Faculty & Staff

College of Education
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Quality and Commitment

WSU Tri-Cities is a campus of Washington State University, which shares one central administration and one faculty. The campus strongly values diversity among its faculty, staff and students. As a campus of a land-grant institution, WSU Tri-Cities is committed to excellence in research, learning, and outreach to all constituents.

Educational Leadership Faculty

Kathleen Cowin
Kathleen CowinAssociate Professor (Career Track), Ed LeadershipFloyd 207XKathleen Cowin, Scholarly Associate Professor, received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Seattle University. Her research focuses on the development of effective relational co-mentoring practices for educational leader formation and the creation of co-mentoring circles among current and former educational leadership students. Kathleen served as a teacher and elementary and middle school principal for over 25 years and also completed her Superintendent Certification.
photo of John Mancinelli
John MancinelliField Services DirectorFloyd 207OJohn Mancinelli, Ed.D., Scholarly Associate Professor, joined Washington State University Tri-Cities as Chief of Staff and Operations in July 2014. Dr. Mancinelli has 26 years of experience in teaching and educational leadership. Dr. Mancinelli brings a deep understanding of Washington State’s educational system, organizational structures, and management best practices. His experience in both teaching and administering in public schools from kindergarten to university contribute to his courses and mentorship.
Dr. Mancinelli serves as Educational Leadership and Teaching & Learning faculty to the College of Education. He teaches educational leadership and Teaching & Learning courses to undergraduates, masters, and doctoral students. Additionally, Dr. Mancinelli advises, mentors, and sits on committees for masters and doctoral students. Dr. Mancinelli’s area of scholarship focus includes educational leadership and role theory as it relates to building academic capacity.

Teaching and Learning Faculty

Yuliya Ardasheva
Yuliya ArdashevaAssociate Professor, ESL/Bilingual EducationFloyd 207SYuliya Ardasheva (2010), Associate Professor, received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with specialization in TESOL from the University of Louisville. Her research interests include contributions of individual differences to second language development and on the interplay between second language and academic development.

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photo of Yichien Cooper
Yichien CooperAssistant Professor (Career Track)Floyd 207HDr. Yichien Cooper is an artist/educator/author/arts advocate. Her research interests include integrating arts into the curriculum, STEAM education, concept mapping, data visualization, social justice, arts-based and narrative inquiry, mixed identity, and community-based art education. She has published six Chinese books on integrating arts education. She currently chairs the Asian Arts and Culture Interests Group of the National Art Education Association and has previously chaired their Data Visualization Working Group. Dr. Cooper has also served as President of the World Chinese Arts Education Association and as art commissioner for the City of Richland.
photo of Jonah Firestone
Jonah FirestoneAssociate ProfessorFloyd 207QJonah Firestone (2011), Assistant Professor, received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in Science Education with a specialization in Geology Education from Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. His research examines the Social Norms of Education on Beginning Science Teachers’ Understanding.
Yun-Ju Hsiao
Yun-Ju HsiaoAssociate Professor, Special EducationFloyd 207LYun-Ju Hsiao (2013), Associate Professor, received her Ph.D. in Special Education from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her areas of research interest include autism spectrum disorder, emotional and behavioral disorder, early childhood special education, and culturally responsive teaching preparation and practices in special education.
photo of Eric Johnson
Eric JohnsonProfessor, Teaching & LearningFloyd 207WEric Johnson (2008), Associate Professor, received his Ph.D. in Sociocultural/Linguistic Anthropology from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.  His research focus is on ethnographic approaches to language-minority education programs and language policies in public schools.  His interests include language policy and planning, the application of policy as practice, immigrant communities, parent and community engagement, bilingual education, and Hispanic Serving Institutions.
photo of Lindsay Lightner
Lindsay LightnerAssistant Professor (Career Track)Floyd 207MLindsay Lightner (2022), Scholarly Assistant Professor, received her Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education from Washington State University. Previously, Dr. Lightner had served on staff at WSU Tri-Cities as an academic advisor and project coordinator. She also serves as coordinator for the campus’s Alternative Route Teacher Certification program. Her research interests include science teacher identity, elementary science education, and work-based models for preservice teacher education.
Judy Morrison
Judy MorrisonProfessor and Academic Director of Education; Associate Vice Chancellor for ResearchFloyd 207UJudy Morrison (1999), Associate Professor, received her Ph.D. in Science Education and Integrated Science from Oregon State University. Dr. Morrison came from Oregon State University where she joined WSU Tri-Cities, first as an adjunct, and then as Assistant Professor in 2003. Her research interests are partnerships between science teachers and scientists, and professional development of science teachers.
photo of Sarah Newcomer
Sarah NewcomerAssociate Professor, Teaching & LearningFloyd 207YSarah Newcomer (2012), Associate Professor,  received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Language and Literacy from Arizona State University in Tempe. Dr. Newcomer joined WSU Tri-Cities in 2012. Her research interests include language policy and policy negotiation, school-family-community relationships and school community agency, and language and literacy education, particularly for culturally and linguistically diverse students.
photo of Ethan Smith
Ethan SmithAssistant Professor of Mathematics Education | Floyd 207TEthan P. Smith (2023), Assistant Professor, received his Ph.D. in Education from the University of Delaware. His research focuses on teachers’ noticings of and discourse around students’ writing in secondary mathematics classrooms. His interests also include student engagement in secondary math, teacher and coach experiences with mathematics coaching, culturally responsive mathematics curriculum materials, and curriculum-embedded professional learning programs.


photo of Christopher Gana
Christopher GanaAcademic CoordinatorTFLO 207K
photo of Niamh O
Niamh O'LearyGraduate Programs Coordinator; Academic Support Staff, EducationFloyd 207A
photo of Danica Garcia
Danica GarciaTeaching Bridge CoordinatorFloyd 207V
photo of Catherine Denham
Catherine DenhamField Services Coordinator, College of EducationFloyd 207D
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