Faculty

Chiara Bacigalupa, Faculty Coordinator

Dr. Bacigalupa has been a professor of child development and early childhood education at Sonoma State University since 2007. Between 1987 and 1996, she worked with children from birth to age eight in early education settings in California and Minnesota, and in 1995 she began teaching in higher education. She currently serves as the chair of the SSU Early Childhood Studies Department and as a Sonoma County First 5 commissioner. More about Dr. Bacigalupa can be found on her faculty page.

Kristina de Korsak, Assistant Professor of ECE

Dr. de Korsak received her Ph.D. in applied linguistics and second language acquisition from UC Davis. Her education emphasis is in child language acquisition, cognition, socialization and cultural practice. She has been at Sonoma State since 2011 and has actively engaged in teaching and collaborating in several departments on campus. She has taught pre-school, kindergarten and first grade in California and abroad for eight years, mentoring new teachers throughout her career both in school and university settings. Dr. de Korsak believes education is key to stretching minds, providing opportunities, and advancing social justice.

Charles Elster, Professor of ECE

Dr. Elster is a professor in the Sonoma State School of Education, where he teaches courses in the Multiple Subjects, advanced Reading-Language, and undergraduate programs. He also supervises student teachers at McNear Elementary School in Petaluma. His interests include early childhood and elementary education, the teaching of literacy and the study of literature. He is especially interested in the importance of poetry in language arts education. More about Dr. Elster on his faculty page.

Johanna Filp-Hanke, Professor of ECE

Dr. Filp-Hanke came to California from Santiago, Chile in 1996, when she joined the Early Childhood Education Program at SSU. She grew up in Chile and has also lived in Canada and Germany. In Chile she researched the developmental needs of children in poor urban areas, quality improvement of education in poor communities, quality preschool programs and family-school collaboration. At SSU she has focused on how immigrant children and their families can best be supported in early childhood education. She also is interested in social and emotional development, the role of play in child development, and the scholarship of teaching, where she focuses on student engagement in higher education. One of her more recent interests is to understand the contributions of brain research to child development. More about Dr. Filp-Hanke can be found on her faculty page.

Beth Warner, Administrative Coordinator

Beth Warner has worked in the School of Extended and International Education since 1996, first as a program advisor to the Saturday BA Degree Completion Program and now as Senior Academic Programs Coordinator for all SEIE degree and certificate programs. She is a graduate of the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies and completed her MA in History at SSU in 2009. She strives to provide a high level of student support to facilitate the learning process and the attainment of educational goals.