Published on August 23, 2022 by Leighton Doores  
Kennedy Marlin Jurgenson

Orlean Beeson School of Education welcomes three new faculty members to the Department of Teacher Education.

Hannah Kennedy, assistant professor of teacher education, will teach courses in special education, child development and methods. Prior to joining Samford University, Kennedy has spent her career serving young children and their families as an early childhood special education teacher. Kennedy began her career as a special education teacher in Demopolis City Schools where she worked with students with disabilities in a variety of classroom settings. More recently, she has served as a special education teacher in the preschool inclusion classroom at Cherokee Bend Elementary in Mountain Brook City Schools. In addition to working with students and families in the school setting, Kennedy has five years of experience teaching adjunct courses in special education for the University of West Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her research interests include understanding teacher candidate perspectives and experiences of the edTPA assessment, teacher preparation programs, field placement experiences and teacher effectiveness in the first years of practice. Kennedy and her husband, Michael, live in Vestavia with their 1-year-old son, Frank. She is honored to be joining Samford University and can’t wait to share her passion for learning with future educators.

Kari Jurgenson, assistant professor of teacher education, loves being in the classroom supporting students and teachers in their learning and development and helping them grow in their own confidence and unlock their potential. Prior to doctoral study at Iowa State University, Jurgenson taught middle school and high school mathematics in Missouri and has also taught the elementary mathematics methods course at Iowa State University. Through mathematics education research projects, she has spent a significant amount of time in a variety of elementary classrooms and believes they are critical years to pique young children’s excitement and interest in mathematics and STEM. Her research interests include integrated STEM education and mathematics teacher education. A Minnesota native, her personal interests include spending time outside, swimming, traveling, solving logic puzzles and spending time with family.

Jane-Marie Marlin, faculty instructor of teacher education, has served for 31 years in public education as a teacher, school administrator, director of curriculum and instruction and assistant superintendent, mostly in Mountain Brook City Schools and Vestavia Hills City Schools. She has served on the board for the Alabama Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and Key Leaders. She has also presented at Learning Forward National Conventions and is involved in the Junior League of Birmingham. She received degrees from the University of Alabama and Samford University. Marlin has been a national board-certified teacher since 2001 and an adjunct professor at Samford since 2019. She is an active member at Dawson Church.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.