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Our Doctoral Graduates Are Leaders in Their Fields

Graduates of the Ed.D. in leadership and administration program at Point Park University are leaders in the organizations in which they work.

Since launching in the fall of 2014, the University's Ed.D. program has produced the following graduates. Below are their names, the positions held when they graduated and their dissertation titles.

April 2020 Graduates

  • Jessica Bindrim, English teacher and technology liaison, Propel Braddock Hills High School, "Novice Teacher Self-Efficacy for Urban Education: The Impact of Teacher Preparation Programs"
  • Andrew McIntyre, research associate, Point Park University School of Education, "The Influence of High-Impact Practices and the Holland Typology on Student Learning Outcomes in College Seniors"
  • John F. Morey, assistant principal, Ingomar Middle School, North Allegheny School District, "Social and Emotional Learning of Middle School Students: A Quantitative Study of the Effectiveness of an Advisory Program"
  • Cassandra Lynn Pencek, principal, Emily Brittain Elementary, Butler Area School District, "School Case Study: Implementation of a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Model in a Low-Income School"
  • Heather Riley-Hibner, assistant principal, Elizabeth Forward High School, Elizabeth Forward School District, "An Educational Paradigm Shift: A Quantitative Study on Effective Instructional Strategies Paired with Individualized Learning Technologies and the Effect on Student Growth in Schools in Southwestern Pennsylvania"

March 2020 Graduates

  • Tyler P. Cook, Klein Elementary, Harbor Creek School District, "The Development of an Authentic Leader:  A Principal’s Perspective"
  • Robyn Davies, ESL teacher, Mars Area School District, "Effective Strategies Utilized by Public Schools to Close the Achievement Gap for African Americans"
  • Evren Karabacak, CEO and founder at Fatsa LLC. DBA Geppetto Cafe and EGS Transport & Real Estate LLC,

    "Perceptions of Innovative Leadership and Innovative Culture of the Organization at the Level of Employees"

  • R. Patrick Marchand, principal, East Primary School, Kiski Area School District, "A Quantitative Study of the Impact of Professional Learning Communities on Standardized Test Scores in Low Socioeconomic Schools in Western Pennsylvania"
  • Jason T. Olexa, principal, Brentwood High School, Brentwood Borough School District, "Perceptions and Experiences of Middle and High School Principals Implementing the Pennsylvania Teacher Effectiveness System in Western Pennsylvania"
  • Autumn Turk, assistant principal, Charles A. Huston Middle School, Burrell School District, "Creating a Culture of Personalized Learning in the Middle School: How Teacher Efficacy Impacts Implementation"
  • Kamryn York, doctoral graduate assistant and part-time faculty, Point Park University School of Education, "A Phenomenological Case Study: Understanding a Campus-Based Student Teaching Abroad Experience"

November 2019 Graduates

  • Jacquline Gray, director of human resources, DoubleTree by Hilton, "Examining the Unconscious Biases that Potentially Exist in Human Resources Practices in Western Pennsylvania"
  • Debra Killmeyer, interim vice president, current dean of workforce, Community College of Allegheny County, "Are Micro-Credentials a Viable Solution for Workforce Training in the State of Pennsylvania"

August 2019 Graduates

  • Regina Hiler, principal, Butler County Career and Technology Center, "A Study of High School Counselors’ Perceptions of Their Effectiveness in Preparing Students for College and Careers Upon Graduation"
  • Yvonne English Roebuck, marketing, communications and talent attraction consultant, "Comparative Study of Leadership Styles Among African Americans in For-Profit and Nonprofit Sectors"
  • Amy Woomer, chief education officer, Appalachia Intermediate Unit 08, "A Case Study of Secondary Special Education Co-Teachers. Do Their Instructional Roles and Responsibilities Meet their Job Satisfaction Needs?"

June and July 2019 Graduates

  • Gregory Capoccioni, assistant principal, Penn-Trafford High School, "Pedagogy of Online Teaching: A Case Study of Online Instructors"
  • Robert Kartychak, assistant principal, Hopewell Area School District, "The Age Appropriateness of Text Dependent Analysis Questions on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment – A Quantitative Study"
  • Rebecca McGee, student services supervisor, Westmoreland Intermediate Unit, "Special Educators’ Perceptions of Principals’ Leadership Behaviors"
  • Anthony Popowitz, assistant principal, Elizabeth Forward School District, "Secondary School SWPBIS with Fidelity in Pennsylvania: An Exploration of Student Disciplinary Outcomes and School Climate"
  • Douglas Szokoly, high school principal, Cornell School District, "Instructional Coaching: Perceptions of the Dynamic Learning Project Coaching Model in Western Pennsylvania Middle Schools"

April and May 2019 Graduates

  • Gregory Capoccioni, assistant principal, Penn-Trafford High School, "Pedagogy of Online Teaching: A Case Study of Online Instructors"
  • Brian Kutchak, principal, Kiski Area School District, "A Qualitative Study of the Professional Learning Community Factors that Influence Effectiveness in Elementary Schools in Western Pennsylvania"
  • Emily Madigan, early intervention supervisor, Pittsburgh Public Schools, "Teacher Self-Rated Analysis of ECERS in Keystone Stars"
  • Angela McEwen, assistant principal, North Allegheny Senior High School, "An Examination of Sources of Student Stress in High-Achieving Schools: Perceptions of School Counselors"
  • William McGahee, principal, North Allegheny Senior High School, "The Importance of Attending School: A Quantitative Analysis of the Relationship Between Student Attendance and Academic Achievement"
  • Laura Ward, librarian and teacher, Fox Chapel Area School District, "Evaluating the Relationship of School Librarians and Academic Achievement: A Qualitative Study of Standardized Reading Test Scores in West Virginia Public Schools"

January and March 2019 Graduates

  • Christopher Caton, director of curriculum and assessment, Northgate School District, "The Effect of a Formalized Program of Training and Endorsement on Instructional Coaching in Pennsylvania"
  • Michael Fisher, assistant superintendent, Peters Township School District, "K-8 Grade Span Configurations and Their Impact on Students Transitioning Between Schools"
  • Kellie Hobbs, reading specialist, Westmont Hilltop Elementary School, "Teacher Perceptions of Personalized Learning in Pennsylvania Public Elementary Schools: A Qualitative Study of Personalized Learning in Elementary Schools"
  • Jennifer Jennings, assistant principal, Duquesne City School District, "Principal’s Perceptions of the Use of Shared Leadership and Teacher’s Perceptions of School Climate"
  • Marlynn Lux, middle school principal, Hampton Township School District, "Authentic Character Education Programs in Public Middle Schools"
  • Tamara Thornhill, therapist, Family Christian, "The Resilience of Teen Mothers and the Contributing Factors to Their Academic Success and Enrollment in Post-Secondary Education: A Mixed Methods Study"

August, September and December 2018 Graduates

  • Bonnie Betler, principal, Brentwood Borough School District, "Levels of Systems Thinking Exhibited by School Leaders"
  • Charles Burger, community organizer, Pennsylvania Clean Water Action, "Ecological Paradigms of University Undergraduate Students in Pittsburgh: To What Extent is There a Connection to Action"
  • Aaron Cook, educational consultant, Newport Group, "Impact of Student Engagement on Sense of Belonging and Institutional Satisfaction of African American Male Students Attending Predominantly White Institutions"
  • Christie Lewis, education programs and field placement specialist, Act 48 coordinator and adjunct professor, Chatham University, "The Lived Educational Experiences of Multiracial College Graduates that Grew Up In Poverty"
  • Nzingha Uhuru, instructor, Point Park University, "The Devolution of African American Literacy: What are the Characteristics of Successful African-Centered Academies that Translate into Proficient and Advanced Literacy Scores on Standardized Exams?"

July 2018 Graduates

  • Nicole Bezila, director of pupil services, North Hills School District, "The Impacts of Co-Teaching on 7th Grade Math Achievement"
  • Terrance Davis, road operations supervisor, Port Authority of Allegheny County "Deterring the School-to-Prison Pipeline:  An Examination into Principals’ Perceptions of Restorative Practices"
  • Dayna Sikora, educational specialist II, Belle Vernon Area School District, "A Qualitative Study of Teachers’ Perceptions of the Curriculum Development Process"
  • Stephanie Svilar, assistant principal, Pine-Richland High School, "Effectiveness of High School Student Assistance Programs in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania"
  • Charles Youngs, educational consultant and English and communications teacher, curriculum facilitator and instructional technology coach, Bethel Park School District, "Organizational Mindfulness and Mindful Organizing in Effective High Schools: A Mixed-Methods Study of Department Leaders' Perceptions"

June 2018 Graduates

  • Jennifer Godzak, elementary principal, Belle Vernon Area School District, "K-2 Teachers’ Perceptions about Utilizing Assessment Data to Support Reading Development"
  • Shannon Howard, assistant principal, Shaler Area Middle School, "Higher Education Faculty’s Perceptions of Program Assessment of Student Learning"
  • Yarra Howze, principal, Allegheny Traditional Academy 6-8, Pittsburgh Public Schools, "The Social, Academic, and Professional Coping Techniques of African-American Male Executives in Education"
  • Kimberly Katruska, assistant prop master, Pittsburgh Playhouse, "Effects on Employee Professional Compassion Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue: A Case Study Investigation of the Sanctuary Model of Trauma-Informed Care"
  • Channing Moreland, clinical assistant professor, University of Pittsburgh, "The Lived Leadership Experiences of Black Women Professionals:  A Phenomenological Qualitative Study of the Intersectionality of Race and Gender"
  • Lisa Ann Pickett, English department chair, Pittsburgh School for the Creative and Performing Arts, "Race-Based Trauma, Secondary Education Interventions and African American Youth"
  • LouAnn Ross, executive director, Jeremiah's Place, "Examining Leadership Opportunities in Selected Sectors for Underrepresented Populations"
  • Michael Silvio, senior revenue management analyst, FedEx Services, "Authentic Leadership and Employee Retention"
  • Beth Williams, principal, North Hills High School, "Factors that Influence a Superintendent’s Emotional Intelligence"

March and April 2018 Graduates

  • Briane Adams, assistant principal, McKeesport Area High School, "Evaluating the Racial Disparities of Discipline: A Study of Public School Districts in Allegheny County"
  • Justin Aglio, director of academic achievement and district innovation, Montour School District, "Shifting Educational Pedagogy Through the Use of Technology-Enhanced Innovations"
  • Maureen Anderson, activities director, City Charter High School, "Evaluating the Self-Efficacy of Second Career Teachers and Its Possible Effects on Students in Selected Low Socioeconomic Status Public High Schools in Southwestern Pennsylvania"
  • Tyler J. Bowen, vice president, Bald Eagle Shave Company and part-time faculty member, Point Park University, "Coaches as Leaders:  Leading in High-Level Environments"
  • Karen Hall, ESPN3 color analyst/workforce coach and leadership consultant, "Factors that Influence National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Basketball Teams to Sustain High Performance Championship Level"
  • Laura Hartzell, high school principal, South Fayette Township School District, "Teacher-Student Relationships and School Effectiveness"
  • Maleea D. Johnson, manager of membership implementation, ASSET STEM Education, "Increasing Diversity in the Professoriate:  A Qualitative Study of Factors and Practices that Impact Recruitment and Retention"
  • Kelly Muic-Lombard, elementary school principal, Frazier School District, "An Exploration into the Use of Human-Centered Design Thinking in High Achieving High Schools"
  • Nora Rezzetano, corporate director of revenue cycle operations training, Allegheny Health Network, "A Comparison of Andragogy, an Adult Learning Theory, and the Transfer of Training Theory:  A Mixed Methods Study in the Workplace"
  • Seth Irwin Ringold, director of transition services, PA Connecting Communities, "General Education Teachers’ Attitudes Regarding Disabilities and Inclusion: Implications for Teacher Education Programs"
  • Leslie Ann Scott, regional human resources director, Pressley Ridge, "Mindfulness and Goal Orientation:  A Quantitative Study Exploring the Relationship Between Mindfulness and Goal Orientation"
  • Deidra Stepko, elementary teacher, Belle Vernon School District, "Teacher and Parent/Guardian Perspectives on Student Retention"
  • Gina DeMarco Wall, ESL supervisor, Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3, "Principals’ Leadership Role in English as a Second Language Programs in Pennsylvania"
  • Stephanie White, English teacher, West Allegheny High School, "Opportunities and Barriers to Female Leadership in Secondary Education:  A Qualitative Analysis"

February 2018 Graduates

  • Paul Cindric, program director, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, "The Extent of the Utilization of Historical Thinking Assessment and Instructional Methods Among Secondary History Teachers"
  • Aspen Mock, playwright and composition teacher, Forest Hills School District, "Collaborative Creativity:  Educational Leadership Real & Reimagined: A Historical Case Study"

December 2017 Graduates

  • Mark J. Kudlawiec, superintendent of schools, Chestnut Ridge School District, "What are the Perceptions of Rural School Safety and Violence as Seen Through the Eyes of Superintendents, Principals, Teachers and Students 18 Years of Age or Older?"
  • Cheryl Hall-Russell, president and chief cultural consultant, Black Women, Wise Women – BW3 – Supporting Inclusive Executive Leadership, "Resilience in the Face of Gender and Race Intersectionality: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study of Black Female Executives"
  • Patti Yakshe, president/owner, Pittsburgh Career Institute, "A Comparative Analysis of the Outcomes Between Urban Career Colleges and Urban Community Colleges"

September and October 2017 Graduates

  • Leah Spangler, CEO, The Learning Lamp & Ignite Education Solutions, "Characteristics of Pennsylvania's K-12 Public School-Supporting Foundations: A Mixed Methods Study of the Commonwealth's Education Foundations"
  • Anne Stillwagon, Title 1 Teacher, Frazier School District, "The Exploration of the Balance of the Principal Leadership Styles in Innovative Schools"

June 2017 Graduates

  • Rhonda L. Hall, family services specialist, Pittsburgh Public Schools Early Childhood Education Program, "Parent and Teacher Perceptions: Parental Involvement in Charter Middle Schools"
  • Renee Hurley, director of patient relations, Monongahela Valley Hospital, "The Lived Experience of Emergency Department Nurses and the Phenomenon of Compassion Fatigue"

March 2017 Graduates

  • Kimberly Abel, associate vice president for human resources-professional development services and communications, Carnegie Mellon University, "Where Sexual Harassment, Sexual Violence and Title IX Intersect"
  • Michele Capaccio, English teacher, West Mifflin Area High School and Ed.D. cohort coordinator, Point Park University, "The Impact of Personal Media Devices on Undergraduate College Student Classroom Engagement"
  • Aimee Cordero-Davis, part-time instructor, Point Park University, "What Factors Influence Recidivism in Juvenile Court: A Study of Closed Cases of Court Adjudicated Youth"
  • Joe L. Maluchnik, assistant principal, Greensburg Salem High School, "Middle School Programs and Practices: Do the 16 Characteristics Identified by the Association for Middle Level Education Correlate to Student Achievement?"
  • A.L. Smith, doctoral graduate assistant for the Provost's Office and part-time faculty member, Point Park University, "Dimensions of the Glass Ceiling: Understanding Barriers to Career Progression for Mid-Career Female Leaders. A Phenomenological Qualitative Study of Female Leaders in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania."

December 2016 Graduates

  • Michelle Hall, director of curriculum and instruction and elementary principal, Chestnut Ridge School District, "Perceived Self-Efficacy of Teachers Who Receive Discipline-Specific Instruction in Writing Through One-to-One Instructional Coaching – A Case Study"
  • William Henderson, superintendent of schools, Frazier School District, "Superintendent Perceptions of Leadership Performance Roles: A Small School District vs. Large School District Comparison"
  • James Ice, managing director and owner, Jim Ice & Associates | North Star Learning, "A Servant Leader's Impact on Employee Psychological Capital: What is the Relationship of an Employee's Perception of Their Manager's Servant Leader Behaviors on their Reported Psychological Capital?"
  • Trisha Martell, principal, Elizabeth Forward Middle School, "What are the Implementation Characteristics of a Middle School School-Based Mentoring Program? A Descriptive Case Study and Program Evaluation"
  • James McCoy, director, Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, "Perceived Prior Contextual Experiences and Their Influence on Magnet School Students in the Ninth Grade Transition"
  • Janet Niethamer, reading specialist, Gateway School District, "Challenges and Opportunities in the Acquisition and Use of Honored Multicultural Children's Literature: A Case Study of Community Libraries in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania"
  • Ashley Pile, seventh grade English teacher, Seneca Valley School District, "Characteristics of Seventh Grade Interdisciplinary Teams That Promote Adolescent-Centered Communities"
  • Laurie Tocci, elementary school principal, Hampton Township School District, "Reflections of Instructional Technology Interns on the School-University Internship Experience: An Interpretive Case Study of Pre-Service Teacher Interns"

August 2016 Graduates

  • Amy Miller, elementary principal, Chestnut Ridge School District, “Are Resilient Principals More Committed to Their Work?: A Quantitative Study of Resilience and Work Commitment Among Principals in Pennsylvania"
  • Laura Miller, dean of students and librarian, Forest Hills School District, “Is There a Relationship Between Professional Experience and Perceived Self-Efficacy Characteristics and Heutagogical Practices in Teachers? A Mixed Methods Study of Heutagogical Practices in Pennsylvania Public Schools”
  • Kelly Noyes, program director for K-12 ESL and federal programs, Allegheny Intermediate Unit, “Factors That Influence English as a Second Language (ESL) Program Directors' and Educators' Choice of Program Model or Instructional Approach: A Mixed Methods Study of Pennsylvania Public Schools”