Our Faculty

Rita Brusca-Vega

Rita Brusca-Vega, Ed.D.
Program Chair and Associate Professor, Special Education

Rita Brusca-Vega is a former classroom special education teacher of middle and high school students with mild disabilities. She received her bachelor’s degree with a double major in elementary and special education and her master’s degree in special education with a concentration in behavior disorders from Northeastern Illinois University. Her doctoral degree is in special education from Northern Illinois University with a concentration in severe disabilities. Rita has been the recipient of numerous federal grants for training special educators, including those who serve English language learners with disabilities and students with intense intervention needs. Her research and service interests include co-teaching and inclusion. She teaches courses on assessment, collaboration, and autism spectrum disorders at PUC, and is certified to teach online through the Quality Matters initiative at Purdue Calumet.


Tom Mihail, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Diversity and Special Education

Associate Professor Tom Mihail’s 43-year career includes 10 years as a teacher, seven years as the Executive Director and Family Counselor of an early childhood special education program, and 26 years as a professor. He earned his Ph.D. in special education from Saint Louis University, M.S. in special education from Indiana University at South Bend, and B.S. in education from Indiana University. Tom received the 1999 Hammond, Indiana Mayor’s Commission on Disabilities Award, the 1997 Purdue University Calumet Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Illinois Department of Human Services 1993 Inservice Leadership Award for Team Development and Peer Training. He created websites devoted to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Nelson Mandela; The Holocaust; Myths and Facts About Supported Inclusive Education; and the School of Education Diversity Committee. He also maintains 10 human services resources websites, including Disabilities.