Ed.D. Student Directory

The Ed.D. degree helps future and current leaders develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to solve problems of practice and improve instructional quality.
Learn about some of our current Ed.D. students below.
Last Names: A-D  E-K  L-W
Joseph Abraham
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Accessibility, Information Seeking Behavior, Libraries, Literacy, Participatory Design, Universal Design, User Interface Design
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts, University College at Rutgers University, 2007; Master of Library and Information Science, School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University, 2010
Vickie Anderson
Concentration: Education, Culture, and Society (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Former foster care youth experience in higher education, student retention
Educational Background: BA, Dallas Baptist University, MBA, Baylor University
Research Statement: My research looks to understand former foster youth participants' experiences in university support programs during their university years and the university program's elements that contributed towards completing their studies.
Email Address: vickieranderson@msn.com
Christine Pitts-Anderson
Concentration: Education Culture and Society (Ed.D)
Research Interests: First-generation college students, low-income college students, educational equity, career development
Educational Background: M.S.Ed Student Affairs and College Counseling, Monmouth University, 2015; B.A, Rutgers University, 2012.
Research Statement: My research focuses on identifying the factors that influence the career interests and career choice among first-generation low-income college students.
David Antunes
Concentration: Special Education
Research Interests: Identification and Assessment of Learning Disabilities; Working Memory
Educational Background: Post-Masters Certification as a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDTC),Masters in Educational Psychology,Bachelors in Elementary Education
Research Statement: "Under Construction"
Email Address: dantunes@gse.rutgers.edu
Valentina Arango
Concentration: Education, Culture and Society
Research Interests: How Race and Class affect student achievement.
Educational Background: Major English  2014, Rutgers Graduate School of Education, English Education Ed.M 2015
Research Statement: I am interested in researching ways that teachers successfully help minority and low income students with academic achievement in their classrooms, and school communities. 
Email Address: varango@rutgers.edu
Cindy Assini
Concentration: Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: professional learning communities, growth mindset, equity in education, gifted and talented
Educational Background: BA, Princeton University, 2004; MA, The College of New Jersey, 2010
Research Statement: My research interests involve developing teacher collaboration, increasing educational equity, and developing critically-thinking citizens. As a practicing educator, I am interested in the intersection of policy, research and practice, particularly in the fields of social studies and gifted and talented.
Website: assini.weebly.com
John Bird
Concentration: Education, Culture and Society (Ed.D)
Research Interests: Educational Policy, Hybrid Learning, School failure, Educational Inequality
Educational Background: Bachelor of Science Social Studies Education, New York University (06); Master of Arts Special Education, Kean University (17); Master of Education Educational Leadership, American College of Education (17); Master of Science Political Science, Rutgers University- Newark (18)
Nancy Bohnarczyk
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: training/education for preceptors and mentors to develop self efficacy in the role
Educational Background: BSN, Seton Hall University; MA, Teachers College, Columbia University; Post Masters certificate, advanced nursing education, Hunter College
Angela Boyd
Concentration: Education, Culture and Society
Research Interests: Social Justice Education
Educational Background: MDiv, MSW, LCSW
Research Statement: Practice that is not oriented toward justice does harm.
Email Address: angela.boyd@rutgers.edu
Leslie Calabrese
Concentration: Special Education
Research Interests: Behavioral sciences, special education, equity, educator professional development, pre-service educator professional development, maladaptive behaviors, K-12 learners
Educational Background: BA Journalism/Mass Media & Sociology, Douglass College, Rutgers University, 1993; MA Special Education, NJCU, 1998; Applied Behavior Analysis, Rutgers University, July 2016
Research Statement: My experience is in the field of Behavior Analysis and Special Education. My career path involves supporting the professional development of both inservice and preservice teachers. My research will combine all areas of my educational and career experience to create a better experience for our most marginalized K-12 students.
Joan Cansdale
Concentration: Teacher Leadership (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Literacy, language minority learners, academic vocabulary, multiculturalism, identity, diversity, middle school, high school, secondary
Email Address: joancansdale@gmail.com
Educational Background: B.A., Montclair State M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University M.Ed., The College of New Jersey
Jennifer Casassa
Concentration: Education, Culture and Society
Research Interests: Early Childhood Education, particularly issues of equity and access
Educational Background: BA, English George Mason University; MEd Curriculum and Instruction, George Mason University
Email Address: jmc874@rutgers.edu
Wanda Colon
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments (Ed.D.) 
Research Interests: flipped classroom, technology, non traditional college students, Latino, assimilation through education, de-culturation, intra-Latino conflicts, non-native English speakers), mentoring
Email Address: wanda.colon@rutgers.edu 
Educational Background: MBA Rutgers Camden Graduate School of Business (marketing research), BA Rutgers-Camden, MA Public Relations University of Miami Graduate School 
Tasha Y. Coleman
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments  (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Video, Instructional Design
Email Address: t.coleman@rutgers.edu 
Educational Background: B.A. in Communication and Television Broadcasting Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1998, M.A. in Communication and Information Rutgers University, 2014 
Christopher Comninel
Concentration: Education, Culture, and Society (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Pedagogy in the Social Studies classroom, civics education, perceptions of citizenship, self-efficacy, awareness, civic engagement, social justice
Educational Background: Ed.M., Social Studies Education, Rutgers Graduate School of Education, 2011; B.A., History, Political Science, Rutgers University, 2010
Sattik Deb
Concentration: Education, Culture, and Society (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Comparative higher education practices,Educational inequality,Career preparation
Educational Background: B.A. Political Science, Rutgers University, 2001; Ed.M. College Student Affairs, Rutgers University 2011; Ed.D. Education, Rutgers University, anticipated 2018
Kim Deng
Concentration: Education, Culture, and Society (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Equity, Anti-racist education, Model Minority Myth, social justice
Educational Background: M.A., New Media Studies from Depaul University and B.S., Television/Radio (Advertising and Public Relations) from Ithaca College
Email Address: kim.deng@rutgers.edu
Madinah Elamin
Concentration: Education, Culture, and Society 
Research Interests: Service Learning, Civic Engagement, Critical Pedagogy, Social Justice, Educational Equity
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts, Ramapo College of New Jersey; Master of Social Work, Rutgers University School of Social Work
Research Statement: I am interested in understanding the manner in which service learning is used to maintain the hegemony within higher education. My research seeks to examine the ways that power is enacted and supported within settings of service learning and community-university partnerships. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, snowboarding, watching Harry Potter.
Nick Fargione
Concentration: Ed.D., Special Education
Research Interests: Early Childhood, Diet/Exercise and Educational Impact, Sensory Development and Acquisition
Educational Background: B.A., Political Science/Communication - Muhlenberg '09, M.A., Teaching - Georgian Court University '11, M.A., Educational Leadership - University of Notre Dame '18
Benjamin Glaz
Concentration: Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: College Persistence, Post-secondary enrollment
Educational Background: B.S. Chemistry, Montclair State University; Ed.M. Principals and Supervisors, Rutgers GSE
Dominique Graham
Concentration: Education, Culture, and Society (Ed.D.) - 2020 cohort
Research Interests: Cognitive Learning, Student Development & Self-efficacy, STEM retention, Social Justice
Educational Background: Ed.M., Learning, Cognition & Development, Rutgers Graduate School of Education, 2018; B.A., Biological Sciences, Rutgers University-Newark, 2009
Candice Haigler
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Hybrid Learning, Technology, Instructional Design
Educational Background: M.B.A., Marketing Management, Fordham University, 2007; B.A., English Literature, Canisius College, 2002
Corina Hernandez
Concentration: Education, Culture and Society Ed.D
Research Interests: Women of Color in STEM/Computer Science in Higher Education, Feminist Pedagogy, College Persistence, Sense of Belonging in higher Education, Critical Race Theory, LatCrit, Black Feminist Theory 
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration Kean University 2013. Master of Public Administration Kean University 2015.
Research Statement: While significant advancements in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) are at the forefront of society, there continues to be a considerable gender and racial gap in the advancement of women of color in these fields. I am primarily interested in how women of color in computer science experience the major and what factors lead them to stay the course or not, specifically when these student participate in living-learning communities. I want to know, how are women of color using these resources and what resources are missing from these support services.
Debbie Huisman
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Staff training, professional development
Chelsea Jacoby
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Universal design for learning, clinical reasoning, teacher preparation 
Email Address: chelsea.jacoby@rutgers.edu 
Educational Background:  B.S. in Athletic Training - Merrimack College, 2013; M.S. in Exercise Physiology with concentration in Athletic Training, Kent State University, 2015 
Research Statement: How does receiving formal training on UDL principles effect Athletic Training educators' teaching methods and Athletic Training students’ level of critical thinking & clinical reasoning/decision-making skills? 
John Kerrigan
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Mathematics education, hybrid learning, flipped classroom, collaborative learning
Educational Background: BA, Mathematics, Rutgers University, 2007; Ed.M., Mathematics Education, Rutgers University, 2008; MA, Educational Leadership, New Jersey City University, 2013
Research Statement: My scholarship is in the field of hybrid learning and teaching in mathematics. My research will examine the design of effective hybrid learning environments, particularly in undergraduate mathematics courses. Particular emphasis will be placed on what collaborative learning looks like in this format and how it evolves over the course of a semester.
Natalie Kosonocky
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: science education, questioning, non-fiction text
Educational Background: B.A., History, Rutgers College, 1995; Ed. M., Educational Administration, Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, 2000
Jonathan Langowski 
Concentration: Education, Culture, and Society (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Does participation in supplemental instruction (SI) sessions in higher education lead to higher mean grades, lower failure and withdrawal rates, and higher retention and graduation rates, as well as filling in the gap in the literature on how many sessions/how much time spent in SI is conducive for these results?
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts, History, 2005, Rutgers University--New Brunswick; Master of Education, Social & Philosophical Perspectives, 2012, Rutgers University Grade School of Education
Amber J. Lee
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Non traditional learners, alternative learning environments, and student retention.
Educational Background: BA in History and East Asian Studies, NYU; MPA in Public and Non-profit Management, NYU
Sandra Lynch
Concentration: Teacher Leadership (Ed.D.)
Specialization: Special Education
Research Interests: transition, students with disabilities, individualized education program planning
Educational Background: Bachelor's Degree, Bloomsburg University, 1996; Master's Degree, Seton Hall University, 2002; Doctoral Degree, Rutgers University, ongoing
Kara Mann
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Informal Education, Informal Science Education, Science Education, STEM, hand-on learning, hands-on science education, inquiry-based learning, problem-based learning,
Educational Background: M.S. (Cell and Developmental Biology) Rutgers University, 2014; B.S. (Biology - Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior) Skidmore College, 2005
James C. Maraventano
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Autism, Parent Education/Training, Teacher Training
Educational Background: Ed.M. in Counseling Psychology, Rutgers University, 2012; B.A. in Music, Rutgers University, 2002; Board Certified Behavior Analyst, 2012, School Counselor, 2012
Research Statement: My research interest is in foundational issues which potentially confound learning environments of teachers and parents who serve students and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Specifically, much work is done educating teachers and parents on best practices of implementing techniques and strategies informed by Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).However, many times, education and training does not lead to consistent implementation of said techniques, resulting in student-related concerns (i.e. delayed or stagnant skill acquisition, challenging behavior) and staff/parental concerns (i.e. "burnout", increased stress and anxiety). While ABA provides strategies towards improving the intellectual and behavioral development of the student, I am hoping to learn more regarding the principles and theories of learning which can inform teacher and parent training. I am hopeful that through use of perspectives which inform learning and the design of learning environments, I will be able to design a teacher training model that includes and emphasizes the importance of a collaborative approach to enhance compliance and/or success of educators and parents, leading to improved services for their students with special needs.
Sara E. Marino
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Jazz Improvisation Pedagogy at the Middle School Level
Educational Background: Bachelor of Music, Instrumental, University of Delaware, '00; Master of Music, Flute, University of Delaware, '02
Research Statement: I am interested in researching how the order jazz band directors present typical harmonic structures to middle school students affects their improvisation achievement and self-efficacy.
Amanda Martin
Concentration: Special Education
Research Interests: Autism, Special Education, Applied Behavior Analysis, Urban Schools, Parent Support, Parental Involvement and Home-School Partnerships
Educational Background:Ed.M. in Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis, Rutgers University, 2018; B.S. in Elementary and Special Education, East Stroudsburg University, 2013
Research Statement: My research is focused on examining parental involvement among middle and high school families with individuals with ASD and in urban districts.  My research hopes to find answers on how schools and special educators can most effectively support these families.
Donald Moore
Concentration: Education, Culture, and Society (Ed.D)
Research Interests: Greek Life, Substance Abuse
Educational Background: M.A. - College Student Personnel '10 - Bowling Green State University, B.A. - Criminal Justice '08 - Rutgers University (New Brunswick)
Email Address: dsmoore@rutgers.edu
Holly Nelson
Concentration: Design for Learning Environments
Research Interests: Landscape architecture, sociocritical literacy
Educational Background: MLA
Email Address: Holly.Nelson@rutgers.edu
Geeta Nisraiyya
Concentration: Teacher Leadership 
Research Interests: Teacher Induction
Educational Background: M.S. (Electronics/Physics)
Research Statement: What do new/beginning teachers at my workplace say about the support they receive in their induction years.
Andrew Panico
Concentration: Teacher Leadership (Ed.D.)
Specialization: Special Education
Research Interests: CST, IEP Participation, Due Process
Educational Background: BA English Hofstra '88; M.ED Special Education Rutgers '94; MS Educational Leadership '96 Pepperdine
Mark Pelham
Concentration: Education, Culture, and Society (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Institutional research and institutional effectiveness in higher education, education policy research, leadership in education, and higher education data-mining techniques and methods
Educational Background: B.A. History, SUNY Geneseo, 2010; M.A. Education Policy, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2015
Research Statement: I am interested in exploring how research universities design and implement institutional effectiveness efforts, and what some of the best-practices may be for connecting these efforts to the roles and functions of a traditional institutional research office.
Email Address: mpelham@irap.rutgers.edu
Ruth Perez
Concentration: The Design of Learning Environments
Research Interests: Virtual and remote learning
Educational Background: Masters of Science, Bioscience Regulatory Affairs from Johns Hopkins University, Bachelors of Science, Clinical Laboratory Science from Rutgers University School of Health Professions (formerly University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey)
Email Address: ruth.perez@rutgers.edu
Theresa Peterford
Concentration: Special Education (Ed.D)
Research Interests: Inclusive Education
Educational Background: M.S. in School Building Leadership, St. John's University
Paul Pineiro
Concentration: Educational Leadership(Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Data-Driven Decision Making, leadership, data, collaboration, teacher, equity, continual instructional improvement, student achievement, accountability
Educational Background: Masters in Educational Admininstration and Supervision from St. Peter's College, 1998; Undergraduate Degree in English from Rutgers, 1988
Research Statement: My research is focused on examining how educational leaders use data for decision making that targets continuous improvement in the delivery of instruction. Student performance data is often used in accountability frameworks as opposed to frameworks that use the data to drill down and adjust instruction to meet the needs of all students. My research will answer questions about how student data can be used effectively to foster equity in education through more precisely informed decision making.
Ana Rodriguez
Concentration: Education, Culture, and Society (Ed.D.)
Specialization: Human Development
Research Interests: Low income first generation (LIFG) college students, persistence and graduation, intervention programs, grit and resilience. critical race theory, and social belonging to name a few.
Educational Background: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Rutgers University, 2009; Masters of Arts in Developmental Psychology, TC, Columbia University 2010
Research Statement: I am interested in exploring some of the in and out of class experiences that strengthen sense of belonging on college campuses among low income first generation college students of color. The purpose of this research is to influence institutional policies that support the success of marginalized communities. In addition, I would like to explore the strengths and talents that low income first generation students of color from Camden NJ bring to college campuses. Findings from this research can break down stereotypes and stigmas, and share the voices of underrepresented populations that usually go unheard.
Connor Scott
Concentration: Education, Culture, and Society
Research Interests: Trauma-informed care in schools, social-emotional learning, restorative justice, and interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline.
Educational Background: B.A., History and Secondary Education- The College of New Jersey, 2013; M.Ed., Learning Disabilities and Special Education- Montclair State University, 2016; M.A., Educational Leadership and Administration- Montclair State University, 2019
Research Statement: I am interested in how schools can create safer environments for all learners through the use of trauma-informed instruction and restorative practices.  
Email Address: conorscott2010@gmail.com
Heather Shanklin
Concentration: Educational Leadership
Research Interests: Inclusion, how students acquire knowledge
Educational Background: Bloomsburg University BS in Elementary Education dual major PreK-Grade 3 and K-8, Masters in Administration and Supervision Rutgers, Taught grades 4-5 for twelve years, Served as Supervisor for Science and Social Studies K-6 for one year. Serving as an Assistant Principal for an upper elementary school for five years
Larisa Skinner
Concentration: Education, Culture and Society Ed.D
Research Interests: Urban music education, teacher mentoring, music program development
Educational Background: BMus and Masters in Music Education at Montclair State University, 2009 and 2015
Research Statement: My research interests involve developing practical strategies for urban music educators to succeed in challenging contexts, designing and implementing better collegiate music education preparation, and promoting equity for music programs in urban districts.  As a practicing educator, I am interested in applying my research by hosting student teachers, mentoring, and teaching at the collegiate level.
Email Address: musicalrisa@gmail.com
Kyra E. Stewart
Concentration: Design for Learning Environments
Research Interests: Mobile Technology as a delivery  methodology for Adult Learners underpinned in Self-Directed Learning Theories
Educational Background: Masters in Economics and Education from Teachers College- Columbia University and Masters in Educational Communication and Technology from NYU-Steinhardt.
Email Address: kec215@rutgers.edu
Jason Sullivan
Concentration: Design of Learning Environments (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: NGSS, modeling, student thinking, discourse, responsive teaching, elementary science, learning progressions
Educational Background: BS Chemistry, Grand Valley State University, 1995; M.Ed. Educational Technology, Grand Valley State University, 2000; NJ Supervisor's Certification, The College of New Jersey, 2005
Research Statement: My research interest involves the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards in elementary science teaching. I would like to investigate pedagogical approaches that help teachers integrate best practices in elementary literacy and mathematics such that authentic scientific inquiry is possible in all elementary classrooms. I would like to analyze the efficacy of inservice teacher professional development models that are designed to promoted guided-inquiry instruction, increase teacher confidence in science, and assist efforts to make student thinking visible in the science classroom. I am hoping to build upon the work of the Responsive Teaching in Science Project lead by Fred Goldberg and David Hammer.
Joanne Sung
Concentration: Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: Teacher learning, professional development, adult learning, sense-making process
Educational Background: Undergraduate - Rutgers (2004); Masters - TCNJ (2013); Ed.D. - Rutgers (Anticipated graduation - 2017)
Yusra A. Syed
Concentration: Education, Culture and Society
Research Interests: Higher Education, Student Life, Muslim Youth Education, Muslim University Student Experiences
Educational Background: B.A. in Political Science, Rutgers University, 2013 - M.A. in Islamic Studies, SOAS, The University of London, 2015
Research Statement: My research explores the influence that institutional Muslim life programs at universities have on the Muslim student experience. By interviewing college students and programming staff, I want to understand if these institutional programs can serve as a form of capital for Muslims in America in the present social climate.
Email Address: ysyed@rutgers.edu
Renee Walker
Concentration: Education, Culture, and Society (Ed.D.)
Research Interests: higher education, organizational leadership
Educational Background: B.A., Communication, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; B.A., Psychology, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; M.S., Strategic Communications, Columbia University
Research Statement: The impact of pedagogy and communication on the persistence and retention of African American men in higher education institutions.