New Faculty Spotlight: Jenna Weglarz-Ward, Ph.D.

Jenna Weglarz-Ward

Jenna Weglarz-Ward, Ph.D. joined the College of Education faculty in the fall semester of 2016 as an Assistant Professor teaching in Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education. She specializes in the inclusion of children with children with disabilities in community settings, family engagement, and professional collaboration. Dr. Weglarz-Ward received both her Master's Degree in Special Education in 2003 and her doctorate in Special Education in 2016 from the University of Illinois.

"Life as a new faculty member at UNLV has been a really nice blend of support in her teaching and research from members of the university community," she said.

As for the students, Weglarz-Ward noted the "different, daring and diverse" culture here at UNLV saying, "the students here are amazing and so diverse. They come from rich backgrounds, which is something I was not used to in Illinois. Here students are 21 to 60 and are teaching and working in education in different ways. There are so many people coming back after changing careers or wanting to do something different or wanting to improve what they are already doing. All the students are motivated, because they are all here for a different reason."

In addition to her research and teaching roles within the Educational and Clinical Studies department at the College, Dr. Weglarz-Ward was named a Dean's Policy Fellow ahead of the upcoming Nevada legislative session. She, along with several colleagues, has drafted two policy papers regarding early childhood education topics in which lawmakers may consider enacting new policies in our state. These papers, and eight others from faculty and students across the College, will be available later this month.

For additional information about Dr. Weglarz-Ward and her research, visit her bio page on the COE website.