Fairleigh Dickinson University has long been a leader in the support of education for students with learning disabilities.
Dr. Mary Lupiani Farrell is the founder and University Director of the Regional Center. A full professor at the University, Dr. Farrell received her Ph.D. in Learning Disabilities from Columbia University. She is also the Director of the Center for Dyslexia Studies through which teachers are trained in the Orton Gillingham approach to teaching reading to students with reading disabilities. Dr. Farrell has served as Director of the School of Education and the graduate level Learning Disabilities Program. Dr. Farrell's extensive experience with learning disabilities includes serving as a resource room teacher, learning disabilities teacher consultant, and consultant to school districts and private institutions serving students with disabilities.
Barbara A. Byrnes is the Metropolitan Campus Director of the Regional Center. She is also the Director of the Regional Center's Summer Experience Program. In her work with students with disabilities, she has specialized in reading, developmental math, and business courses. Barbara has taught macroeconomics and microeconomics at FDU and at other colleges. She has also worked with students in the Equal Opportunity Fund and the Enhanced Freshmen Experience program. Barbara, a certified Orton Gillingham Teacher, received the Dyslexia Specialist and Orton Gillingham Teacher Certificates from FDU, a M.A. from St. John's University and a B.A. from Hunter College.
Dr. Mary Hebert is the Florham Campus Director of the Regional Center for Learning Disabilities. She has worked in the program since 2013, serving as the academic counselor prior to assuming her current position. Mary has been a professor of undergraduate and graduate psychology courses for 13 years, including teaching for the FDU psychology program. She has taught courses in learning and memory, child and adolescent behavior, testing and assessment, counseling theory, and she has taught a seminar for educators on the social and emotional needs of students with learning differences. She presents at conferences on the transitional needs of students with learning disabilities entering college and she recently published in the journal, Improve with Metacognition on topics related to metacognition and learning. Mary earned her BA in Psychology from The College of St. Elizabeth, her MA in Clinical Psychology from FDU and her doctorate of Clinical Psychology from Seton Hall University.
The learning specialists in FDU's Regional Center are all professional staff with graduate level training in learning disabilities. The counselors in the program are required to hold the minimum of a master's degree in counseling.
The Regional Center at FDU is committed to the ongoing training and development of FDU staff and faculty, providing regular opportunities for education and information-sharing. Faculty and key personnel from such areas as admissions, student services, residence life and the library are regularly offered opportunities to become better informed of the Center's program and involved in its support. Extensive faculty training has been conducted at each campus and ongoing faculty training occurs as the Center is asked to provide presentations at departmental meetings.