Ed.D Student Creates Documentary

The film “I Can” by Lurie College Ed.D Leadership program student Radha Aravamudhan is a compilation of her findings of her qualitative research on the practices used in the Eureka walk and talk program focusing on an asset-based approach using a culturally responsive pedagogy leveraging community cultural wealth. She studied the impact of the program through the perspectives of various stakeholders.  The study was done as part of her doctoral dissertation in educational leadership.

Welcome New Lurie College Director of the Ed.D. Leadership Program, Brad Porfilio!

Lurie College is excited to welcome it’s newest Professor and the Director of Doctorate in Educational (Ed.D.) Leadership program, Brad Porfilio, to the community!

Brad Porfilio

Prior to his appointment as tenured Professor and the Director of Doctorate in Educational (Ed.D.) Leadership at San Jose State University, Brad Porfilio was the Associate Dean of Research and Faculty Affairs at Seattle University.  From 2014-2017, he served as the Director of the Doctorate in the Educational (Ed.D.) Leadership for Social Justice (ELSJ) at CSU East Bay. He was a principal faculty member in the Teaching and Leadership Ed.D. Program at Lewis University.  In this capacity, he guided the next generation of community and school leaders to be transformative scholars and caring practitioners.  In addition to this experience, he spent numerous years in various leadership positions in higher education. He was a faculty member of educational studies, of pedagogy and teacher education, a director of social studies education, and a university supervisor of pre-service and in-service teachers. He also has created several academic conferences in the United States that are linked to promoting equity and social justice in education.  Brad Porfilio was also a former high school social studies teacher.

Ed.D. Student Successfully Defends Dissertation

Radha Aravamudhan Dissertation Defense

Ed.D Student, Radha Aravamudhan, Successfully Defends her Dissertation

Cohort 3 student Radha Aravamudhan (center) is all smiles after defending her dissertation, “Bridging the English Language Divide and Building Self-Confidence in Dalit Communities: An Exploratory Study in Tamil Nadu, India.”  She is pictured here with Ed.D. Director Arnold Danzig and her dissertation committee members, Dr. Amy Leisenring, Dr. Robert Gliner, and Dr. Srinivas Naga Chadaram.

Scholarship Info Session a Success

Scholarship Info Session

At Lurie College, we want to ensure that students are aware of the resources available to them so they can continue to pursue equity and excellence in education, which is why we partnered with the SJSU Scholarships Office to host an info session for students to learn about how to apply for SJSU and Lurie College scholarships for the upcoming year.  This week, about 40 students attended the session to receive instructions and insights from staff in the SJSU Scholarship Office and faculty on the Lurie College Scholarship Review Committee.  Thanks to the generous support of donors, Lurie College has over $200,000 available to provide to current and incoming students for the 2019-2020 academic year.  Students who are interested and eligible to apply can visit the SJSU Scholarships webpage to learn more and submit an application by Monday, April 1!

Learn more about the SJSU Lurie College of Education at sjsu.edu/education.  Photo by Brian Cheung Dooley.

Upcoming Dissertation Defenses

Students from the Lurie College Ed.D Leadership program are defending their dissertations this semester – learn more below!


Radha Aravamudhan | Thu., Mar. 7, 1:30pm, SH 412
“Bridging the English Language Divide and Building Self-Confidence in Dalit Communities: An Exploratory Study in Tamil Nadu, India”

The purpose of this study was to investigate the implementation of a community-based English program in rural India.  Findings shared through a documentary film demonstrated that the asset-based approach of the program had a positive impact on student self-confidence, academic engagement, and upward social mobility.

Committee: Dr. Amy Leisenring, Dr. Robert Gliner, and Dr. Srinivas Naga Chadaram


Annette Renee Kennedy | Wed., Mar. 20, 1:30pm, SH 412
“Students of Black or African American Ancestry in Grades 10th-12th Perceptions of Their Schooling Experiences”

The intent of this study was to gain an understanding of how Black or African American high school students’ engage and interact with staff and peers, bring an awareness of the extent racial microaggressions are experienced, and to raise the level of cultural consciousness within the classroom learning environment.

Committee: Dr. Amy Leisenring, Dr. Megan Thiele, and Dr. Thomas Moriarty


Catherine Voss Plaxton | Wed., Mar. 27, 10am, SH 332
“A Text Message Nudge Intervention Designed to Increase Student Professional Development Engagement”

This study examined the effects of an intervention on student professional development engagement (PDE).  A research goal was to assess if status quo bias, the tendency to maintain current decisions and behaviors even when new information emerges and better options are available, is a barrier to PDE.

Committee: Dr. Elaine Chin, Dr. Cara Maffini, Dr. Jennifer Redd


Rebecca O’Brien | Mon., Apr. 8, 4pm, SH 332
“Models of Spiritual Leadership: The Gap Between Policy and Ethics”

This project reviews spiritual leadership and critical spirituality theories and how educational leaders incorporate that spirituality into their practices when making ethical decisions.

Committee: Dr. Kathleen McConnell, Dr. Noni Reis, Dr. Nikki Citerella


Sara Douglas | Tue., Apr. 9, 11:30am, SH 332
“A Look Inside the Black Box: Understanding Communicative Exchanges in Online Learning Environments”

This study utilizes direct observation of students (n=5) along with educator surveys (n=49) to determine if online high school students are participating in academic discourse and peer collaboration activities.  Perceptions of the value, feasibility, constraints, and affordances of these activities are discussed.

Committee: Dr. Emily Slusser, Dr. Mark Felton, Dr. Pamela Cheng


Anji Buckner | Fri., Apr. 12, 11:30am, SH 412
“Superintendent Beliefs About the Assessment and Use of School Climate Data for Continuous Improvement”

Mixed methods study exploring local school climate assessment practices and superintendent beliefs about the importance of school climate assessment, their capacity to use school climate data for decision making, and their trust in the data.

Committee: Dr. Brent Duckor, Dr. Roxana Marachi, Dr. Kathleen M. Roe


Analiza Filion | Fri., Apr. 12, 1pm, SH 448
“Experiences of Adolescent Refugee Students who Attend Afterschool Programs for Literacy Support”

This dissertation study incorporated a documentary research approach to investigate the experiences of five adolescent refugee students who attended afterschool programs as an additional resource for developing their literacty skills.  This study also explored how refugee students perceived safety within the afterschool program environment.  The documentary film Creating Safe Learning Spaces in Turbulent Times was created as a component of this study to illustrate the students’ experiences.

Committee: Dr. Carols Garcia, Dr. David Villegas, Dr. Robert Gliner


Hyon Chu Yi-Baker | Fri., May 17, 10am, SH 412
“Civic Engagement and Impact on Asian American Community College Students: Effects on Academic Achievement, Campus Involvement, and Critical Consciousness Development”

This research examines Asian American students at a local community college and the effects of civic participation on their collegiate experience including their motivation for getting involved in civic and leadership opportunities and the impact it has on their academic performance, and development in the areas of their racial identity, leadership, and critical consciousness.

Committee: Dr. Ellen Middaugh, Dr. Funie Hsu, and Dr. John Mosby


Learn more about the SJSU Lurie College Ed.D Leadership program at sjsu.edu/edd.