EdD Alumni Profiles

denishia clark
Dissertation: Social Justice Inside-Out of Higher Ed: Career Commitments to Marginalized Populations

My dissertation explores the relationship between higher education experiences and career commitments and distinctively investigates how those experiences prepare and influence commitments to marginalized populations. This topic is important because higher education institutions adopting inclusive and safe practices internally are just as important off-campus and beyond.

susan lemke square
Dissertation: Science Reform Efforts: Understanding Science Teachers’ Beliefs about Inquiry Instruction

I appreciated the focus on social justice and equity as well as the commitment to the small group cohort model. The close relationships I formed throughout the program sustained me throughout the challenging process and enriched my overall experience.

melissa harker auger square child blurred
Dissertation: Latinx Self-Efficacy and Science Identity in Next Generation Science Standards

My dissertation research explored the self-efficacy, science identity, and interest in science of Latinx students. This research mattered to me because I am committed to improving the educational outcomes of Latinx students.

jeff bowman 20
Dissertation: Authentic Leadership and Burnout

For my dissertation, I surveyed public education leaders to examine the relationship between burnout and authentic leadership, which are practices that promote a healthy and ethical work environment. I found that leaders who had more experience teaching or providing service tended to have lower levels of burnout. I believe that students deserve to have access to leaders who can positively impact schools and in turn present pathways for students to reach their fullest potential.

italo rossi square
Dissertation: The Perspectives of High School Latino English Language Learners on Academic Achievement

My dissertation research helped me better understand English learners’ perspectives on what contributed to their motivation so that I could in turn help my teacher colleagues support student success. The EdD program helped shape me into an educational leader. The EdD program gave me the experience, knowledge, and resources to grow professionally.

Joel Brown, Ed.D. alum from Saint Mary's College of CA.
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 Dempsey, Ed.D alumni from Saint Mary's College of CA.
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.

Karl Meyer, Ed.D alum.
Dissertation: Why Dads Matter: The Importance of Father Involvement in Middle School Education

The Ed.D. 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.

Russ Norris, Ed.D alumni working in Law Enforcement.
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 Ed.D. 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 is Ed.D alumni from Saint Mary's College of California.
Dissertation: From Isolation to Intimacy: The Spiritual Development of Students in a Living-Learning Community

The Ed.D. 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.

Nicole Williams-Browning Ed.D. alum currently as Assistant Superintendent for Aspire Public Schools.
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 Ed.D. 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.