Doctoral students share research during brown bag lunch series

Doctoral student Trudy Crossbourne presents her research
Doctoral student Trudy Crossbourne presents her research

Students in WKU’s Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD) program have been showcasing their research this semester, and in April visiting scholar Nuray Kisa, a doctoral student from Turkey, will present on the results of her dissertation study.

These monthly events feature brief presentations from doctoral students describing their completed research, or projects that are currently in progress, and give an opportunity for faculty and other students to discuss.  Hosted by the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research, in collaboration with the EdD program, the brown bags are facilitated and organized by EALR assistant professor Dr. Jie Zhang and take place in Gary Ransdell Hall 3073.  A light lunch is provided to attendees.

In February, Trudy Crossbourne shared research she has conducted under the supervision of Dr. Kimberlee Everson exploring the reasons why African American families choose homeschooling.  Trudy shared the challenges of conducting research on homeschoolers and the limitations in current literature, plus pointed toward opportunities for future study in this area.

Faculty and students listen and discuss
Faculty and students listen and discuss

In March, Louis Zabaneh provided background on the educational landscape in his home country of Belize, especially teacher training. He discussed a Sustainable Development Human Capabilities model, based in part on the work of Indiana economist and philosopher Amartya Sen, that he plans to use in carrying out his dissertation research.  Louis is working closely with EALR associate professor Dr. Tom Stewart to facilitate a potential partnership between WKU and the University of Belize to support teacher training in that country.

This semester EALR is hosting a visiting scholar from Ankara, Turkey.  Nuray Kisa is a doctoral student at Hacettepe University in educational sciences, visiting WKU under the sponsorship of EALR associate professor Dr. Gary Houchens.  Nuray has been conducting survey research exploring the perceptions of Turkish school principals, university professors, and district-level education officials on the gap between theory and practice in educational research.  She will share results of her study at the April 5 brown bag.

Finally, Dr. Zhang and doctoral students will present May 3 on the topic of conducting program evaluations.  To attend the April 5 brown bag with Nuray or the May 3 session with Dr. Zhang, please RSVP to EALR Office Associate Missy Pardue at Melissa.pardue@wku.edu.  All brown bag lunches are at noon in GRH Room 3073.

EALR Welcomes New Faculty Members

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research is pleased to welcome two new associate professors to the faculty, Dr. Janet Hurt and Dr. Stacy Leggett.

Dr. Janet Hurt is a veteran Kentucky educator who has served as an EALR adjunct instructor in the past.  Over her career as a school leader Dr. Hurt has served as a teacher, guidance counselor, principal, and associate superintendent in two districts as well as the director of the GRREC/OVEC Race to the Top grant.  She regularly provides consulting services to schools and districts. Dr. Hurt will teach in the principal preparation program and also courses for other certifications including supervisor of instruction and director of pupil personnel. She is currently spearheading a revision and update to the department’s superintendent program.  Dr. Hurt earned a Ph.D. in 2008 from the University of Louisville and conducts qualitative research on a variety of educational topics.

“I am honored to be joining the Educational,  Administration, Leadership and Research department at WKU as an associate professor,” Dr. Hurt said.  “It is an outstanding department with top-notch faculty, administrators and staff who consistently model excellence.  I am delighted to be part of a group of professionals who work hard every day to provide an exceptional education for aspiring school and district leaders.”

Dr. Stacy Leggett joins the EALR team from her most recent role as Director of Secondary and Career-Technical Education for the Martin County school district in North Carolina.  Dr. Leggett is a 2015 graduate from The George Washington University with an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.  She was the recipient of the Achilles-Harper-Swenson Emerging Research Award at the 2013 CREATE Conference.  She taught high school math and social studies for 13 years before becoming a school and then district level administrator.  She practices quantitative research methods and is interested in principal and teacher evaluation.  Stacy will primarily teach in EALR’s principal certification program.

“I am excited about the opportunity to join the WKU EALR faculty,” said Dr. Leggett.  “I hope that the experiences I bring will help me contribute to this great team and ultimately make a positive impact on leading, teaching, and learning in Kentucky.”

Both Dr. Hurt and Dr. Leggett will advise students in the WKU Doctorate in Educational Leadership program.  We welcome them to the team!

Dr. Wilson presents on qualitative dissertations

Dr. Kristin Wilson, associate professor of post-secondary education in WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research will present on qualitative research approaches on October 20, 2015, 12:00 noon Central time, in Gary Ransdell Hall 3073.

Part of EALR’s “Brown Bag” research luncheon series, Dr. Wilson’s talk will address common misunderstandings or classical misconceptions about the qualitative tradition.  The basic steps of writing a qualitative doctoral dissertation will be outlined and ways to develop qualitative research designs will be suggested.

A light lunch will be served so if you plan to attend please email EALR Office Associate Missy Pardue at Melissa.pardue@wku.edu by Friday, October 16.

EALR’s Dr. Wilson participates in The Year of South Africa

WKU Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research associate professor Dr. Kristin Wilson traveled with a delegation of faculty, staff, and students to South Africa last summer to help kick off the university’s celebration of the Year of South Africa.  WKU undergraduate journalism major Tyler Essary, who traveled with the delegation, produced a video capturing many of the sights and sounds enjoyed by the team.

Dr. Wilson recently shared her own insights about the experience with EALR faculty and will play a leading role in campus-wide activities celebrating the Year of South Africa.

 

Drs. DeSander and Houchens discuss education topics on WKYU-PBS “Outlook”

WKU Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research Department Chair Dr. Marguerita DeSander and associate professor Dr. Gary Houchens recently appeared on the WKYU-PBS program “Outlook.”  With host Barbara Deeb, they discussed recent developments in Kentucky’s teacher evaluation system, the pushback against standardized testing, and more.  Their segment begins around the 10:40 mark.

Dr. Houchens reflected more on these topics on his own blog.

 

EALR welcomes new faculty member, Dr. Tom Stewart

TomWKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research is pleased to welcome its newest faculty member, Dr. Tom Stewart.

Dr. Stewart is a veteran Kentucky educator and experienced university faculty member.  He will teach primarily in the school principal certification and supervisor of instruction programs.

A 2011 graduate of WKU’s Doctorate of Educational Leadership program, Dr. Stewart has taught elementary, middle, and high school students, served as a district instructional supervisor, and has worked for the Kentucky Department of Education as a Highly-Skilled Educator and Educational Recovery Leader.  He is also a former professor of education at Austin Peay State University.

Dr. Stewart regularly provides consulting and professional development services to area schools and districts, leads Diagnostic Reviews for AdvancED, and conducts qualitative research studies on the contemplative dimensions of teaching and school leadership.

“I am sincerely honored to be returning to my alma mater as a faculty member,” Dr. Stewart said.  “I look forward to continuing and extending my work with practicing school and school district leaders, as well as learning with my colleagues and aspiring school leaders at WKU.”

Keaster named professor emeritus

ric_keasterAt their April 24, 2015 meeting the Western Kentucky University Board of Regents named Dr. Ric Keaster professor emeritus.  Dr. Keaster retired from the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research in December 2014. “Professor emeritus” is an honorary rank used to designate retired faculty members who have exhibited a career of distinguished service to the university and to their academic field.

A reception for Dr. Keaster will be held on Friday, May 15, from noon to 2:00 p.m. Central time in Room 3086 of Gary Ransdell Hall.  All friends, former students, and colleagues of Dr. Keaster are invited to attend and celebrate his career.  Please RSVP to EALR Office Associate Missy Pardue at Melissa.pardue@wku.edu.

Read more about Dr. Keaster’s accomplishments here.

EALR Professor Jim Berger to speak at first Research Brown Bag event

WKU’s Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research will host the first in a series of presentations on current research being carried out by EALR professors on Tuesday, March 17.  Dr. Jim Berger, professor of adult education, will present on “Cultural Markers Within the Classroom and Potential Impacts on Learning.”  See details below.

These Research Brown Bag events will give professors a chance to share their current research and solicit feedback from colleagues and students.  Doctoral students, aspiring leaders, and practitioners are invited to attend and participate in the discussion.  Please email Dr. Jie Zhang to RSVP by  March 16 if you can attend: jie.zhang@wku.edu.

You can read about Dr. Berger’s recent awards for service to the field of adult education here and here.

Berger brown bag

EALR profs Wilson and Houchens featured on WKYU-PBS “Outlook” program

WKU Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research professors Dr. Kristin Wilson and Dr. Gary Houchens appeared on a recent episode of the WKYU-PBS program, “Kentucky Outlook,” hosted by Barbara Deeb.

The episode explored a number of hot-button issues facing Kentucky, and the segment featuring Dr. Wilson and Dr. Houchens examined recent education issues like President Obama’s proposal of “free community college for all,” teacher evaluation, and the reauthorization of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Watch the complete episode here.  The segment on education begins around 17:04.

(Almost) Free SLLA Test Prep Session Returns to WKU

EALR associate professor Dr. Mike Putnam will be reprising his hugely popular test prep session for the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA), required of all aspiring school principals in Kentucky and many other states.  The session will be held on Friday, February 27, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Central time, continuing on Sunday, February 28, from Noon to 5:00 p.m. Central time in Gary Ransdell Hall Room 3076 on WKU’s main campus.

The session is $20 for WKU students and alumni, and $40 for non-WKU-affiliated participants.  Payment should be in cash at the beginning of the Friday session; receipts will be provided.  Please bring a 1 1/2 – 2 inch three ring binder for materials.

Dr. Putnam developed this test review with Dr. Dennis Bunch of the University of Mississippi.  Kentucky currently has a passing cut score of 160 on the SLLA.  Previous prep sessions at WKU have resulted in a 100 percent pass rate for participants graduating from WKU administrator preparation programs and 97 percent for non-WKU graduates.

The session will include a review of the six ISLLC standards upon which the SLLA is based, and feature timed test prep exercises and hands-on activities and discussions.  The Kentucky Principal Test will also be briefly addressed.

Participants must agree to confidentially share their SLLA test score results with Dr. Putnam as he uses this data to continue refining the test prep process and may publish an analysis of results in the future.

Contact Dr. Putnam at michael.putnam@wku.edu by end of the day on Tuesday, February 17, to register.  Please include your name, phone number, current school and district, and professional role in your  message.