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Introducing our Ph.D. in Community Engagement Students

Atiya Abdelmalik
Dissertation: “The Factors for Success Underpinning an Era of Youth-led Community Revitalization: A Case Study of Brownsville Students in Action”

Jennifer Bailey
Research interests: Organizational culture, Carnegie classification on community engagement, higher education

Sheila Beasley
Dissertation: “Servant Leadership with a Hermeneutic of Love Practice”

Danielle Davis
Dissertation: “Faith-Based Organizations Engaged in Community Economic Development”

Aliya Durham
Dissertation: "Using Collective Impact to Improve Child Outcomes – A Case Study of the Homewood Children’s Village”

Trisha Gadson
Dissertation: “The Impact of Community Engaged Racialized Conversations on Educational Planning for African American Students P-12”

Michael Harding
Research interests: Business specialists engaged in the social enterprise

Mychael Lee
Dissertation: “An Examination of the Organizational Structure and Practices of Grantmaking Foundations and their Impact on Grassroots Organizations”

Brett Marcoux
Research interest: Social entrepreneurship

Veronika Panagiotou
Dissertation: “Do Service-Learning Models Create an Opportunity to Cultivate Civic Engagement Outcomes at Point Park University? A Phenomenological Study of Students’ Perspectives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania."

Kendra Ross
Dissertation: "Freedom Dreams: A Black Feminist Exploration of Cultural Work in the Hill District of Pittsburgh”

John Tamiggi
Dissertation: “An Examination of the Potential Impacts and Outcomes of a Comprehensive Community Initiative Model” 

Leatra Tate
Dissertation: “Stories from the Yam: A Narrative Inquiry Centering on Black Women Sexual Assault Survivors in Higher Education”

LaWana Butler
Dissertation: “The African American Females’ Perception of the Role the African American Church in Their Lived Experience of Intimate Partner Violence”

Ryan Cummings
Research interests: Telemedicine, telehealth, healthcare in Haiti

Brittany McDonald
Dissertation: “Understanding the Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Millennial Employee Engagement”

Darrell Payne
Dissertation: “A Phenomenological Study: Factors that Contribute to the Trajectory of Nontraditional Black Male Collegians’ Matriculation and Persistence through Postsecondary Education”

Melissa Rossiter
Dissertation: “Social Network, Social Capital and Civic Engagement: An Exploratory Analysis of Social Capital in the Facebook World”

Rhonda Threet
Dissertation: “Analyzing Educators’ Perceptions on How Culturally Relevant Pedagogy Addresses Positive Racial Identity Development for African American Students”

Tammy Washington
Dissertation: “An Examination of Day-to-Day Stressors Experienced by Single Mothers in Disadvantaged Communities and Their Coping Mechanisms”

Melissa Barnhill
Research Interest: LGBTQ health

Andrew Conte
Research interests: Media deserts, community journalism

Corrin Culhane
Research interests: Police/community relations

Teri Deal
Research interests: Juvenile justice, school justice partnerships

Michele Gordon
Research interests: Policy

Shannon Gregg
Research interest: Nonprofit CRM usage

Meggan Lloyd
Research interests: Foster care support in higher education, basic needs supports in higher ed

Selena Marshall
Research interests: Dehumanization in healthcare of Black women

David Maytan
Research interests: Economic development, urban design, mindfulness

Maria Montaro
Research interests: Millennial targeted recruitment and retention strategies

Blair-Alexandri Cobb
Research interests: After school programming for African-American youth communities

Rikell Ford
Research interests: Black women and girls, intersectionality, Black feminist thought, social services

Hannah Hardy
Research interests: Community planning, deindustrialized communities, public health impacts, vacant land, abandoned property

Olivia Hartle
Research interests: Improvisation, applied improvisation, applied theatre, phenomenology, symbolic interactionism, community engagement

Stephanie King
Research interest: Donor conceived persons

Patrick Maher
Research interests: Diversity in STEM/technology, leadership decision-making

Daniel Mitchell
Research interest: Corporate social responsibility

David Ohm
Research interest: Restorative art therapy engagement

Deborah Skillings-Phillips
Research interest: Hiring practices in nonprofits for executive leadership

Emmanuel Twumasi
Research Interest: Fair, free transit

Kelly Wilding
Research interest: Sustained volunteerism in Pittsburgh

Pictured is Patrick Maher, Ph.D. Photo | Emma Federkeil

Patrick Maher, Ph.D. in community engagement student, presents “Diversity in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Labor Market" at Point Park's Graduate Student Conference.

Selected Student Conference Presentations

  • LaWana Butler: “Community Impact,” Healthy Start Board, Metro Community Health Center Board, WQED Advisory Committee, Center for Urban Biblical Ministry Board.
  • Ryan Cummings, Tammy Washington and Melissa Rossiter: “Recommendations for Equitable Urban Redevelopment Without Resulting in Gentrification,” Engaged Scholarship Consortium.
  • Rikell Ford: “Creating Safe Spaces: Empowering Others to Use Their Voice,” TCOM.
  • Olivia Hartle:
    • “Improvisation, Pedagogy and Education: Comedic Improvisation as a Pedagogy for Civic Engagement,” Global Improvisation Initiative Symposium.
    • “Improvisation as a Pedagogy for Community Engagement,” Engagement Scholarship Consortium.
  • Patrick Maher“Diversity Issues in the STEM Labor Market,” Point Park University Graduate Student Conference.
  • Brittany McDonald: “Establishing Cultural and Racial Diversity in Student Leadership as the Standard: A Call to Transformation,” NCORE 2018.
  • Veronika Panagiotou:
    • "Inspiring Socially Responsible Students with Human Centered Design Thinking to Support Solutions,” Association of American Colleges and Universities, Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference.
    • “The Pittsburgh Social Lab: An Experiment in Innovative Social Change,” Engagement Scholarship Consortium Annual Conference.
  • Kendra Ross:
    • "When and Where We Gather: The (Un)Certain Future of Womanism," Roundtable Participant, National Women's Studies Association.
    • "Freedom Dreams: A Black Feminist Exploration of Cultural Work in the Hill District of Pittsburgh," Presenter, Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

Student & Alumni Spotlight

Meet our Ph.D. in community engagement students and alumni.

Pictured is Michael Harding. Submitted photo.

Point Park MBA graduate, Ph.D. student promoted to director of business engagement at Carnegie Mellon University.

Pictured is Leatra Tate.

Leatra Tate, Ph.D., appointed to visiting assistant professor of Psychology at Point Park University.