Service to the Department of Educational Leadership (narrative)

Ph.D. Program – Educational Leadership Track Coordinator

I am particularly proud of my service to the Department of Educational Leadership as the educational leadership track coordinator for the Ph.D. program. I served as track coordinator for three years, from 2008-2011. Given the size and complexities of the educational leadership track, this work often occupied a LOT of my time during the academic year. But, it was always work that I took very seriously and that was always very important to me, having also served as the doctoral coordinator on the faculty at Hofstra.

As track coordinator, my work was varied and ongoing.  I attended monthly Ph.D. advisory board meetings, and served on the appeals subcommittee of that advisory board.  Also, for the first time, during my tenure as track coordinator, the Department of Educational Leadership began recruiting for the new 48-hour Ph.D. program on our own.  I developed the recruiting “pitch” and took that show on the road a few times.  Additionally, I was one of only three faculty members regularly tasked with grading the new qualifying exams and the research portions of the comprehensive exams.  Finally, I facilitated department-level discussions about curriculum changes and exam formats.

        Most time-consuming of all was the work I did communicating with and advising continuing and new doctoral students.  Our systems for communicating with these students are cumbersome and I spent a considerable amount of time improving our communications with doctoral students.
Additionally, as track coordinator, I:

  • Managed the online community space for our doctoral community, Leadership Commons
  • Organized bi-annual doctoral colloquia
  • Advised the Educational Leadership Doctoral Students Association (ELDSA)
  • Helped students locate and develop externship proposals

Faculty Learning Community – facilitator

The Department of Educational Leadership was fortunate to be accepted as an external Faculty Learning Community (FLC) for academic year 2009-10. As a department, we set aside one of our weekly meetings every month to explore uses of technology that are relevant to our work and to the work of our students who are sitting and aspiring school leaders.  As the facilitator of this FLC, I had to plan and lead the monthly sessions.  I also had to attend the regular meetings of FLC facilitators at the Center for Teaching Excellence. We started the year by discussing big picture questions of technology in education and the future of educational leadership.  From there, we tied specific technology tools to what school leaders are expected to know and be able to do. Then, we spent the last few sessions tinkering with various Web 2.0 technologies including RSS, social bookmarking, screencasting, etc.

Search Committees

I served on two Department of Educational Leadership faculty search committees. First, in academic year 2009-10, we conducted an exhaustive search that brought in well over 100 applications. We did interviews by videoconference and hosted 4 on-campus, full-day interviews. This search yielded Dr. Darius Prier, who, ultimately only stayed at VCU for one year.

Then, in academic year 2010-11, I served on the Department of Educational Leadership faculty search committee. Again, we conducted an exhaustive search that brought in well over 100 applications. And, again, we did interviews by videoconference and hosted 4 on-campus, full-day interviews. This search yielded Katherine Mansfield and Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, both of whom have been fantastic additions to the Department of Educational Leadership.

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