Gloshanda Lawyer2015 Rising Alumni

Gloshanda Lawyer photo

Gloshanda Lawyer is a valuable asset to the communities she serves. The young children and families she works with in the schools benefit from her expertise in special education. As a fluent speaker of Spanish and ASL, she provides access and advocacy for those in need who don’t always have professionals who speak their language to help them navigate complex systems. She’s also a committed volunteer in her faith community and translates ASL and Spanish in church and on mission trips to Honduras.


Birth-3 Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
Saint Paul Public Schools

CEHD Degree

M.Ed., Special Education

What's your favorite memory from the University of Minnesota?

Traveling with the track and field team and laying in a hotel room watching music videos with my friends while trying to complete homework assignments due when we got back to campus.

What professor(s) or course(s) were most influential during your time in the College of Education & Human Development (CEHD)?

Anna Paulson (her course on working with Deaf children in the Early Childhood years)
LeAnne Johnson (her courses on how to work with children and families)

What was the impact and benefit of your educational experience in CEHD?

CEHD opened the doors for many career opportunities. Through CEHD, I was also able to connect to other professionals in the field of special education, some of whom have become very close colleagues and people I consider to be in my professional network. Because of the education and experiences I received through CEHD, I was able to get job offers while doing my student teaching and have a job right out of student teaching.

What gets you excited about work?

I work with infants and toddlers 0-3 years of age. Being around them gets me excited and seeing them accomplish new skills.

Who has inspired you the most during your career?

Sandra Tallman—she pushed me as a young woman of color teaching in a school with no other teachers of color. She was also in school completing her degree to become a counselor in alcohol and drug dependency while working full time, being a full time mother and taking care of ill family members. She showed me that it's OK to have a lot going on in your life, as I do, but that you do not have to put your goals and dreams on the back burner. It can all be accomplished at the same time if you put your mind to it.

Outside of your job, how do you grow professionally?

I continue to work on my American Sign Language skills so that I can continue to be a fluent user. Previously I was a teacher at Metro Deaf School where ASL was the language of instruction. So I used it everyday. In my current position I do not have to use it as much since the majority of my families are not deaf. I also use LinkedIn to stay current on discussions in the field.