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Susan Leonard-Giesen

Dr. Leonard Giesen is a graduate of University of California, Irvine and University of California, Los Angeles. Her doctoral dissertation was titled "Parents as Teachers of Preschool Children with Down Syndrome: Supports, Barriers, and Daily Routines." She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Washington in Seattle and her M.S. in Special Education at CSULB.  She has over 10 years of classroom experience in both general and special education bilingual classrooms in urban settings.  Her areas of interest include working with traditionally underrepresented students with moderate to severe disabilities and their families, and the development of inclusive schools and communities. She enjoys traveling and spent three years in Santiago, Chile, where she taught at an international school while learning Spanish.


BA Psychology , University of Washington , 1981

MS Special Education , California State University, Long Beach , 1992

Ed.D. Educational Administration , UCI/UCLA Joint Program , 2009

Research Interests

Her research interests, as reflected in her doctoral work, are primarily in the areas of supporting children with moderate to severe disabilities and their families. Past research has been in the area of social relationships of students with moderate to severe disabilities who are included in general education classrooms.

Representative Publications

Grenot-Scheyer, M. & Leonard-Giesen, S. (2001) Cecilia's Story: Learning Opportunities & Obstacles. In M Grenot-Scheyer, M. Fisher, & D. Staub (Eds.) At the end of the day: Lessons learned in inclusive education (pp. 73-89). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. Grenot-Scheyer, M. & Leonard-Giesen, S. (1997). Adult mediation: Syracuse Working Conference. Unpublished manuscript, California State University, Long Beach.