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Our Doctoral Graduates Are Leaders in Their Fields

Graduates of the Ed.D. in Leadership and Administration program at Point Park University are leaders in the organizations in which they work.

Since launching in the fall of 2014, the University's Ed.D. program has produced the following graduates. Below are their names, the positions held when they graduated and their dissertation titles.

April 2024 Graduates

  • Amy Balsbaugh, principal, Bonfield Elementary, Warwick School District, “The State if the School Principal:  What Principals Demonstrating Satisfaction, Well-being, and Happiness do Differently”
  • Dominique Lethia Furrowh, special education teacher, State of Delaware, Christina School District, “A Qualitative Study of the Perceptions of Elementary Teachers on the Use of Social Media as a Professional Development Tool”
  • Shavonne M. Johnson, principal, Pittsburgh Public Schools, “General Education Math Teachers’ Perception of Schema-Based Instruction as a Strategy to Improve Student Problem-Solving Abilities”
  • Candy Ritter Wagner, second grade teacher, Fairfield Area School District, “A Quantitative Study Investigating Demographic Factors that Impact the Perceived Intercultural Competence of Elementary Teachers in Pennsylvania”

March 2024 Graduates

  • Jah-Chant Robinson, associate principal, Penn Hills School District, “Possessing and Maintaining a Place Among Leaders: A Mixed Methods Study of the Underrepresentation of Women of Color in Leadership Roles in K-12 Education”
  • Craig Stage, superintendent, Athens Area School District, “Superintendents and Crisis: Leadership Traits Used by a Group of Pennsylvania Public School Superintendents to Endure and Thrive During the COVID-19 Pandemic”

February 2024 Graduates

  • Kimberly Damcott, principal, Walnut Creek Middle School, Millcreek Township School District, "An Examination of the Leadership Practices of National Blue Ribbon Schools"

December 2023 Graduates

  • Caitlin Ewing, principal, Carson Middle School, North Allegheny School District, "Following the Leader – A Qualitative Study of the Impact of Succession on School Leaders"
  • Lucas Wayde Furlow, principal, Bon Meade Elementary School, Moon Area School District, "Visionary Leadership: Artificial Intelligence in Public Education"

November 2023 Graduates

  • Suzanne Lochie Hanna, director of pupil services, Keystone Oaks School District, "School Employees’ Perception of School Safety: Are Schools Really Safer Post-Columbine"
  • Nicole Harrington, director of housing and employment services, East End Cooperative Ministry, “The Effects of Social Connectedness on Homelessness”
  • Allyson Hepler, librarian, Keystone Oaks Middle School, Keystone Oaks School District, “The Importance of Cultivating Emotional Intelligence in Education for Teachers”
  • Robert E. Lee, director of administrative services, Laurel School District, “The Impact of Systems Approach on the Success and Sustainability of Teach Well-being Initiative”
  • Joshua Pollock, 7-12 principal, California Area School District, “The Impacts on Attendance Rates and Academic Achievement of Students Produced by a Residential Therapy Dog Program”
  • David Trotta, program manager, UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, “Differential Leadership Styles & Traits Impact Gen Y & Z Working in the Mental Health Field”

October 2023 Graduates

  • Gina Mahouski, assistant principal, Mellon Middle School, Mt. Lebanon School District, "A Phenomenological Study: A Comprehensive Review of Teacher Perception of Benefits of Explicit Social Emotional Learning at the Middle School Level"

September 2023 Graduates

  • Robert Levi MtJoy, project specialist, Online Distance Learning – Pittsburgh Public Schools, "K-12 Visioning from Formulation to Communication:  A Phenomenological Study of Vision Development Among School Superintendents"

August 2023 Graduates

  • Eric A. Baker, police sergeant, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, “Open-source Case Studies of High-Profile Police-Involved Shootings and the Response by Police Executives”
  • Diana Bruno-Fronczek, director of student services, Central Green School District, “Imposter Phenomenon and Burnout of School Leaders: A Mixed Methods Study of the Impact of Imposter Phenomenon and Burnout on Principals and Assistant Principles”
  • Davonia D. Bryant, principal, Bellevue School District, “A Phenomenological Study:  An Exploration of the Student Unrest Phenomenon from (2015-2020) and Post-Secondary Courses Emphasizing Equity and Social Justice (ESJ)”
  • Dina Lynn Clark, senior director, YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, “Reflections from Within: Comparative Perspectives on Workplace Inclusion from Corporate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Practitioners in the United States”
  • Ashley M. DeVito, assistant principal, Propel Braddock Hills High School, “How the Leadership of External Decision-Makers Impacts Student Performance in Local Schools:  A Survey of School Board Members on Their Perception of Decisions Made by Officials in Their Community”
  • Madeline Fortelka, compliance coordinator, Insight PA Cyber Charter School “Mitigating Special Educator Burnout and Attrition through Principal Support”
  • Miguel A. Hernandez, Spanish teacher, Aspen Middle School, adjunct professor for education, Colorado Mountain College, “Advancing and Advocating for Community Cultural Wealth in the K-12 Classroom”
  • Jonathan Klingeman, director of federal programs and gifted services, State College Area School District, “An Action Research Study to Determine the Most Effective Methods in Enhancing Gifted Universal Screening for Underserved Learners”
  • Michael Linnert, principal, Keystone Oaks High School, Keystone Oaks School District, “A Qualitative Study of Leadership Styles of the School Principal and the Impact on Student Achievement”
  • Heather R. Pringle, director of special education, State College Area School District, “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Post-Secondary Education Outcomes of Students with Disabilities Who Graduated from High School in 2021”
  • Timothy M. Smith, director of information technology services, Red Lion Area School District, “An Exploration of Teacher Perceptions of the Impact of Technology on Student Achievement, Engagement, and Resilience”
  • Donnell Wilkins, principal, Propel Schools, “Exploring Teacher Self-Efficacy:  A Study of Teacher Certification Methods in Relation to perceptions of Teacher Self-Efficacy and Student Outcomes”

July 2023 Graduates

  • Mark Fortelka, learning/emotional support teacher, West Perry High School, “Perceptions of Principals of Their Role and Preparedness as LEA during IEP Meetings: A Qualitative Study”
  • Shawnda McGroarty, director of special education, Wesley Family Services, “Reintegration of Students with Emotional & Behavioral Disorders:  An Action Research Study Examining a Collaborative and Data Informed Approach”
  • Bridget Miller, assistant principal, Evans City Middle School, Seneca Valley School District, “A Mixed Methods Study: The Impact of Mindfulness and Positivity on Fifth and Sixth Grade Teacher Burnout in Pennsylvania”
  • Melissa Pearlman, principal, Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12, “The Impact of Professional Development on Teacher Practice in Middle and High Schools: A Phenomenological Study”
  • Sarah Proudfit, elementary school teacher, Hempfield Area School District, “Combating the Teacher Shortage:  A Study of Non-Tenured Teacher Perceptions and Effectiveness of District Induction Programs”

  • Kelly Shumaker, lead school counselor, Solanco School District, “Student Connectedness: A Quantitative Study of Perceptions of Connectedness and Risk Behaviors of Minoritized Populations”

June 2023 Graduates

  • Jordan Galino, English teacher, Moon Area School District, "The Influence of Teacher Friendship on Workplace Burnout:  A Mixed Methods Study"
  • Dipal Kapadia, director of information and educational technology, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute, "A Study of How Virtual Learning Can Transform Career and Technical Education Programs in the State of Pennsylvania"
  • Adam Kostewicz, principal, Centennial School (Grades 5 & 6), Mars Area School District, "An Exploration Student on the Perceived Values, Opportunities, and Challenges of Designing an Appreciative Leadership and Appreciative Inquiry Framework in the Traditional Public-School Setting"

May 2023 Graduates

  • Erica Lavely, special education supervisor, Altoona Area School District, “Factors of the Special Education Administrators Position that Impact Attrition and Retention”

April 2023 Graduates

  • Shaina Franson, “Inclusion: Unique to Unite Through the Use of Enhance Core Reading Instruction (ECRI) Program”
  • David Carl Freidenbloom, director of curriculum and instruction, Chestnut Ridge School District, “The Role of Pennsylvania Elementary and Middle School Leaders in Maximizing English Language Arts Proficiency among Economically Disadvantaged Learners"
  • Amy D. Miller, assistant principal, Cumberland Valley High School, “The Heart of Change: An Action Research Study Examining the Role of Empathy in Informing Progress Towards the Portrait of an Eagle Initiative at Cumberland Valley School District”
  • Miracle Williams-Green, “An Explanatory Mixed Methods Investigation of the Impact of Dual Enrollment and Mentoring Programs on College Readiness, Retention, and Equity Outcomes”

March 2023 Graduates

  • Susan Veronica Raiders, special education supervisor, Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit, “The Impact of Teachers’ Perceptions of Their School’s Climate of Change on their Readiness to Accept Organizational Change”

February 2023 Graduates

  • Erika Hazlewood, associate chief nurse/education at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, "Transition in Practice: The Impact of Nurse Residency Programs on New Nurse Clinical Decision-Making, Work Readiness, and Retention"

January 2023 Graduates

  • Heather Callahan, kindergarten and first-grade looping teacher, Wellsboro Area School District, "Play IS Serious Learning:  An Action Research Study Examining Play-Based Learning and Maker Education"
  • Christine Secilia, professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Intelligence Studies at Point Park University, "An In-Depth Look Inside of America’s Police Academy Curriculum"
  • Kimberly Slater, manager of Municipal Relations and Outreach at the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, "An Examination of the Awareness of Female-Instigated Incivility and Queen Bee Syndrome and the Impact on Organizational Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives"

November 2022 Graduates

  • Ronda Abbott, mathematics educator at York County School of Technology, "A Qualitative Study that Explores the Coherence Between the Hiring and Evaluation Criteria of High Performing Secondary Teachers in Pennsylvania"
  • Kristen Boeltz, division administrator, emergency medicine at UPMC, "A Phenomenological Study Exploring the lived experiences of Female Senior Leadership in Healthcare Systems to Understand What Limits or Supports the Pursuit of Leadership Roles"
  • Patricia Dykes, 4th grade teacher, St. Joseph Catholic School in Marietta, Georgia, "The Effects Social and Emotional Learning Programs have on Students’ Academic Success"
  • Don Miles, associate dean of student development, Saint Francis University, “A Study of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Schools’ Support Systems for Emancipated Youth Who Desire to Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree” 
  • Jordan Nofziger, director of human resources and labor relations at Point Park University, "Internal Communication in Higher Education: A mixed Methods Study on Effective Internal Communication and Job Satisfaction using the Communication Satisfaction Questionnaire"
  • David Price, preschool program specialist, PA Key, PA PreK Counts,"Are Elementary Principals Prepared to be Effective Early Childhood Leaders:  A phenomenological Study about Developmentally Appropriate Leadership Practices Influenced by Pennsylvania Principal Preparation Programs"
  • Cathy Sivy Egnor, reading specialist at Hempfield Area School District, "The Alignment Between First-Grade Teachers’ Beliefs Regarding the Teaching of Reading and Their Practices in Teaching to the Pennsylvania core Foundational Skills"
  • Amy L. VanIddekinge, 6th grade teacher, Mars Area School District, "The Impact of the Appreciative Inquiry Model on the Academic Achievement of Middle School Students: A Dissertation in Practice"
  • Michael White, "Self-Actualization Experiences of People of Color Within the American Dream"

  • Rebekah Young, natural sciences instructor at Point Park University, "A Phenomenological Case Study: The Perceived Benefits and challenges of a STEM Mentoring Program for Women and Under-Represented Minorities"

October 2022 Graduates

  • Charles Ainsworth, project manager, FedEx Ground Corporate, "A Leader’s Role in Addressing Apprehension to Automation in the Workplace"
September 2022 Graduates
  • Angelique Drakeford, principal at Urban Academy of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School, “The Relationship Between a Teacher’s Socio-Economic Background and Student Discipline Referrals for Black Students"
  • Emily Billing, coordinator of special education and psychological services, Mohawk Area School District, "Parent Perspectives of Inclusivity:  A Critical Analysis of Leaders and School Culture"
  • Chelsea Clark, "Organizational Leadership Styles in Drug and Alcohol Treatment Facilities"
  • LaQualla Davis, English teacher, Fulton County Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, "A Mixed Methods Study That Examines the Lack of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Increasing the Achievement Gap"
  • Nabila Ighemat Benarieb, French teacher at The Shipley School, "Religious and Cultural Inequities in Schools K-12 in Eastern Pennsylvania"
  • Scott Long, principal in Solanco School District, "Student Success Through Teacher Selection: A Mixed Methods Study of the Readiness and Practices of School Principals When Hiring Teachers"
  • Janice Zupsic, principal at Ambridge Area High School, "Developing Leadership in Adolescents Through Mentoring During Extracurricular Activities"

August 2022 Graduates

  • Jason Beall, principal at Ross Elementary in the North Hills School District, "Designing an Approach to Inclusive Programming"
  • Hector Wangia, principal at Pottstown Middle School, "A Qualitative Study of the Lived Experiences of K-4 Teachers in Southeastern Pennsylvania as Students Returned to In-Person Learning Following the COVID-19 Pandemic"
  • Kwame Ntiamoah, assistant principal, Reach Cyber Charter School, "A Qualitative Study of Teacher Perceptions of Effective Teaching Strategies, Technologies, and Provided Educator Trainings in Virtual K-12 Public Charter Middle and High Schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania"
  • Robert O’Neill, chief at Butler City Police, "The Effect of Law Enforcement Leaders on Recruitment and Retention of Officers in Western Pennsylvania"
  • Steff Chortanoff, gifted support teacher, HACC dual enrollment history instructor at Lower Dauphin High School, "An Examination of Dual Enrollment Participation Rates in Pennsylvania Public High Schools"
  • Aja R. Thompson, court liaison probation officer of Allegheny County, Allegheny County 5th Judicial Court of Common Pleas, "A Phenomenological Study Examining the Potential Best Practices used by Adult Probation Officers to Reduce Recidivism in Western Pennsylvania"
  • Amy Mathieu, director of elementary curriculum, North Hills School District, "An Exploratory Study of Resilience in Elementary School Principals During the COVID-19 Pandemic"
  • Joseph M. Testa, director of special education and school psychologist, Freedom Area School District, "Elementary Teacher Perceptions of Social Emotional Learning on Student Academic Performance, Student Classroom Behavior, and Personal Competency within the Classroom"
  • Andrea M. Celender, health assistant instructor and supervisor of school nurse, Butler County Vocational Technical School, "A Qualitative Study of the Effects of COVID-19 on School Nurses in Western Pennsylvania”
  • Jason Beall, principal at Ross Elementary School in the North Hills School District, “Designing an Approach to Inclusive Programming"

July 2022 Graduates

  • Maria Paul, teacher, Pittsburgh Pioneer School, Pittsburgh Public Schools, "A Complex Path: A Constructivist Grounded Theory Study of the Lived Experiences of the Families of Children with Complex Needs"
  • Tina Cafasso, visiting lecturer, English department, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, "Closing the Gap: Exploring the Readiness of First-Year College Students in First-Year Composition Courses"
  • Timothy A. Mahoney, director of special education and pupil services for Fox Chapel School District, "Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Students in a Pandemic: A Quantitative Analysis of the Impact of School-Based Mental Health Services on Student Outcomes"
  • Michelle R. Spingola, principal at McIntyre Elementary School in the North Hills School District, "The Role of Elementary Principals in Maximizing Learning Opportunities for English Learners in Pennsylvania"

June 2022 Graduates

  • Jason D’Alesio, assistant principal, Moon Area Middle School, "Five Reading Areas to Improve Reading Comprehension in Upper Elementary Schools"
  • Jenna Fraser, assistant principal, North Allegheny Intermediate High School, "A Phenomenological Study: Emotional Intelligence and the Impact on Stress and Decision Making Among K-12 School Administrators"
  • Julie Kupec, middle school English and social studies teacher, Pittsburgh Public Schools, "The Science of Reading in Urban Curriculum in Pennsylvania: The Potential Impact on the Opportunity Gap for Students"
  • Jacob Rogers, school psychologist, Wellsboro School District, "Effects on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Behaviors in Gay Men when Accepted and/or Rejected by Family and Peers in Pennsylvania"

May 2022 Graduates

  • Lauren Becker-Leiphart, manager, Room to Read, "Teacher Leaders: The Influence of Their Stories"
  • Eric Lauver, director of pupil services and technology at Fort Cherry School District, "Leadership Approaches of School based Leaders with Established 1:1 Technology Programs in Southwestern Pennsylvania"
  • Christopher Wolfson, principal, Mellon Middle School in Mt. Lebanon School District, "A Phenomenological Study: Parent Perceptions of the Efficacy and Effects of Multi-Option Response Drills in School"

April 2022 Graduates

  • W. Pearce Miller, former director, Pittsburgh Culinary Institute, "An Exploration of Assistant Principal Perceptions of Leadership Preparation and Professional Development in Pennsylvania"

March 2022 Graduates

  • Amy Pastorak, assistant director, Bureau of Special Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education, “Retaining Special Education Directors in Pennsylvania, Director Perceptions of Factors that Impact Longevity in the Field”
  • Charles Shipman, 6-12 assistant middle school principal, Freeport School District, “Exploring the Potential Impact of Instructional Time and High School Scheduling Formats on Student Growth in Pennsylvania”

November 2021 Graduates

  • Keith Ernest Parton, substitute teacher, band director assistant, McKeesport High School, “Effectiveness of School-Based Mentoring: A Qualitative Study of the Perceptions of Mentors”

October 2021 Graduates

  • Travis Mineard, director of special education, Ambridge Area School District, “Special Education Directors’ Perception of Ensuring FAPE through Online Instruction to Students with Significant Disabilities During COVID-19 Pandemic”
  • Deonna Dykes-Thomas, parent educator, A Child's Place, "The Effects of Theater Arts on Academic Achievement of African American Youth: A Qualitative Ethnographic Research Study"

September 2021 Graduates

  • Nancy Bowman, coordinator of curriculum - secondary, North Allegheny School District, "A Qualitative Study of High School Principals During the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Perceived Impact of Authentic, Communicative and Relational Leadership"
  • Amanda Hill-Hennie, former principal of Memphis Street Academy, Philadelphia Schools, "An Exploration of the Teacher Retention Crisis in High-Poverty Schools in Pennsylvania: A Qualitative Study"
  • Inger Kent, independent educational consultant, "A Mixed Methods Study of Teacher Self-Efficacy, Critical Race Theory, Professional Development, TPACK , and Growth Mindset in Response to COVID-19 School Closures"
  • Keyona Overton, "A Qualitative Phenomenological Case Study: What are Military Leaders Best Suited for When it Comes to Positions Within X Organization, Specifically, What Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Do Military Leaders Bring to the Corporate World After Their Service"
  • Mary Carole Perry, assistant superintendent, Elizabeth Forward School District, "The Rural Elementary School Principal’s Role in Improving Student Mental Health Outcomes"
  • Crystal Rose, director of FAME Academy, Fund for Advancement of Minorities (FAME), "Exploring the Connection Between Theory and Practice for White Teacher’ use of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy in Predominately African American Suburban Early Childhood Classrooms: A Phenomenological Study"
  • Ryan Smith, director of instruction and support services, Freedom Area School District, "A Phenomenological Study: The Perceptions of School Staff During the Implementation of SWPBIS in Two Rural Middle Schools"
  • Karen Smoot, "An Analysis of Four-Tiered Management Levels Based on Factors that Impede Women’s Mobility through Career Development Stages to Executive Level Positions"
  • Daniel Zelenski, social studies teacher and USCEA president, Upper St. Clair School District, "Staying Connected to the Classroom: A Phenomenological Study of Incorporating Teaching Administrators in Secondary Public Schools in Pennsylvania"

August 2021 Graduates

  • Amy DeLuca, director of student services, North Allegheny School District, “The Impact of Special Education Teachers’ Perceptions on Student Achievement for Students Residing in a Residential Treatment Facility”
  • Laura Huth, assistant professor, the Occupational Therapy Program at Carlow University, “Preparing Entry Level Occupational Therapists to Promote Mental Health with School-Aged Children Within a Multi-Tiered System of Support: Examining the Perceived Competence of Occupational Therapy Faculty”
  • Lauren Werner, assistant professor of special education, Fairmont State University, “Impact of Barriers on Parental Involvement of Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Education, Home-Based Interventions, and Community-Based Services: A Mixed Methods Study”

July 2021 Graduates

  • Diamonte Walker, chief executive officer, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, adjunct faculty, Point Park University, "Leading Within the Public Sector: Understanding Entrepreneurial Leadership and Its Impact on Public Service Delivery"

June 2021 Graduates

  • Jennifer Beagan, senior program director, teaching and learning, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, “A Phenomenological Study of How Transformational Leadership is Influenced by the Human-Centered Design Approach in Developing Organizational Synergy”
  • David Caplan, police officer, “Perceptions of Leadership Styles and Job Satisfaction of Campus Police”
  • Cari Ciancio, trauma-informed leadership, freelance trainer, executive director, Butler County Humane Society, “The Crisis of Burnout in Human Services and Changing the Course of Nonprofit Work” 
  • Kristopher M. Hupp, director of technology and instructional innovation, Cornell School District, “The Role of Planned Educational Ecosystems in the Diffusion of Disruptive Innovations for Marginalized Students” 
  • Ron Kitsko, principal, Mt. Lebanon School District, “Teaching During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Impact of Teacher Self-Efficacy Upon Effective Online Instruction" 
  • Kelly Lake, Pre-K family service specialist, Pittsburgh Public Schools, “A Phenomenological Study of the Journey to Becoming a Culturally Responsive Dream Keeper in the Early Childhood Classroom” 
  • Kevin Maurer, associate middle school principal, South Fayette Township School District, “A Qualitative Study of Parental Involvement in Middle School Character Education and Social and Emotional Learning Programming”
  • Daniel Morrow, high school assistant principal, Commonwealth Charter Academy, “Exploring Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment in Relation to Its Impact on Retention of Private School Teachers in Western Pennsylvania”
  • Deborah Riccobelli, high school principal, Quaker Valley High School, Quaker Valley School District, “Empowering Student Voice, Agency and Leadership to Facilitate Intercultural Competency: A Narrative Inquiry”

May 2021 Graduates

  • Cassandra Bozek, supervisor of special education/pupil services, West Jefferson Hills School District, “Inclusion in the General Education Classroom: Collaboration Between Elementary Special Education and General Education Teachers for the Successful Inclusion of Students Identified with an Emotional Disturbance”
  • Sherlyn Harrison, early head start program coordinator, Pittsburgh Public Schools, “Promoting Positive Racial Identity Development in African American Children: A Qualitative Investigation of How Parents’ Racial Socialization Practices Can Be Integrated in Early Childhood”
  • Laura Miller, program principal, Dorseyville Middle School, Fox Chapel Area School District, “Factors That Influence Personal Satisfaction and Longevity: A Qualitative Study of Superintendents in Western Pennsylvania”
  • Daniel O’Rourke, principal, Boyce Middle School, Upper St. Clair School District, “Principal Perceptions of the Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Successful School Leadership”
  • Jason Ramsey, elementary principal, Mt. Lebanon School District, “Holding on to Experienced Leadership: Support Systems Needed to Retain and Support Experienced Principals"
  • Sharon Smith, special education coordinator, Hampton Township School District, “Reflections of K-12 Administrators on Leadership Style, Stress and Mitigation Strategies: A Mixed Methods Study on Burnout Prevention”

April 2021 Graduates

  • James Baker, coordinator of technology integration and student information, Greensburg Salem School District, “Mitigating Teacher Burnout: A Quantitative Study Examining the Relationship Between Dimensions of Teacher Self-Efficacy, Hierarchy of Needs and Job Satisfaction”
  • Felicia Bender-Stewart, administrator and program manager, Children's Neuroscience Institute, University of Pittsburgh Department of Critical Care Medicine, “Adjust School Violence Prevention and Response Plans Based on Leadership: Investigating the Perceptions and Experiences of Allegheny County Public Elementary School Principals”
  • Susan Dreves, assistant professor of education, Grove City College, “Can I Do It? A Phenomenological Study Interpreting the Journey to Self- Efficacy in the Student Teaching Experience”
  • Jennifer Sturge, specialist for school libraries and digital learning, Calvert School District in Maryland, “School Libraries and Diversity of LGBTQ+ Voice: A Study of Equity and Practice”
  • Robert Motte, superintendent, Monessen School District, “Team Leadership: A Theoretical Study of Essential Characteristics of Leadership Factors Within a Professional Learning Community (PLC) as Perceived by Public School Principals in Western Pennsylvania”
  • Daniel Swoger, principal, Marshall Middle School in North Allegheny School District, “Student Connectedness: The Role of the Teacher”

March 2021 Graduates

  • Kelly Pascarella, teacher, Boyce Middle School, Upper St. Clair School District, author, executive director, Education Blueprint, “An Examination of Teacher Criteria for the Access, Management, and Evaluation of Digital Education Resources Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic and Emergency Remote Teaching”
  • Jaime Eimiller, principal, Bradford Woods Elementary School in North Allegheny School District, “Teachers’ Perceptions of Principals’ Behaviors That Influence Organizational Climate”

January 2021 Graduates

  • Sean Aiken, superintendent, Shaler Area School District, "Lived Experience of Authentic Leaders During the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis: A Qualitative Study of School Superintendents" 
  • Simeon Chielu, "Ethnic Conflict in Nigeria: A Narrative Inquiry of Individuals Who Emigrated from Nigeria to the United States and Their Lived Experience" 
  • Greta Kuzilla, principal, Hance Elementary School, Pine-Richland School District, "Fortifying Female Teacher Workforce Engagement with Targeted Strategies Deployed by Education Leaders" 
  • Catherine Russo, coordinator of curriculum, instruction, assessment and funding programs, Highlands School District, "Instructional Strategies in Mathematics that Promote Career-Readiness for Economically Disadvantaged Students" 
  • Kristofer Stubbs, executive director of enrollment services, Community College of Allegheny County, "Secondary Teachers’ Classroom Use of Social Media and the Effectiveness of Technology Training"

November 2020 Graduates

  • Joseph A. Bradley, superintendent of schools and administrative director, CACTC for the Connellsville Area School District, "Advocacy for Extracurricular Activities by Superintendents of Pennsylvania Rural and Small School Districts"
  • Valetta J. Ford, adjunct professor, Geneva College, "An Exploration of Heutagogy and Self-Determined Learning Experiences of African American Adult Students in the Pursuit of an Undergraduate Degree"

October 2020 Graduates

  • LaSaune Hornsby-Rayzer, developmental advisor, Pittsburgh Brookline PreK-8 School in the Pittsburgh Public School District, "Examining the Possible Implicit Bias of Teachers and the Potential Impact on Teacher-Student Relationship and the Academic Performance of Urban Black Students"
  • Preeti Juneja, associate professor, Community College of Allegheny County, "Factors that Impact Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Experiences in Early Childhood Settings in Pennsylvania"

September 2020 Graduates

  • Stephanie S. Glazar, adjunct instructor in the Natural Sciences, Engineering and Technology Department, Point Park University, "Taking Their Place at the Leadership Table: A Qualitative Study of Potential Leadership Barriers for STEM Women Faculty in Higher Education"

August 2020 Graduates

  • R. Wayne Jones, CEO, Penn Hills Charter School of Entrepreneurship, "The Impact Entrepreneurial Education has on the Efficacy of Teachers in K-12 Schools: An Empirical Study of Middle School Teachers in Pennsylvania"
  • Christine Mussomeli, assistant principal, Boyce Middle School in Upper St. Clair School District, "A Qualitative Study that Examines the Lived Experiences of Novice Teachers Participating in Induction Programs"
  • Nicole Roberts-Bitar, principal, Martin & H.D. Berkey School in the New Kensington- Arnold School District, "Compassion Fatigue and Compassion Satisfaction in High Poverty Schools"

July 2020 Graduates

  • Ashley M. Boyers, middle school principal, Plum Borough School District, "Co-Teaching: The Perceptions of Secondary Teachers for Professional Development and Principal Support"
  • Jeffrey J. Kattan, middle school principal, Keystone Oaks School District, "The Impact of Technology on Innovative Pedagogy and Creative Lesson Planning"
  • Mark A. Korcinsky, high school assistant principal, Bethel Park School District, board member, Beaver Area School District, "Assessing Situational Approach to Leadership by Secondary School Administrators with Multigenerational Faculties"
  • Carrie E. Potter-Murray, senior director of specialized educational services, Holy Family Institute, "Were Women Really 'Destined to Rule the Schools?': A Phenomenological Study Aligning Societal Contexts with Crucibles Among Women in Superintendencies"

June 2020 Graduates

  • Cynthia L. Flaherty, director of educational support services, Southern Fulton School District, "A Case Study of Post-Secondary Education Opportunities for the Rural Remote High School Graduate in Pennsylvania"
  • Carrie Frohnapfel, IDEA training and consultation coordinator, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, "You Have 'Those Kids' in Class: A Phenomenological Study of the Specific Classroom Management Procedures that General Education Teachers Implement That Positively Impact their Perception of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders"
  • Sherman A. Lucas, IV, CEO, Lucas Coaching & Consulting, LLC, corporate trainer, Recovery Centers of America, "The Perceptions of Direct Care Staff and Administrators with Experiencing Compassion Fatigue and Compassion Satisfaction in an Urban Health Care Facility"
  • Amy Horvat, assistant principal, Penn-Trafford High School, "Teacher Preparedness to Teach Writing: Perceptions in Specific Tested Areas"
  • Harold Minford, assistant middle school principal, West Mifflin School District, "Emotional Intelligence and Men’s Basketball Coaches"
  • Autumn Moore, peoples operation associate, HomeServe UA, Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, "Race, Generation, and Gender: Reflections of African-American Millennial Women Entrepreneurs on their Career Development"

May 2020 Graduates

  • Samantha Abate, assistant middle school principal, director of transportation, Deer Lakes School District, "Mental Health Needs in Middle School Classrooms: A Qualitative Study of Teacher Perceptions"
  • Diane E. Fierle, curriculum services supervisor, Westmoreland Intermediate Unit, "Instructional Coaching for Teacher Growth: A Phenomenological Study of Instructional Coaching as a Capacity-Building Lever for Strengthening Teach Practice in Public Middle Schools"
  • Tina Marie Francis, assistant principal, Seneca Valley School District, "Math Workshop: A Study of Teacher Implementation and Student Achievement"
  • Nicholas P. LaMantia, assistant high school principal, Highlands School District, "Nonverbal Communication from Leaders: Critical Analysis of the Followers’ Perceptions"

April 2020 Graduates

  • Jessica Bindrim, induction and residency coach, Propel Schools, "Novice Teacher Self-Efficacy for Urban Education: The Impact of Teacher Preparation Programs"
  • Andrew McIntyre, research associate, Point Park University School of Education, "The Influence of High-Impact Practices and the Holland Typology on Student Learning Outcomes in College Seniors"
  • John F. Morey, assistant principal, North Allegheny Intermediate High School, North Allegheny School District, "Social and Emotional Learning of Middle School Students: A Quantitative Study of the Effectiveness of an Advisory Program"
  • Cassandra Lynn Pencek, former elementary principal, current educational sales consultant, Butler Area School District, "School Case Study: Implementation of a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Model in a Low-Income School"
  • Heather Riley-Hibner, high school principal, Plum High School, Plum Borough School District, "An Educational Paradigm Shift: A Quantitative Study on Effective Instructional Strategies Paired with Individualized Learning Technologies and the Effect on Student Growth in Schools in Southwestern Pennsylvania"

March 2020 Graduates

  • Tyler P. Cook, Klein Elementary, Harbor Creek School District, "The Development of an Authentic Leader:  A Principal’s Perspective"
  • Robyn Davies, high school English teacher, Mars Area School District, "Effective Strategies Utilized by Public Schools to Close the Achievement Gap for African Americans"
  • Evren Karabacak, CEO and founder at Fatsa LLC. DBA Geppetto Cafe, "Perceptions of Innovative Leadership and Innovative Culture of the Organization at the Level of Employees"
  • R. Patrick Marchand, principal, Kiski Area East Primary School, Kiski Area School District, "A Quantitative Study of the Impact of Professional Learning Communities on Standardized Test Scores in Low Socioeconomic Schools in Western Pennsylvania"
  • Jason T. Olexa, principal, Brentwood High School, WPIAL/PIAA board; board member, South Fayette Township School District, "Perceptions and Experiences of Middle and High School Principals Implementing the Pennsylvania Teacher Effectiveness System in Western Pennsylvania"
  • Autumn Turk, director of curriculum and development, Burrell School District, "Creating a Culture of Personalized Learning in the Middle School: How Teacher Efficacy Impacts Implementation"
  • Kamryn York, assistant professor, Point Park University's School of Education, "A Phenomenological Case Study: Understanding a Campus-Based Student Teaching Abroad Experience"

November 2019 Graduates

  • Jacquline Gray, market people operations lead, Walmart, "Examining the Unconscious Biases that Potentially Exist in Human Resources Practices in Western Pennsylvania"
  • Debra Killmeyer, assistant vice president and workforce dean, Community College of Allegheny County, "Are Micro-Credentials a Viable Solution for Workforce Training in the State of Pennsylvania"

August 2019 Graduates

  • Regina Hiler, executive director, Butler County Area Vocational and Technical School, "A Study of High School Counselors’ Perceptions of Their Effectiveness in Preparing Students for College and Careers Upon Graduation"
  • Yvonne English Roebuck, diversity, equity and inclusion project director and strategic marketing consultant, "Comparative Study of Leadership Styles Among African Americans in For-Profit and Nonprofit Sectors"
  • Amy Woomer, chief education officer, Appalachia Intermediate Unit 08, "A Case Study of Secondary Special Education Co-Teachers. Do Their Instructional Roles and Responsibilities Meet Their Job Satisfaction Needs?"

June and July 2019 Graduates

  • Gregory Capoccioni, assistant principal, Penn-Trafford High School, Penn Trafford School District, "Pedagogy of Online Teaching: A Case Study of Online Instructors"
  • Robert Kartychak, assistant principal, Hopewell Area School District, "The Age Appropriateness of Text Dependent Analysis Questions on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment – A Quantitative Study"
  • Rebecca McGee, student services supervisor, Westmoreland Intermediate Unit, "Special Educators’ Perceptions of Principals’ Leadership Behaviors"
  • Anthony Popowitz, assistant principal, Elizabeth Forward School District, "Secondary School SWPBIS with Fidelity in Pennsylvania: An Exploration of Student Disciplinary Outcomes and School Climate"
  • Douglas Szokoly, high school principal, Cornell School District, "Instructional Coaching: Perceptions of the Dynamic Learning Project Coaching Model in Western Pennsylvania Middle Schools"

April and May 2019 Graduates

  • Gregory Capoccioni, assistant principal, Penn-Trafford High School, "Pedagogy of Online Teaching: A Case Study of Online Instructors"
  • Brian Kutchak, principal, Kiski Area School District, "A Qualitative Study of the Professional Learning Community Factors that Influence Effectiveness in Elementary Schools in Western Pennsylvania"
  • Emily Madigan, early intervention supervisor, Pittsburgh Public Schools, "Teacher Self-Rated Analysis of ECERS in Keystone Stars"
  • Angela McEwen, former assistant principal, North Allegheny Intermediate High School, "An Examination of Sources of Student Stress in High-Achieving Schools: Perceptions of School Counselors"
  • William McGahee, assistant principal, Carson Middle School, North Allegheny School District, "The Importance of Attending School: A Quantitative Analysis of the Relationship Between Student Attendance and Academic Achievement"
  • Tammi McMillan, faculty instructor director, Carlow University, “An Overview of the African American Male Teacher and His Relevance Today”
  • Laura Ward, librarian, Fox Chapel High School, Fox Chapel Area School District, "Evaluating the Relationship of School Librarians and Academic Achievement: A Qualitative Study of Standardized Reading Test Scores in West Virginia Public Schools"

January and March 2019 Graduates

  • Christopher Caton, director of curriculum and assessment, Northgate School District, "The Effect of a Formalized Program of Training and Endorsement on Instructional Coaching in Pennsylvania"
  • Michael Fisher, assistant superintendent, Peters Township School District, "K-8 Grade Span Configurations and Their Impact on Students Transitioning Between Schools"
  • Kellie Hobbs, data coordinator, Westmont Hilltop School District, "Teacher Perceptions of Personalized Learning in Pennsylvania Public Elementary Schools: A Qualitative Study of Personalized Learning in Elementary Schools"
  • Jennifer Jennings, assistant principal, Duquesne City School District, "Principal’s Perceptions of the Use of Shared Leadership and Teacher’s Perceptions of School Climate"
  • Marlynn Lux, middle school principal, Hampton Township School District, "Authentic Character Education Programs in Public Middle Schools"
  • Tamara Thornhill, therapist, Family Christian, "The Resilience of Teen Mothers and the Contributing Factors to Their Academic Success and Enrollment in Post-Secondary Education: A Mixed Methods Study"

August, September and December 2018 Graduates

  • Bonnie Betler, principal, Moore Elementary School, Brentwood Borough School District, "Levels of Systems Thinking Exhibited by School Leaders"
  • Charles Burger, school liaison, CDC Foundation and Trumball County Combined Health District, "Ecological Paradigms of University Undergraduate Students in Pittsburgh: To What Extent is There a Connection to Action"
  • Aaron Cook, educational consultant, Newport Group, "Impact of Student Engagement on Sense of Belonging and Institutional Satisfaction of African American Male Students Attending Predominantly White Institutions"
  • Christie Lewis, assistant professor of education, Chatham University, "The Lived Educational Experiences of Multiracial College Graduates that Grew Up In Poverty"
  • Nzingha Uhuru, instructor, Point Park University, "The Devolution of African American Literacy: What are the Characteristics of Successful African-Centered Academies that Translate into Proficient and Advanced Literacy Scores on Standardized Exams?"

July 2018 Graduates

  • Nicole Bezila, director of pupil services, North Hills School District, "The Impacts of Co-Teaching on 7th Grade Math Achievement"
  • Terrance Davis, operations manager, Krise Transportation and Port Authority of Allegheny County, "Deterring the School-to-Prison Pipeline:  An Examination into Principals’ Perceptions of Restorative Practices"
  • Dayna Sikora, supervisor of special education, Hempfield Area School District, "A Qualitative Study of Teachers’ Perceptions of the Curriculum Development Process"
  • Stephanie Svilar, dean of counseling and student development, Pittsburgh Technical College, "Effectiveness of High School Student Assistance Programs in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania"
  • Charles Youngs, educational consultant and English and communications teacher, curriculum facilitator and instructional technology coach, Bethel Park School District, "Organizational Mindfulness and Mindful Organizing in Effective High Schools: A Mixed-Methods Study of Department Leaders' Perceptions"

June 2018 Graduates

  • Jennifer Godzak, elementary principal, Belle Vernon Area School District, "K-2 Teachers’ Perceptions about Utilizing Assessment Data to Support Reading Development"
  • Shannon Howard, assistant principal, Shaler Area Middle School, "Higher Education Faculty’s Perceptions of Program Assessment of Student Learning"
  • Yarra Howze, principal, Allegheny Traditional Academy 6-8, Pittsburgh Public Schools, "The Social, Academic, and Professional Coping Techniques of African-American Male Executives in Education"
  • Kimberly Katruska, behavior consultant and program development, Merakey, "Effects on Employee Professional Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue: A Case Study Investigation of the Sanctuary Model of Trauma-Informed Care"
  • Channing Moreland, senior solutions consultant, TiER 1 Performance, "The Lived Leadership Experiences of Black Women Professionals:  A Phenomenological Qualitative Study of the Intersectionality of Race and Gender"
  • Lisa Ann Pickett, Ci-L&Ls Library & Literary Services, Pittsburgh Public Schools, "Race-Based Trauma, Secondary Education Interventions and African American Youth"
  • LouAnn Ross, CARES executive director and president of the FOA Foundation, Finance of America Companies, "Examining Leadership Opportunities in Selected Sectors for Underrepresented Populations"
  • Michael Silvio, senior revenue management analyst, FedEx Services, "Authentic Leadership and Employee Retention"
  • Beth Williams, assistant superintendent, North Hills High School, "Factors that Influence a Superintendent’s Emotional Intelligence"

March and April 2018 Graduates

  • Briane Adams, supervisor of career and technical education, Pittsburgh Public Schools, "Evaluating the Racial Disparities of Discipline: A Study of Public School Districts in Allegheny County"
  • Justin Aglio, associate vice president for outreach, Penn State University, "Shifting Educational Pedagogy Through the Use of Technology-Enhanced Innovations"
  • Maureen Anderson, director of programs and operations, Voices Against Violence, "Evaluating the Self-Efficacy of Second Career Teachers and Its Possible Effects on Students in Selected Low Socioeconomic Status Public High Schools in Southwestern Pennsylvania"
  • Tyler J. Bowen, account executive, Cayuse, LLC, "Coaches as Leaders:  Leading in High-Level Environments"
  • Karen Hall, assistant executive director, Ozanam Basketball Inc., "Factors that Influence National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Basketball Teams to Sustain High Performance Championship Level"
  • Laura Hartzell, high school principal, South Fayette Township School District, "Teacher-Student Relationships and School Effectiveness"
  • Maleea D. Johnson, director of equity and inclusion, Carlow University, "Increasing Diversity in the Professoriate:  A Qualitative Study of Factors and Practices that Impact Recruitment and Retention"
  • Kelly Muic-Lombard, educator, "An Exploration into the Use of Human-Centered Design Thinking in High Achieving High Schools"
  • Nora Rezzetano, senior proposal specialist, Maximus, "A Comparison of Andragogy, an Adult Learning Theory, and the Transfer of Training Theory:  A Mixed Methods Study in the Workplace"
  • Seth Irwin Ringold, teacher and adjunct professor, "General Education Teachers’ Attitudes Regarding Disabilities and Inclusion: Implications for Teacher Education Programs"
  • Leslie Ann Scott, regional human resources director, Pressley Ridge, "Mindfulness and Goal Orientation:  A Quantitative Study Exploring the Relationship Between Mindfulness and Goal Orientation"
  • Deidra Stepko, elementary principal, Chartiers Valley Primary School, Chartiers Valley School District, "Teacher and Parent/Guardian Perspectives on Student Retention"
  • Gina DeMarco Wall, self-employed educational consultant, Parla! Language & Consulting, "Principals’ Leadership Role in English as a Second Language Programs in Pennsylvania"
  • Stephanie White, English teacher, West Allegheny High School, "Opportunities and Barriers to Female Leadership in Secondary Education:  A Qualitative Analysis"

February 2018 Graduates

  • Paul Cindric, program director, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, "The Extent of the Utilization of Historical Thinking Assessment and Instructional Methods Among Secondary History Teachers"
  • Aspen Mock, freelance writer, "Collaborative Creativity:  Educational Leadership Real & Reimagined: A Historical Case Study"

December 2017 Graduates

  • Mark J. Kudlawiec, superintendent of schools, Chestnut Ridge School District, "What are the Perceptions of Rural School Safety and Violence as Seen Through the Eyes of Superintendents, Principals, Teachers and Students 18 Years of Age or Older?"
  • Cheryl Hall-Russell, president and chief cultural consultant, Black Women, Wise Women – BW3 – Supporting Inclusive Executive Leadership, "Resilience in the Face of Gender and Race Intersectionality: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study of Black Female Executives"
  • Patti Yakshe, owner, founder and president, Pittsburgh Career Institute, "A Comparative Analysis of the Outcomes Between Urban Career Colleges and Urban Community Colleges"

September and October 2017 Graduates

  • Leah Spangler, CEO, The Learning Lamp & Ignite Education Solutions, "Characteristics of Pennsylvania's K-12 Public School-Supporting Foundations: A Mixed Methods Study of the Commonwealth's Education Foundations"
  • Anne Stillwagon, Title 1 Teacher, Frazier School District, "The Exploration of the Balance of the Principal Leadership Styles in Innovative Schools"

June 2017 Graduates

  • Rhonda L. Hall, director of family and community partnerships, University of Pittsburgh, "Parent and Teacher Perceptions: Parental Involvement in Charter Middle Schools"
  • Renee Hurley, licensed professional counselor, Ramous Psychology & Associates and Penn Highlands, "The Lived Experience of Emergency Department Nurses and the Phenomenon of Compassion Fatigue"

March 2017 Graduates

  • Kimberly Abel, executive director, Center for Executive Education and Executive MBA Programs, clinical assistant professor, University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business, "Where Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence and Title IX Intersect"
  • Michele Capaccio, English teacher, West Mifflin Area High School and Ed.D. cohort coordinator, Point Park University, "The Impact of Personal Media Devices on Undergraduate College Student Classroom Engagement"
  • Aimee Cordero-Davis, counselor, The Parenting Institute, "What Factors Influence Recidivism in Juvenile Court: A Study of Closed Cases of Court Adjudicated Youth"
  • Joe L. Maluchnik, superintendent, Wilkinsburg School District, "Middle School Programs and Practices: Do the 16 Characteristics Identified by the Association for Middle Level Education Correlate to Student Achievement?"
  • Aleina Smith, adjunct lecturer, communications, Carlow University, "Dimensions of the Glass Ceiling: Understanding Barriers to Career Progression for Mid-Career Female Leaders. A Phenomenological Qualitative Study of Female Leaders in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania."

December 2016 Graduates

  • Michelle Hall, elementary director of curriculum and instruction, Tuscarora School District, "Perceived Self-Efficacy of Teachers Who Receive Discipline-Specific Instruction in Writing Through One-to-One Instructional Coaching – A Case Study"
  • William Henderson, superintendent, Frazier School District, "Superintendent Perceptions of Leadership Performance Roles: A Small School District vs. Large School District Comparison"
  • James Ice, managing director and owner, Jim Ice & Associates | North Star Learning, "A Servant Leader's Impact on Employee Psychological Capital: What is the Relationship of an Employee's Perception of Their Manager's Servant Leader Behaviors on their Reported Psychological Capital?"
  • Trisha Martell, principal, Elizabeth Forward Middle School, "What are the Implementation Characteristics of a Middle School School-Based Mentoring Program? A Descriptive Case Study and Program Evaluation"
  • James McCoy, high school principal, Pittsburgh Allderdice, Pittsburgh Public Schools, "Perceived Prior Contextual Experiences and Their Influence on Magnet School Students in the Ninth Grade Transition"
  • Janet Niethamer, reading specialist, Gateway School District, "Challenges and Opportunities in the Acquisition and Use of Honored Multicultural Children's Literature: A Case Study of Community Libraries in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania"
  • Ashley Pile, seventh grade English teacher, Seneca Valley School District, "Characteristics of Seventh Grade Interdisciplinary Teams That Promote Adolescent-Centered Communities"
  • Laurie Tocci, elementary school principal, Hampton Township School District, "Reflections of Instructional Technology Interns on the School-University Internship Experience: An Interpretive Case Study of Pre-Service Teacher Interns"

August 2016 Graduates

  • Amy Miller, assistant principal, Cumberland Valley High School, Cumberland Valley School District, “Are Resilient Principals More Committed to Their Work?: A Quantitative Study of Resilience and Work Commitment Among Principals in Pennsylvania"
  • Laura Miller, training and consultation coordinator - MTSS, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, “Is There a Relationship Between Professional Experience and Perceived Self-Efficacy Characteristics and Heutagogical Practices in Teachers? A Mixed Methods Study of Heutagogical Practices in Pennsylvania Public Schools”
  • Kelly Noyes, program director for K-12 ESL and federal programs, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, “Factors That Influence English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Directors' and Educators' Choice of Program Model or Instructional Approach: A Mixed Methods Study of Pennsylvania Public Schools”