August 2016 Graduate Spotlights


August 2016 Graduate Spotlights

11 Aug 2016    

Molly Bergstrom  |  Onawa, Iowa  |  Master of Education in Special Education

Specialization in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

What made you choose UNL's special education program, and why were you particularly interested in Deaf and Hard of Hearing?
"I chose UNL's special education program because it was geared toward people who already had a teaching certificate/degree. This allowed me to expand on the endorsements that I had as a teacher and be able to work with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. I am Deaf, and I had been encouraged to get into Deaf education by many people who felt that there were not enough Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults to encourage and be a role model for students. After spending some time teaching and working overseas, I came back to the United States, and that is when I started to think more seriously about getting involved in Deaf education. UNL had a program that fit was I was looking for at the time."

What has been the most rewarding aspect of studying in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders?
"The most rewarding aspect has been working with the professors and other students in my classes. It has been rewarding to hear others' perspectives on Deaf and Hard of Hearing issues, and how they relate to education, especially those who may not have any exposure to deafness or experience working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children. It has given me insight into ways I can collaborate with families and schools to meet the needs of the students that I will be serving."

What is one way UNL's special education program has helped you grow professionally?
"It has kept me up to date on current trends in the field of Deaf education, as well as what is happening with special education. Also, the UNL special education program has been a good source for networking with other professionals in my field."

What's next for you?
"I will be working for Omaha Public Schools as a hearing impaired teacher."



Lisa Thayer  |  Albion, Nebraska  |  Master of Arts in Special Education

Specialization in Early Childhood Special Education

What made you choose UNL's special education program?
"I love working with young children and wanted to continue my education in some type of field working with young children. UNL offered the only program in the state for early childhood special education and, luckily, I was able to complete the entire program online."

What has been the most rewarding aspect of studying in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders?
"I have loved the opportunity to network with other professionals not only in the state, but also in my local, rural area. I have learned so much from the various hands-on learning opportunities during my education."

What is one way UNL's special education program has helped you grow professionally?
"I was able to use many of the strategies I have learned during my graduate classes in my preschool classroom. I never felt like I had to wait to use the information I was learning; I could apply many things immediately in my classroom."

What's next for you?
"I will continue as a preschool teacher for Riverside Public Schools. I will also have the opportunity to work as an early childhood special education team member in our district."


Special Education and Communication Disorders