School reform, IHE-community partnerships, teacher leadership development, doctoral education and IHE faculty development.
The former dean of the VCU School of Education, Dr. Walther-Thomas’ research and teaching interests include teacher quality, development of inclusive learning communities, and leadership development. As a principal investigator, she has received more than $13 million in state and federal grant awards for research, personnel development and training/technical assistance to public schools, and she is the author of more than 50 articles, book chapters and technical reports. She co-authored a book titledCollaboration for Inclusive Education: Creating Successful Programs.
Before coming to VCU, Dr. Walther-Thomas led the Department of Special Education at the University of Kansas, ranked number one among special education graduate programs in the country.
Dr. Walther-Thomas’ expertise has been recognized through her work with many national as well as international organizations. She has served as president of the Council for Exceptional Children Teacher Education Division, the Council for Learning Disabilities and the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education.
Her honors include the Higher Education Consortium for Special Education Distinguished Service Award, Council for Exceptional Children Teacher Education Division President’s Award and College of William & Mary Alumni Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award.
She received her undergraduate degree in English and a master’s degree in special education from the University of Utah where she worked as a clinical instructor from 1978-1986. She received her Ph.D. in special education from the University of Kansas (KU). Before returning to KU in 2003, she was a professor in the education policy, planning and leadership program at The College of William & Mary from 1990-2003.