Shaalein C. Lopez, Ph.D., NCSP, joins the faculty of GSU as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Psychology and Counseling in the College of Education. Dr. Lopez earned a BA in Mathematics and certification to teach secondary mathematics from Northwestern University in Illinois, and then served as a high school mathematics teacher for about a decade in Ohio, Washington, D.C., and in Gabon, Central West Africa as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer. After having had numerous interactions with school psychologists while teaching mathematics, Dr. Lopez decided that pursing a degree in this field would allow her to interact with and assist students beyond a single classroom. Dr. Lopez went on to earn a M.Ed. in Educational Psychology, and Ph.D. in School Psychology, both at Loyola University Chicago. While at Loyola, Dr. Lopez participated in numerous intriguing experiences including the opportunity to teach mathematics via television as a part of Loyola’s CountDown mathematics call-in show, which aired on CANN TV in Chicago, and a professional development and research initiative with Catholic school teachers in Chicago. After becoming a licensed school psychologist, Dr. Lopez worked in this capacity in over 10 schools in the Chicago Public School district. Now, of course, Dr. Lopez will be actively engaged in the training of future school psychologists at GSU.
Dr. Shaalein C. Lopez’s research interests are primarily in areas that seek to enhance the learning and general educational outcomes of K-12 students, particularly in mathematics, and has included, for example, initiatives that have considered the effects of small group learning on math achievement, or the effects of direct instruction professional development on classroom teachers’ mathematics teaching. Dr. Lopez is also interested in the prevalence of cultural competence among professionals practicing in psychology and counseling fields. As an assistant professor at GSU, Dr. Lopez plans to continue to investigate these areas and to potentially expand into initiatives that explore the attitudes of parents towards educators regarding the special education services that may be provided to their children in K-12 schools.