Congratulations to our spring 2018 EdD graduates!


Erik Ketcherside

On May 11, the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College convocation ceremony conferred on 18 graduates the Doctor of Education degree in Leadership and Innovation. The EdD is designed for practicing educator leaders working in a range of settings who want to create better opportunities and environments for learners of all ages.

The program is offered on campus and, since fall 2015, online. Both options emphasize cohort-based learning and site-based action research. The program empowers graduates to develop research-based insights so they can drive innovations that address pressing challenges of practice.

Associate Professor Craig Mertler directs the EdD program. He says students enter the program as accomplished teachers, teacher leaders, principals, superintendents, higher education professionals or leaders in other educational contexts. "The EdD coursework strengthens their abilities to lead change and implement innovation in their local educational organizations," Mertler says, and adds, "Congratulations, EdD graduates! We are so proud of the work that you did during your time in the program, and we hope that you will keep it up in the future!"

The final requirement of the EdD program is an action-research dissertation, which candidates fulfill by drawing on their current education role.

Here are the 2018 EdD graduates and their dissertation topics. Click on the titles to read their dissertations on ProQuest.

Sarah Blechacz — "Transitioning Science Teachers to an Inquiry-Based Approach to Develop Critical Reasoning Skills in High School Students"

Jennifer Buchanan — Assessment and Professional Development Coordinator, Maricopa County (Arizona) Education Service Agency: "Increasing External Teacher Evaluators’ Self-­Efficacy During Teacher Evaluation Conferences"

Tamara Coronella — Associate Director of Student Academic Services, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, Arizona State University: "Validation Theory Into Practice: Asset-Based Academic Advising With First-Generation Latina Engineering College Students"

William Donner — "Increasing Postsecondary Education and Employment Planning Through a High School Advisory Program"

Raquel Fong — Academic Success Supervisor, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University: "Utilizing Academic Advising to Cultivate Adaptability in Students Changing Majors within the Education Field"

Michael Garcia — AVID Director, Mesa Unified School District; staff developer and curriculum writer, AVID Center: "Advancing AVID Tutoring: Blended Professional Learning for College Tutor/Mentors in AVID"

Patricia Herriman — "More Math Minutes Learn-to-Teach, Teach-to-Learn"

Adam Leckie — Assistant Superintendent, Florence (Arizona) Unified School District: "(Dis)ability Workshop: The Effect of Growth Mindset and Universal Design for Learning on Teacher Understanding of Disability and Intelligence"

Jennifer Ohanian — "Creating Social Learning Opportunities for Elementary Students with Dialogic Discussion"

Katherine O'Malley — Admissions Specialist–Graduate Services, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University: "Proactive Advising in Admission Services: Minding the Gap in Effective Communication through Text Messaging"

Richard Ramos — Principal, Estrella Vista STEM Academy, Littleton Elementary School District (Avondale, Arizona): "Implementing Differentiated Instruction by Building on Multiple Ways All Students Learn"

Kelly Romirowsky — Residential English faculty, GateWay Community College (Phoenix, Arizona): "Mindfulness in Online Courses: A Mixed Methods Research Study"

Teri Thomsen — District Teacher Mentor, Tolleson (Arizona) Union High School District: "The Effect of Training and Peer Mentor Shadowing Designed to Increase Mentor Capacity on Teacher Mentor Self-Efficacy"

Katherine Vawter — Program Director, Office of the University Provost, Arizona State University: "The Power of Instructor-Student and Peer Rapport in Post-Secondary Student Achievement"

Nicholas Williams — Learning Experience Researcher, University of Phoenix (Arizona): "Norming at Scale: Faculty Perceptions of Assessment Culture and Student Learning Outcomes Assessment"

Megan Workmon — Director of Student Engagement, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University: "The Failure Project: Self-Efficacy, Mindset, Grit and Navigating Perceived Failures in Design and the Arts"

Tara Zichichi — Second grade gifted teacher, Knox Gifted Academy, Chandler (Arizona) Unified School District: "Gifted Second-Graders’ Perceptions of Teachers’ Expectations"