Special thanks to the following graduate students for contributing photos and captions:
Division A Outgoing and Incoming Graduate Student Committee Members
Presentation by doctoral students from George Mason University (left to right): Shalu Rana, Jessica Schwartzer, and Kevin Good.
Division A Graduate Student Committee Member Nakia Gray-Nicolas and her Jackson Scholar Mentor, Division A President Elect, Dr. Monica Byrne-Jimenez.
Division A Graduate Student Committee Member Nakia Gray-Nicolas taking a picture with herself.
Wei-Ling Sun is a Ph.D. candidate in the Educational Policy and Planning Program with a special interest in women and gender studies at The University of Texas at Austin. After earning her B.A. degree in English literature, Wei-Ling served as an English/Language Arts teacher and a school administrator in seven years in Taiwan. While earning her M.Ed. degree in a cooperative superintendency program, she also served as a student teacher and completed administration internships in public school central offices in school districts in Austin area.
Currently, Wei-Ling’s research includes the influence of K-12 social justice education leadership from women of color feminist perspectives, school discipline policy reforms, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders identity politics in public schools. On these and related topics, she has testified in Texas legislature sessions, conduct policy research independently and collectively, and evaluates education policies. Wei-Ling serves as a research associate of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies (CCRR) at UCLA’s Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, where her work primarily focuses on national-level data management and policy analysis in regards to the issues of racial disproportionality in school discipline. After working as a teaching assistant and graduate research assistant with professors in the Department of Educational Administration, Wei-Ling also serves as a senior graduate student representative of AERA Division A, a UCEA policy associate, and a proposal and academic manuscript reviewer. She is very passionate about and committed to conducting research that can provide direct and positive impacts in communities of color in education. (Retrieved from https://education.utexas.edu/departments/educational-administration/public-school-executive-leadership/education-policy-planning-program/graduate-student-profiles/wei-ling-sun.)
Message from Emma Bullock, Senior Representative
It has been a tremendous honor to serve as the 2016-17 Division A Graduate Senior Representative this year. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work across divisions with other graduate representatives and with the most outstanding committee. Naomi Lawrence-Lee at Texas Southern University and Jessica Schwartzer at George Mason University have elevated our Connect Series to a whole new level and I encourage everyone to check out our archived webinars. Tara Wilson at George Washington University facilitated an exceptionally well-attended Publishing Mentorship Session at UCEA in which members from both Divisions A and L dialogued with a panel of faculty which helped to demystify the publishing process. Jason Ribeiro at the University of Calgary and Alison Wilson at the University of Oklahoma published our most diverse, knowledgeable, consistent, and reliable newsletter on Division A Graduate News to date and communicated our events far and wide utilizing social media. LaTanya Dixon at the University of Mississippi, with our exceptional lead reviewers, Craig DeVoto at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Mark McKinney at the University of New England, and Nakia Gray-Nicolas at New York University, helped review and select our four Foster-Polite Scholarship awardees who each received a $500 stipend to present their research in San Antonio this year. Finally, Amy Gearhart at the University of Missouri-Columbia and our lead reviewers have put together our seminal mentoring session at the annual meeting, the Dialogic Forum, in which 14 students have been paired with exceptional faculty mentors. I have really enjoyed working with Division A and I anticipate many years of collaboration in the future as I accept my first faculty position in the Fall at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Wei-Ling Sun at the University of Texas at Austin will take over as the Senior Representative after our annual meeting and I know she will do a phenomenal job. Thank you for the honor to serve and I will see you all in San Antonio!
Message from LaTanya Dixon, Foster-Polite Scholarship Chair
As my second term as the Foster-Polite Scholarship Chair has been nearing an end, I recently became more curious about the scholars whom the graduate student award honored. While sitting in my advisor's office last month, I told her my interest in learning more about the scholarship's namesakes. She immediately named Lenoar "Len" Foster and Vernon Polite. Then she referred me to Linda Tillman, who was vice president of AERA Division A when the scholarship was created. Although I spoke with Linda Tillman by phone, I could hear the respect and joy saturating her words as she described Len Foster and Vernon Polite.
Vernon Polite was Dean of the College of Education at Eastern Michigan University at the time of his death in 2010. Len Foster was Interim Dean of the College of Education at Washington State University when he died in 2009. Both men were "influential scholars and willing and influential mentors to graduate students and untenured professors," said Linda Tillman. When she attended AERA for the very first time, Vernon Polite was the first person who said hello to her. She also recalled Vernon Polite being a pioneer in research on educational leadership and also co-authoring with James Earl Davis one of the first books on African American males in education and society. I was intrigued as Tillman described Len Foster as a scholar with whom she co-edited a book on African Americans in the principalship and as someone who was active in AERA Division A and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). At that moment in our conversation, I realized that Len Foster was likely a scholar opening the path for P-16 educational leadership long before it was a trending issue. I also knew it was a privilege that I have been able to oversee the administration of this prestigious award.
With this knowledge of the scholars, educators, mentors, and leaders whom the Foster-Polite Scholarship honors, I hope graduate students who have received and will receive the award in the future understand the educational leadership shoulders upon which they and their work stand. May the academy say about us emerging scholars what Linda Tillman recalled a colleague saying about Len Foster and Vernon Polite at the establishment of the Foster-Polite Scholarship: "They gave us so much, but they never asked for anything back."
Message from Amy Gearhart, Dialogic Forum Chair
The Dialogic Forum is an opportunity for graduate students to review their developing research with faculty mentors from related fields from throughout the nation. Graduate students submitted applications for the Forum, which were blind reviewed for relevance to the 2017 Annual Meeting Theme and fit with one of Division A's five sections: (a) leadership, (b) school organization and effects, (c) school improvement, (d) school contexts and communities, or (e) leadership development. Thirteen graduate researchers (or pairs) were accepted and they will be matched with faculty who will hear their presentations, provide constructive feedback, and explore how their research relates to emerging trends in the sections of Division A.
The Dialogic Forum is scheduled for Friday, April 28, 8:15-9:45 a.m., and is open to accepted grad students and faculty only. Breakfast will be served and presentations will be made by each researcher prior to time with the faculty mentors.
This is my first AERA meeting and experience with Division A. I dove in by saying “yes!” to a listserv invitation to apply for Division A leadership. I’m new to higher education from a previous career, and I wanted to immerse myself in the professional association and development opportunities that AERA provides. I’ve enjoyed meeting so many other grad students from around the country and learning more about their research interests. I’m looking forward to being at the Annual Meeting in San Antonio to finally put faces with so many names and find my place in the collegial world of higher education leadership and administration.
Message from Craig DeVoto, Nakia Gray-Nicolas, and Mark McKinney, Lead Reviewers
Hi, everyone! We are excited to serve as Lead Reviewers on the Division A Graduate Student Committee for 2016-17. As Lead Reviewers, we are tasked with supporting the chairs of the Dialogic Forum and the Foster-Polite Scholarship by reviewing applications for the forum and the scholarship. Through a blind review process we are able to critically assess applications in order to highlight exemplary scholarship from our fellow Division A graduate students.
Division A Graduate Student Committee
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New York University
Nakia Gray-Nicolas is a doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership at the Steinhardt School of Education, Culture and Human Development at New York University. Her dissertation research focuses on interrogating the purpose and effectiveness of, and access to, pre-college transition programs as it relates to the college readiness of traditionally marginalized populations. Nakia has over 10 years of combined experience in non-profit, secondary education, and higher education. Prior to entering her doctoral program, she worked at a non-profit organization as a program coordinator and eventually the youth services director, and then as a middle school English teacher. While enrolled in her program she worked as a college transition program director and now works as a college lecturer teaching first-year seminar and research courses. Nakia holds a B.A. in English from Cornell University and two Master of Science degrees (English Education and Inclusive Special Education) from the Syracuse University Graduate School of Education. Nakia is also an avid volunteer and continues to mentor high school and college students.
University of Calgary
Jason Ribeiro (B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed.) is a Ph.D. student at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada working out of the Leadership, Policy and Governance unit. He has served as a K-12 teacher, private consultant, student government representative and community leader. As Communications Co-Chair, Jason manages Division A's social media accounts and presence online. His current research aims to inform education leadership capacity to shape, lead and sustain emergent schools/systems looking to innovate. Jason also holds a prestigious SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Government of Canada's National Research Council.
"It has been my distinct privilege to serve on Division A's GSC this year and encourage many of my fellow graduate students to get involved in division-level leadership. It is a truly rewarding experience! I look forward to connecting with many of you at our Annual Meeting in San Antonio and via distance in the future. Please follow our Division A Twitter account @DivisionAGSC and me at @jason_ribeiro. Lead on!"
University of Oklahoma
Alison Wilson is a Ph.D. student in Educational Administration, Curriculum, and Supervision at the University of Oklahoma. In addition to her doctoral studies, she is a full-time graduate research assistant in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies department. For the past two years, she has worked under an AERA research grant sponsored by NSF titled “How do school leaders support student opportunity to learn.” Her research interests include opportunity to learn, organizational and social structures in schools, school leadership, school improvement, ethical leadership, and educational equity. In addition to serving as Communications Co-Chair for the Division A Graduate Student Committee, Alison is a Graduate Student Representative and Newsletter Managing Editor for the Leadership for School Improvement (LSI) SIG. She also serves as the Editorial Assistant for the Values and Ethics in Educational Administration (VEEA) journal. In 2015, she received the University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA) Graduate Student Summer Fellowship, which funded her work with the OU center affiliate to the Consortium for the Study of Leadership and Ethics in Education (CSLEE). Alison has five years of experience as a secondary language arts teacher and three years as department head in a large public school district in Oklahoma. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Central Arkansas and completed her M.Ed. in Educational Administration, Curriculum, and Supervision at the University of Oklahoma.
UCEA Publishing Session Chair
The George Washington University
Tara A. Wilson is a doctoral candidate in Educational Administration and Policy Studies at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the American Educational Research Association and University Council for Educational Administration Graduate Student Councils, where she serves as the Publishing Session Chair. She also serves as Student Representative on the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness (CREATE) board. Tara has six years of teaching experience and is currently a fourth grade teacher at Maud Abrams School in Cape May, New Jersey. She earned her M.Ed. in Reading Education and her B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida. In 2015, she was honored as her Teacher of the Year at Odyssey Middle School in Orlando, Florida. Her dissertation research is focused on the coaching and mentoring of assistant principals. She is particularly interested in the methods used to prepare assistant principals for upward career ascension within school leadership.
Division A Graduate Student Research Dialogic Forum (By Invitation Only)
Friday, April 28th, 8:15-9:45am
Grand Hyatt Third Floor Independence
Chaired by Amy L. Gearhart (University of Missouri-Columbia), the purpose of the Division A Dialogic forum, a pre-session event, is to provide graduate students an opportunity to a) present new research perspectives on current educational issues addressing the AERA theme and b) receive constructive feedback from scholars and peers about current and future directions of the research and its contribution to the field around this theme. These presentations from graduate students also act as a platform to encourage discussion, which helps shape the direction of research agendas within the field.
Division A Fireside Chat
Friday, April 28th, 10:35am-12:05pm
Gonzalez Convention Center, Meeting Room Level, Room 215
Co-chaired by Emma Bullock (Utah State University) and Wei-Ling Sun (University of Texas at Austin). STEM initiatives abound to support K-16 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics activities that educate and engage young people while fostering creativity and innovation. Early exposure to STEM initiatives and activities positively impact elementary students’ perceptions and dispositions. Children on track to complete needed coursework in middle and high school are better able to enter STEM degree programs at institutions of higher learning. However, these rich educational opportunities are often not equitably extended to diverse and marginalized populations. In this session, researchers and practitioners in the trenches of educational leadership and STEM education will dialogue on the current research and practical steps being undertaken around the country to allow for equitable access to STEM education for all of America’s children. The moderator will be Dr. Issam Abi-El-Mona of the Department of STEAM Education Center, Science/Math, and MA STEM Program Coordinator at Rowan University, and STEM-SIG Chair. Panelists include Dr. Erin Peters-Burton, Director and Associate Professor, Division of Educational Psychology, Research Methods, and Education Policy, George Mason University, and eSTEM Project collaborator; Dr. Alexis Martin, Director of Research and Evaluation at the Level Playing Field Institute; Dr. Tia Madkins, Center for STEM Education, University of Notre Dame; and Associate Superintendent of Academics Lisa Riggs from the San Antonio Independent School District.
Division A Business Meeting
Saturday, April 29th, 6:30-8:30pm
Gonzalez Convention Center, Meeting Room Level, Room 2017A
Chaired by Dr. Michael E. Dantley, Miami University. Please plan to attend our business meeting to have a voice in the future direction of your division and to learn about opportunities to participate in the leadership (and followership) of the Division.
UCEA, Division A, Division L, and SAGE Publications Joint Reception
Saturday, April 29th, 8:00-10:00pm
Grand Hyatt, Fourth Floor, Texas Ballroom, Salon A
Graduate Student Service Opportunity: Join the UCEA Graduate Student Council (GSC)
Deadline to Apply: Monday, May 8, 2017
Website to Apply: http://www.ucea.org/call-for-gsc-representatives-applications/
The UCEA Graduate Student Council (GSC) is accepting applications for three seats on the GSC to serve a two-year term from 2017-2019. The GSC is an innovative group of graduate students from across the country who support fellow graduate students by planning year-long professional development and networking opportunities. See the above website link for additional details. Email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 UCEA Graduate Student Summit (GSS) Call for Proposals
Deadline to Submit Proposals: Monday, May 8, 2017
Website to Apply: https://members.ucea.org/login and then click on “Visit All Academic” on the right-hand side (opens 4/7)
The 2017 UCEA Graduate Student Summit Call for Proposals has been released! It can be downloaded from the UCEA GSS webpage. The UCEA Graduate Student Summit is an extension of the UCEA Convention, and the 31st Annual UCEA Convention theme, Echando Pa'lante: School Leaders (Up)rising as Advocates and (Up)lifting Student Voices, is intended to encourage opportunities for reflective dialogue regarding the educational contexts that students, teachers, principals, and superintendents will be facing within a changing national climate and its impact on educational policy. The words in the theme “echando pa'lante” are a derivation of echando para adelante which translates from Spanish as moving forward. Yet the terms imply more than just that action. They describe the will to keep going especially when times are tough and intrinsic motivation is needed to keep moving forward. Traditionally used within Latinx, Spanish-speaking communities, these words serve to inspire one to challenge themselves no matter what the odds. We look forward to receiving and reviewing your proposals!
Leadership for Social Justice
Published on Feb 23, 2017
Call for AERA Division A 2017-2018 Junior Representative and Committee Members
Dear Div A graduate student members,
This letter contains calls for AERA Division A graduate student applications for (1) incoming junior representative and (2) one-year committee member appointments. The roles of these positions are outlined below. To apply, both appointments require a submission of your CV and a 500 word statement of interest. Graduate students who apply for the junior representative position will automatically be considered for committee member positions. If you would like to be considered for only one of the positions or if you will graduate in May 2018 and are only eligible for a one-year committee member appointment, then please specify that in your statement of interest.
All applications must be received electronically by Friday, March 4, 2017. Email completed applications to Wei-Ling Sun at email@example.com. Contact 2016-2017 junior representative Wei-Ling Sun at firstname.lastname@example.org or senior representative Emma Bullock at email@example.com with any questions. All applicants will be notified of appointment decisions by March 25, 2016. Thank you for considering this invitation.
(1) CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2017-2019 DIVISION A GRADUATE STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE POSITION
AERA Division A (Administration, Organization and Leadership) invites applications for a two-year appointment to serve as Graduate Student Representative in Division A and in the AERA Graduate Student Council (GSC). To be considered, applicants must be full-time graduate students through May 2019 and should have leadership experience and a strong interest in leadership and mentoring of graduate students in Division A and AERA. The position offers a unique opportunity to get involved in Division A matters and to work closely with scholars in the field. Other benefits of the position include meeting and working with graduate students both within Division A and from different disciplines. In year one, the Junior Graduate Student Representative works closely with the Senior Representative (Wei-Ling Sun) in the capacities of the position as listed below. In year two, the Junior Representative moves up to Senior Graduate Student Representative and mentors the incoming Junior Representative on all Division A and AERA activities. Senior Representatives attend the AERA Coordinated Committee Meeting (CCM) with expenses paid. Both Junior and Senior representatives are expected to attend the fall convention for the University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA) and the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). Junior and Senior Representatives receive a stipend to support their travel to the AERA annual meeting.
Description of Responsibilities: • Student advocacy, community building and self-governance • Communicate with students and faculty about opportunities for graduate student involvement in AERA, Division A and UCEA • Direct and coordinate initiatives to extend participation in Division A for graduate students • Support and coordinate tasks of Division A Graduate Student Committee Members • Plan the Division A Fireside Chat for AERA annual meeting • Continue to build and strengthen current sessions available for Division A graduate student members and potential members at AERA as well as mentoring • Direct and coordinate the Foster Polite scholarship program. • Contribute to the planning of graduate student events for the UCEA convention with Division L graduate student representatives and UCEA • Contribute to AERA Graduate Student Council activities (GSC) activities and initiatives • Establish relationships and collaboration with graduate students across other AERA Divisions Graduate students who are interested in applying for the position submit: • an updated vita • a 500 word statement of interest explaining how you are involved in Division A and experiences that may have prepared you for this position.
(2) CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2017-2018 DIVISION A GRADUATE STUDENT COMMITTEE MEMBERS
AERA Division A (Administration, Organization and Leadership) invites applications for a one-year appointment to serve as Graduate Student Committee Member in Division A. To be considered, applicants must be full-time graduate students through May 2018. Applicants for both positions should have leadership experience and a strong interest in leadership and mentoring of graduate students in Division A and AERA. The position offers a unique opportunity to get involved in Division A matters and to work closely with scholars in the field. Other benefits of the position include meeting and working with graduate students both within Division A and from different disciplines. Graduate Student Committee Members works closely with the Senior and Junior Representative and assume responsibility for the duties as listed below. Committee Members are encouraged to attend the fall convention for the University Council of Educational Administration (UCEA) and the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
Description of Responsibilities: • Assist Junior and Senior Representatives with annual meeting planning • Student advocacy • Self-governance • Communicate with students and faculty about opportunities for graduate student involvement in AERA, Division A and UCEA • Create announcements for upcoming events and scholarships • Coordinate the annual AERA Division A Foster Polite Scholarship and Dialogic Forum • Coordinate the graduate student work-in-progress roundtable session at AERA • Write newsletter articles for the fall, spring and summer Division A and GSC newsletters Graduate students who are interested in applying for the position should submit: • an updated vita • a 500 word statement of interest explaining how you are involved in Division A and experiences that may have prepared you for this position.
Division A Graduate Student Committee
AERA Graduate Student Council
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Message from Emma Bullock, Division A Senior Representative
It’s an exciting time to be involved in the Division A Graduate community. This year we have been actively involved in many activities providing opportunities for graduate students to engage in AERA. In addition to our fantastic monthly Connect Series Webinars which have included topics such as Homeless and Refuge Student Education, Leadership of Cultural Competency in Schools, and an Introduction to AERA Division A and how to get involved, we are deep into our preparations for this year’s Annual Conference in San Antonio. If you have never been to the AERA annual meeting, we invite you to come and join our community. There will be many workshops, panels, presentations, and receptions, and other opportunities for you to network and engage in conversations with experienced faculty and other graduate students. Offerings include the Division A Fireside Chat focusing on STEM Education and School Leadership: Equitably Accessing the Playing Field, the Division A Dialogic Forum for which we are currently reviewing applications, and many other sessions sponsored by the broader Graduate Student Council (GSC). We are also reviewing applications for the Foster-Polite Scholarship and look forward to announcing those recipients in February. Finally, the calls for next year's Division A Graduate Junior Representative and other graduate student committee members will be out shortly. Please apply! The sooner you get involved as a graduate student, the more opportunities there will be for you to expand your network and engage. See you in San Antonio!
Message from Wei-Ling Sun, Junior Representative
Greetings! I am so pleased to receive this wonderful opportunity to serve as a 2016-17 junior graduate representative for Division A. In the past semester, other than supporting the senior representative’s mission of providing the best experiences to all graduate students in Division A, I was also able to connect with other graduate students from different universities to collaborate on organizing events and sessions in conferences to fit your academic needs. We are all very excited about this coming AERA in San Antonio. Some of you will be able to receive travel funding from Division A; some of you will attend AERA pre-sessions to meet with mentors and to advance your academic skills. We are also going to have a Division A Fireside Chat and receptions with Division L and UCEA members for you to network with professors and students from different universities. Don’t forget to sign up for our listserv to receive the most updated activities, events, and opportunities. If you have any concerns, ideas, or questions about the Division A Graduate Student Committee, or you would like to join our team, feel free to contact our senior representative, Emma Bullock, or me. It is truly our honor and privilege to serve you and bring graduate students’ voices to Division A.
Message from Naomi Lawrence-Lee and Jessica Schwartzer, Connect Series Co-Chairs
We hope you had a chance to view the first four sessions of the AERA Division A Connect Series! The Connect Series is a sequence of virtual, real-time sessions that focus on a unique theme related to policy, organization, and leadership practice and preparation and will feature a different set of panelists each month. Panelists will include a combination of scholar-practitioners, school and community leaders, and policymakers. Graduate students, educators, university faculty, and anyone else interested are encouraged to join these sessions.
Our next Connect Series will focus on Leadership for Social Justice where we will enjoy a lively discussion on What is SJ?; What is the role of school leaders for social justice in today’s current political climate?; and How can principal preparation programs prepare school leaders to advocate for marginalized students in their organizations? If you would like to join the conversation, look for our February Connect Series Flyer coming shortly in your email or on Facebook and Twitter. In the meantime, check out past webinars posted on the Graduate Student Corner featuring topics on Leadership for Cultural Competency, Homeless and Refugee Education, and ESSA.
If you have suggestions for future Connect Series sessions or you would like to be a panelist, please contact us! Best of luck in your Spring semester!
Message from Tara Wilson, UCEA Publishing Session Chair
Hi, everyone! Serving on the Division A Graduate Student Committee for 2016-17 has been a wonderful opportunity, both socially and academically. As the Publishing Session Chair, I planned and facilitated the graduate student breakfast session, Publish and Thrive: Steps to Jumpstart the Publishing Process, with support from Division L. This session took place at the Annual Convention of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) so I was able to travel to Detroit to moderate the panel. This session is held each year for doctoral students to dialogue with a panel of faculty with a rich record in publishing and to learn how to navigate the publish or perish realities of the academy. Since the panel is an annual tradition, I was able to gather a lot of great advice from the former chair, which made the planning process much easier to manage. Working with other like-minded graduate students and meeting several renowned scholars in our field were the highlights of this experience. I strongly recommend this position because I feel that I have benefited tremendously from the opportunity.
Division A Graduate Student Committee
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Foster-Polite Scholarship Chair
University of Mississippi
LaTanya Dixon is a candidate for the doctor of philosophy degree in Education with an emphasis in K-12 Educational Leadership and an 18-hour cognate in Higher Education at The University of Mississippi, where she formerly earned a bachelor's degree in Chemistry. She also holds master's degrees in Chemistry from Jackson State University and Teaching Arts/Secondary Education from Mississippi College. Her research interests include college access, P-22 STEM pathways, Southern educational contexts, culturally responsive leadership, and educational leadership within school-community-university partnerships. She examines how race, socioeconomics, and school contexts intersect to shape educational opportunity structures for student success in higher education and how school leaders contribute to these constructions. LaTanya has nearly 10 years of combined experience in secondary science teaching, academic support programs, and school-community-university collaboratives. Most recently, she has substantiated her skills and knowledge pertaining to the transition to college as instructor of a first-year seminar and academic mentor for a freshman learning community at a postsecondary institution.
Dialogic Forum Chair
University of Missouri - Columbia
Amy Gearhart is an Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis doctoral candidate at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. After thirty years serving congregations as a pastor in the United Methodist Church, she chose to extend her education, executive leadership and coaching experience into higher education and administration. In addition to her doctoral studies, she is an adjunct professor of religion at Central Methodist University, an evaluation researcher for the MU International Center, a credentialed professional coach, and chair of the AERA Division A Dialogic Forum. She is the proud mom of Hannah, a junior at Illinois Wesleyan University, and Chloe, a high school senior. Amy loves traveling, entertaining, and crafting, and looks forward to relocating after her dissertation is completed!
Craig De Voto
University of Illinois at Chicago
Craig is a doctoral candidate in urban education policy studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Additionally, he is a research assistant for UIC’s Center for Urban Education Leadership. Concerning research interests, Craig primarily focuses on federal education policy (specifically the Elementary and Secondary Education Act), as well as principal and teacher preparation. Prior to entering doctoral studies, he was an educator at various Chicago museums including the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
University of New England
Mark McKinney is an Ed.D student at the University of New England in Portland, Maine. His specialization is educational leadership focusing on transformative leadership in higher education, social justice in K-12 and higher education, military veteran higher education issues and cultural leadership in all levels of education. Prior to attending University of New England, Mark served in the U.S. Army and is a retired Medical Service Corps officer. He received his Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. He also received a Master’s of Arts degree in Public Administration and a Master’s of Arts degree in Procurement & Acquisitions Management from Webster University. His research area is understanding the experience of military veterans after their first semester of Community College. He also has served as an Adjunct Professor for numerous institutions during his military service.