» Our Team


photo of Meghan Cosier, Ph.D.

Meghan Cosier, Ph.D.

Director and Associate Professor
(714) 516-5763
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  Gomez, Ph.D.

Audri M. Gomez, Ph.D.

Associate 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 & Contracts Project Coordinator
(714) 997-6970
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 Jennifer James, M.A.

Jennifer James, M.A.

Office Manager & Special Projects Manager
Jennifer James graduated with her BA and MA in English from California State University, Fullerton. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the Attallah Colleen of Educational Studies with research interests in literacy and inclusive education. Previous to her position with TPI, Jennifer taught college composition at local community colleges.

Research Associates

photo of Jeanne Carriere, Ph.D.

Jeanne Ann Carriere, Ph.D.

Director, Educational Assessment Team
Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders
photo of Elissa Kaustinen, M.A.

Elissa Green Kaustinen, M.A.

Director, Families and Schools Together @ CHOC
photo of Cristina  Giannantonio, Ph.D.

Cristina Giannantonio, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
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, Ph.D.

Amy Hurley-Hanson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics
photo of Sara Werner Juarez, Ph.D.

Sara Werner Juarez, Ph.D.

Facilitator, Residency Initiative
photo of Angel Miles Nash, Ph.D.

Angel Miles Nash, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Attallah College of Educational Studies
photo of Linda O'Neal, M.A.

Linda O'Neal, M.A.

Transition Consultant
photo of Kamil Ozerk, Ph.D.

Kamil Ozerk, Ph.D.

University of Osla, Norway
photo of Joni Ricks-Oddie, Ph.D., MPH

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

UCI Center for Statistical Consulting
photo of Jill  Perez, M.A.

Jill Perez, M.A.

Professional Learning Specialist
photo of Thomas Piechota, Ph.D., PE

Thomas Piechota, Ph.D., PE

Vice President for Research
Chapman University
(714) 628-2897
photo of Richard Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Richard Rosenberg, Ph.D.

Transition Initiative
photo of Paul Sindelar, Ph.D.

Paul Sindelar, Ph.D.

Project Coordinator, Residency Initiative
photo of Trisha Sugita, Ph.D.

Trisha Sugita, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator, Special Education
Attallah College of Educational Studies
no photo available for Colleen Torgerson, Ed.D.

Colleen Torgerson, Ed.D.

Facilitator, Residency Initiative
photo of Janis White, Ed.D.

Janis White, Ed.D.

Educational Training and Outreach
photo of Kurt Yamamoto

Kurt Yamamoto

UCI Center for Statistical Consulting
photo of Diane Flannery, Ph.D.

Diane Flannery, Ph.D.

Senior Director of Design and Strategy, The Help Group

Graduate Assistants

photo of Stephen Hinkle

Stephen Hinkle

Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistant
photo of Sara Morgan

Sara Morgan

Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistant
photo of Rachel Wiegand

Rachel Wiegand

Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistant

Student Assistants

photo of Kaita Pannor, c/o 2022

Kaita Pannor, c/o 2022

Student Assistant

Research & Technical Support

photo of Cheryl Baltes, MA

Cheryl Baltes, MA

Communications Specialist
Attallah College of Educational Studies
(714) 997-6789
photo of Courtney Lutkus

Courtney Lutkus

Assistant Director, Institutional Support
Chapman University
photo of Patrick Ward, MS GIS, GISP

Patrick Ward, MS GIS, GISP

DrawTap GIS
(951) 505-2417