Lisa Dembouski


Associate Professor in Education

I am... a teacher, learner, mentor, friend, teacher educator, advocate, ally, feminist, volunteer, introvert, and a really bad dancer. I regularly trip over flat surfaces which may or may not be correlated to my unique dancing skillz.

I do ... teacher education and preparation, mentoring, study away/global education, advocacy for exceptionalities (particularly my own), and writing (critical pedagogy, socially just education, and disability studies in education). I have been a Peace Corps Volunteer (Ecuador, South America), wilderness survival counselor (St. Croix Girls Camp), and Master Gardener Volunteer (Wisconsin). I was an urban district, K-12 Special Education teacher and program lead for 15 years before switching gears and focusing my work on teacher preparation. I love being a part of the Gustavus Education Department, where I supervise student teachers, read and coach for teacher candidates' Professional Writing Projects, and teach a wide variety of courses (see list below). I also devote a great deal of my time to developing and supporting our amazing Global Educators programming. 

In January 2020 I was thrilled to offer our first run of EDU 235 Island Schooling: Supporting Pupil Learning in Sint Maarten, Dutch West Indies, then we returned and did it again in 2023! We spent the month on a tropical Caribbean island working with our exceptionally generous and gracious hosts/school partners, enjoying the climate and island offerings, and learning more about the marvelous, multinational culture of St. Maarten. Ask us about our experiences if you'd like to go next time (hopefully in 2025)! The photos just above my courses taught list are from the 2020 and 2023 trips (click on them to enlarge).

My writing and research interests ... tend to be qualitative, narrative scholarship on a variety of topics including deaf/hard of hearing learners in inclusive classroom settings, teacher candidates' experiences of their training programs, paving the way for new teacher success, and my own perspectives and experiences as a higher education faculty member who also happens to have differences that, in exclusive situations, become dis/abilities. I enjoy non-academic writing, as well, and am currently putting the final touches on my latest book project -- a travelogue and trip guide for solo kayaking the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers -- which I am super excited about, and can't wait to get into the hands of interested readers!

I love... the usual (reading, traveling, the outdoors, a great beach, cooking, gardening, taking pictures, kayaking), the unusual (particularly in the arts), and beauty (which I find pretty much any place I look). Ask me what I'm reading, sign to me, or tell me where to find great Thai food and I'll enjoy our conversation a good long time.

Selected Presentations:

Dembouski, L.M., and Gustavus EDU majors Buss, P., Olson, C., Ranzau, A., and Stumbo, A. (October 9-10, 2020). Teaching and teacher preparation as activism for peace and social justice. Pre-recorded presentation for the 2020 virtual National Association for Multicultural Education (N.A.M.E.) conference, Online.

Flynn, J. E., Dembouski, L.M., de Novaise, J., & Hick, S. (2019, November 9). Panel presentation: Hidden and suppressed narratives: A feminist, intersectional look at women’s experiences in academia. Presentation for the annual National Association for Multicultural Education (N.A.M.E.) conference, Tucson, AZ.

Jeffress, M.S., Makkawy, A., Alexander, G., Dembouski, L.M., Threlkeld, A., & Brown, W.J. (2017, November 19). Panel Presentation: Looking back, in, and forward: Perspectives on the place and performance of differently-abled instructors. National Communication Association 103rd National Convention, Dallas, TX.   

Dembouski, L. M. (2017, August 16). Empowered people are empowering. Keynote presentation, Minnesota Adult Basic Education Summer Institute, St. Cloud, MN.

Dembouski, L. M., & Koomen, M. (2017, June 9). Voices of students with disabilities in science education. Presentation for the Disability Studies in Education conference, Minneapolis, MN. (Note, a version of this presentation was also a Faculty Shop Talk in the 2017-18 academic year.)

Selected Publications:

Dembouski, L.M. (in editing, 2021). Ignominiously paddled: A travelogue and trip guide for solo kayaking the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers.

Dembouski, L.M., and Eloranta, K. (2019, April). The same school year: Narratives of early- and middle-career teachers in a U.S. public school. Minnesota English Journal.

Dembouski, L.M. (2018, July). Honest and uncomfortable: A loving look at my exclusive campus. In J. E. Flynn, T. J. Grosland, and S. A. Shelton (Eds.), Feminism and Intersectionality in Academia: Women’s Narratives and Experiences in Higher Education. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dembouski, L.M. (2018, May). D/HH Voices. In Koomen, M., Kahn, S., Atchison, C. L., and Wild, T. A. (Eds.) Towards inclusion of all learners through science teacher education, pp. 13-23. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Sense Publishers.

Dembouski, L.M. (2018, April). "The instructor is partially def”: DHH professing in higher education. In Jeffress, M.S. (Ed.) International perspectives on teaching with disability: Overcoming obstacles and enriching lives (pp. 77-91). London, U.K.:  Routledge Press.

Dembouski, L.M., Eloranta, K., & Pauly, J., (in editing, 2018). Teacher school: Intersections of our preparation and induction into teaching. In Sato, M., and Tobin, J. (Eds.) Teaching toward equity: Redesigning university teacher education in diverse school contexts.


Ph.D. in Education, Curriculum, & Instruction/Culture and Teaching from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities; M.Ed. in Special Education/Deaf-Hard of Hearing Education from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities; B.A. in Psychology from the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University

Courses Taught

Synonym Title Times Taught Terms Taught
EDU-389 Inclusive Classrooms 17 2023/SP, 2022/FA, 2022/SP, 2021/FA, 2020/FA, 2020/SP, 2019/FA, 2019/SP, 2018/FA, 2018/SP, 2017/FA, 2017/SP, 2016/FA, 2016/SP, 2015/FA, 2015/SP, and 2014/FA
EDU-350 Reading in the Content Areas 12 2020/SP, 2019/FA, 2019/SP, 2018/FA, 2018/SP, 2017/FA, 2017/SP, 2016/FA, 2016/SP, 2015/FA, 2015/SP, and 2014/FA
EDU-241 Educational Technology 7 2020/FA, 2020/SP, 2019/FA, 2019/SP, 2018/FA, 2018/SP, and 2017/FA
EDU-395 K-12 Directed Teaching 6 2023/SP, 2022/FA, 2022/SP, 2021/FA, 2020/FA, and 2020/JN
EDU-399 Seminar in Curriculum 5 2023/SP, 2022/FA, 2022/SP, 2021/FA, and 2020/FA
EDU-394 Secondary Directed Teaching 5 2023/SP, 2022/FA, 2022/SP, 2021/FA, and 2020/FA
EDU-392 K-6 Elementary Directed Teaching 5 2023/SP, 2022/FA, 2022/SP, 2021/FA, and 2020/FA
EDU-268 Orientation to Teaching 5 2019/JN, 2018/JN, 2017/JN, 2016/JN, and 2015/JN
EDU-235 Island Schooling - Supporting 2 2023/JN and 2020/JN
EDU-368 Secondary Practicum 2 2022/SP and 2021/FA
EDU-398 Human Relations in Education 2 2020/SP and 2019/FA
EDU-396 Middle Level Dir Tchng 1 2020/JN