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Ed.D. Program Graduates First Cohort

By Katie Reynolds, Ed.D. Program Manager

The Ed.D. Program in Leadership for Organizations at the University of Dayton matriculated its first cohort of students in the Fall of 2019. Thirty-nine members of this first cohort completed their coursework and defended their Dissertations in Practice in July. The graduating students convened on campus on July 21st and 22nd for the First Annual Leadership in Organizations Scholars' Conference. This in-person event was the first opportunity for cohort members to meet one another after spending three years working together in 25 courses

As part of this conference, students gave presentations on their Dissertations in Practice. Dissertations in practice topics ranged from addressing supportive workplaces, equity and justice work in higher education, responding to racial justice and Covid-19 pandemics, supporting students in PK-12 and higher education contexts, equity and justice work in K-12 education contexts, developing professionals and leaders, and more. You can read about each student's dissertation topic in the First Annual Leadership in Organizations Scholars Conference program. 

Karlos Marshall discusses his dissertation in practice with fellow cohort members.
Karlos Marshall discusses his dissertation in practice with fellow cohort members.

 

In addition to dissertation presentations, students' accomplishments were celebrated in a hooding ceremony facilitated by the Dean of the School of Education and Health Sciences, Dean Ali Carr-Chellman. Dean Carr-Chellman shared, "I am bursting with pride for the inaugural cohort of Ed.D. graduates from our 2U program in Leadership for Organizational Change. As I read the names of those students to receive their doctoral hoods, the excitement and joy among the students, faculty, and staff was palpable. The work these students have already taken on is among the most important to change their lives and, more importantly, to bring the Marianist spirit into the vocation of changing organizational life for so many. Deep appreciation to faculty, staff, and students who made this happen."

Tim Greger, Administrative Services Coordinator for UDRI, was one of the graduates of the first cohort. "Meeting everyone in person was a bit surreal. It was nice to finally put names together with faces." Tim joined the program to take elements of the program in education and leadership into his field interest of corporate training and development. He stated, "I felt a bit intimidated by some of the initial coursework, but the faculty and my cohort members were great resources. They helped me to feel comfortable with the assignments and coursework. Their influence helped to increase my self-confidence and ability to succeed in the program." Tim also stated that the weekly live sessions of each course were more than just an opportunity to learn. It was a time to grow with cohort members and be a part of a learning community. In the future, he will use his Ed.D to continue looking for opportunities to develop his skills in human resources and community development.  

 Faculty and students at the hooding ceremony

For faculty member Dr. Meredith Wronowski, the Scholars Conference and hooding ceremony affirmed the hard work and commitment of all those involved in getting the Ed.D. program off the ground. Dr. Wronowski said, "This first in-person convening to celebrate our very first program graduates was so special. When you are building a doctoral program and asking the first group of students to trust that this program will be valuable in their lives, there is always some fear that your work will not live up to expectations. However, when we were able to see the powerful work that this first group of graduates shared in the Scholars Conference and experience the palpable joy of the students and their families during the hooding ceremony, all of that fear was quelled, and we know that all of our stakeholders, including our students, have really created something special at the University of Dayton."

UD's Ed.D. is designed to prepare candidates for careers as scholarly practitioners and transformative leaders in educational institutions and related organizations. Through our curricular and pedagogical approach, candidates gain the knowledge and experience necessary to lead organizations in changing and emerging contexts, promote equity and social justice in and through organizations, and develop their leadership practice rooted in inquiry and collaboration. Owing part to our emphasis on community and supportive yet challenging approach to teaching and learning, the program attracts and develops leaders who are interested in working for improvement, equity, and social justice in schools, colleges and universities, healthcare organizations, nonprofits, and learning organizations in public and private sectors across the board.

The program will continue to graduate a cohort each fall, spring, and summer. This fall, the Ed.D program welcomed twenty-four new students to the program. In total, there are over 260 students currently active in the program. 

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