Education Faculty — Aquinas College - Nashville, Tennessee

Education Faculty

Sister Mary Grace Watson, O.P., ’02
Dean, School of Education
srmgrace@aquinascollege.edu
Phone: (615) 297-7545 x282
Fax: (615) 279-7546

Sister Mary Grace Watson, O.P., ‘02 is a member of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. She currently serves as Dean of the School of Education at Aquinas College.

Sister Mary Grace has served in Catholic schools for nearly twenty years. She has taught in the elementary classroom and has served in educational leadership for both secondary and primary schools. Sister Mary Grace has also served on a team for diocesan school accreditation. She holds degrees in Education, Educational Leadership and Theology and Christian Ministry.

Sister Elizabeth Anne Allen, O.P., Ed.D. Director of the Center for Catholic Education Associate Professor of Education (615) 297-7545 x471

Ed.D., The University of Memphis
M.Ed., The University of Southern Mississippi
M.A., Notre Dame Pontifical Institute for Advanced Studies
M.A., Middle Tennessee State University
B.S., Middle Tennessee State University

Sister Elizabeth Anne Allen is a member of the Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia, Nashville, Tennessee. Her doctoral research concerns student perspectives of Catholic Identity as it is expressed and lived out in their schools.  Having served in the roles of teacher and administrator on the elementary, secondary and collegiate levels, Sister is passionate about the importance of teaching and is involved nationally with the professional formation of educators.

Sister Matthew Marie Cummings, O.P., Ed.D. Professor of Education (615) 297-7545 x455

Ed.D., University of Memphis
M.S., University of Memphis
M.A., Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College
B.A., Belmont College
A. A., Aquinas College

Sister Matthew Marie is a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation of Nashville, Tennessee and is professor of education at Aquinas College. She holds a Doctor of Education degree, as well as a Master of Science degree, in Instruction and Curriculum Leadership from the University of Memphis. In addition, she has a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Institute; a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Belmont University; and an Associate of Arts degree from Aquinas College. Sister is a national speaker on the integration of technology in classroom instruction, curriculum, and the development of professional dispositions in the pre-service teacher.

Elizabeth R. Donlon, Ed.D. Assistant Professor of Education (615) 297-7545 x403

Ed.D., Lipscomb University
M.Ed., Lipscomb University
B.S., Vanderbilt University

Betsy Donlon attended Vanderbilt University (B.S. Elementary Education and Human and Organizational Development) and Lipscomb University (M.Ed. Instructional Leadership and Ed.D. Learning Organizations and Strategic Change). She completed her student teaching in Cambridge, England, and taught 1st, 2nd, and 5th grades, and served as Assistant Principal and Principal at a small Catholic school in north Nashville. Her Masters thesis topic was on brain-based activities in the classroom and their influence on students’ reading comprehension, and her doctoral research centered on the effect of community involvement in schools on school climate and student achievement.

Dr. Donlon teaches Methods in Teaching Language Arts, Social Studies, and Culture, Children’s Literature, Speech, and Drama, Methods of Instruction for Secondary Teachers, and Modes of Instruction. She also supervises student teachers and job-embedded practice candidates and serves as edTPA Coordinator. Dr. Donlon is the coordinator for the School of Education Literacy Center, with the mission to engage teacher candidates in literacy instruction best practices.

Dr. Donlon is a native Nashvillian, and married to David (Geometry teacher at St. Cecilia Academy) and has 3 children — Mollie, Jack, and Thomas.

Sister Mary Justin Haltom, O.P., Ed.D. Lecturer in Education

Ed.D., University of Memphis
M.Ed., Xavier University
M.A., Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College
B.S., George Peabody College at Vanderbilt University

Sister Mary Justin is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia in Nashville, TN and is certified to teach K-3 early childhood, 1-9 elementary, and 1-12 special education (field of interest–learning disabilities). Sister taught in elementary school (pre-K through high school) for sixteen years, followed by eight years in college administration. Having completed her doctoral studies with an emphasis in Literacy, recent years have found sister teaching Literacy through Learning and Reading Assessment and Remediation Strategies at Aquinas College to the teacher candidates. Sister is also an accomplished photographer and graphic designer for St. Cecilia Congregation.

M. Annette Little, Ph.D. Lecturer in Education

Ph.D., Peabody College at Vanderbilt University
M.A., Austin Peay State University
B.S., University of Tennessee, Martin

Dr. Annette Little taught special education classes in residential treatment centers, public schools, and alternative schools for eight years before moving into higher education. She then spent four years directing research projects in the areas of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, reading and writing strategies for students at risk for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, and prevention of behavior problems. Dr. Little is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis since 2007. She has taught classes in general education, special education, and applied behavior analysis in higher education institutes since 2005. She is currently serving as the director of the Studies in Applied Behavior Analysis certification program at Lipscomb University.

Sister Mary Rebekah Odle-Kemp, O.P. Lecturer in Education

M.S., University of Southern Mississippi
M.A., St. Charles Borromeo Seminary
B.A., Texas A&M University

Sister Mary Rebekah is a Dominican Sister of St. Cecilia. She has been serving in the apostolate of the Congregation in the capacity of teaching for 16 years. For the past 5 years she has been teaching at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, TN, and for two years has also been teaching College Algebra for Chattanooga State Community College in their early college program and Methods in Math and Science for Aquinas College as a distance lecturer. She holds degrees in Mathematics, Math and Science Education, and Theology.

Sister Elena Marie Piteo, O.P., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychology Director of Education in Communion (615) 297-7545 x398

Ph.D., University of Adelaide, South Australia
M.A.T.,  Aquinas College
B.P., University of Adelaide, South Australia

Sister Elena Marie Piteo, O.P. is a member of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. Sister Elena Marie studied undergraduate and graduate and postgraduate studies in psychology prior to entering the Dominican Sisters. She worked on research projects specifically examining the effects of diet and sleep on cognitive, language, social, and emotional development as well as the impacts on mental health in parents. Subsequently, she has continued her studies in education and taught in secondary schools in the United States and classes in psychology and research methods in higher education institutions in Australia. Sister teaches educational and developmental psychology courses in the education program at Aquinas College. Sister is the Director of the Quality Enhancement Plan, Education in Communion. Sister is passionate about helping educators in seeking the truth about the whole human person including the cognitive-linguistic-intellectual, volitional, moral, spiritual, social and emotional components that is aimed at true flourishing.

Sister Cecilia Anne Wanner, O.P., Ph.D. President Director of Advancement (615) 297-7545 x424

Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University
M.A., Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception at the Dominican House of Studies
M.S., The University of Southern Mississippi
B.A., University of Jamestown

Sister Cecilia Anne Wanner, O.P. is a member of the Congregation of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia. She currently serves as President of Aquinas College.

After receiving her post-baccalaureate teaching license from Aquinas College, Sister Cecilia Anne went on to receive an M.S. in Science and Mathematics Education from the University of Southern Mississippi and an M.A. in Thomistic Theology from the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception. Her Ph.D. is in Mathematics Education at Middle Tennessee State University. Sister’s dissertation focuses on pedagogical strategies that build coherence between mathematics methods coursework and fieldwork. Sister’s primary research interests focus on various aspects of pre-service teacher education.

Sister Cecilia Anne has experience teaching at the elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels. She has also has had administrative experience at the secondary and collegiate levels, coordinating department and student programs and events. Sister Cecilia Anne has served on regional school accreditation teams and has worked in the field of advancement.

Sister Mary Grace Watson, O.P. Dean of the School of Education (615) 297-7545 x282

M.A., Franciscan University of Steubenville
M.S.E.L., Christian Brothers University
M.Ed., Xavier University
B.S., Aquinas College

 

Aquinas College welcomes all students regardless of race, color, ethnicity, or national origin who desire to be part of the faith-based mission of the College to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the College. It does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, or national origin in administration of its education policies, admission policies, scholarships and loan programs.

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