From the Desk of a Doctoral Student in Education

By Nathaniel Marner

The second cohort has just completed the final year of coursework here in the Educational Leadership for the Diverse Learning Communities doctoral program at Molloy University. This is an exciting time, as we begin our dissertation sequence. Our professors, led by Dr. Andrea Honigsfeld and Dr. Allison Roda, have truly prepared us for the upcoming phase of the program. These two individuals along with the entire faculty associated with the Ed.D program are coaching, mentoring, and supporting each of us through this journey.

The research I have conducted through the course of this program has transformed my process of understanding. By analyzing and examining various articles that center on my research topics of interest; the need for additional Black male teachers, Black male students' academic performance, critical race theory, and culturally relevant pedagogy, I am able to see the need for my research within the field of education.  In addition, I am also able to apply the suggestions and recommendations found in my readings to my practice in my current position as an educator.

As an aspiring administrator, I love how the fieldwork projects for each class connect to my profession. While engaging in the fieldwork assignments, I was able to gain knowledge and apply what I learned to the benefit of all students. As an educational leader, I approach every situation differently. I have been able to interview social justice leaders, observe teachers, research information regarding curriculum, write proposals for conferences, and lead staff development.  

The most rewarding experience that I have had thus far during my doctoral studies has been attending the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference in New York City. This was a dream event for me as I was able to meet many researchers such as Chezare Warren, Travis Bristol, and Christopher Emdin who have written articles and books related to my topic, which focuses on Black Male Teachers' Perceived Influences on Black Male Students. It was a remarkable experience to meet and converse with them. I look forward to the possibility of having my research added to the body of work that has been done by such phenomenal educators and researchers. 

By Brendan Caputo

The inaugural cohort for the Molloy Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership for the Diverse Learning Communities is already hard at work on their first two classes in the doctoral sequence. Dr. Andrea Honigsfeld, Director of the Ed. D. program, and a team of professors dedicated to the success of the program, carefully revie­­­wed, interviewed, and hand selected each candidate for entry. As part of this hybrid program, the current group of twelve students have been working both independently and as a community of learners and educators wishing to become agents of change.

Throughout the application process, the interview, and the first month of coursework the students have begun to examine their potential topics of interest and the direction of their anticipated research. Each member will be required to "read widely and deeply," as Dr. Honigsfeld stated. The readings are intended to spark discussion and discourse and deepen each student's library. Areas of interest thus far include: education of immigrants, social justice in education, catholic education, academic motivation, and more!

Several doctoral students have countries of origin other than the United States, and they represent varied professions, such as educators, social workers, administrators, and faculty. While the program requires each candidate to have a minimum of three years post-masters experience in an educational setting, each person within the cohort carries differing levels of experience that adds to the diverse nature of the coursework.

The program was specifically designed to meet the hopes of the local and global need for doctoral students who wish to be educators. The signature hybrid pedagogy, as outlined on their website, intertwines "grounded theory and daily practice" to provide a unique look at diverse and ethical leadership. This first community of unique doctoral students promise to be leaders of educational research and social justice who are committed to serve.