Ed.D Leadership Program Dissertation Defenses

Students from the third cohort of the Lurie College Ed.D Leadership program defended their dissertations during the Spring 2019 semester – learn more about each of their dissertations below!
Radha Aravamudhan | Thu., Mar. 7, 1:30pm, SH 412“Bridging the English Language Divide and Building Self-Confidence in Dalit Communities: An Exploratory Study in Tamil Nadu, India”
The purpose of this study was to investigate the implementation of a community-based English program in rural India.  Findings shared through a documentary film demonstrated that the asset-based approach of the program had a positive impact on student self-confidence, academic engagement, and upward social mobility.
Committee: Dr. Amy Leisenring, Dr. Robert Gliner, and Dr. Srinivas Naga Chadaram
Annette Renee Kennedy | Wed., Mar. 20, 1:30pm, SH 412“Students of Black or African American Ancestry in Grades 10th-12th Perceptions of Their Schooling Experiences”
The intent of this study was to gain an understanding of how Black or African American high school students’ engage and interact with staff and peers, bring an awareness of the extent racial microaggressions are experienced, and to raise the level of cultural consciousness within the classroom learning environment.
Committee: Dr. Amy Leisenring, Dr. Megan Thiele, and Dr. Thomas Moriarty
Catherine Voss Plaxton | Wed., Mar. 27, 10am, SH 332“A Text Message Nudge Intervention Designed to Increase Student Professional Development Engagement”
This study examined the effects of an intervention on student professional development engagement (PDE).  A research goal was to assess if status quo bias, the tendency to maintain current decisions and behaviors even when new information emerges and better options are available, is a barrier to PDE.
Committee: Dr. Elaine Chin, Dr. Cara Maffini, Dr. Jennifer Redd
Rebecca O’Brien | Mon., Apr. 8, 4pm, SH 332“Models of Spiritual Leadership: The Gap Between Policy and Ethics”
This project reviews spiritual leadership and critical spirituality theories and how educational leaders incorporate that spirituality into their practices when making ethical decisions.
Committee: Dr. Kathleen McConnell, Dr. Noni Reis, Dr. Nikki Citerella
Sara Douglas | Tue., Apr. 9, 11:30am, SH 332“A Look Inside the Black Box: Understanding Communicative Exchanges in Online Learning Environments”
This study utilizes direct observation of students (n=5) along with educator surveys (n=49) to determine if online high school students are participating in academic discourse and peer collaboration activities.  Perceptions of the value, feasibility, constraints, and affordances of these activities are discussed.
Committee: Dr. Emily Slusser, Dr. Mark Felton, Dr. Pamela Cheng
Anji Buckner | Fri., Apr. 12, 11:30am, SH 412“Superintendent Beliefs About the Assessment and Use of School Climate Data for Continuous Improvement”
Mixed methods study exploring local school climate assessment practices and superintendent beliefs about the importance of school climate assessment, their capacity to use school climate data for decision making, and their trust in the data.
Committee: Dr. Brent Duckor, Dr. Roxana Marachi, Dr. Kathleen M. Roe
Analiza Filion | Fri., Apr. 12, 1pm, SH 448“Experiences of Adolescent Refugee Students who Attend Afterschool Programs for Literacy Support”
This dissertation study incorporated a documentary research approach to investigate the experiences of five adolescent refugee students who attended afterschool programs as an additional resource for developing their literacty skills.  This study also explored how refugee students perceived safety within the afterschool program environment.  The documentary film Creating Safe Learning Spaces in Turbulent Times was created as a component of this study to illustrate the students’ experiences.
Committee: Dr. Carols Garcia, Dr. David Villegas, Dr. Robert Gliner
Hyon Chu Yi-Baker | Fri., May 17, 10am, SH 412“Civic Engagement and Impact on Asian American Community College Students: Effects on Academic Achievement, Campus Involvement, and Critical Consciousness Development”
This research examines Asian American students at a local community college and the effects of civic participation on their collegiate experience including their motivation for getting involved in civic and leadership opportunities and the impact it has on their academic performance, and development in the areas of their racial identity, leadership, and critical consciousness.
Committee: Dr. Ellen Middaugh, Dr. Funie Hsu, and Dr. John Mosby
Elida MacArthur | Mon., May 20, 12:30pm, SH 412“The Possible Potential of Formative Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning for English Learners and the Teachers’ Beliefs About the Benefits of Formative Assessment for English Learners in a Small Elementary School District”
This mixed methods study explored the teachers’ beliefs on formative assessment.  Most recent literature suggests using FA to improve teaching to support the demands of the Common Core Standards for English learners.
Committee: Dr. Brent Duckor and Dr. Noni Reis
John Schilling | Fri., Jun. 28, 10:30am, SH 412“Multi-tiered Systems of Support of California Rural School Settings”
The purpose of the research was to examine how California rural schools and rural school leaders are confronting the challenge of implementing Multi-Tiered Systems of Support with limited resources.
Committee: Dr. Arnold Danzig, Dr. Noni Reis, and Dr. Rosa Coronado
Learn more about the SJSU Lurie College Ed.D Leadership program at

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