2020–21 doctoral graduates and their dissertations

ASU's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College was proud to confer doctoral degrees on more than 40 scholars during the 2020–21 academic year. MLFTC's doctorates include two PhD programs, in Educational Policy and Evaluation; and Learning, Literacies and Technologies; and the Doctor of Education degree in Leadership and Innovation.

Here are our 2020 and 2021 doctoral graduates and their research topics, with links to their dissertations.


Name Degree Next year Dissertation
Brock Anundson EdD ’21 Director of athletics: University of Alaska–Fairbanks An Examination of Innovative Career Advising Processes for NCAA Student-Athletes
Julia Brady EdD ’20 Preparing Teachers for Diverse Classrooms: Developing intercultural competence
Mary Mathis Burnett EdD ’20 Manager, instructional design: Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, ASU Building a Framework: Critical pedagogy in action research
Serena Christianson EdD ’21 Academic success advising coordinator: School of Life Sciences, ASU Creating and Using a Career Development Course to Prepare Life Science Students for Career Decision Making
Carmen Daniel EdD ’21 Manager, college and career advising: GEAR UP 2 New Heights, College Now–Greater Cleveland GEARing UP to Clear the Path: Understanding Black students’ motivation for pursing postsecondary education through a critical race theory lens
Megan Troxel Deeg PhD: Learning, Literacies and Technologies ’21 Becoming Central: The Participation and Positioning of Seventh-Grade Emergent Bilinguals during Drama-Based Pedagogy
Dawn Demps PhD: Educational Policy and Evaluation ’21 Assistant professor, educational leadership and policy: University of Arizona College of Education “It Was Never Made for Us”: Black community mothers organizing for educational possibilities amidst anti-Black realities
James Disrude EdD ’21 Director of student success: McHenry County College, Crystal Lake, IL Examining the Implementation of Appreciative Advising and Its Relationship to Community College Students' Intent to Persist
Lauren Dunning EdD ’21 Senior program manager: J. Orin Edson Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute, ASU Project Entrepreneurship: A study of the influence of peer mentorship on entrepreneurship
Andrea Fossum EdD ’21 Secondary principal: Shekou International School, Shenzhen, China Collaborative Professional Learning and Disciplinary Literacy: An approach for systems coherence during pedagogical change
Janna Goebel PhD: Educational Policy and Evaluation ’20 Assistant professor of sustainability education: School of Sustainability, ASU What Matter(s) in Education Beyond the Human?: Learning as sympoietic storyworlding
Donavan Goff EdD ’21 Clinical applications lead–Radiology: University of New Mexico Hospitals Situated, Self-Regulated Online Learning for Radiology IT Staff
Byoung-gyu Gong PhD: Educational Policy and Evaluation ’21 Data scientist: Sorenson Impact Center, David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah Exploring Education Cyborg Space: Bibliographic and metaphor analysis of educational psychology and artificial intelligence studies
April Holton PhD: Learning, Literacies and Technologies ’21 Seeing Through the Noise: A mixed methods study of the development of teachers’ argumentation professional vision
Jennifer Keller EdD ’21 Chair and associate professor, department of journalism: Western Washington University Academic Integrity Among University Journalism Students: An action research project to study the impact of online educational modules on student cheating
Areej Mawasi PhD: Learning, Literacies and Technologies ’21 Research associate: Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado Boulder Learners’ Engagement in Transdisciplinary STEAM Activities: A mixed methods analysis of perceptions, self-efficacy and self-determination within an out-of-school science program
Robert Morse EdD ’21 Program manager, Educational Services Inc. High Quality, Virtual Supervision in a Reimagined Teacher Preparation Model
Uraipanyawan Pinthong EdD ’21 Professor and researcher: Maverick University of Arizona Mindfulness in Education: Utilizing mindfulness as a tool to cultivate stress coping skills in K–12 teachers through a mindfulness virtual online course
Kelly Ramella EdD ’21 Clinical associate professor; coordinator, Recreational Therapy Program: Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, ASU Community-Engaged Interprofessional Education Integrated Analysis of Pedagogical Strategies Pivotal to Interprofessional Socialization
Elizabeth Regan EdD ’20 Education development manager: PING Golf Integrating Design Thinking in eLearning Evaluation to Drive Training Usage: A case study
Christina Royster EdD ’20 Founder and owner, Play on Words Therapy; assistive technology specialist: Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools Staff Coaching and Adapting Preschool Curriculum for Students with Complex Communication Needs
Melissa Rudd EdD ’21 Director, graduate student services: Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, ASU Professional Agency as a Catalyst for Innovative Practice in Academic Advising
Kristen Mitchell Samuels EdD ’21 Field director, bachelor of science degree in social work: University of Phoenix The Evaluation, Selection and Diffusion of Software Innovations: Insights and implications of systematic field placement software adoption
Jennifer Schulte EdD ’21 Academic personnel specialist: New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, ASU Professional Development for Communication Skills, Collaboration Skills and Fostering Positive Connections in the Workplace
Benjamin Scragg EdD ’21 Leadership Futures by Design: A case study of futures-oriented innovation in a principal preparation program
Helene Bialek Shapiro EdD ’21 Positive Communication Skills and the IEP Meeting
Courtney Spivak Smith EdD ’21 Associate director: Sun Devil Fitness and Wellness, ASU Combating Loneliness Through Outreach and Wellness Programming During a Global Pandemic
Michael Stewart EdD ’21 Assistant superintendent: Maricopa County Regional School District Developing a Culturally Responsive Action Team in Teacher-Led Schools
Stene Verhulst EdD ’20 Director, International Enrollment Center: Colorado State University The Undergraduate International Student Recruitment Experience and the Effects of Institutional Outreach in Supporting Their Feelings of Belongingness
Wendy Wakefield PhD: Learning, Literacies and Technologies ’21 Assistant professor of elementary education (science): Northern State University RESET-ting Professional Development: Fostering mid-career K–8 teachers’ identities and actions as culturally responsive science and engineering educators
Melissa Warr PhD: Learning, Literacies and Technologies ’21 Assistant professor, educational and instructional technology: University of Louisiana–Monroe Teachers as Designers: Epistemic diversity and sensemaking amidst indeterminacy
Alison Witherspoon EdD ’20 Vice president of continuous improvement: American College of Education, Indianapolis, IN The Role of Leadership and Group Processes in Innovation: An emerging theory of leadership for active learning organizations in higher education