Member Spotlight

Dr. Sharon Ishii-Jordan

Dr. Ishii-Jordan ( is retired Associate Dean and Professor Emerita of Education at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. She is just finishing a two-year grant for conducting teacher training in the rural mountains of northeast India. Although she is completing her current grant for teacher training in India, she continues to serve persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency. She is supervising student teachers in secondary special education, substitute teaching in Omaha inner city in special education and ESL and teaching an occasional class at Creighton University. Dr. Ishii-Jordan is also a volunteer reader for the blind through Radio Talking Book and a volunteer ESL mentor for Afghan refugee women in Omaha. In retirement she continues using her gift of working with people with diverse special needs.

Dr. Robbie Hampton

Dr. Robbie Hampton ( is an assistant professor of special education at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN who is doing work on several projects in Sierra Leone. with and for children and young adults with disabilities. Her primary work there is with The Covering Tree (The Raining Season) where she is a part of an educational team working with students and staff of the orphanage to provide care and instruction for children with a wide range of disabilities. Dr. Hampton has been approached by EduAfrica to possibly start a program for Lipscomb University candidates.

Her goal in Sierra Leone is to start a special education team to address the needs of children with disabilities. To further this goal she is in the process of creating a course for credit for Lipscomb University candidates who travel to Africa to work with persons with disabilities. She is also in discussions there for a program for meeting the needs of their young adults who are aging out of the program.

Dr. Susan O’Rourke

Dr. Susan O’Rourke, former DISES president and department chair and professor of special education at Carlow University, is doing exciting professional development and service in Uganda, Ireland and Belize (previously Nicaragua). She is doing study abroad special education programs with Ireland and Belize. (She’ll be taking a group of students to Ireland this summer.) In Belize she also developed and utilized an assessment tool to measure student learning in the arts.

Dr. O’Rourke is doing extensive work in Uganda encompassing special education program development and service in their communities. Her services to the communities includes raising funds to construct 7 wells in place where access to clean water is quite difficult as well as distribution of eyeglasses. Special education professional development activities there include consultation with faculty at Kisubi University for a new graduate special education teacher preparation program, building of the first inclusive education program in the Teso region and development of a vocational gardening curriculum for students with disabilities. She recently went to Malaysia where she is working on professional development for special education teachers there. Dr. O’Rourke plans to continue this work in these countries and possibly expand to Liberia and Columbia.