Date Updated



Special Education

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU

2014 (FERP 2014-2019)

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Research Gate

Educational Background

Stanford University, 1996 PhD

Univ. of Guyana, Education, 1975 Diploma

University of Pennsylvania, 1973 MSc

University of the West Indies, 1971 BA

Teaching Experience

San Jose State University, 1996-2019

University of Guyana, 1977-1980

Queen’s College, Guyana, 1975-1977


See Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

See Curriculum Vitae

Personal Commentary

I joined the faculty at San Jose State University (SJSU) on August 22, 1996. Just a few weeks before, I had submitted the final version of my dissertation to my Dissertation Committee at Stanford University, where I earned my Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. My father (my mother was already deceased), my husband, my brother-in-law, and my four children were among those present earlier that summer at my graduation ceremony to celebrate with me, as I donned my bright, beautiful, and brilliant cardinal red and blue academic robe and hood with the three standard stripes on each sleeve that mark one’s auspicious ascendance into the highest realms of the academy. It was a big occasion in our family because I had managed to complete my studies for that degree in just four years (1992-1996), while simultaneously raising four children, the eldest of whom (by then) was a college sophomore, two of whom were a high school senior and sophomore respectively, and the youngest of whom, was only in third grade. During that period, I was also fulfilling the duties of Resident Fellow at Stanford University (jointly with my husband, who had been on the faculty at Stanford since our arrival into the United States as immigrants in 1980). In fact, the attainment of my degree under these circumstances was such a big deal that my older son (currently an Associate Professor at Cornell University), but then a rising senior at Howard University interning for the summer as a journalist with the Richmond Times-Dispatch, published a piece commemorating the occasion in the Friday, July 5, 1996 edition of the newspaper. It was entitled “PhD Means More Than The Initials”, and I proudly framed it and hung it in my office at SJSU for the entire time that I taught there. (It now adorns the wall in the foyer at our home).

I retired from San Jose State University on August 31, 2019, having given notice of my intention to retire five years earlier in 2014, at which point I entered the FERP or Federal Early Retirement Program). My retirement marked the end of a wonderful twenty-three year career in which I grew, developed and thrived from my first day there to my last. Apart from my home base—the Department of Special Education, I also taught courses in the Elementary Education Department, and conducted summer “Bridge” courses in the Linguistics Department. Indeed, it is a curious fact that although I was a faculty member in Special Education Department for all those years, in reality, I had never been formally trained in that area. But it is also a testament to the deep, thorough, and comprehensive education I received during my college career, and particularly during my graduate education years at the University of Guyana, the University of Pennsylvania and at Stanford University, that I was so well prepared to teach Reading and Literacy at any level, and with significant success. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed my teaching, research and service duties and responsibilities over the ensuing years as a full time faculty member in the Department of Special Education.

This is in no small part because of the consistent support and encouragement I received from the administration, my colleagues and the students. The university supported my travel to many local, national, and international conferences. Among the most memorable of these trips, were a stint at the Schloss Leopoldskron in Austria, an International “think tank” where I represented the university shortly after joining its Faculty, participating in a week long discourse on globalization and education. I also recall very vividly, an almost two-week long sojourn in mainland China in 2004, where a small group of my Education colleagues, my then Dean and I visited several counties and villages, and delivered talks in our individual areas of expertise at designated universities there. But it was the students whom I taught and interacted with in the courses that I taught, those who became my advisees and consulted with me during my office hours, those whose theses I supervised, and those whom I observed teaching Reading/Language Arts and other subjects in their K through12 classrooms up and down the length of the Bay Area peninsula who taught me so much, and who became really special to me. Often I came to know this last mentioned group best, as I developed a habit of inviting them to my home in Palo Alto for our final meeting each semester, when they would turn in their Practicum Portfolios. We met and discussed their strengths and weaknesses as practicing and prospective teachers in a safe, open and cordial environment in my living room, usually over pizza, juice and dessert. Those were enjoyable and memorable occasions. But I would be remiss if I were to conclude this brief recap of my sojourn on the faculty at San Jose State University, without paying my respects, expressing gratitude, and offering kudos to the many people along the way who trained me, prepared me, encouraged me, supported me, sustained me, and in every way uplifted me on my academic journey.

My parents were stalwarts as they groomed me throughout my childhood for a life of the mind. Growing up “at home” in Georgetown, Guyana, South America, they made sure I attended the best schools at every turn, and spared no expense in providing me with “extra lessons” whenever necessary. Such lessons started in elementary school as I prepared for the very important “common entrance” examinations that dictated which high school one would head to afterwards, and in high school (in Latin, for example), as I prepared to write the University of London Advanced Level Exams that would catapult me into university studies overseas after I graduated from high school. A heartfelt “thank you” to you Mummy and Daddy.

I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the many elementary school teachers who were outstanding in teaching me so well. At thesecondary school level, the women who taught me at the prestigious Bishops’ High School for Girls, molded and shaped me in wonderful and myriad ways and sent me out into the world equipped to achieve and excel in a manner that I wouldn’t come to understand and fully appreciate until years later. Thank you. And at the university level, the teachers and mentors who were most influential to me have bequeathed to me the wonderful gift of excellence and expertise in the area of literacy development. Thank you so very much.

Finally, my biggest cheerleaders, my inspiration and indeed my “raison d’etre” have always been my immediate family. So to my husband, our four children, and our six grandchildren: THANK YOU! The colleagues I’ve worked with, the contacts I’ve made, and the friendships I”ve developed at San Jose State University over my many years there, will continue to enhance and enrich my life immensely. I remain grateful for you all.

Angela Eunice (Marshall) Rickford



Download Curriculum Vitae (242 KB)

Rickford, Angela Eunice