Buss wins CPED’s David G. Imig Distinguished Service Award


Erik Ketcherside

Ray Buss, a professor in the Educational Leadership and Innovation division at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, received the 2020 David G. Imig Distinguished Service Award. The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate presents the Imig award each year to “an individual who has demonstrated important contributions to the vision and mission of CPED and/or the reclaiming of the EdD as the highest quality professional practice doctorate in education.”

Recognition by CPED with this award is “gratifying,” Buss says, “because it acknowledges my efforts in service, helping to design the ASU EdD program, teaching in it and my research in this area.” He notes that the award also validates the efforts of his colleagues in the MLFTC EdD program as they work to continuously refine and improve the degree program for the benefit of their students. In 2018, CPED named the MLFTC Doctor of Education degree in Leadership and Innovation their “Program of the Year” for its innovative components and academic rigor.

Buss says the EdD is important because it can prepare educators in many settings to improve their professional practices and conduct research on issues relevant to their schools, colleges or universities, or other education-related workplaces. He points to unique features of MLFTC’s program, such as the inclusion of Cycles of Action Research. “Those help our students learn research skills they use in their workplaces throughout the program and long after they have graduated,” he says. “And our Leader Scholar Communities provide support to students as they progress through their dissertation efforts.”

Associate Professor Josephine Marsh, who coordinates the EdD program, says, “Ray Buss earns the respect of his colleagues and students because of his tireless commitment to the Leadership and Innovation EdD program and its mission to prepare scholarly practitioners and leaders. Ray helped design, create and establish the program and continues to be an active member of the L&I Program Committee. His contributions were directly related to the program being named CPED’s Program of the Year in 2018 and to the success of many of our graduates, and his scholarship over the last decade in various aspects of the education doctorate has moved the field forward. I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of the Imig Distinguished Service Award.”

Two recent alumni of the EdD program were also recognized by CPED this year. Margaret Dery-Chaffin and Shawn Douglas Clark, both spring 2020 graduates, were finalists for CPED’s Dissertation in Practice Award. Dery-Chaffin wrote, “Parental Involvement in Title I Schools: Examining Perspectives of Parents and Teachers,” while Clark’s dissertation is titled, “The Role Traditional American Indian Values Play in Fostering Cultural Connectedness and School Connectedness in American Indian Youth: Experienced through a Blackfoot Way of Knowing Paradigm.”

“Shawn and Margaret’s dissertations exemplify the power of action research, a signature pedagogy of the L&I program, to impact local communities,” Marsh says. “We are proud of these two practitioner scholars and leaders who display the qualities we aspire to for all our doctoral students.”

Learn more about the MLFTC EdD program in Leadership and Innovation.