Gina Braun is currently pursuing her PhD in Special Education at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC). Gina received her Bachelor’s in elementary education from Indiana University. After completing her undergraduate studies, she received her Master’s in special education from Loyola University in Chicago. Gina spent the first part of her career teaching students with mild to moderate special needs on the southwest side of Chicago. She taught grades K-5, in a cross categorical classroom. While teaching, Gina gained experience as a self-contained, resource, and inclusion teacher. She also founded and co-lead the Response to Intervention team at her school. Gina had the opportunity to host student teachers in her classroom the last 2 years she was teaching. She helped the future special educators write and implement unit and lesson plans, as well as, individual education plans (IEP’s). Following her career as a teacher, Gina, became an instructional coach for new special education teachers across several Chicago Public schools. She spent time getting to know the teacher’s practice and helped build their capacity in the areas of classroom management, instruction, content knowledge, IEP development, knowledge of student, and assessment.
Gina hopes to focus her current studies on intensive interventions to help close the achievement gap for students with special needs in urban Chicago. Aside from being a student, Gina enjoys spending family time with her husband Erik, and new baby boy, Anden.