Donald N. Cardinal, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Dr. Donald N. Cardinal is Professor of Education in the Attallah College of Educational Studies at Chapman University, Orange, CA, where he has worked since 1987. Previously, Dr. Cardinal served as dean of the CES from 2002-2015. Don currently oversees several programs in autism and disability including the Center for Research on Ability and Disability, Families and Schools Together, the Chapman Ability Program, and the Thompson Policy Institute on Disability and Autism. As well, Don serves as chairperson of the advisory board for the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, part of the School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine, CA. Before entering academia, pursuing the goal of a more inclusive society, Don worked alongside the most marginalized student populations in our society, frequently holding the labels of severe emotional disturbance, severe and profound mental retardation, autism, and severe behavior disorders. Above all, Don holds in highest regard the complex and interchanging relationship between student and teacher, centered on the presumption of competence. Don has authored and co-authored numerous articles, books, and book chapters in a variety of areas including evaluation, measurement of quality, teaching methods in special education and collaboration.
Audri M. Gomez, Ph.D.
Audri M. Gomez, Ph.D., is the Associate Director at the Thompson Policy Institute. Dr. Gomez obtained her Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Disability Studies at Chapman University. Previous to her current assignment, Dr. Gomez was a special education teacher for 8 years before becoming a Special Education Coordinator. Dr. Gomez’ recently published a co-authored book chapter in a Peter Lang series titled, Enacting change from within: Disability Studies meets teaching and teacher education, as well as a study in the Disability Studies Quarterly titled, The impact of disability studies curriculum on education professionals’ perspectives and practice: Implications for education, social justice, and social change. Dr. Gomez has presented at numerous annual conferences including AERA, TASH, Cal-Tash, CCTE, RECE, and NAEYC where her presentations have focused on her research interests that have included inclusive practices, social model of disability, teacher preparation, and school culture.
Margie McCoy's career has centered on making things happen in an effective and highly organized manner. Coordinating large special events, managing projects and being part of effective working teams have been the hallmark of her career. Ms. McCoy's recent position has been as assistant to the dean in the College of Educational Studies at Chapman University for the past 14 years.