Fall 2020 Dissertation Defenses

All dissertation defenses for this year will take place virtually and are open to the public. For more information, please contact the Program Director, Dr. Vachel Miller ( for more information. 

Doctoral Symposium 2020: Information coming soon!

Doctoral Symposium 2019: Finding Our Voice

Friday, March 29 | 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM | RCOE 124

The Symposium featured a panel in the morning along with the presentation of the 2019 Alice Phoebe Naylor Outstanding Dissertation Award. In the afternoon we had paper presentations from current doctoral students and faculty. A video will be housed here in the future.


8:30 AM: -Breakfast-
9:00 AM: Welcome Remarks and Meet the Panel
9:15 AM: Panel Discussion
10:45 AM: -Break-
10:55 AM: 2019 Naylor Award Presentation
11:00 AM: 2018 Naylor Award Winners’ Speeches
12:00 PM: -Lunch-
12:45 PM: Paper Presentations
4:00 PM: Symposium Conclusion

Panel Members: 

JuanEs Ramirez, Ed.S. | Current Ed.D. Student

Leveraging Latinx Parents’ Cultural Wealth: Pláticas with Parents About their Involvement in Post-Secondary Educational Spaces in Western North Carolina

Brooksie Sturdivant, Ed.D. | 2018 Ed.D. Graduate

Resilient African-American Woman: Autoethnographic and Narrative Inquiry of Subjectivity and Agency

Stacy Holliday, Ed.D. | 2018 Ed.D. Graduate

Dreambuilders: Undocucompetence Among Educators in the North Carolina Community College System

Devery Mock Ward, Ph.D. | Current RCOE Faculty

Director of the Anderson Reading Clinic; Researches effective instruction of students with significant reading disabilities 

Elizabeth Bellows, Ph.D. | Current RCOE Faculty

Inclusive Excellence Coordinator in the Center for Academic Excellence and Co-Author of (Re)Imagining Elementary Social Studies: A Controversial Issues Reader

2019 Naylor Award Winners

Brooke Hardin, Ed.D. 

How They Do It: Examining Teachers’ Understandings and Appropriations of Instructional Tools and Strategies Learned in Writing Methods Coursework


  • Dave Koppenhaver, Ph.D. | Chair
  • Beth Frye, Ed.D. 
  • Woodrow Trather, Ph.D. 

Brooksie Sturdivant, Ed.D. 

Resilient African-American Women: Autoethnographic and Narrative Inquiry of Subjectivity and Agency


  • Audrey Dentith, Ph.D. | Chair
  • Nickolas Jordan, Ph.D. 
  • Fran Bates Oates, Ed.D.

Afternoon Presentations

The afternoon presentation format will be a 30 minute session 


  • Peaches Hash | A/r/ticulation: Arts-Based Inquiry in the Composition Classroom
  • Shannon Jordan, Ed.D. | White Parents, Mixed Race Children: The Entangled Effects of Love, Racism, and Parenting
  • Chris Osmond, Ph.D. & Fran Bates Oates, Ed.D. | The Appalachian State University/Winston-Salem State University Student Exchange Partnership: Preparing Teachers for ALL Classrooms


  • Chris Gilbert | Pushing Back: Research and Advocacy for Public Education
  • Theresa Redmond, Ed.D. & Jennifer Luetkemeyer Ph.D.| Celebrating Diverse Voices through Visual Expression
  • Bronwyn Harris | Supporting Early Symbolic Communication in Children with Complex Communication Needs and Significant Intellectual Disabilities Through Shared Storybook Interactions


  • Roma Angel, Ed.D | Listening to the Voices of Women in Educational Leadership: Advancing Research through Formation Mentoring Communities
  • Courtney Baines; Ed.D. | Action Research for Sustainability Education in a Public High School Science Classroom.
  • Matthew Thomas-Reid, Ph.D. | Queer Activist Research


  • Kristi Short, Ed.D. | When Community College Students Speak, Listen
  • Mina Min, Ph.D. | Influential factors on teacher agency toward reform with curricular autonomy in South Korea: A social cognitive approach