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Introducing our Doctoral Students

Meet some of our Ed.D. students and learn about their interests, career goals and why they chose Point Park.

Fall 2021 Cohort

Pictured is Shavonne Johnson. Submitted photo.Shavonne Johnson

Job title and employer: District mathematics coach, Pittsburgh Public Schools

Career goals: To lead a school and teach at the higher education level. 

What attracted you to Point Park? Point Park was recommended by my colleagues. I received my Master’s in C&I and my principal certification from Point Park. I returned for my doctorate because the faculty are invested in my success and the coursework is challenging and applicable.


Pictured is Robert Lee. Submitted photo.Robert Lee

Job title and employer: Director of administrative services, Laurel School District

Career goals: I would like to move into a superintendent position at some point. I'm also very much interested in teaching in higher education as well. 

What attracted you to Point Park? Obtaining my doctorate has always been a bucket list item for me. I knew this was something I wanted to do since I first started this journey. My undergrad and graduate degrees are from Point Park, and working with the School of Education was such a positive experience, there really isn't any place else I would rather attend. 

Fall 2020 Cohort

Pictured is Eric Baker. Submitted photo.Eric Baker

Job title and employer: Police sergeant, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police

Career goals: To change the culture of American policing through ethical leadership.

What attracted you to Point Park? I love Point Park as everyone here has gone out of their way to ensure that I have every possible tool to be successful. 



Pictured is Lauren Becker Leipart. Submitted photo.Lauren Becker-Leipart

Job title and employer: Literacy instructor, North Country Supervisory Union in Vermont

Career goals: Research, teaching and scholarship.

What attracted you to Point Park? It aligns with my research interests and experiences.



Pictured is Carla Duerr. Submitted photo.Carla Duerr

Job title and employer: Technical support analyst, Phillips Respironics

Career goals: To teach college students.

What attracted you to Point Park? I earned my master's degree at the University.




Pictured is David Freidenbloom. Submitted photo.David Friedenbloom

Job title and employer: Director of curriculum and instruction, Chestnut Ridge School District

Career goals: Aspiring to better serve the students, families, teachers and the Chestnut Ridge community.

What attracted you to Point Park? Convenience of the online format and the reputation of the Ed.D. program.



Pictured is Lucas Furlow. Submitted photo.Lucas Furlow

Job title and employer: Elementary school principal, Moon Area School District

Career goals: Attaining more education for self-improvement and to attain more options.

What attracted you to Point Park? The Ed.D. program is student-centered




Pictured is Dominique Furrowh. Submitted photo.Dominique Furrowh

Job title and employer: Elementary special education teacher, public school district in Newark, Del.

What attracted you to Point Park? The wonderful professors and online learning option.  





Pictured is Amy Highfield. Submitted photo.Amy Highfield

Job title and employer: Principal, Hasson Elementary School in Oil City Area School District

Career goals: Obtain my Ed.D. to grow professionally and seek employment at a higher education institution.

What attracted you to Point Park? I was intrigued by the Ed.D. program at Point Park, researched it and was very excited to meet the professors and enroll in the program.



Pictured is Michael Howze. Submitted photo.

Michael Howze

Job title and employer: Director of human resources, Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County in Ithaca, N.Y.

Career goals: To continue to grow within the field of human resources by assisting individuals and organizations achieve their desired level of success.

What attracted you to Point Park? I earned my M.A. at Point Park, and I'm familiar with the University’s fine reputation. The staff and faculty are some of the nicest people to work with, and the coursework is challenging and relevant.  


Pictured is Nabila Ighemat. Submitted photo.Nabila Iglemat

Job title and employer: Teacher, Montgomery County Schools

Career goals: Become a college professor.

What attracted you to Point Park? The flexibility of the program while also working as a full-time teacher.




Pictured is Julie Kupec. Submitted photo.Julie Kupec

Job title and employer: English and social studies teacher, Pittsburgh Public Schools

Career goals: To write and implement curriculum.

What attracted you to Point Park? The two-year online option.




Pictured is Kwame Ntiamoah. Submitted photo.Kwame Ntiamoah

Job title and employer: Special education teacher, Commonwealth Charter Academy

Career goals: To become an expert in the field of special education leadership.

What attracted you to Point Park? The experienced and diverse faculty.



Pictured is Amy Pastorak. Submitted photo.Amy Pastorak

Job title and employer: Assistant director, Bureau of Education for the Pennsylvania Department of Education

Career goals: To improve outcomes for students with disabilities by enhancing the knowledge and skill set of special educators.

What attracted you to Point Park? I am an alumna, and the coursework and program format meet my needs as a professional.


Pictured is April Ragland. Submitted photo.April Ragland

Job title and employer: Assistant director of pupil services, Peters Township School District

Career goals: To become the director of the pupil services program.

What attracted you to Point Park? I completed the Principal Certification and Letter of Eligibility at the University. I have always been very impressed with the quality of instruction and knowledge of the professors at Point Park and feel that the University provides mentoring relationships and fosters engaged conversation with peers.


Pictured is Chaz Shipman. Submitted photo.Chaz Shipman

Job title and employer: Band director, Freeport Area School District

Career goals: To work in administration.

What attracted you to Point Park? The online cohort option. 




Pictured is Kelly Shirting. Submitted photo.Kelly Shirting

Job title and employer: Assistant principal at Penn Hills High School

Career goals: To become a superintendent.

What attracted you to Point Park? I'm an alumna, and I know the quality education the University provides.



Pictured is Rebekah Young. Submitted photo.Rebekah Young

Job title and employer: Natural sciences instructor, Point Park University

Career goals: My short-term goal is to continue teaching at the post-secondary level. My long-term career goal is to pursue a leadership position in higher education.

What attracted you to Point Park? I had just finished the M.A. in Adult Learning and Training program and enjoyed it immensely. I continued into the Ed.D. program because of my love for learning. I believe the level of excellence at Point Park is one of a kind. 


Learn More

Point Park University's Ed.D. program in leadership and administration — with a fully online option — will expand your leadership skills and help you reach a higher-level position in your career.

You can complete our 54-credit, cohort-style degree program in just three years — or less — if transferring in post-master's credits.

Request more information or apply online