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Dr. Jeannie DeFazio

Jeannie Defazio

Chair, Division of Education, Professor of Education; Co- Director, Christ the Servant Teaching Corps

B.A., Baldwin-Wallace College, M.A. and Ph.D., Kent State University

Walsh University
A Catholic University of Distinction
2020 East Maple Street
North Canton, Ohio44720
United States


Dr. DeFazio currently teaches one course required for all Intervention Specialist, Early Childhood, and Early Childhood Intervention Specialist candidates, ISE 340 (Augmentative/Assistive Technology. She spends the majority of her work time as division chair. She has most recently taught undergraduate level courses that include ISE 347 (Sensory, Motor, Health Interventions, EDUC 206, Individuals with Exceptionalities, ECE 213, Educational Psychology, and EDF 606, Accommodating Learners with Special Needs, a graduate level foundations course. She advises students in the Intervention Specialist Education, Early Childhood Education, and Early Childhood Intervention Specialist Education.

She uses the course management system Sakaifor class discussions, resources, and specific web-based assignments.


Dr. DeFazio has co-authored three nationally recognized programs (SPA) that have been shared on the NCATE website as model programs. She has attended the NCATE Institutional Orientations during the past three years and AACTE conferences as well. Her earlier scholarship included publications related to cognitive and language development/ interventions for young children with significant disabilities. She has presented/published at various regional, state, national conferences as well as one international conference.

Her most recent presentations include participation in panel presentations at The International Congress on Education sponsored by the worldwide Focolare Movement, "The Community as School," in Castelgandolfo, Italy, 2006 (www.focolare.org), presented a session to prepare university educators to write SPA reports for Intervention Specialist Educators using the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) SPA Standards at the Ohio Council of Teachers in Education Conference in April 2007, and presented a session on differentiated instruction, Meeting the Needs of All Learners at the Ohio Catholic Educators Association Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 2008, using the Division tenets of Judeo-Christian foundations, respect for all diversity, and commitment to service learning.


Within the Division of Education, Dr. DeFazio serves as Chair and serves as a member of the ACE (Assessment Caucus in Education) Committee, Budget Committee, and has been involved in various searches. As part of her commitment to university mission, she is co-founder and co-director of the university Theology-Education Hispanic Outreach Initiative which serves P-12 Hispanic children and their families through tutoring and other mission-driven outreach. She has made presentations to local parent and educator meetings in both parochial and public schools and has worked with local agencies on projects related to individuals with exceptionalities and self-advocacy. She works closely with long term service learning partnerships through collaboration with the Division of Theology, local area schools, the Prentke Romich Company (www.prentrom.com), Mayfield Manor Senior Housing Project , Stark MRDD, and the ARC of Stark County. She has facilitated guest speakers and forums on campus for the greater local community andWalshUniversity students and faculty, including the Autism Forum, Disability Forum, and Prentke Romich Company guest speaker David Chapple.

Dr. DeFazio has been actively involved in the NCATE assessment process as a member of the ACE committee. Dr. DeFazio is an active member of campus committees including: Leadership Council, Graduate Council and Tenure, Retention, and Promotion Committee. Dr. DeFazio serves as Co-Advisor for the Walsh University Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Student Chapter. She has been a long standing member of the Governing Board for the Lincoln Way Special Education Regional Resource Center, the ARC of Stark County, and is currently a member of the Sisters of Charity Early Childhood Advisory Board. She has assisted other universities with Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) and other SPA program writing.

Walsh Students Receive Donation of 400 Books for Elementary Classrooms

Angie Thomas and Dr. Jeannie DeFazio
Walsh Students Receive Donation of 400 Books for Elementary Classrooms

When Angie Thomas retired after 16 years in the classroom to join her family’s company, Dover Hydraulics, Inc., she wasn’t sure what to do with her rather large collection of children’s books that had accumulated over the years. This past Tuesday, she donated all 400+ to Walsh University’s education department with the goal to help future teachers supply their first classrooms.

“It’s the first thing most elementary school teachers need to buy when they get their first job– books for the classroom,” said Walsh Division of Education Chair Dr. Jeannie DeFazio. “We are so grateful. Our future teachers always spend their own money on supply books for their classrooms. Early literacy is central to education.  It is such a blessing that Angie thought of us to donate her collection. We’re grateful to Dover Hydraulics for their continued support of Walsh.”

Thomas thoughtfully divided and labeled the books by subject and theme to help new teachers pick particular areas of interest such as insects, math concepts or the alphabet. Thomas’ career in education included teaching tenures at Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools, Carrolton Exempted Village Schools and in Tennessee.

“I’ve had student teachers from Walsh in my classroom and I know first-hand that Walsh has a great program. Walsh students are always well prepared for the classroom and their commitment to service really shows. Then I met Jeannie through Walsh alumnus Mike Reed ’87. I was thinking about what I could do with all these books and Walsh came to mind,” said Thomas. “I think kids need books to read. I know that there is a push for more electronic reading, but that is not an option for everyone. Sometimes we miss the application. We know the concept, we know the phonics, we know how to teach, but students still need to have something in their hand to apply it.”

Thomas added, “I’m just happy that my books will have a new home.”



Bersani, Carol, Susan Conlin, Nancy Benham, and Jean DeFazio. The Ohio Early Childhood Curriculum Guide: Birth Through Age Eight. [Columbus, OH]: Ohio Department of Education, 1991.

Bricker, William A., Jean A. Levin (DeFazio) and Patrick R. Macke. "Early Language Development." Atypical Infant Development. Ed. M. Hansen. Baltimore: University Park Press, 1984.

DeFazio, Jean, [et. al.] "Assessment and Modification of Cognitive Processes in Handicapped Children." Ongoing Data Collection for Measuring Children's Progress. Ed. K. Stremel-Campbell. [Portland, OR.]: The Western States Technical Assistance Resource (WESTAR), 1982.

Bricker, William A., Patrick R. Macke, Jean A. (DeFazio) Levin, Philippa H. Campbell. "The Modifiability of Intelligent Behavior" The Journal of Special Education 15.2 (1981): 145-163.

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