of Quindío, Colombia. Funded, $1,500. July 1, 2019 – July 30, 2019.

Internal - Funded

Torres, Ayse (Principal Investigator) “What-Can I-Do?” Teaching Job-Related Situational Decision Making Skills to College Students with IDD. Sponsored by Academy for Community Inclusion (ACI), Florida Atlantic University. Funded, $1,500. May 2022 –May 2023.

Torres, Ayse. (Principal Investigator). Grant, Research. Intervention Research: Tools for Community Rehabilitation Providers, Development and Dissemination. Sponsored by Office of Community Engagement, Florida Atlantic University. Funded, $1,000. October 2019 – December 2020.


Kearney, K., Torres, A. (2022). Teaching job search skills to college students with intellectual and developmental disabilities through screensharing and remote audio coaching. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 57(2) 167–176.

Torres, A., Kearney, K. B., Berlingo, L., & Brady, M. P. (2021). “What ELSE about this job?” Teaching job decision-making to college students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities. 1-20 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10882-021-09820-x

Torres, A., Diaz, P., Baker. T., Baker, A., Freund, R., & Peluso, P. (2021). Therapeutic alliance in vocational rehabilitation counseling: Assessing client factors and functioning. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation. 55(3), 313-322. https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-211165

Torres, A., Juhnke, G., Canfield, B., Gomez-Escudero, A., & Ramírez, A. (2021). Empowering families to address suicide in rural Colombia. The Family Journal, 29(2), 220–226. https://doi.org/10.1177/1066480720986493

Downey, A., Torres, A., Kearney, K. B., Brady, M. P., & Katz, J. (2022). Teaching virtual job interview skills to college students with IDD using literacy-based behavioral interventions. Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals, 45(1), 4–16. https://doi.org/10.1177/2165143421989408

Torres, A., Kearney, K. B., Brady, M. P., Wood, J., & Katz, J. (2021). Using a literacy-based behavioral intervention to teach job interviewing skills to adults with intellectual disability. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 54(2), 161-174 https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-201127

Joseph, B., Kearney, K. B., Brady, M. P., Downey, A., & Torres, A. (2021). Teaching small talk: Increasing on-topic conversational exchanges in college students with intellectual and developmental disabilities using remote audio coaching. Behavior Modification, 45(2), 251–271. https://doi.org/10.1177/0145445520975174

Torres, A., Frain, M., & Tansey, T. (2019). The impact of motivational interviewing training on rehabilitation counselors: Assessing working alliance and client engagement. A randomized controlled trial. Rehabilitation Psychology, 64(3), 328–338. https://doi.org/10.1037/rep0000267

Torres, A., Wittel, A., Marquit, D., & Beauduy, G. (2018). The essential role of evaluation in transition plans and programming. The Rehabilitation Professional, 28(4), 197-204.

Frain, M., Torres, A., Bishop, M., Sakala, K., Khan-Jordan, C., & Schoen, B. (2016). Certified rehabilitation counselors’ role in the acceptance of disability of returning Afghanistan and Iraq military veterans with disabilities. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 30(2), 176-187. https://doi.org/10.1891/2168-6653.30.2.176

Brady, M. P., Kearney, K. B., Downey, A., Torres, A., & McDougall, D. (in press). Using mnemonics, remote coaching, and the range-bound changing criterion design to teach college students with IDD to make employment decisions. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

Torres, A., Kearney, K., Downey, A., Tedesco, C. (in press). Self-determination development among college students with intellectual and developmental disabilities: A longitudinal study. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.

Kearney, K., Torres, A. (in press). Using electronic literacy-based behavioral interventions to teach employability skills to college students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. DADD Online Journal.

Krause-Parello, C., Torres, A., Pratt, B., & Moreno, J. (in press). The Role of Companion Animals in the Treatment of Mental Disorders. In N. R. Gee (PhD), L. Townsend (LCSW-C, PhD), & R. L. Findling (MD, MBA). Chapter 7: Companion animals in the treatment of PTSD. American Psychiatric Association Publishing.

Bianca Nightengale-Lee, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction
Bianca Nightengale-Lee, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department Of Curriculum & Instruction


Ph.D. Curriculum & Instruction, University of Louisville, Louisville KY (Dec. 2017)

Areas of Emphasis: Critical Pedagogy, Teacher Preparation, Intersectional Positionality Dissertation Title: Educating Critically: Challenging the Familiar Contours of Literacy Teacher Education

M.Ed. Literacy Specialization, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY (May 2012)

Program Components: 36-credit program includes theory instruction and researched classroom-based execution.

Certification: Literacy Specialist

B.S. Elementary Education, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI (Dec. 2004)

Major: Literacy, Minor: Science

Certification: Elementary Education


Assistant Professor and the Department of Curriculum & Instruction


My stance towards educational equity stems from my own introduction to education. Considering I was retained in kindergarten, labeled with a learning disability in first grade, and tracked in the lowest reading group in second grade, I didn’t think academic achievement was a possibility for me. Couple this with being a Black girl, attempting to learn within a 1980s Euro-centric curriculum, and you have the recipe for a marginalized student. Though my experience was unfortunate, I use it as a catalyst to resist dominant forms of standardized curricula that ignore the “rich cultural and linguistic legacies of diverse student populations” (Kinloch, 2013, p.15). My philosophical outlook on education is antithetical to my educational experience, and platforms my work as a critical educator and researcher.
I received my Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Louisville in 2017. I joined the FAU family in 2018, and currently serve as an assistant professor in the department of Curriculum and Instruction at Florida Atlantic University. As a critically engaged community scholar, my work nests within school, community, and academic settings, in which I collaborate with university students, in-service teachers and community stakeholders to design culturally sustaining pedagogies. Located at the intersections of critical literacy, hip hop pedagogy, and afro-indigenous paradigms, my research interrogates, resists, and re-frames traditional notions of curriculum development to consider the racially, socially and politically charged structures that shape education, and the practical pathways that produce equitable learning conditions for the cultures, colors, and contours of 21st century students.


Awards & Roles:

2021 More Just World Award- We believe in Collective Magic: Honoring the Past to Reclaim the Future(s) of Literacy Research, Journal of Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice

2021 Article of the Year Award- Putting Black Boy’s Literacies First: Collective Curriculum Development for the Lives and Literacies of Black Boys, Journal of Literacy Innovation

Creator & Facilitator: Decolonial Pedagogies Project-A Trans-University Learning Collective (2021 & 2022, Florida Atlantic University)

2019-2021 Literacy Research Association STAR Mentoring Fellow (selected, national competition)

2020-2021 Chair of the American Association for College Teacher Educators (AACTE) Diversified Teacher Workforce TAG.


2022 National Science Foundation, South Florida STEM Content and Literacies, (Submitted January 2022) (10,000,000)

2022 National Endowment for the Arts Research Grant, Hip-Hop & Youth Education (60,000) (Funded)

2021 Peace Justice & Human Rights Faculty Work Group Grant- Decolonial Pedagogies Project, (5,000) (Funded)

2021 National Endowment for the Humanities Grant, A More Perfect Union: Expanding Counternarratives & Storytelling ($350,000) (Unfunded)

2021 Peace Justice & Human Rights Initiative Grant for Professional Development Grant ($1,800) (Funded)


The Literacy Futurisms Collective. (2021) We believe in collective magic: Honoring the past to reclaim the future(s) of literacy research. Literacy Research: Theory Method & Practice, 70(1), 1-20.

Nightengael-Lee, B., Massy, P., Knowles, B. (2021) Putting black boys’ literacies first: Curriculum development for the lives and literacies of black boys. Journal of Literacy Innovation, 6 (1), 5-22.

Aguilera, D. & Nightengale-Lee, B. (2020) Emergency remote teaching across urban and rural contexts: Perspectives on educational equity. Information and Learning Sciences Special Issue: Evidence Based and Pragmatic On-line Teaching and Learning Approaches: A Response to Emergency Transitions to Remote On-line Education in k-12 & Higher Education, 121(5), 471-478.

Nightengale-Lee, B. (2020). Approaching educational equity with white pre-service teachers through an intersectional understanding of self. Chapter in Norton-Meir, L, Overstreet M (Eds.), Clinical Partnerships in Urban Elementary Settings: An Honest Celebration of the Messy Realities of Doing this Work (pp. 79-91). Sense Publishers.

Nightengale-Lee, B., Clayton-Taylor, N. (2020). Rapping, recording, & performing: Amplifying student voice to reclaim a community. Chapter in Adjapong, E, Levy, P. (Eds.), #HipHopEd: The Compilation on Hip-hop Education Volume2: HipHop as Praxis & Social Justice (pp. 103-125). Brill Sense Publishers.

Gist, C., Jackson, I., Nightengale-Lee, B., & Allen, K., (2019). Culturally responsive pedagogy in teacher education. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. Ed. Jo Lampert. New York: Oxford University Press.

Manuscripts under Review

Acosta, M. & Nightengale-Lee, B. Doin’ Diversity in Teacher Education: Beginning Black Teacher Perspectives on Learning to Teach for Social Justice. Teaching and Teacher Education.

Jackson, I., Ball, A., Nightengale-Lee, B. “There’s so much young people need to learn that only the community can teach them” A Conversation with Dr. Arnetha Ball. Multicultural Perspectives

Michael P. Brady. Ph.D.
MICHAEL P. BRADY, PH.D., May 24, 1954 - December 16, 2021


  • Ph.D., Special Education, Vanderbilt University; George Peabody College, Nashville, TN
  • M.Ed., Special Education, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
  • B.Ed., Special Education, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI


Department Chair and Professor, Department of Special Education


Michael P. Brady, Ph.D., served as chair of the Department of Special Education for 21 years. He was a son of the late M. Sgt. Donald E. Brady and Elizabeth D. Brady. Raised in New Jersey, Michael later lived in Hawaii, American Samoa, Tennessee, Texas, and Florida. He joined the faculty of Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in 2000. Brady’s scholarly record is long and prestigious. He published over 120 articles and made 160 professional presentations during his career. He exhibited rewarding grantsmanship, garnering over four million dollars to support teacher preparation and educational opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities. In 2016, Brady and others started the Academy for Community Inclusion (ACI), a college certificate program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He also worked extensively to promote graduate education in special education, with a special emphasis on doctoral education. During his career, he chaired and/or served on 49 dissertation committees (25 at FAU). Professor Brady was voted the University Scholar of the Year in 2018 at FAU and the Senior Scholar by the Eastern Educational Research Association.

Brady’s work was not confined to academics. He was an avid diver, widely known as a highly skilled scuba instructor, and certified by the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI). He also served as FAU’s scuba diving club advisor, and was recognized as Club Advisor of the Year in 2008. Most memorable is Brady’s strong advocacy for people with the most severe disabilities, his student-centered approach to any issue, and the fervor with which he approached mentoring many in his field. Mike is survived by his long-time partner Dawn Furlan, brother Donald E. Brady, Jr. (Laura Marshall) of Maryland, aunts, an uncle, cousins, a host of professional colleagues and friends. His absence will be mourned by his family, friends, and colleagues near and far.

In remembrance, you may donate to the Dr. Michael P. Brady Memorial Scholarship for Doctoral Education in Special Education, which will support the education of students who share Mike’s passion for the education and treatment of folks with disabilities across the lifespan. Learn more about the scholarship and how to donate here: Dr. Michael P. Brady Memorial Scholarship Fund | FAU Foundation Inc.


Senior Scholar Award, Eastern Educational Research Association, 2020

University Scholar of the Year Award, Florida Atlantic University, 2018

Club Advisor of the Year (Boca Raton Student Clubs), Student Organizational Council, Florida Atlantic University, 2008

Advisor of the Year, Student Organizational Council, Florida Atlantic University, 2002

Phi Delta Kappa Professor of the Year, Florida International University, 1996

College of Education Research Excellence Award, University of Houston, 1993

University Research Excellence Award, University of Houston, 1990

University Teaching Excellence Award, University of Houston, 1988

Alice H. Hayden Award. Selected by The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps. (TASH), 1984


Education and Training in Autism & Developmental Disabilities (ETADD), 1984 – 2021

Teacher Education & Special Education (TESE), 1992-2001; 2003 – 2021

Focus on Autism & Other Developmental Disabilities (FADD), 2003 – 2021

Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (JASH), 1992-1996 DPH Journal, 1983-85

FAU Assistant Professor Hoang Tran
HOANG VU TRAN, PH.D. 1983 - 2021


  • Ph.D. in Education, University of California, Berkeley
  • M.A. in Social and Cultural Analysis of Education, California State University, Long Beach
  • B.A. in History, University of California, Irvine


Assistant Professor in the department of Curriculum, Culture and Educational Inquiry


While visiting friends in Kerens, TX, Hoang Tran unfortunately drowned in the lake while attempting to help rescue his friends from a strong current.

Hoang was born in Viet Nam on January 31,1983. His family immigrated to the United States in 1990. From there, he navigated himself through his new American surroundings while retaining a deep appreciation for his Vietnamese heritage. Hoang was beloved by all for his humor, quick wit and snappy remarks, but most of all, his caring and thoughtfulness to his loved ones. He had an instinctual understanding of what people needed to improve their day without asking and often, simple conversations would put people on the right path.

Hoang was set to teach his 4th year at Florida Atlantic University where his research and teaching interests were in Critical Race Theory, whiteness studies and educational law. One of his research topics was institutional inequality in education and how being afforded with a proper education can bring about disparate advantages over those who are not. Hoang spoke to how simple educational access was one of the biggest roadblocks to many students operating on a level playing field and he developed a strong passion to support those less fortunate children in his native country of Viet Nam.
— Minh Trung Trần, brother of Hoang Vu Trần

Hoang Vu Tran was a promising scholar at FAU. His research and teaching interests included Critical Race Theory, whiteness studies, and educational law. In his inimitable and relaxed styles, Tran enjoyed teaching and working with students examining issues of racial inequality, educational access, and fulfilling the Civil Rights promise of education. In his very brief tenure at FAU, he touched people’s lives, helping all of us to better understand our democratic commitment (or lack thereof) to addressing institutional inequality – particularly in education. In these trying and often chaotic times, his calm demeanor will be missed.
– Ira Bogotch, Ed.D., Professor 


Tran's research focused on two dimensions of the affirmative action debate. First, he looked at affirmative action’s historical trajectory in order to better understand our democratic commitment (or lack thereof) to addressing institutional inequality – particularly in education. Secondly, he studied our contemporary ‘colorblind’ discourse of how we conceptualize and frame whether or not democratic affirmative actions are worthwhile and necessary.


National Center for Institutional Diversity (NCID)
University of Michigan
NCID Emerging Diversity Scholar (2016)

University of California, Berkeley
Office of the President UC Dissertation Year Fellowship (2014 - 2015)
American Cultures Engaged Scholarship (ACES) Fellow (2012 - 2013)
Chancellor’s Multi-Year Fellowship (2008 - 2012)
Berkeley Diversity Research Initiative Fellow (2010)
Graduate Division Summer Research Grant, UC Berkeley (2009, 2010, 2011)

California State University, Long Beach
Dean’s Graduate Honor’s List (2008)
Phi Delta Gamma (National Graduate Honor Society) (2007)

University of California, Irvine
Gates Millennium Scholar (2000 - 2004)


Hoàng Trần ... an exquisite mix of qualities...

We uplift his humility, shunning the spotlight, but never the work;
We cherish his smile and chuckle, the wise cracks and good-humored banter;

We are grateful for his scholarship – his meticulous critique of color-blindness in law and policy; his daring advocacy for Affirmative Action; his deep concerns about the intersectionality of race and class in the perpetuation of inequity, particularly in education.

We remember fondly the casual, easy-going demeanor of this young professor who needed no powerpoints or notes in class as he deliberately drew students into engaging, - indeed wrestling with - readings, concepts and the world around them, as active agents of their own learning. It was an equal joy to watch students respond to this rare opportunity.

We appreciate those long stretches of silent concentrated listening – for facts; for feelings; underlying ideology; he heard personal pain; silent objection and discerned hypocrisy.
Hoang was the faculty member who said “What is your toughest scheduling slot to fill? Put me there.” “How can I make life easier for you?”

He asked about our families, and listened intently; and he lit up with pride about his own.
Theresa’s creativity; Ai Viet’s development; Mom’s projects in Vietnam … all recounted with glowing animation.

In your short time with us, you have impacted us for a life time.
May you live in our hearts as we practice your kindness and humanity.
May you live in our minds as we aspire to your brilliance and insight.
May you live in our hands as we reach out to embrace those marginalized or lift another’s burden,
And in our feet as we move into our communities to serve and learn, and then return to make our institution a better place.
May you live in our spines as we emulate your courage in the face of institutional inequity.
May you live in the classes we teach as a scholar, pedagogue and mentor.
May you live as a guest in our homes reminding of us of who and what should matter,
And may you never, ever leave this world as you live on in the people you have touched.
– Dilys Schoorman, Ph.D., Professor



Tran, H. V. (2019). Race, Law, and Higher Education in the Colorblind Era: Critical Investigations into Race-Related Supreme Court Disputes. New York, NY: Routledge.

Journal Articles

Tran, H. V. (Under Review). Teaching Affirmative Action in the Classroom: Locating Justice and Investigating Meritocracy. Critical Questions in Education.

Tran, H. V. (2019). Seeing the Racial Elephant: CRT and the Focus of Educational Scholarship, Equity & Excellence in Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/10665684.2019.1630341

Tran, H. V. (2017). After Fisher v. University of Texas: Toward Racial Justice or Whiteness Rising? Whiteness and Education. https://doi.org/10.1080/23793406.2017.1406316

Tran, H. V. (2017). Diversity’s Twilight Zone: How Affirmative Action in Education Equals ‘Discrimination’ in the Colorblind Era. Race Ethnicity and Education.

Book Chapters

Tran, H. V. (2016). Colorblindness and the Permanence of Whiteness in the Legal System. Frankenberg, L. Garces, & M. Hopkins (Eds.), School Integration Matters: Research- Based Strategies to Advance Equity. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Leonardo, Z. and Tran, H. V. (2013). What Is So Liberal about Neo-Liberalism? Schooling, Law, and Limitations of Race-Neutral Reforms. In R. Brooks, M. McCormack, K. Bhopal (Eds.), Contemporary Debates in the Sociology of Education (pp. 168-184). Palgrave Macmillan.


Engaged Action: Reframing community engagement in the language of affirmative action.

College Access and the Necessity for a Critical Multicultural Approach.

(Un)Equal Playing Field: The slights-of-hand of the anti-affirmative action narrative.

The Zone of Proximal Privilege: Towards a Vygotskian theory of privilege in Multicultural Education.

From Deficit to Strength: Navigating the College Admissions Statement with Somali

American Students and the Significance Toward a Critical Multiculturalism.

A False Narrative: Asian Americans, College Admissions, and the Problem of Colorblindness. w/ Jocyl Sacramento.

FAU Professor Ali Danesh
Ali A. Danesh, Ph.D.
Professor, Director Of Audiology, Hearing, Tinnitus, Balance Research Laboratory


PhD, Audiology and Auditory Electrophysiology, The University of Memphis

MS, Audiology, Idaho State University

BSc, Audiology, Iran University of Medical Sciences


Professor, department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the College of Education, FAU | Ali Danesh, Ph.D.

Director of Audiology, Hearing, Tinnitus, Balance Research Laboratory

Affiliate faculty in Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and Charles E. Schmidt College of Science at Florida Atlantic University

Affiliate faculty in the department of Otolaryngology, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami


Emphasis on Tinnitus, Hyperacusis and auditory/vestibular disorders


Teaching future clinicians and scientists

Helping community in managing tinnitus, vertigo, and decreased sound tolerance disorders

Contributing to science


My research activities have evolved significantly during the past several years. Throughout my tenure at FAU, I have been productive in many areas of research with emphasis on Tinnitus, Vertigo, Sound Sensitivity Disorders (such as hyperacusis and misophonia) and auditory behaviors and characteristics in Autism Spectrum Disorders. I have reached a level of global recognition in those fields where I receive continuous search for expert opinions from journals, grant foundations, post-doctoral evaluations, and scientific conventions. In the past five years, I have published 28 articles, many in high ranked journals, such as the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, Ear & Hearing, and American Journal of Audiology. Additionally, I have presented more than 40 research and training presentations in state, national and international forums and conventions with 17 of them as an invited speaker. With the support from our college dean and my department chair, I currently have a research laboratory space dedicated to Hearing, Tinnitus, Balance Research. With the funding from my grants I have been able to establish a laboratory which is now being equipped with several research tools (https://www.fau.edu/education/academicdepartments/csd/htbrl/) that will attract interested students and potential post-doctoral candidates for studying such topics in my laboratory.

I have a collaborative nature when it comes to research and teaching. I have affiliate faculty appointments in many departments and colleges at FAU. These include college of Medicine, Department of Psychology, the FAU Neurology Residency program, the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences (as a dissertation committee member for doctoral students), and the Department of Otolaryngology, University of Miami. I am a faculty member for iBrain and iHealth at FAU. My international network of scientific collaboration is also quite extensive. For many years, I developed neural network models for tinnitus with my Japanese colleagues at the University of Tokushima. Additionally, my collaboration with researchers from the Surrey Hospital and Cambridge University in the UK has resulted in many publications in the areas of tinnitus and hyperacusis.

In general, I believe that I have been able to be an effective member of the FAU community. I am delighted to be selected as a featured person for this episode of faculty spotlight and I would like to express my gratitude to all of my colleagues and students at FAU.

PUBLICATIONS: (2018 - 2021)

  1. Aazh H, Danesh AA, Moore BCJ (2021). Self-reported Tinnitus Severity Prior to and During the COVID-19 Lockdown in the UK. Journal of American Academy of Audiology. In Press.
  2. Aazh H, Danesh AA (2021). ONLINE FEATURE | Trilogy of Papers: Audiologist-Delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Tinnitus and Hyperacusis. Audiology Today, March-April Online Issue, https://www.audiology.org/audiology-today-marchapril-2021/online-feature-trilogy-papers-audiologist-delivered-cognitive
  3. Aazh, H. and A. Danesh (2021). "Internet-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Tinnitus: Insights from Health Care Professionals " The Hearing Journal 74(2): 20-22. https://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/Fulltext/2021/02000/Internet_based_Cognitive_Behavioral_Therapy_for.7.aspx
  4. Aazh H, Danesh AA, Moore BCJ (2020). Internal Consistency and Convergent Validity of the Inventory of Hyperacusis Symptoms. Ear Hear. 2020 Nov 30. doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000982. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33259445.https://journals.lww.com/ear- hearing/Abstract/9000/Internal_Consistency_and_Convergent_Validity_of.98580.aspx
  1. Porcaro, C. Singer, C., Djokic, B., Danesh, A.A., Tappen, R. @ Engstrom, G. (2020). Perceived Voice Disorders in Older Adults and Impact on Social Interactions. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_PERSP-20-00059
  2. Aazh, H & Danesh, AA (2020). Tinnitus and Insomnia, The Hearing Journal: June 2020 - Volume 73 - Issue 6 - p 14,15. https://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/Fulltext/2020/06000/Tinnitus_and_Insomnia__Management_via.5.aspx
  3. Danesh, AA & Aazh, H (2020). Misophonia: A Neurologic, Psychologic, and Audiologic Complex. The Hearing Journal. Vol 73, pp20-23. https://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/Fulltext/2020/03000/Misophonia__A_Neurologic,_Psychologic,_and.5.aspx
  4. Aazh, H., Landgrebe, M., Danesh, AA & Moore, BCJ. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Alleviating the Distress Caused by Tinnitus, Hyperacusis and Misophonia: Current Perspectives. Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2019 Oct 23;12:991-1002. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31749641
  5. Danesh, AA (2019). Incorporating Tinnitus Management Services into your Audiology Practice. The Hearing Journal. Vol 72, pp22-23. https://journals.lww.com/thehearingjournal/Fulltext/2019/11000/Incorporating_Tinnitus_Management_Services_into.8.aspx
  6. Aazh H, Landgrebe M, Danesh AA. Parental Mental Illness in Childhood as a Risk Factor for Suicidal and Self-Harm Ideations in Adults Seeking Help for Tinnitus and/or Hyperacusis. Am J Audiol. 2019 Sep 13;28(3):527-533. doi: 10.1044/2019_AJA-18-0059. Epub 2019 Jun 11. PMID: 31184510. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31184510/
  7. Porcaro, C.K., Alavi, E., Gollery, T., & Danesh,A. (2019).   Misophonia: Awareness and Responsiveness Among Academics. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 108-118, 32 (2). https://www.ahead.org/professional-resources/publications/jped
  8. Aazh, H., Langguth, B. & Danesh, AA (2018). Parental separation and parental mental health in childhood and tinnitus and hyperacusis disability in adulthood: a retrospective exploratory analysis. Int J of Aud. 2018 Oct 1:1-6. doi: 10.1080/14992027.2018.1514470. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30272507
  9. Aazh, H., Danesh, AA & Moore, BCJ (2018). Parental mental health in childhood as a risk factor for anxiety and depression among people seeking help for tinnitus and hyperacusis. J of Am Acad Aud. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30446035
  10. Aazh H, Knipper M, Danesh AA, Cavanna AE, Andersson L, Paulin J, Schecklmann M, Heinonen-Guzejev M, & Moore BCJ (2018). Insights from the Third International Conference on Hyperacusis: Causes, Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Noise Health. 2018 Jul-Aug ;20(95):162-170. http://www.noiseandhealth.org/article.asp?issn=1463-1741;year=2018;volume=20;issue=95;spage=162;epage=170;aulast=Aazh;type=0
  11. Ocak, M, Eshraghi, R, Danesh, AA, Mittal, R & Eshraghi E (2018). Central Auditory Processing Disorders in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Balkan Medical Journal, June 2018. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326028400_Central_Auditory_Processing_Disorders_in_Individuals_with_Autism_Spectrum_Disorders?ev=project
  12. Danesh, AA, Shahnaz, N, & Hall, JW (2018). The Audiology of Otosclerosis. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2018 Apr; 51(2):327-342. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29397946-the-audiology-of-otosclerosis/?from_term=danesh+tinnitus&from_pos=1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29397946

Rangasamy Ramasamy, Ph.D.
Rangasamy Ramasamy, Ph.D.
Professor, Holmes Scholars Program Coordinator


Doctor of Philosophy, University of Arizona
Major: Special Education and Rehabilitation

Master of Arts, New Mexico Highlands University
Major: Special Education

Master of Science, University of Madras, India
Major: Geography

Bachelor of Arts, University of Madras, India
Major: Geography


Professor of Exceptional Student Education

FAU Holmes Scholars Program Coordinator

Senior Fellow and Professor National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


My area of research includes applied behavior analysis, classroom management, and behavior intervention strategies, as well as students with autism, special needs students, inclusive education and transition from school to adult life for individuals with disabilities.


  1. Assisted the Dean to establish Holmes Scholars Program in the College of Education at FAU.
  2. Mentored Holmes Scholars from four doctoral granting departments in the COE to present papers at AACTE Conferences, accompanied them to Washington D.C. for Summer Policy Institute, and helped them advocate for various educational related issues for FAU and the state of Florida with elected Representatives and Senators in Capital Hill.
  3. Coordinated College of Education work with St. Lucie County School District by recruiting and guiding 17 teachers from India in math, science, and special education to reduce critical teacher shortage for the school district.
  4. Chaired A.D. Henderson University School Board Education Committee. I meticulously worked with the Dean and the Principal to establish a special education program and wrote the special education policy manual for the school.
  5. President - College of Education Faculty Assembly


I worship my work. Mentoring Holmes Scholars, meeting with them once a month, and noticing their growth in research productivity is awesome to share with other doctoral students in the COE. Two years ago, at the AACTE Conference in Baltimore, one of our Holmes Scholars came to me and said it was her first conference presentation. She was so excited for the opportunity that she thanked the Holmes Program with tears. My advice and guidance to students of color is to stay in school, stay focused, and get as much education as possible. If I can get a Ph.D. with my poor rural beginning, anybody can get an education and make it in life. With self-discipline, dedication and perseverance one can be whatever that person wishes to be.



Richards, S., Taylor, R., Ramasamy, R. (2014) Single subject research: Applications in educational and clinical settings (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Richards, S., Taylor, R., Ramasamy, R., & Richards, R. (1999). Single subject research: Applications in educational and clinical settings. San Diego: Singular Publications.

Selected Refereed Publications

Brown, V., & Ramasamy, R. (2017). Changing faculty perspective of distance learning through support. Journal of eLearning. 14 (3), 29-35.

Finn, L., Ramasamy, R., Dukes, C., & Scott, J. (2015). Using WatchMinder to increase the on-task behavior of students with autism spectrum disorder, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 45, 1408-1418.

Bennett, K. D., Ramasamy, R., & Honsberger, T. (2013). Further Examination of Covert Audio Coaching on Improving Employment Skills among Secondary Students with Autism. Journal of Behavioral Education. DOI: 10. 1007/s10864-013-9168-2

Bennett, K. D., Ramasamy, R., & Honsberger, T. (2013). The effects of covert audio coaching on teaching clerical skills to adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-012-1597-6

Ramasamy, R. (1996). Post-high school employment: A follow-up of Apache Native American Youth. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 29(2), 174-179.

Ramasamy, R., & Taylor, R. (1996). Transition assessment: A critical process for students with disabilities. Diagnostique, 21(4), 59-62

Ramasamy, R. (1996). Cultural implications on Navajo students' learning styles and effective teaching methods. The Journal of Educational Issues of Language Minority Students, 17, 139-151.

Ramasamy, R., Taylor, R. L., & Ziegler, E. W. (1996). Eliminating inappropriate classroom behavior using a DRO schedule: A preliminary study. Psychological Reports, 78, 753-754.

Ramasamy, R. (1995). Effectiveness of high school curricula for transitioning Apache special and general education students. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals. 18(1), 51-58.

Holmes Program Publications

McEwan, D., Demezier., Dean, S., Dowdie. D., & Ramasamy, R. (2019). The Story of BIG Data with All the Small Details. AACTE, Ed Prep Matter. Key news and insights on educator preparation.

Ramasamy, R., & McEwan, D. (2018). Dissertation workshop: Theoretical Framework an Essential Steering Wheel. AACTE, Ed Prep Matter. Key news and insights on educator preparation.

Manuscripts Submitted for Publication

Ramasamy, R., & McCormick. J. (submitted) Effective Teacher Characteristics: Exploring a Decade of Teachers’ Experiences in the Classroom. Journal of Teacher Education.

Honsberger, C., Ramasamy, R., Brady, M., Frain, M. (submitted). Increasing Language Use in Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

McCormick, J., Ramasamy, R., & Kearney, K. (submitted). Understanding Autism and Collaboration Skills: Evaluation of Asynchronous Presentations for Pre-service Teachers. Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship.

Collazo, S., Lee, Y., & Ramasamy, R. (submitted). An Exploratory Qualitative Study of Infant and Toddler Teachers’ Knowledge and Perception on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) Education. Research in Early Childhood Education.

Michelle Vaughan portrait
Michelle Vaughan
Assistant Professor


Doctor of Education, Florida Atlantic University, 2009
Major: Curriculum and Instruction
Master of Education, University of Florida, 2004
Major: Elementary Education
Bachelor of Education, University of Florida, 2003
Major Elementary Education


Assistant Professor, Department of Curriculum, Culture, and Educational Inquiry


Michelle Vaughan, Ed.D. is an assistant professor at Florida Atlantic University. She teaches courses in curriculum and instruction, action research, and school reform. She received her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the Department of Curriculum, Culture, and Educational Inquiry at Florida Atlantic University.

As a scholar, I define action research as a vehicle for change, a way to arm practitioners with data and give them the voice they need to engage in critical conversations with decision-makers. My work uses action research to focus on the intersection of teaching and researching, continually asking the question, ‘How do I improve my practice?’ As an action researcher, my practice and scholarship are inexplicitly linked to bolster my student’s experience in my courses as well as contribute pedagogical knowledge to the field of curriculum and instruction.


Excellence in eLearning Distinguished Achievement Award (2019), awarded by the Center for eLearning at Florida Atlantic University.

Innovation in Higher Education Award (2017), awarded by Florida Distance Learning Association.

Excellence in eLearning Faculty Award (2016), awarded by the Center for eLearning at Florida Atlantic University.


I have always been a teacher first. I believe it is necessary to have a deep understanding of your pedagogy, to comprehend the guiding values of your teaching thoroughly and how they manifest in relationships with students and the curriculum. When your values align with your instruction, students inevitably reap the rewards of excellent teaching. My work also argues that educational research should be conducted by and with teachers to capture the perspectives that are often missing in the research informing educational policy


1.Vaughan, M. (2019). Learning who I am: The exploration of my guiding values through a living theory methodology. Educational Journal of Living Theories, 12(1), 62-80.

2. Vaughan, M., Cavallaro, C., Baker, J., Celesti, C., Clevenger, C., Darling, H., Kasten, R., Laing, M., Marbach, R., Timar, A., & Wilder, K. (2019). Positioning teachers as researchers: Lessons in empowerment, change, and growth. Florida Educational Research Association Journal.

3. Vaughan. M., Boerum, C., & Whitehead, L. (2019). Action research in doctoral coursework: Perceptions of independent research experiences. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning , 13(1), 1-8.

4. Uribe, S. & Vaughan, M. (2017). Facilitating student learning in distance education: A  case study on the implementation of a multi-faceted feedback system. Distance Education, 38(3), 288-301. doi: 10.1080/01587919.2017.1369005 

5. Vaughan, M. & Uribe, S. (2017). Giving them what they want: Online feedback that works. College Teaching, 66(1). doi:10.1080/87567555.2017.1336611.

6. Dassa, L. & Vaughan, M. (2017). #classagain? How education faculty engage the disengaged college student. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 91(1), 42-45. doi:10.1080/00098655.2017.1342434

7. Vaughan, M., Baxley, T., & Kervin, C. (2017). Connecting the dots: A scaffolded model for undergraduate research. National Forum of Teacher Education Journal, 26(3), 1-12.

8. Vaughan, M. & Henderson, A. (2016). Exceptional educators: A collaborative training partnership for the inclusion of students with Down Syndrome. Support for Learning, 31(1), 46-58. doi: 10.1111/1467-9604.12113

9. Vaughan, M. & Beers, C. (2016). Using an exploratory professional development initiative to introduce iPads in the early childhood education classroom. Early Childhood Education Journal, 45(3), 321-331. doi: 10.1007/s10643-016-0772-3

10. Vaughan, M. & Burnaford, G. (2015). Action research in graduate teacher education: A review of the literature 2000-2015. Educational Action Research, 24(2), 280-299. doi:10.1080/09650792.2015.1062408

11. Vaughan, M., Beers, C. & Burnaford, G. (2015). The Impact of iPads on teacher educator practice: A collaborative professional development initiative. International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning, 11(1), 21-34.

12. Vaughan, M. (2014). Flipping the learning: An investigation into the use of the flipped classroom model in an introductory teaching course. Education Research and Perspectives, 41(1), 25-41.

Professor Yash Bagwangi portrait
Associate Professor


Ph.D. in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.Ed. in Special Education from Central Oklahoma University
B.S. in Journalism from University of Kansas
B.A. in Psychology from University of Kansas


Associate Professor and the department of Curriculum, Culture and Educational Inquiry Coordinator of Early Childhood Programs


The complex associations among families and wider social systems that impact children’s health, development, and education.
Professional development of educators in early childhood and special education.
Early childhood environmental education, investigating strategies and policies that impact the well-being of all.


Nietzel Distinguished Faculty Award from the University of Kentucky. Obligations include serving on dissertation committees and providing public lectures in the Spring 2019 semester. He plans to deliver lectures relating to rethinking early childhood education by integrating more place-based and experiential learning.
Outstanding Service to Environmental Education Award from the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). The award is given to individuals who exemplify national leadership in the field of environmental education (EE).


2019 – International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education, Volume 6, No. 2: Addressing Policy, Practice, and Research That Matters
2018 – Use of Children’s Literature to Support an Emerging Curriculum Model of Education for Sustainable Development for Young Learners
2015 – Early Childhood Environmental Education Rating Scale



Ed.D., Higher Education Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Dissertation: “The Association between Advanced Degrees in Higher Education and the Career Paths of the Male and Female Graduates from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1980-1993.”
M.S., Athletic Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.S., summa cum laude, Physical Education Teaching (K-12), Illinois State University, Normal


Associate Professor & Coordinator, Higher Education Leadership Master’s Degree Program, Department of Educational Leadership & Research Methodology, Florida Atlantic University
Founder, Office of Appreciative Education, Department of Educational Leadership & Research Methodology, Florida Atlantic University


Appreciative Advising, Appreciative Education, and Appreciative Administration



Virginia N. Gordon Award for Excellence in the Field of Advising, NACADA: The Global Community for Advising – given to the person who “has made a significant national and/or international impact on the profession of academic advising through research, publications, and/or presentations at the national and/or international level, leadership in the field of advising, and commitment to the importance of academic advising at the national and/or international level” - Oct 2017

National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Outstanding Advising Administrator Award – 2005

National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Graduate Scholarship Awardee – 1994


FAU Faculty Partner of the Year to the Division of Student Affairs Award – April 2017

FAU Chi Sigma Alpha Honor Society Advisor of the Year Award – April 2016

FAU Graduate Academic Advisor of the Year by the FAU Graduate and Professional Student Association – Oct 2015

Lori Dassa
Lori Dassa, ED.D.
College Of Education


College of Education


Professor and coordinator for Effective Teaching Practices.


Dr. Dassa continues to further her research on quality teacher prep programs and teacher retention.


Dr. Dassa has published several articles and studies, and developed as well as runs the Honors in the Elementary Education major. She has built partnerships with both Broward and Palm Beach County school principals and helped the COE department of Teaching and Learning coordinate the very important practicum courses. Dr. Dassa is the author of the second edition book, So Now What? New Elementary Teacher Survival Guide.