College of Education
While pursuing secondary education (social studies) as an undergraduate at the College of William & Mary, Dr. Potter was fortunate enough to student teach in a school that placed high value on collaboration and inclusive practices. She was drawn to continue her education at William & Mary through a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction (special education). She completed the program and accepted a position as a special education teacher in the Shenandoah Valley. During that time, Dr. Potter found herself called to explore coursework in leadership and supervision, moving into administrative and supervisory roles at both the central office and school level. Upon completion of her doctorate from the University of Virginia, she accepted a position as a principal of a juvenile detention facility in central Virginia. She began to teach part-time for Mary Baldwin University as well, moving into a full-time administrative role in 2011. In 2013, Dr. Potter became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and is licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine to practice in that field.
Dr. Potter is a passionate advocate for public education, and enjoys examining how our College of Education effectively shapes the next generation of inquiry-minded practitioners. She has a particular interest in preparing students to work with diverse populations of varying experiences, abilities, and interests. Her research and professional development activities center mostly around topics related to Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis.
Dr. Pam Bailey holds a BS from West Virginia State College in secondary mathematics education. She also earned a MA in education, specializing in diverse learners, from the University of Phoenix. Her PhD is from George Mason University where her degree was in mathematics education leadership with a minor in administration and supervision.
Prior to coming to Mary Baldwin, Dr. Bailey was employed at George Mason University as an assistant professor teaching courses in mathematics education and secondary mathematics education. She also worked for several years as the secondary mathematics coordinator in Spotsylvania County Schools and as a secondary math teacher in Stafford and Westmoreland Counties.
Dr. Bailey became part of the Mary Baldwin faculty in 2014 teaching in the Master of Arts in Teaching and the Adult Degree programs. She also works as an advisor, assisting and guiding students as they pursue higher education.
As an active member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Dr. Bailey has presented at several state, regional, and national conferences. Her research interests include leadership for school change involving mathematics education leaders (mathematics specialists) and the transformation of mathematics instruction using rich tasks and constructivist approaches.
Dr. Emily Ely is an Assistant Professor of Reading Education at Mary Baldwin University. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate literacy-related courses, Dr. Ely advises graduate (MAT/MEd) students. She shares education resources, ideas, news with students on Twitter; feel free to follow her @DrEmilyEly. She developed and serves as Director of our MEd in Reading Education program with Virginia K-12 Reading Specialist Endorsement. Dr. Ely serves as Editor for discoursED, a blog created in 2017 for the College of Education.
Through teaching and scholarship, she aims to improve teacher preparedness to use evidence-based literacy practices effective for all students, to ultimately foster necessary 21st-century literacy skills among an inevitably diverse (academically, linguistically, culturally, economically) community of learners. The Teacher Education Division (TED) of CEC granted her an Outstanding Publication Award in 2013 and the TED Dissertation Award in 2014.
Dr. Ely earned her BA in Elementary Education with an ESOL Endorsement and her MEd in Reading Education K-12 from the University of Miami. She obtained her PhD in Special Education with a focus on literacy from the University of Virginia. Prior to joining faculty at Mary Baldwin, Dr. Ely’s professional experience included (a) teaching kindergarten in an Extended Foreign Language (i.e., bilingual studies) program in Miami, Florida, (b) training K-5th grade teachers as a reading coach, (c) instructing undergraduate and graduate level courses at the University of Virginia (UVA) on literacy instruction, reading diagnosis and remediation, special education, assessment, and English Language Learners, (d) supervising student teachers, and (e) teaching music to preschoolers. Additionally, she volunteered her time teaching language and literacy pedagogy to teachers in Rwanda, Africa.
Sexuality and Gender Studies is coordinated through the Sociology, Anthropology, Sexuality and Gender Studies Department by Dr. McCleaf. She has served the Mary Baldwin community as a faculty member since 1984. Academic degrees include BS and MS degrees from James Madison University; Harrisonburg, Virginia and an Ed D in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix; Phoenix, Arizona. Professor McCleaf’s qualitative dissertation examined the identity development and academic success of sexual minority women. Her current research continues this line of inquiry to further understand the with-in group status and structures that affect learning and academic success for sexual minorities. Dr. McCleaf’s classes offer students opportunities to inquiry into the discipline of sexuality and gender studies.
In the off hours during the academic year she spends her time writing, researching, fly fishing, and enjoying the company of family, friends, and her big yellow lab, Ringo. Although a resident of Staunton, during the fall and spring, the height of trout season, you can find her at the nearest coldwater fishing spot throughout the beautiful state of Virginia.
Dr. Stephanie Sebolt is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Mary Baldwin University. She holds a BA from Mary Washington College with certification to teach NK-4. She received her MA and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech in Curriculum and Instruction with certification to teach French K-12 and English as a Second Language K-12.
Dr. Sebolt began her teaching career as an English as a Second Language teacher in Roanoke County in 1993. She was named Roanoke County Teacher of the Year for 2014-15. In addition, she has done adjunct teaching for the University of Mary Washington, Roanoke College, and Virginia Tech in their education programs.
Dr. Sebolt is actively involved in TESOL and VATESOL, professional organizations for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. She enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, wildlife rescue, and spending time with her family. She lives in Salem, VA with her husband, three sons, a dog, and two cats. Research interests include second language acquisition, teaching diverse students, and promising practices in teacher education.
Carla Van Devander
Carla Van Devander holds a bachelors degree in history from George Mason University and received her teaching endorsement from Mary Baldwin University. She also has an MEd in Curriculum and Instruction and Instructional Strategist with a focus on “at-risk” populations from Eastern Mennonite University. After spending several months teaching English to Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Czech students in Hastings, England, she spent eight years teaching social studies, reading, and writing in Augusta County. From there, she became a Differentiation Specialist for Staunton City Schools, working at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She has been a teaching partner for a graduate level differentiation course for Mary Baldwin for several years. She recently began teaching undergraduate courses on exceptionalities and assessment, advising students seeking a secondary endorsement, supervising student teachers, and serving as the coordinator for the Education Leaders Living Learning Community. She is a passionate supporter of public education and enjoys collaborating with other educators to ensure all students grow and experience success. She believes in “giving back” and is actively involved in a number of civic groups that are working to improve the local community. She enjoys reading, traveling, motorcycle riding, and spending time with friends and family.
After spending eighteen years as an administrator in public education, Dr. Waddell became a member of the Mary Baldwin University family as a College Supervisor of Student Teachers in 2004, later as a part-time Assistant Professor of Education and presently as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Education. She also serves as an Academic Advisor for graduate students at the Regional Office at the Roanoke Higher Education Center. She teaches Elementary, Middle and Secondary Methods in MBU Online.
After graduating with a BS in Political Science from Radford College, Dr. Waddell began her career as a social studies teacher at the secondary level. She later taught at the middle school level and served as an elementary principal. She received a MEd in Educational Administration from James Madison University and a EdD in Educational Administration from Virginia Tech.
Dr. Waddell’s true joy in life is seeing others fulfill their potential as teachers and community leaders. Giving back to our communities is a lifelong passion for her. She presently serves on the Rockbridge Public Schools Education Foundation and the Board of Directors for Yellow Brick Road Early Learning Center. Previously, she served on the Board of Directors for the Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity and the Lexington High Alumni Association.
Dr. Tamra Willis is an associate professor in the College of Education at Mary Baldwin. With a focus on “outdoor learning,” Dr. Willis teaches a variety of courses for both pre-service and in-service teachers. In addition, she directs the Master of Education in Environment-Based Learning (EBL), a program designed for K-12 teachers and outdoor educators who use the natural environment to teach all subjects. Dr. Willis has obtained a number of grants involving partnerships between Mary Baldwin, school divisions, natural resource agencies, and industries. The projects provide professional development for teachers and support their efforts to implement environment-based education programs with their students.
A former elementary teacher, Dr. Willis strives to improve the system in ways that make learning more relevant and engaging for both K-12 students and educators. The EBL program is all about real-world connections to learning, so that students get a chance to explore the world around them, investigate the natural order of things, and discover for themselves how others perceive the world. Students are able to study every subject as they research, investigate, and debate issues, draw their own conclusions about challenges facing the world and develop and act upon possible solutions. One primary goal is to eliminate the question, “Why do we have to learn this?”
Dr. Willis earned her BS in elementary education from Appalachian State University; MS in middle grades education from James Madison University; and PhD in environmental science education and leadership from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She holds a Virginia teaching license in Early Education Nk-4 and Middle Grades 4-8. Dr. Willis is active in a number of state, regional, and national organizations related to children and nature. In 2013, she receive the Virginia Environmental Education (EE) award called “The Otter” for her work promoting EE with teachers and building the capacity of EE in the Commonwealth.