Meet the SPED Faculty & Staff

The faculty has a strong emphasis on practical, real-life, field experiences.

Katie Barofsky, MS

Assistant Professor
Member of the department since 2020

Education:

  • BA, University of Wisconsin Madison
  • MS, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin Madison (pending)

Area of Expertise:

  • Literacy Development and supports for students with disabilities
  • Reading Interventions
  • Inclusive Practices
  • Transition Services and Planning and Parent Involvement for Secondary Students
  • Self-Determination Curricula for students with disabilities

James Kirk, PhD

Associate Professor, Chair 
Member of the department since 2012

Education:

  • BS, Marquette University
  • MS, Western Oregon State University
  • PhD, University of Iowa

Area of Expertise:

  • Behavior Modification
  • Special Education Law
  • Assistive Technology
  • Autism

Amy Olson, PhD

Associate Professor
Member of the department since 2015

Education:

  • BA, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • MS, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Areas of Expertise:

  • Students with significant developmental disabilities
  • Access to the general education curriculum
  • Expertise of teachers of students with significant disabilities
  • Inclusion

Erika Pinter, PhD

Assistant Professor
Member of the department since 2020

Education:

  • BA, University of Nevada Reno
  • MS, University of Oregon
  • PhD, University of Washington

Area of Expertise:

  • Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
  • Classroom & Behavior Management
  • Social Skill Instruction
  • Video-based Instruction
  • Uses of technology to enhance student engagement and learning

Kristin Holtan

Administrative Assistant
Duties:

  • Supervision and management of workflow for department operations
  • Assist Student Teaching Director with field experience/student teaching placements for Special Education majors
  • Supervision and training of work study student workers
  • Data management for department records including students