Colleen Uscianowski designs and develops the material at Luminous Learning. Her inspiration comes from years of experience as an educator with a passion and dedication to working with students. As a PhD fellow at Columbia University, and with an M.S.ed in Childhood Learning Disabilities from Hunter College (Summa Cum Laude) and a B.A. in Language and Mind from New York University (Cum Laude), she is well versed in various learning strategies and multi-sensory programs including the Orton-Gillingham approach. She is certified to teach both special education and general education to elementary and middle school students.
Colleen cultivated her knowledge and skills while working in public, private and charter schools in New York City. Most recently, she served as a fifth-grade head teacher at the Churchill School in New York City, one of the premier schools for students with learning disabilities. In addition to developing and implementing curriculum, she served as a mentor for assistant teachers by reviewing their unit plans, brainstorming successful interventions and modeling lessons.
Colleen has also served multiple years as an adjunct lecturer in the Graduate School of Education at Hunter College in New York City, served as both Instructional Advisor and Manager of Courses at the Relay Graduate School of Education, and taught English abroad in India. As an adjunct lecturer, Colleen taught the following courses: Methods for Math, Writing and Organization, Reading Methods and the Practicum course. She presented methods that enabled teachers to execute strategies for math and reading remediation, assessed mastery of pedagogical skills and provided feedback on instructional techniques demonstrated by her graduate students. As an Instructional Advisor and Manager of Courses for the Relay Graduate School of Education, Colleen was involved in the following courses: the Art and Science of Effective Teaching, Educational Foundations, the Practicum course, and Nonfiction Writing. In this position, she analyzed graduate students’ classroom teaching to assess whether they incorporated proven strategies in their practice and provided feedback assessing their pedagogical skills that targeted areas of improvement.
Marshall Maa is responsible for the vision, strategy, and growth of Luminous Learning. He is a lifelong learner who believes that a first-class education is an aspiration, a privilege, and a right. He thinks that anyone can demonstrate aptitude in all things, math especially, if the path is made smoother with clarity, concision, and passion. Having once failed pre-calculus, he understands how daunting math can feel when one is having difficulties in it. Having gone on to do well in two upper-level calculus courses, he also knows firsthand the joy that comes from understanding.
Marshall envisions Luminous Learning as a vehicle where elementary students will find the extra supports and clear design helpful so as to develop a love a math in their critical formative years. At his most sanguine, he hopes that their passion for math will lead them to careers as thinkers, engineers, scientists, and inventors-- people with a skillset that can positively impact the world. Prior to co-founding Luminous Learning, he has had the opportunity to assist in teaching special needs high school students (ADD, minor autism), and ESL while in Japan. He spent two years at Carnegie Mellon University before transferring to and graduating from Emory University.
Luminous Learning was started in 2012 with a simple goal: to provide high quality resources to students with learning disabilities. We’re passionate about empowering kids with the confidence and skills they need to become stronger learners. We’re also dedicated to give teachers tools they need to help facilitate learning in their classrooms. We know school can be stressful for our most struggling students. Our mission is to show them that they can succeed and learning can be fun!