University Profiles

Dr. Debra Zinicola

Debra Zinicola, Ed.D.

Chair, Department of Educational Studies

Department of Educational Studies


Dr. Zinicola is interested in developing outstanding teachers who understand how students learn.

Debra Zinicola specializes in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with a concentration in Elementary Science Education. She teachers graduate and undergraduate courses relating to science teaching methods where she helps students develop and teach science lessons in their field experience classrooms. She also collaborates with faculty and advises students who are completing a second major in Environmental Studies. Each semester she hosts several internationally recognized workshops, namely, Project Learning Tree and Project WET, on campus for teacher candidates’ professional development. She writes science teacher accreditation reports and works with her colleagues to continuously improve teacher preparations classes and programs. Debra also teaches courses related to child development and curriculum for graduate and undergraduate teacher candidates. Her research is grounded in science learning through the progression of conceptual change; he also studies the learning processes that occur in collaborative group work among elementary and middle school students. In addition to her work in Educational Studies, she is active on Core Curriculum Committees and teaches the first Core course, The Journey of Transformation in the fall.


  • Ed.D., Rutgers, The State University of NJ, 2003
  • M.A., Kean University, 1985
  • B.A., Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1974

Academic Distinctions

Awards, grants and fellowships
  • Linda Ward Gupta's Teaching Excellence Award, SHU, 2002
  • Most Outstanding Dissertation Award Graduate School of Education, Rutgers, 2003
  • 2011 President’s Award for Student Service, Seton Hall University
  • 2011 CASE Professor of the Year, Seton Hall University
  • 2012 Henry Schreitmueller Award (teaching, leadership, mentorship)
  • 2012 Faculty Service Award



Office Phone
(973) 761-9391


Office Location
Room 444
Jubilee Hall


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