School of Arts and Sciences

Desk Building Event Engages Doctoral Students in Unique Learning Opportunities

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pictured are Point Park Ed.D. in leadership and administration doctoral students at the Greater PA Carpenters Union Training Center in Pittsburgh. | Photo by Chris Rolinson

Point Park University doctoral students got a chance to nail down strategies on leadership, service, community and team building at the Ed.D. in leadership and administration program’s kick-off event at the Greater PA Carpenters Union Training Center in Pittsburgh.

The inaugural class of 39 doctoral students met for the first time Aug. 23 and spent the day working together to build desks for students at Holy Family Academy, an independent private Catholic high school in Emsworth, Pa. for students of limited economic means.

“This event was designed to introduce students to each other in a creative way and have them become comfortable being leaders ‘out of their element’ while engaging in an act of service to the community” explained Helen Sobehart, D.A., director of graduate education at Point Park.

Sobehart also said the event set the tone for the foundation of the Ed.D. program, which is to create total, well-rounded leaders who build upon their strengths to foster productive change in the community.

“I am really humbled and honored to be among these amazing people,” said Dina Clark, senior director of YWCA Greater Pittsburgh Center for Race and Gender Equity. “What I love about this program is that it has strong people in it who are connected to what the community’s needs are.” 

Clark is in the professional leadership track of the Ed.D. program and is most interested in expanding her knowledge in the areas of community engagement, diversity and inclusion, and leadership and education.

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For Laurie Heinricher, curriculum director for Hampton Township School District, the day was a meaningful introduction to the Ed.D. program.

“The desk building adventure was exactly that; an adventure that allowed us to stretch our thinking beyond the normal confines of an orientation,” said Heinricher. “I appreciated the care in planning and how the underlying frameworks for leadership were applied."

Patrick Zbasnik, an assistant program director at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC, said the day's experience reaffirmed his decision to choose Point Park's Ed.D. program.

“I knew that pursuing this degree within this context would afford me a unique and intimate experience that I would not be able to find elsewhere,” remarked Zbasnik, who is in the individualized track. "What I learned at the event, and was most reassuring for me, was the faculty’s dedication and commitment to us as incoming students. They are truly here to support and guide us as we embark on this journey together.”

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