See how students of The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership are making a difference in their lives and the lives of others.

April 2014

Mary Durr ’12, an M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology graduate and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, published A Cry in the Night: The City of Lights’ Dark Side (Outskirts Press, 2013). She is a trainer at Time Warner Cable in Jackson, Miss.

February 2014

Molly Gerrish, a Ph.D. in Education student, was recently named Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year for the College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where she is an assistant professor. The award is presented to a faculty member nominated by peers who meets or exceeds performance criteria including effectiveness in teaching, professional involvement, and accomplishments.

Derek Olson, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, was part of a group of Minnesota Teacher of the Year award winners invited to come to the state capitol to offer insights on teaching to members of the Senate Education Committee. Olson, a teacher at Afton-Lakeland Elementary School in Lakeland Shores who was named 2008 Teacher of the Year, addressed the topic of teacher evaluations.

Beth Oswald, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, was one of only 13 educators nationally selected for the Hope Street Group’s 2014 cohort of National Teacher Fellows. A teacher at JC McKenna Middle School in Evansville, Wis., Oswald will participate in a yearlong fellowship program to train and network with teachers across the country. Hope Street Group, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunity and prosperity for all Americans, sponsors the fellowship as part of its efforts to transform the teaching profession and improve student outcomes.

November 2013

Katheryn Kennedy, a Ph.D. in Education student, published “Methods and Strategies: Derby Design Day” in Science & Children (Vol. 51, No. 1). The article examines the collaboration between elementary and high school students during a physical science project. A former science teacher, Kennedy currently works as a curriculum and professional development specialist in the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education at Stevens University of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.

Dory Morris, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, recently launched MDC Pick-up LLC, a business that collects electronic waste in Lehigh County and Kutztown, Pa., and educates people about the dangers of e-waste in landfills.

September 2013

Dale S. Ailes, an M.S. in Higher Education student, published Asleep with One Eye Open (CreateSpace, 2013) in July. The novel details a story of child abuse.

Ashley D. Coleman Davis, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, was named the 2013–2014 Fairfield Elementary Teacher of the Year in Winnsboro, S.C., where she is a third-grade teacher.

Marcia Reese, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student and the owner of Who’s Talking Now, a speech therapy office in Killeen, Texas, was featured in the article “Speech Therapy Business Celebrates Second Anniversary” in the Killeen Daily Herald on Aug. 10.

August 2013

Richard Baskas, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, published A Doctor of Education Student's Journey in Higher Education and Adult Learning: A Compilation of Scholarly Work Throughout the Program (Xlibris Corporation, 2013).

Shannon Buff, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, was named director of secondary curriculum, instruction, and professional development at Newton County School System in Covington, Ga. She most recently served as Newton High School’s program director of the summer bridge program, an instructional focus coordinator, an assistant testing coordinator, and a teacher on assignment for curriculum and instruction.

David Cittadino, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, was appointed superintendent of New Jersey’s Old Bridge schools in July. Cittadino joined the Old Bridge school district in 2006 as vice principal of Jonas Salk Middle School, later becoming the principal and then the assistant superintendent for human resources of Old Bridge High School.

July 2013

Mark Potter, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, was named the superintendent of the Liverpool School District in New York in June. He will start his tenure in August. He formerly served as the executive director of secondary education and curriculum development for the district.

Ellen H. Schneider, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, started as the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District’s superintendent of schools on July 1. She was previously the assistant superintendent of schools for Maine School Administrative District #1 in Presque Isle. Schneider has more than 30 years of experience as an educator and a leader.

James A. Spence II, a Ph.D. in Education student, will start his duties as the principal of Park View Middle School in South Hill, Va., this fall. He was previously an assistant principal at Dinwiddie Middle School.

June 2013

Velda Arnaud, a Ph.D. in Education student, won the first Jo Marshall Leadership Award from Phi Theta Kappa, which carries a $5,000 stipend for personal leadership development. The award was presented at a ceremony during Phi Theta Kappa’s annual convention in San Jose, Calif., in April. Arnaud, who is a professor at Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore., and serves as Phi Theta Kappa’s Rocky Mountain Cascade regional coordinator, was selected as the award recipient for her project on leadership. She will deliver workshops on topics such as leading with integrity, bridging the generation gap, professional social networking, and designing a professional development plan.

Richard Baskas, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, recently published Emergency Dispatch Center Quick Response Checklist, a manual for the fire department at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. Designed to educate 911 dispatchers during training, the manual is the first of its kind and is based on Baskas’ 15 years of experience as a U.S. Air Force active duty firefighter and 911 dispatcher.

Faye Britt, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student and the assistant principal at Haller Middle School in Arlington, Wash., was featured in a series of articles in news outlets, including the Seattle Times and, about her participation in the 2013 Boston Marathon and her immediate organization of a “Run for Boston” event at her school to benefit victims of the bombings. Learn more about her efforts at Spotlight on Walden.

Kenneth “Trey” Cox ’09, an M.S. in Education (M.S.Ed.) graduate and an Ed.S. in Administrator Leadership for Teaching and Learning student, was named the principal of Patrick County High School in Stuart, Va., in May. He will start the position on July 1. He is currently the principal of Uwharrie Middle School in Trinity, N.C.

Cynthia Gadson, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, published Big Bully Bob (Xlibris Corporation, 2013), a children’s book that examines bullying, social acceptance, and friendship. Gadson is the author of several other books, including Show Me! Teach Me! Guide Me! Poetry Through a Child’s Perspective (Tate Publishing, 2013). She has worked as an elementary school teacher for more than 17 years.

May 2013

Irene Barry, a Ph.D. in Education student, recently partnered with Dr. Douglas Tedford ’08, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) graduate, to produce online courses for rural students in Guatemala as a volunteer for the Rigoberta Menchú Tum Foundation. Barry was featured in “Aztec Teacher Develops Online Courses for Rural Teachers in Guatemala” in The Daily Times on April 7 for her role. She is a transition teacher at Aztec High School in New Mexico. Dr. Tedford lives in Mexico City and works as an author, teacher trainer, researcher, and writer for Teaching Services Latin America.

La Tasha Bassette ’08, an M.S. in Education (M.S.Ed.) graduate and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, participated in the panel discussion “Developing Good Teachers” at Southern Methodist University on April 3. The forum was sponsored by The Dallas Morning News and SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

John Krenik, a Ph.D. in Education student, presented “Would Teaching Either Problem-based Learning or Skills-based Learning Significantly Increase Students' Drawing Abilities?” at the 2013 National Art Education Association national convention in Fort Worth, Texas, in March. Krenik is an art teacher at Nauset Regional Middle School in Orleans, Mass., as well as an award-winning artist.

March 2013

LaTasha P. Bassette ’08, an M.S. in Education (M.S.Ed.) graduate and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, was named the 2012 Teacher of the Year at the Harold W. Lang Sr. Middle School in Dallas, Texas. She is currently the English as a second language (ESL) department chair and an eighth-grade ESL teacher.

Dr. Kimberly Handy ’12, an M.S. in Education (M.S.Ed.) and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) graduate and an Ed.S. in Reading and Literacy Leadership student, presented the paper “Working With Biological Families: Can I Go and Live with My Uncle Eddie?” in February at the National Association of African American Studies Conference in Baton Rouge, La. She also recently had the paper “Analysis of Educators’ Perceptions Regarding Career and Technical Education, Academic Content, and Blended Curricula” published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education (Vol. 1, Issue 1). Dr. Handy is a language arts teacher in the Anchorage (Alaska) School District. 

Rebecca Short ’09 (formerly Rebecca Barton), a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) graduate and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) student, was recently elected to the Ohio League for Nursing’s board of directors. She is an assistant professor of nursing at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio.

February 2013

Susan Caley Opsal, a Ph.D. in Education student and Commitment to Social Change Scholarship recipient, co-authored the chapter “Gender Stereotypes Persist in Middle School Students Engaged in Technical Activity” in Advancing the STEM Agenda: Quality Improvement Supports STEM (Quality Press, 2012). She is an instructor at Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, Ill.

 Read accomplishments from previous years.