EdD Alumni Profiles
Hear from EDD Alumni
Dissertation: What does it mean to be gay? An examination of the cultural values of gay men
This EdD program pushed me to grow and evolve. Completing my doctoral research at Saint Mary’s, What does it mean to be gay? An examination of the cultural values of gay men, led me to recognize the importance of using scholarship and research in advocating for marginalized communities. I am better able to support progressive causes and to give voice to the most vulnerable segments of society.
Sarah Beth Dempsey
Dissertation: Assessing the Impact of Faculty Development for Community Engagement Faculty
My doctoral experience had a profound impact on me personally and professionally. It prepared me to be a scholar-practitioner: my dissertation, Assessing the Impact of Faculty Development for Community Engagement Faculty, was directly related to my professional work. I also developed close friendships with my classmates, mentor relationships with my professors, and the confidence to complete my degree in four years, while working full time and raising a family.
Dissertation: Why Dads Matter: The Importance of Father Involvement in Middle School Education
The EdD program provided me with the skills and perspectives needed to tackle big issues in education along with refining my practice as an educational leader. The findings from my dissertation, Why Dads Matter: The Importance of Father Involvement in Middle School Education, helped my school develop a better understanding of father involvement and will lead to changes in practice.
Dissertation: Training for Community Policing: Constructing Effective Police Education
As a police officer for nearly 30 years, and police academy instructor for nearly 20, I entered the EdD program to develop myself and better support collaborative police-community relationships. My dissertation, Training for Community Policing: Constructing Effective Police Education, transformed my understanding of the theory and practice of police training. After retirement from the force, I will apply these perspectives to criminal justice programs in higher education.
Nick Van Santen
Dissertation: From Isolation to Intimacy: The Spiritual Development of Students in a Living-Learning Community
The EdD program provided both a robust education and a transformative educational experience—one that brought new ideas, new practices, and new friendships into my life. In addition to a career boost, my dissertation, From Isolation to Intimacy: The Spiritual Development of Students in a Living-Learning Community, provided me opportunities for personal growth, deeper reflective tools, and additional resources to stay grounded in my life and work.
Dissertation: A Professional Learning Communities' Impact on Teacher Pedagogy and Target Student Outcomes
My doctoral study, A Professional Learning Communities' Impact on Teacher Pedagogy and Target Student Outcomes, focused on narrowing the achievement gap for African American students. The EdD program’s emphasis on social justice and providing equitable, just, and humane outcomes for all also prepared me for my current position, as assistant superintendent for Bay Area charter schools that seek to provide a high quality education for African American and Latino students.