Inclusive Digital Expression and Literacy Program

About iDEAL

Meet Our Members

  Andy Roach is co-director of the Inclusive Digital Expression and Literacy program at Georgia State University (IDEAL).  Dr. Roach is a nationally certified school psychologist and former elementary and middle school teacher (with 9 years of classroom experience). He is Associate Director of the Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD)—a University Center for Excellence in Disability (UCEDD) at Georgia State University as well as an associate professor with joint appointments in the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services (College of Education & Human Development) and the School of Public Health.

In 2010, Roach received the Lightner Witmer Early Career Research Award from the American Psychological Association – Division 16 (School Psychology). Dr. Roach also received the Council for Exceptional Children’s Early Career Publication Award in 2007 for a study that examined the influence of access to the general curriculum on the assessment performance of students with disabilities (Roach & Elliott, 2006). From 2010-2014, he served as an association representative on the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (JCSEE).

In addition to his work on inclusive postsecondary programs, Dr. Roach currently leads projects that focus on transition services for adolescents and young adults with disabilities, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the use of wireless technologies by individuals with disabilities to facilitate their employment and social connection, universal mental health screening and positive behavior support in K-12 settings, and the implementation of mindfulness and contemplative practices in a variety of community contexts. University courses that Dr. Roach has taught include Intervention Strategies for Students with Learning Problems, Psychological Consultation in the Schools, Mindfulness in Education & Mental Health, and Assessment Policies, Issues, & Practices.

  Niklas Vollmer is a Co-director of the Inclusive Digital Expression and Literacy (IDEAL) program at Georgia State University. Vollmer is an interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and educator, who strives to help his students discover their own creative “voice” in an inclusive classroom. Vollmer currently teaches film/video production and directs GSU’s Peripheral Visions, a new media research “hive” that employs innovative technological strategies to connect students, faculty and community collaborators on local, regional and global scales. His research and teaching interests include: experimental, avant-garde, and nonfiction theory and practice; community-based and subject participatory mediamaking; the essay film; video art; personal narrative and diary films; domestic ethnography, home movies and the representation of family; performance of masculinity; and the environmental documentary.

Niklas received an MFA in Visual Art from the University of California, San Diego, has been nominated for a Rockefeller Fellowship, and a documentary he directed screened at the Beijing Olympics. His experimental and documentary work has screened in the US, Canada, Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia; and at AFI, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, California Museum of Photography, and the Directors Guild of Los Angeles. Additional honors include being chosen as a Documentary Expert and Filmmaker for the American Documentary Showcase, a program that brings recent American documentary films, filmmakers, and subject area specialists to audiences around the world via a cooperative grant by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State in collaboration with the International Documentary Association (IDA) and University Film & Video Association (UFVA). Niklas was a public television editor before academia.

  Mackenzie Suttles is the Program Coordinator for the IDEAL Program. Mackenzie is a second year student in the Georgia State University, Counseling Education and Practice doctoral program. Mackenzie earned her M.S. in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling from GSU and her B.S in Rehabilitation Services and Disability Studies from Auburn University. Mackenzie’s professional interests focus on inclusive postsecondary education, individuals with disabilities relationships and family systems, and play therapy. She enjoys running, anything and everything outdoors, spending time with family and friends and cooking!

  Spenser Norris is the Academic Transition Teacher at IDEAL as well as a Community Services Specialist at the Center for Leadership in Disability. She recently graduated from Georgia State University with a Master’s in Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling. Spenser received her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia. Before returning to Atlanta to pursue her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, Spenser worked as a Special Education teacher, focused specifically on students and families on the Autism Spectrum. Spenser’s professional interests include disability law and advocacy, family dynamics and counseling, as well as transition services and inclusive post-secondary education.

  Hannah Dycus is an IDEAL Graduate Research Assistant. She is currently a second-year student in the School Psychology M.Ed/Ed.S program at Georgia State University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia. Her professional interests include inclusive post-secondary education, bullying prevention, counseling, and consultation. Outside of school, Hannah enjoys painting and creating digital art.

  Matthew Herring is an IDEAL Graduate Research Assistant. He is a second-year student in the School Psychology M.Ed/Ed.S program at Georgia State University. He earned his B.A. in English Literature at Gordon State University. His professional interests include inclusive post-secondary education, as well as the intersection of technology and education. When not at school, he enjoys spending time with family and playing music with friends.