Michelle Szpara, PhD
Educational Leadership Department
Michelle Yvonne Szpara, PhD, chose Cabrini University for its specific focus on social justice advocacy and action in educating teacher leaders.
Szpara brings to Cabrini decades of experience in teaching and research on multicultural education, differentiated instruction and supporting diverse populations in schools.
“Combining an intentional focus on social justice with the practice of multicultural education is crucial if we are going to achieve systemic change in our schools,” she says.
Upon arriving at Cabrini University in 2012, Szpara launched an initiative to showcase the research and scholarship of Cabrini’s graduate students, through the Annual Arts, Research, and Scholarship Symposium, held in the spring of each academic year.
She has also brought a research showcase to the annual Cabrini Day celebrations each fall semester, to highlight the work of Cabrini’s doctoral students.
Szpara has been supporting doctoral students in research development and dissertation writing since the 1990s, at Penn State University, the University of Pennsylvania, Long Island University, and now Cabrini University. She helped to launch the EdD program at Long Island University, and is currently supporting Cabrini students in the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program.
Previously, Szpara served as associate professor of curriculum and instruction in New York for 10 years, working with both pre-service teachers and in-service teacher leaders, to enhance their skills in supporting diverse student populations. Prior to this, she taught English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) for more than a decade, working with teens, college students and adult English language learners.
Szpara is certified to teach chemistry at the secondary level, and she completed her student-teaching in the Reading School District, teaching in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
She has lived in Argentina, Spain, and the former Soviet Union, and taught in Mexico through the Rotary Exchange program.
Szpara earned two bachelor’s degrees from Pennsylvania State University, in the physical sciences and in secondary education/chemistry, and a doctorate of philosophy in educational linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania.