Westlake Hall 246
Dr. Kuester teaches undergraduate and graduate level courses related to characteristics, methods, and legal aspects that govern classroom management, individuals with behavioral, learning and/or developmental disabilities, and Individual Education Program development. Representative of her farming upbringing, Dr. Kuester’s teaching style is a kinesthetic, discovery approach to learning. She has over twenty years of combined experience in teaching populations with exceptional learning needs at the elementary and secondary levels in public schools, as well as experience preparing pre-service teachers at the higher education level.
Dr. Kuester's research targets innovative strategies that support successful inclusion among students with and without exceptional learning needs. Her two primary areas include the use of robots to help teach appropriate social behavior to individuals with autism, and the use of game-like activities to promote successful inclusion of individuals with attention, learning and or behavioral challenges. International and domestic presentations and peer-reviewed publications and book showcase outcomes of these projects, which include venues such as Australia, Ireland, Kentucky, Utah, California and Georgia, to name a few.
Dr. Kuester strives to establish interdisciplinary partnerships with colleagues, community members, parents and service providers that allow student enrichment and engagement across the curriculum. Invited workshops include those featuring cross-collaboration with special education and secondary education, such as science, family and consumer science, and English. She has provided invited hands-on interactions to local school districts, currently serves as a Board Member of Mainstream Connections, and is the faculty advisor for Bradley Student Council for Exceptional Children. Dr. Kuester also serves as a committee member for Easter Seals, is active as a committee member and chair to several committees within the College of Education and Health Sciences, as well as across campus, and a member in a variety of professional organizations. As an elected associate fellow of the Teaching Academy at Purdue University, she continues to serve as a resource to teachers, parents and colleagues.