Dissertation Database

As the culminating experience of their graduate programs and with the guidance of the faculty, PhD students in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis are producing dissertations which contribute to the knowledge base regarding education and offer important insights about improving educational practices and policies. Listed below are ELPA PhD graduates with links to their dissertations.

12/2023 Laurie Burgos
Leading a Contracorriente (Against the Current): An Examination of District-Level Dual Language Program Leader Equity Leadership Practices in a Midwestern State

12/2023 Viola Miller
Unraveling the Impact of Community College Mentoring Programs on the Experience of First-Generation Transfer Students at Four-Year Institutions

12/2023 Tiaira Porter-Beal
Understanding Departmental Climate and Retention Among Women of Color STEMM Faculty:
A Mixed Methods Study

8/2023 LaShawn Washington
“Let Love Lead”: An Ethnographic Investigation of Relationships, Praxis, and Love Within a Black Women-Led Leadership Program at a PWI

8/2023 Paris Wicker
“Who Gets to Be Well”? A Multi Method Social Network Analysis of Well-Being for Black and Indigenous College Students

5/2023 Samuel Coleman
Leading to Eliminate Racial Inequities in Student Experiences, Opportunities, and Outcomes: A Case Study of the Personal and Professional Experiences of K-12 School Leaders

5/2023 Scott Everson
Student Perceptions of Grading Reform at the Secondary Level

5/2023 Erin Hastey
How Do We “Make Sure that Everything We Do, We Have Students at the Center”? Reimagining Community College Board Effectiveness for Students’ Success

5/2023 Abby Koberstein
Equity in Suburbia: White Educators’ Sensemaking of Equity

5/2023 Paul Kirby Livingston
Context Matters: Culturally Inclusive and Equitable Pedagogies Across Instructional Contexts in Undergraduate Education

5/2023 Walter Parrish
“I Love the Work, but I Hate My Job”: A Critical Narrative Inquiry on Academic Bullying Among Faculty at Four-Year Institutions

5/2023 Sylvia Ramierz
Working Toward a Degree: The Relationship Between Campus Employment, Student Engagement, and Academic Outcomes for Community College Students

5/2023 Yasmin Escutia Rodriguez
A Testimonio Study: Latinx Women Pre-Service Teachers’ Experiences and Teacher Identity Development

5/2023 Megan Schmid
Faculty Identity in Higher Education: Beyond Research, Teaching, and Service

5/2023 Tarryn Lael Simmons
HBCUs UnHushed: Transformative Spiritual Resilience Within the Life Histories of African American Graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

5/2023 Anne Stahr
Mentoring Faculty for Teaching in Academic Medicine

5/2023 Xiwei Zhu
Developing Community College Faculty Toward Inclusive Approaches to Teaching: Institutional Support, Pedagogical Transpiration, and Faculty Assets

12/2022 Sherri Cyra
Perceptions of Professional Development Impact:
White Educators’ Racial Identity Development and Anti-Racist Practice

12/2022 Megan Arens
Tier 2 at the Middle Level: the Role of the RTI Team in Building a Sustainable System

12/2022 Hyunwoo Yang
The early childhood education in public education – motivation, workforce, and effects

12/2022 Changhee Lee
Rethinking Equity and Innovation in Education: A Systematic Approach to Mapping and
Evaluating Innovative Educational Initiatives

8/2022 Elizabeth Hrodey
The Use of School and Classroom Interventions to Prevent the Misidentification and
Overrepresentation of Black Adolescents in Special Education

8/2022 Kathlyn Stebbins-Hinz
Leadership in Service of “At-risk” Students: Lessons from Alternative High Schools

8/2022 Ayesha Inayat

8/2022 Lydia Gandy-Fastovich
Special Education Through the Parent Lens: Experiences, Expertise, and Hope towards
Collaborative Partnerships

8/2022 Nancy Nikolay
Navigating Reform Efforts: Teachers’ Sensemaking During Curriculum Reform Efforts

8/2022 Neil O’Connell
Features of Personalized Learning in Middle School

8/2022 Danyelle Wright
The Pursuit Towards Anti-Racist Professional Development for a Wisconsin School

8/2022 Ashley Gaskey
What’s Faculty Have to Do with It? A Critical Analysis of Faculty at For-Profit Institutions

5/22 Christopher Barnes
Your Success Is Our Success: An Exploration of Black Ph.D. Students’ Educational Journeys and Experiences with Mentorship

5/22 Nicholas Mitchell
Principals’ Approaches to Addressing Racial Inequities in Schools

5/22 Na Lor
A Mixed Methods Study of Cultural Inequity in Higher Education

5/22 Colleen Larsen
Dreams beyond Safety: A Critical Qualitative Investigation of the Experiences of Refugee Students at Two-Year Public Colleges in Wisconsin

5/22 Emilie Hofacker
An Alumni Perspective: Posse Program Impact on STEM Degree Attainment and STEM Workforce Transition

5/22 Sarah Lent
A Call for an Education About Whiteness: Intersections of Teaching and Leading for Antiracist Education

5/22 Sarah Odell
Listening for Resistance: Stories Challenging the Binary in K-12 Educational Leadership

12/21 David Brokopp
Elementary Principals’ Decision to Use Exclusionary Discipline and the Influence
of School Safety on that Decision

12/21 Shelby Rogers
Transfixed on Eliminating Barriers: Re-conceptualizing Student Success Practices in Contemporary Higher Education at a Public Historically Black College and University

12/21 Brett Stousland
Certifying Intercultural Competence: An Investigation of Districts’ Participation in a State

12/21 Helen Behr
Beyond the Closed Door: Teacher Autonomy in Context

12/21 Byron Sharer Robertson
How Do Parental Educational Expectations Change in High School ?

12/21 Molly Carroll
Field Experience Organization

8/21 Jacqueline Forbes
“So We Made Our Own Table”: An Exploration of Three Black Educational Organizations in Atlanta

8/21 Casey Blochowiak
The Positive Deviance Improvement Approach in Education:
A Case Study of School and District Application

8/21 Dawn Crim
Hard Row to Hoe: Unearthing the Barriers, Challenges & Resiliency of African American
Women Presidents at Baccalaureate Institutions

8/21 Kelly Demerath
Who Is Career and College Ready: Equity and Outcomes in Dual Enrollment Programs

8/21 Mark Stateler
The Influence of School Resource Officers on School Climate in Rural Settings: Perspectives of Students, Principals, and School Resource Officers

8/21 Timothy Rosenthal
What Role Do Instances of Toxic Masculinity and Gender Stereotyping Play in Middle School Boys’ Decision-Making Processes Regarding Joining/Continuing in School Choir Programs?

8/21 Ellie Bruecker
An Exploration of Financial Aid Application Patterns and College Access: Three Studies Using High School-Level FAFSA Data

8/21 Allison Degraaf
Building Teachers’ Instructional Capacity in a Balanced Literacy Framework

8/21 Nicole Marble
Fostering Rigorous Learning Opportunities through Academic Conversations and the Teacher Professional Learning that Supports Sustained Schoolwide Use

8/21 Mary Duenas
You’re Not Really Here Because You Deserve to Be Here: How Latinx College Students Experience Imposter Syndrome

8/21 Francis Redmon
Listening to Stories Students Tell About the Impact of Personalized Learning on Their Learning and Lives

8/21 Kimberly Amidzich
Understanding the Role of Equity in School Improvement Science: A Tale of Two Districts

8/21 Barb Novak
Persistent Barriers to Equity: State Statutes and State Education Agency Regulations and Guidance about Specific Learning Disabilities

8/21 Minseok Yang
Unforeseen Costs and Casualties:
The Impact of Teachers’ Union Reform on Teacher Labor Market Responses

5/21 Casey Blochowiak
The Positive Deviance Improvement Approach in Education:
A Case Study of School and District Application

5/21 Laura Eicher
In Schools with Equitable Practices, What is the Elementary Principal’s Role
to Improve Reading Achievement?

5/21 Dominic Ledesma
From language access to communicative equity: Understanding the role and impact of language access accommodations for linguistically diverse parents in K-12 public schools

5/21 Brett Nachman
“I Found My Place”: Unraveling Autistic Community College Students’ Experiences in a College Autism Transition Program

12/20 Nicholas Reichhoff
Layered Instructional Leadership for Coherence:
A Case Study of District and School Level Practices

12/20 Tanushree Rawat
Ambitious and Routine Tasks for Integrating Technology in Schools:
Stories of Two Rural Public Schools in India

8/2020 Julie Kallio
Solving Problems Together: Findings from the Early Stages of a Networked Improvement Community

8/2020 Brit Wagner
New Landing, New Transition: A Phenomenological Investigation of the International Student Arrival Experience

8/2020 Robert DeMeuse
Check Yes or No: Identifying Factors that Predict Rural Wisconsin Public School District Referendum Passage

5/2020 Andrew Erdmann
Out of the Closet: Examining Residence Hall Climate at a Large Public Research Institution for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* and Queer+ Students

5/2020 Daniel Corral (not available in data base)

5/2020 Carmen Bartley
Creating Access to Meaningful Resources and Relationships: Critical Brokerage Practices in a Public Elementary School

5/2020 Cassidy Kist
Opening the Door? How Wisconsin School Districts Respond to Increased Mathematics Graduation Requirements and Its Impact on Students’ Educational Opportunities

12/2019 John Harper
Habits of Mind of District Administrators: An Exploratory Study

12/2019 Ning Sun (not available in data base)

12/2019 SoHee Hyun
Challenges Facing Immigrant Transfer Students Persisting in American Higher Education

12/2019 Taylor Weichman
Cultivating 21st Century Learners through Facilitation of Adventure-Based Education


Gwendolyn Baxley

not available in data base


Yeseul Choi

Pathways of Academic Resilience: Exploring the Multiple Developmental Trajectories of Low-income Students During Early Education


Boeun Choi

Attributes of Living-Learning Communities that Contribute to College Students’ Learning


Heather Roth

The Intersection of Equity Systems Change and African American Student Success


Jamila Lee-Johnson

I Am Becoming: Understanding the Experiences of Undergraduate Black Women at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Elected Student Leadership Positions


Candance Weidensee

How School Leaders Support the Development of Growth Mindsets in Teachers to Benefit Diverse Students


Aaron Engel

not available in data base




The Elementary Principal’s Role in Professional Development and Learning Communities: How to Support Continual Professional Growth


Jody Hare

The Return of Near-Completers to Higher Education for Degree Completion: Adult Students Seeking Closure




Nothing to Lose But Our Chains: Voices of Black Women’s Activist Experiences on a Predominantly White Campus

2018-2019 ELPA Higher Education Dissertation of the Year


Hyoung Joon Park

Practices Used by STEM Faculty for Gathering Formative Student Feedback: Beyond Traditional Student Evaluation


Jeffrey Fleig

The Roles and Practices of the Superintendent in Equity Systems Change


Shannon Anderson

Principal and Teacher Collaboration for Social Justice in Predominately White, Affluent Schools


Angela Montpas

African American Parent Perspectives on Positive Relationships with Their Children’s Teachers


Charles Wiza

High School Students’ Sense of Belonging in Relationship to Inclusive Practices


Nnabugwu Ekwelum

Education’s Silent Exodus: A Critical Exploration of Race & the Shortage of Black Men in the Teaching Profession


Benjamin Burns

The Role of Identity Development in Principal Responses to Staff Resistance to Equity

2018-2019 ELPA K12 Dissertation of the Year


Laura Sangroula

School Leaders Who Cultivate a Mutually Reinforcing Learning Environment in Schools with

Spanish-speaking English Language Learners


Chelsea Blackburn-Cohen

Globalization and the Mobility of Ideas: A Critical Account of Academics in Exile at Colleges and Universities in the United States


Janelle Ramsel

Addressing the 1:4 with IX in the B1G: How the Big 10 Interprets Federal Guidance into Student-on-Student Title IX Sexual Assault Policies


Sheltreese McCoy

Where Is My Place?: Queer and Transgender Students of Color Experiences in

Cultural Centers at a Predominantly White University


Jihye Kam

Role of institutional diversity : student affinity for preferred college major


Tangela Blakely Reavis

College choice interrupted or facilitated : a qualitative case study examining how social class and schools structure opportunity for students in urban high schools




Professional learning in high achieving elementary schools


Maurielle Amechi

not available in data base


Kelly Wickersham

Where to go from here ? toward a model of community college students’ decision-making around postsecondary pathway selection


Van Lac

Centering Student Voice: Doing Participatory Action Research Alongside Minoritized Youth


Alexis Bourgeois

A Community Development Corporation and the cultivation of educational opportunity


Adam Ross Nelson

Learning and development as a result of student conduct administration


Sandra Kiddoo

Exploring Associate Degree Outcomes of Stacked Credential Models at Two-Year Colleges


Ramon Ortiz

The Latino male educational trajectory : a precollege econometric model and 21st century implications


Miao-Ching Liu

Conformity, resistance, and gaming : the impact of world university ranking on faculty scholarship at a Taiwanese university


Anne Lang

Characteristics of human resource management systems that promote inclusive practices


Charity Chandler

Factors contributing to and militating against retention of gay & lesbian faculty : faculty perspectives


Laura Wartman Bloker

The Perceptions of Team Members on the Use of Data in Placement Decisions for Students with Disabilities


Susan Wenker

Factors contributing to and militating against physical therapists’ decisions to work with older adults


Dominique Bradley

Lost in Translation? An Investigation of the Pre-service to Classroom Experience


Sara Cutler

White Teacher, Black Students: Racializing Successful Mathematical Pedagogy


Christopher Sadler

Supporting beginning general education teachers in meeting the needs of a diverse classroom : a study of induction practices


Deniece Dortch

Interrupting the usual : African-American doctoral students experiencing race at a predominantly white institution


Ken Bates

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program’s impact on college preparation : the student perspective.


Mankah Zama

Sticks, stones, and digital phones : the legal implications of K-12 bullying


James Finley

Experienced school leaders and continued learning


David Perrodin

How educational administrators prepare schools for high-stakes safety situations : a focus on elementary schools in rural and suburban contexts


Desiree Alva

Understanding Latino students’ sense of belonging in engineering : the impact of institutional agents at one predominantly White institution


Valyncia Raphael

Expanding the single story : Black female athlete experiences playing country club sports at a predominantly white institution


Hyekyung Lee

Nontraditional-age students and college completion : exploring the holistic effects of institution, family, and work


Se Woong Lee

Pulling back the curtain : the relationship between teacher quality and students’ educational outcomes


Lisa Steinkamp

Cultivating post-secondary opportunity and service : youth and young adult perspectives on a high school leadership program


Sandra Garbowicz David

Hiring practices in high performing schools


Nathan Wills

How people learn in K-8 blended learning Catholic schools : floating, failing, and filling Tetris gaps


Tetyana Schneider

Hmong American students who majored in STEM in two-year colleges in the Midwest : experiences before, during, and outside of college which contribute to their development as global citizens


Cassandra Schug

The role of the superintendent in system-wide success for pre-K-12 English Language Learners


Sun Young Yoon

Causal mediation mechanisms in inquiry-based science professional development


Melodie Wyttenbach

The educational experience of DACAmented students : utilizing capitals to confront barriers and navigate the American educational experience.


Morna Foy

An exploration of institutionalized structures as employer engagement strategies in the Wisconsin Technical College System


Todd Gray

ABC for the ABC’s : can ABC/M improve budget allocations and cost efficiencies in a Wisconsin public school district to help sustain educational programming?


Madhu Verma

My voice, My Choice : reflections from second generation Asian Indian American college women


Bradley Piazza

How do technical college leaders initiate and implement change to facilitate comprehensive internationalization at their campuses?


Sharon Contreras

School-wide organization, structures, and processes used to achieve high performance : a multicase study of high-poverty elementary schools with high percentages of students of color


Amy Zelenski

Theatre-based Empathy Training in Medicine: Exploring the Spaces In Between


Peter Wilson

Advancing Opportunities for All Students: Superintendent Leadership Teams in High-Achieving School Districts


Rob Manzke

Attributes of Innovative Global Citizenship Programs at Mid-Sized Public Universities


Meg Filkins

YouTube as a K-12 Professional Learning Tool: What New Media Videos Can Teach Educators About RtI and PBIS