posted January 12, 2018 - written by Molly Rutter, SOE Graduate Assistant
Born and raised in Buffalo, Gliset Colón believes Buffalo State is a great place to continue to learn and grow.
Colón has remained committed to that Buffalo State journey – she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees on campus and now works in the department of Exceptional Education.
“Because of Buffalo State, I can now contribute to my community and to the field of bilingual special education,” said Colón.
The Exceptional Education program at Buffalo State prepares teachers to work with individuals who are exceptional due to factors of intelligence, physical development, behavior and sensory abilities. Colón says the foundational course - EXE 100: Nature and Needs of Individuals with Special Needs - solidified her desire to be a special education teacher. This course discusses the causes, characteristics and implications - educational, social and vocational - of individuals who deviate from the average or normal.
Enrolling in exceptional education courses launched Colón’s career path as a bilingual teacher.
“I was mentored by extraordinary faculty who truly cared about me as a person. I infuse many of the characteristics of my past professors into my current teaching.”
Sarita Samora, former chairperson for the Exceptional Education department, was especially inspiring. Samora began to mentor Colón during her freshman year, informing her about opportunities in the field of bilingual special education, and was able to provide Colón with funding support. Colón continued on into a master’s program and graduated with a bilingual extension. The two have maintained a relationship ever since.
“Almost 20 years later, she continues to mentor me and is available whenever I need to seek advice or even just for a friendly cup of coffee!” said Colón.
Colón is currently an Assistant Professor in Exceptional Education and Coordinator for the Bilingual Certificate Program at Buffalo State. She is a passionate educator who loves to teach all subjects, ages and student types. She believes it takes love and passion to succeed in the field of education.
“Be empathetic and know your students are just little humans trying to get through the same day you are. My students motivate me to be the best professor I can be. I do this so they, in turn, can be the best teachers in the future.”
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