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Dr. Megan Farnsworth Martinez, Associate Professor

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"The field of special education is so rewarding. We need special educators and leaders in equity, diversity, and inclusion who can shift policy to achieve social justice."

Degrees Held:

  • PhD in Multicultural Special Education – University of Arizona, 2010

Career Highlights:

Dr. Farnsworth taught in private and public schools for 15 years in General Education, Special Education, and English Language Development in California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Arizona. Dr. Farnsworth’s current research explores the ways grief and resilience in storytelling affects teaching and learning. She is currently supporting the grassroots organization, Educate Chombo, which seeks to empower women with literacy skills and economic development in Malawi, Africa. Dr. Farnsworth helped coordinate fundraising (over $20K) for the development of a community library in Chombo village, Nkhotakota region, Malawi.

  • What do you want students to take away from your classes? What do you want them to learn?

    Relationships are the foundation for teaching and learning. Sharing stories of trauma and resilience builds capacity for connection, belonging, purpose, action, and social justice.

  • How long have you been teaching online courses?

    Since 2020

  • Why did you start teaching?

    I began teaching swim lessons when I was 16 years old. My world exploded with the development of inner resources needed for trust and relationship building. I was hooked! I knew I wanted to be a lifelong teacher and learner.

  • What is the value of a higher degree in the field in which you teach?

    The field of special education is so rewarding. We need special educators and leaders in equity, diversity, and inclusion who can shift policy to achieve social justice.

  • What advice would you give to those considering your online program?

    Online programs offer flexibility and autonomy. Make sure to advocate for additional help if needed!

  • What is the one book you think everyone should read?

    "The Temple of My Familiar" by Alice Walker

  • Tell us something interesting about yourself that your students might not know:

    I love open-water swimming! I have participated in the Alcatraz swim in two different races and connected with my inner wild animal. These experiences helped me face my fears and accept all parts of myself.


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