Student Profile: Marguerite Vasquez

Ed.D. student Marguerite (née Vasquez) Manaresi is currently a Preschool Special Education Consultant in the Office of Special Education at the New Jersey Department of Education. She provides technical assistance, coaching and mentoring, curriculum development, and training to preschools in seven counties in central New Jersey.


“I enjoy helping teachers engage better with their students,” stated Marguerite. “I want to go further in the field of special education and impact more children and teachers alike.”

Marguerite first realized she was passionate about helping children with special needs while working at the Arc of North Carolina as an undergraduate student. The Arc is an organization dedicated to assisting those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Marguerite earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina. Upon graduation, she joined the New York City Teaching Fellows program, an alternative certification program that allowed her to earn her master’s degree in education from Mercy College in Bronx, New York. As a special education elementary teacher at NYC Department of Education, her interests evolved to focus on providing high quality education to students with special needs.

Marguerite wanted to enhance her expertise, prompting her to pursue a doctorate degree with a concentration in special education at Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE).

Under the guidance of Dr. Drew Gitomer, Marguerite’s dissertation examines how components of teacher preparation such as coursework, field experience, and mentoring, effect pre-service teachers’ qualifications, feelings of preparation, and job satisfaction.

“The most influential part of getting my doctorate at the GSE has been the consistent support system,” noted Marguerite. “The cohort model of the Ed.D. program has truly impacted my learning experience. Having colleagues that I can rely on and who can reflect on my work with is invaluable.”

Throughout her studies and after graduation, Marguerite hopes to use the skills and information she has learned to continue mentoring teachers and helping them improve their practice. She hopes to see the field of special education grow through the research and application of special education teacher preparation.


To learn more about the doctoral programs at the GSE, please click here.