First Graduating Cohort of the Revised Ed.D. Program

The first cohort of the revised Doctorate in Education at the Graduate School of Education (GSE) began their studies in the summer of 2010. After three years of full-time employment and part-time schooling, seventeen students celebrated the completion of the program and their new titles, Dr.

Although the GSE has offered a Doctorate in Education since 1930 in 2007 the GSE faculty joined twenty other Universities in the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate to revise its Ed.D. program to better meet the needs of educational practitioners and leaders.

The revised Ed.D.program is composed of three interrelated components – the core, a concentration, and a capstone/dissertation. The cohort model is also a major element of this program. The members of each cohort begin the program at the same time and take their core classes together. The benefit of this approach is that students have a network of peers that provide intellectual and emotional support to one another.


Learn about three of the Ed.D. 2010 cohort graduates below:

Dr. Jocelyn Dumaresq is the K-12 Supervisor of Language Arts/English in Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public Schools, NJ.She concentrated in Educational Leadership and her dissertation title is Leading from the Closet: Toward a New Theory of Educational Leadership.

Dr. Michelle Rosen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Literacy at New Jersey City University in Jersey City, NJ. She concentrated in Teacher Leadership and her dissertation title is Teacher Leaders as Professional Development Providers: A Case Study.

Dr. Olcay Yavuzis an Adjunct Professor at New York University and the Director of K-12 School Counseling Services in Paterson, NJ. He concentrated in Teacher Leadership and his dissertation title is Improving College Readiness, Pursuit, Access, and Persistence of Disadvantaged Students.


Q: What did you learn from the program?

A: Dr. Dumaresq: The Rutgers Ed.D. leadership program has taught me a great deal about leadership and schooling in general. Practically, the Ed.D. program showed me how to approach problems of practice through research and bring about lasting change in strategic ways. Personally, the program gave me confidence in myself as a leader, something that is invaluable as an educational administrator.

A: Dr. Rosen: I learned how to become a better writer. I learned how to methodically and strategically approach a problem of practice to research. I learned the importance of depending on others and supporting others both in and out of the classroom. 

A: Dr. Yavuz: Rutgers GSE doctoral program helped me better understand and define the components of systemic change. Overall, this doctoral program gave me confidence to manage and lead the educational change by teaching me how to develop research-based strategies to solve the problems of practice in my district.


Q: What obstacles did you overcome while working toward your doctorate degree?  

A: Dr. Dumaresq: Being a novice educational leader can be daunting. Managing working relationships, bringing about lasting change and navigating the terrain of a constantly-shifting educational landscape are just some of the issues that leaders face. The Ed.D. program gave me the skills and knowledge to face these problematic realities with practical strategies and conviction.

A: Dr. Rosen: My biggest obstacle was finishing up my dissertation under an extremely tight deadline in order to be eligible for a faculty position at a university. With the support of my dissertation group and tireless efforts of my advisor, I was able to overcome this obstacle.


Q: Who has supported and motivated you throughout the program? 

A: Dr. Dumaresq: My family and friends have been a consistently supportive presence, but I never would have been able to accomplish this without the unwavering support of my professor, advisor and friend, Dr. Sharon Ryan. She is one of the most intelligent, kind and driven people I have ever had the pleasure to know. I hope to continue to work with her in the future!

A: Dr. Rosen: For me, the doctoral program was truly a collaborative experience. I relied on the support of my advisor, Alisa Belzer, my cohort, my friends, and family. Dr. Belzer went above and beyond anything I could have hoped for along my journey. It was a pleasure and a privilege to have her continuous support. My cohort was a part of me. From inside the GSE classrooms to meeting any place we needed to, I relied heavily on their encouragement, feedback, and times when we all just needed a good laugh. Support from my friends and family was essential, whether it be a quick phone call or the unstated understanding when I couldn’t be present at times. 

A: Dr. Yavuz: During group and individual meetings, my dissertation chair offered me systemic support and very valuable strategies for my data analysis and research methodology. My program advisor and my dissertation committee also provided me with ongoing advice, support, and guidance in helping complete my research. In addition, throughout Rutgers GSE doctoral program, besides my family and parents, I received ongoing support from wonderful classmates and caring instructors. I would not have been able to finish my doctoral program without their support and motivation.


Q: What are you plans/hopes for the future?

A: Dr. Dumaresq: My hope is that I can make a difference in the lives of LGBT students, teachers and leaders by raising awareness of the enduring homophobia and heterosexism that persist in schooling and strategizing ways to change that fact.

A: Dr. Rosen: To involve myself in university life as a faculty member. To use my research to inform others. To be a role model for my children; showing them the importance of higher education. 

A: Dr. Yavuz: I believe that comprehensive school counseling programs have the capacity to help at-risk students graduate from high school and get ready for college regardless of their gender, ethnicity, race, or socio-economic and family background. I am very confident that implementing comprehensive school counseling programs is a worthwhile opportunity for improving underrepresented students’ learning, college and career readiness. With this goal in mind, as a practitioner researcher, I am looking forward to working with urban public schools to help them design, deliver and lead comprehensive school counseling programs that support a research-based and holistic approach to help underrepresented urban students graduate from high school and prepare for college and career.


Q: What are you looking forward to now that your dissertation is over? 

A: Dr. Dumaresq: I’m really looking forward to putting my research into action. I have plans to seek out publication, present at conferences and form professional partnerships with organizations and universities to address issues of equity for LGBT students, teachers and leaders in schools.

A: Dr. Rosen: Besides the fact that I don’t have “something to edit, revise or rewrite” every morning, I look forward to using my research to develop effective professional development programs for in-service teachers.  Also, the degree has offered me a new career path as an assistant professor and I look forward to using what I’ve learned to influence others, helping them become effective teachers.


Visit the Ed.D. webpage to learn more about the program.