Information For:

Give back to HGSE and support the next generation of passionate educators and innovative leaders.

News & Events

Student Dissertation and Capstone Defenses

Students from the Ed.D. Program and the Ed.L.D. Program will publically present their dissertations and capstone projects between April 8 – 23 as part of HGSE’s inaugural 2013 Dissertation and Capstone Defenses. The public is invited to these presentations showcasing the work of more than 20 students.

This is the first time in HGSE history that students will defend their dissertations or capstone projects. The Ed.D. and Ed.L.D. program faculty consider this an opportunity for accountability and accomplishment.

“The Ed.D. Program and faculty are extremely excited about the introduction of the oral defense. We see it as an important culminating milestone and marker of accomplishment,” said Professor Bridget Terry Long, director of the Doctor of Education Program. “Also, as a school of education, we believe strongly in the importance of disseminating educational research with the goal of impacting practice and policy, and so it makes sense to showcase the incredible work done by our students.”

Lecturer Elizabeth City, director of the Doctor of Education Leadership Program, agreed. “We see part of our students’ and graduates’ role as leaders as actively learning and sharing their work and learning within and beyond their organization,” City said. “The capstone and defense are opportunities for students to reflect on learning for self, site, and sector. The capstone itself and the defense of the capstone are opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning and share their work with the Harvard community, as well as with leaders across the education sector. The public nature of the defense also offers a measure of celebration as well as accountability for both the student and the Ed.L.D. Program.”

As part of the inaugural event, members of the first cohort of Ed.L.D. students, along with five Ed.D. students, will present before their committee members and the public for 60-75 minutes. Please note that the Ed.D. dissertation defense process is newly implemented and only required of student who received dissertation proposal approval this year.

The following schedule includes the candidate’s topic and location of the presentation.

Friday, April 12

“The ‘School-to-Central’ Leadership Transition” by Nancy Gutierrez (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Professor Robert Kegan (chair); Harvard Business School (HBS) Professor John Kim; New York City Department of Education Chief Academic Officer for Leadership Anthony Conelli. 5 – 6 p.m. Gutman Library Room 303.

Monday, April 15

“From Interventions to an Integrated System of Supports” by Samantha Cohen (Ed.L.D. candidate).Committee members: HGSE Professor Robert Kegan (chair); HGSE Professor Thomas Hehir; Montgomery County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Kimberly Statham. 9 – 10 a.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 1.

“Teach Plus’ Teacher Turnaround Team (T3) Initiative” by Daniel PK Diffenbaugh (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Lecturer Elizabeth City (chair); HGSE Lecturer Lisa Lahey; Teach Plus Founder and CEO Celine Coggins. 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 3.

“Collaborative Leadership Learning: The Expansion of KIPP Philadelphia’s Emerging Leaders Program” by Lizette B. Suxo, (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Lecturer Eileen McGowan (chair); HGSE Lecturer Lisa Lahey; KIPP Philadelphia Schools Founder and CEO Marc Mannella. 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 1.

“High Performance Teams: The Unexpected Effects of Gender, Race and Class Based Stereotyping on Team Performance” by Lissa Young, (Ed.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Professor Monica Higgins (chair); HGSE Assistant Professor Katherine Masyn; Naval Postgraduate School Frank Barrett. 3 – 4:15 p.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 3.

Tuesday, April 16

“Essays on Improving the Quality of Education in K-12 Urban Public Schools” by Matthew Kraft (Ed.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Professor Richard Murnane (chair); HGSE Professor John Willett; HGSE Professor Susan Moore Johnson. 9 – 10:15 a.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 3.

“Cultivating and Sustaining Personal Leadership Development: Redefining Teacher Leadership at Teach For America in the Los Angeles Region” by Katiusca Moreno (Ed.L.D. candidate).Committee members: HGSE Senior Lecturer Deborah Jewell-Sherman (chair); HKS Senior Lecturer Marshall Ganz; Teach for America and Partner (Values Based Leadership Collaborative, TPSD) Scott Taylor. 9 – 10 a.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 1.

“Human Capital in Blended Learning Schools: Developing an Early-Stage Talent Strategy for Touchstone Education” by Beth Rabbitt (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Professor Monica Higgins (chair); HGSE Assistant Professor Jal Mehta; Charter School Growth Fund and Founding Board Member of Touchstone Education Alex Hernandez, Partner. 11 a.m. –12 p.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 1.

“The High Support School Initiative: Restructuring Central Office to Improve Student Learning” by Rasheed Meadows (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: Senior Lecturer Deborah Jewell-Sherman (chair), HGSE; Lecturer Elizabeth City; Boston Public Schools former Academic Superintendent for High Schools Linda B. Cabral. 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 3.

“Scaling Effective Project-Based Learning at Khan Academy” by Karl Wendt, (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Lecturer Eileen McGowan (chair); HBS Professor Clay Christensen; Khan Academy Lead of Strategic Initiatives Minli Virdone. 2 – 3 p.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 1.

Wednesday, April 17

“The Use of Games for SAT Vocabulary Acquisition” by Aradhana Mundambi (Ed.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Professor Christopher Dede (chair); HGSE Lecturer Joe Blatt; HGSE Assistant Professor Andrew Ho. 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Eliot Lyman Room (Longfellow Hall, 2nd Floor).

“The Unprecedented Power of the Internet to Connect Youth to Opportunity” by Francesca Kaplan Grossman (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Lecturer Lisa Lahey (chair); HGSE Lecturer Nancy Sommers; Camellia Network CEO Isis Keigwin. 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 1.

“Learning to Lead/Leading to Learn: Developing, Nurturing, and Sustaining Innovations in Higher Education” by Tracy Money (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Lecturer Eileen McGowan (chair); HGSE Senior Lecturer James Honan; Big Picture Learning Director and College Unbound Director Dennis Littky. 2 – 3 p.m. Eliot Lyman Room (Longfellow Hall, 2nd Floor).

“The Pathways to Prosperity Network and the Role of Nonprofits in Leading and Supporting States’ Implementation of Ambitious Education Reform” by Amy Loyd (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Assistant Professor Jal Mehta (chair); HGSE Lecturer Elizabeth City; Jobs for the Future Vice President and Senior Advisor Nancy Hoffman. 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 3.

“Evaluating the Impact of Ohio’s College Opportunity Grant on First-Year Student Success” by Melissa Bert (Ed.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Professor Bridget Terry Long (chair); HGSE Assistant Professor David Deming; HGSE Assistant Professor Katherine Masyn. 3 – 4:15 p.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 1.

Thursday, April 18

“Reorienting Central Office to Support Teaching and Learning in Montgomery County Public Schools” by Kimberly Noble Yearns (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Senior Lecturer Deborah Jewell-Sherman (chair); HGSE Lecturer Kathryn Parker Boudett; Montgomery County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent of the Office of School Support of Improvement Beth Schiavino-Narvaez. 8:30 – 9:30 a.m., Eliot Lyman Room (Longfellow Hall, 2nd Floor).

“Leadership Development in Entrepreneurial Education for the Advancement of Public & Private Sector Support” by Diane Robinson (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Professor Monica Higgins (chair); HKS Professor Dean Williams; Teach for All Vice President/Network Support Joe Babiec. 9 – 10 a.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 1.

“DCPS: A Learning Organization in the Making” by Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee Members; HGSE Professor Robert Kegan (Chair); HGSE Lecturer Lee Teitel; DC Public Schools Deputy Chief of Principal Effectiveness Hilary Darilek. 10 – 11 a.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 3.

“Accountability, Coherence, and Improvement: Leadership Reflection and Growth in the Los Angeles Unified School District” by Maren Oberman (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Assistant Professor Jal Mehta (chair); HGSE Professor Susan Moore Johnson, HGSE; Los Angeles Unified School District Chief of Intensive Support and Intervention Donna Muncey. 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 1.

“Building Leadership Capacity: Los Angeles Unified School District” by Michele Shannon (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Professor Monica Higgins (chair); HGSE Lectuer Kathryn Parker Boudett; Los Angeles Unified School District Executive Director of the Autonomous Schools Division Rachel Bonkovsky. 1 – 2 p.m. Eliot Lyman Room (Longfellow Hall, 2nd Floor).

“Creating a Teacher Leadership and Compensation System in Iowa” by Ryan Wise (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Professor Robert Schwartz (chair); HGSE Assistant Professor Martin West; Iowa Department of Education State Director Jason Glass. 1 – 2 p.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 1.

“Improving Academic Achievement for English Language Learners: Opportunities for Increased Performance” by Alexander Judson Smith (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Assistant Professor Jal Mehta (chair); HBS Professor Allen Grossman; Denver Public Schools Chief of Innovation and Reform Alyssa Whitehead-Bust. 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 3.

“Accelerating the Social Transformation of American Education: The National Board’s Role and Strategy in Elevating the Teaching Profession” by Joseph Doctor (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Assistant Professor Jal Mehta (chair); HGSE Professor Susan Moore Johnson; National Board for Professional Teaching Standards President and CEO Ron Thorpe. 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 1.

Friday, April 19

"Disrupting Teacher Preparation: Lessons in Collaboration and Innovation across the Learning to Teach Community of Practice” by Susan Cheng (Ed.L.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Professor Monica Higgins (chair); HGSE Senior Lecturer James Honan; NewSchools Venture Fund Partner Julie Mikuta. 10 – 11 a.m. Gutman Conference Center Area 3.

Tuesday, April 23

“Assistance In The 11th Hour: Experimental Interventions To Mitigate Summer Attrition Among College-Intending High School Graduates” by Ben Castleman (Ed.D. candidate). Committee members: HGSE Professor Bridget Terry Long (chair); HGSE Professor Thomas Kane; HKS Professor Chris Avery; FAS Professor Elisabeth Allison. 9 – 10:15 a.m. Gutman Library Room 303.