Photo of Hamline faculty member Suzanne Gikas

Suzanne Gikas

Professor of Practice - Education

Suzanne graduated from Kent State University earning a Ph.D. in Special Education with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her expertise includes social, communication and behavior interventions for individuals with disabilities. Suzanne’s ongoing research projects include teacher attrition in special education as well as focused inquiry on implementation of dominant behavior paradigms in the school setting.

As a teacher, leader and researcher, Suzanne remained in the classroom for 30 years, where she could apply theory and integrate research with practice. Suzanne has worked in federal settings 1-5 and in rural and urban environments in the UK and the USA and continues to build on her experience as a family advocate and educational consultant. Suzanne’s writings focus on challenging perceptions of disability and inclusive practices that are deeply intertwined with personal experiences.

As individual experiences are so rich and diverse and there is no one size that fits all, Suzanne promotes discussion-based learning in her classroom so that students can engage in deep, authentic conversations around relevant issues and learn from each other’s range of experiences. A keen proponent of social justice, Suzanne is primarily concerned with helping students develop deep awareness and understanding of the human side of special education that is crucial to constructing inclusive and equitable environments across all social strata.