» Our Team

Leadership

photo of Meghan Cosier, Ph.D.

Meghan Cosier, Ph.D.

Executive Director and Associate Professor
Before stepping into the role of Director, Dr. Meghan Cosier was formerly TPI's Research Director, as well as Director of Teacher Education in the Attallah College of Educational Studies. Dr. Cosier has collaborated with schools and school districts across the country to promote and improve special education service delivery models that allow ALL students to learn and play together. Her work focuses on systematic development and implementation of inclusive supports and services, and the role of leadership teams in sustainable school reform. In addition, she is extensively involved in teacher development and training for quality inclusive schooling. Meghan’s scholarly research interests include, inclusive education, school reform, teacher preparation, and professional development.
photo of Audri  Sandoval Gomez, Ph.D.

Audri M. Sandoval Gomez, Ph.D.

Director
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.
photo of Donald Cardinal, Ph.D.

Donald N. Cardinal, Ph.D.

Professor and Founding Director Emeritus
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.
photo of Michelle Nguyen

Michelle Nguyen

Grants and Contracts Analyst
Michelle Lan Nguyen is TPI’s Grants and Contracts Project Coordinator. Michelle comes to TPI after being a legal assistant and graduating from California State University of Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. On a personal note, Michelle enjoys venturing out to new possibilities from trying new foods to exploring new cities. A quote that Michelle lives by is, “I wish to live a life that causes my soul to dance inside my body.”
photo of Andrew Hyder

Andrew Hyder

Office Manager

Advanced Practices in Learning (APL)

photo of Kari Adams, M.A.

Kari Adams, M.A.

Inclusive Leadership Center Director
Kari Adams has worked in the education field since 2006. She has worked in various educational roles as a special education teacher, Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA), and as a special education administrator for nine years. For the past 13 years, Kari has worked at Newport-Mesa Unified School District leading district-wide efforts focused on inclusion, literacy, and building the capacity of teachers and leaders focused on improving the educational outcomes for students with disabilities. She is currently the Vice President of Programs for the Association of School Administrators (ACSA) Region 17. Kari also teaches part-time in the teacher education program within the Attallah College of Educational Studies at Chapman University.
photo of Jill Perez, M.A.

Jill Perez, M.A.

Program Specialist
Jill Perez is an Education Coach and Consultant with over 22 years of experience in education. It is her passion to support schools and districts in their mission to become more inclusive for students with disabilities. Jill prides herself in providing practical supports for teachers to make inclusive schooling a reality for all students.
photo of Shayne Brophy-Felbab, Ph.D.

Shayne Brophy-Felbab, Ph.D.

K - 12 Learning Specialist
Dr. Brophy-Felbab is an educator with 10 years of experience working with students with disabilities in middle and high schools. She holds a doctoral degree in education with an emphasis in disability studies and a master's degree in special education. In higher education, she lectured in the teacher education program at Attallah College and the COAST Program at Coastline Community College. Her background includes inclusion, co-teaching, curriculum design, vocational and life skills training, and transition for students with mild/moderate disabilities.

California Educator Preparation Innovation Collaborative (CalEPIC)

photo of Charlotte Achieng Evensen, Ph.D.

Charlotte Achieng Evensen, Ph.D.

CalEPIC Director
Dr. Evensen is an educator whose scholarship focuses on the intersections of critical teaching practice, African Indigenous Philosophies, and decolonization. Dr. Achieng Evensen is a longtime K-12 practitioner who also has a wealth of experience teaching university courses in educator preparation. Over the past 22 years, she served her school districts in a variety of roles including as a secondary humanities and language arts teacher, district program coordinator, and leader in curriculum design and professional development.
photo of Debra Russell

Debra Russell

Regional Transformation Specialist, Strategic Staffing
photo of Taylor Stratz

Taylor Stratz

Teacher Preparation Transformation Specialist

Families, Agencies, and Schools Together (FAST)

photo of Elissa Green Kaustinen

Elissa Green Kaustinen

Director, FAST@CHOC
Thompson Autism Center at Children's Hospital Orange County
714-628-2825

Transition Initiative

photo of Linda O'Neal, M.A.

Linda O'Neal, M.A.

Transition Specialist
photo of Richard Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Richard Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Transition Consultant
photo of Janis White, Ed.D.

Janis White, Ed.D.

Educational Training and Outreach Consultant

Research Associates

photo of Cristina Giannantonio, Ph.D.

Cristina Giannantonio, Ph.D.

Professor
The George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics
photo of Amy-Jane Griffiths, Ph.D.

Amy-Jane Griffiths, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Attallah College of Educational Studies
photo of Amy Hurley-Hanson

Amy E. Hurley-Hanson

Professor
The George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics
photo of Cathery Yeh, Ph.D.

Cathery Yeh, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Attallah College of Educational Studies

Research Support

photo of Joni Ricks-Oddie, Ph.D., MPH

Joni Ladawn Ricks-Oddie, Ph.D., MPH

Director
UCI Center for Statistical Consulting
photo of Kurt Yamamoto

Kurt Yamamoto

UCI Center for Statistical Consulting

Graduate Research Assistants

photo of Stacy Eldred

Stacy Eldred

Doctoral Graduate Research Assistant
photo of Stephen Hinkle

Stephen Hinkle

Doctoral Graduate Research Assistant
photo of Anique Jones

Anique Jones

Doctoral Graduate Research Assistant
photo of Yonatan Khalil

Yonatan Khalil

M.B.A Graduate Research Assistant
photo of Sara Morgan

Sara Morgan

Doctoral Graduate Research Assistant
photo of Rachel Wiegand

Rachel Wiegand

Doctoral Graduate Research Assistant

Undergraduate Assistants

photo of Allaire Davis, c/o 2024

Allaire Davis, c/o 2024

Undergraduate Assistant
photo of Vivian Bui, c/o 2024

Vivian Bui, c/o 2024

Undergraduate Assistant
photo of Loren Lee, c/o 2023

Loren Lee, c/o 2023

Undergraduate Assistant