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New doctors in the house!

November 13, 2018

Categories: News

Published: November 13, 2018

The School of Education is thrilled to announce two new doctors in the house. Below are summaries of the dissertations by Dr. Beth Chamberlain, Ed.D., Dean of the School of Education, and Dr. Jerell Hill, Ed.D., Administrative Faculty in the School of Education.


Elizabeth Chamberlain, Ed.D.

“Moving Beyond the Ivory Tower: How a Community Engagement Project Became a Bridge from the Tower to the Community”

The purpose of this study was to learn how a community engagement project helped to build a bridge between two universities and their broader communities to address the complex social problem of Human Sex Trafficking (HST). The community engagement project refers to the multidimensional university and community partnerships as well as the HST research study.

The findings revealed that preexisting relationships between university and community members and an awareness of the extent of the problem of HST by champions (leaders) played a critical role in the processes that led to the development of the project. The impact on HST was related to the outcomes and benefits reported by the university and community participants.

Through the examination of this community engagement project, this dissertation study provides an example of how multidimensional university and community partnerships can create the conditions by which research can be developed to address a complex social problem. Authentic relationships built over time, established on trust and mutual benefit, can contribute to the development of research projects that can address complex social problems.


Jerell Hill, Ed.D.

“Adverse Childhood Experiences: A School Leadership Crisis”

Current research on the neurobiological and physiological impact of exposure to adverse experiences in childhood found that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) affect many students’ learning outcomes. ACEs affect people from all backgrounds, regardless of race, income, education, or geography.

Additionally, exposure to chronic adversity during the formative years may yield a lifetime of challenges, including poor health and early death. This study examined the impact of ACEs on children’s brains and bodies. Additionally, it reviewed the effects of ACEs on learning outcomes and how school leaders can address the crisis that is triggered by trauma and adversity.

The findings acknowledged raised awareness regarding mental health, smaller classrooms, social-emotional school initiatives, and community partnerships were providing benefits to the school community and improving the culture. The analysis of all the data revealed that the participants recognize the impact that ACEs have on students, and creating a trauma-informed culture through a culturally competent perspective influences school leaders to lead with empathy and compassion. Ultimately, this study found that developing a culturally responsive trauma-informed approach to understanding and responding to students can address the impact of disparities, teach resiliency skills, and promote all students’ well-being and achievement.

Categories: News

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