Doctoral Research Conference


The Doctoral Research Conference is a forum for students in the EdD Program in Leadership & Innovation to share and receive feedback on their ongoing doctoral research with members of their respective cohorts, as well as members of other cohorts and Teachers College faculty.  All students in the program engage in repeated cycles of action research throughout the program; these cycles culminate in an action research dissertation in practice. The Conference represents an academic forum for doctoral students to disseminate their ongoing research.

The 2021 Doctoral Research Conference will be held on May 1, 2021.

This year, we are welcoming an L&I EdD student and alumni panel on Social Justice and Action Research for the lunchtime keynote.

Panel Title: Addressing Social Justice in Education through Action Research

Abstract: How can you as an action researcher contribute to making social justice relevant in your environment?  Engage in an authentic conversation with former and current Ed.D students as they share their stories and challenge you to address social justice in your everyday life.

Beth Alsen headshot

Beth Alsen

Dissertation Title: Developing Critically Conscious Pre-Service Teachers: A Social Justice Approach to Educate Culturally Linguistically Diverse Students

Beth Alsen’s educational journey began almost 16 years ago teaching culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students from inner-city Los Angeles to suburban communities in Tempe, Arizona. She earned her B.A. from the University of California, Irvine, a M.ED in Bilingual Multicultural Education from Northern Arizona University along with an ESL and bilingual endorsement. In 2019, she graduated with a doctorate in Education Leadership & Innovation from Arizona State University. Her research examined how a Culturally Responsive and Linguistic Teaching (CRLT) Framework could increase preservice teacher’s critical consciousness about teaching CLD students. The CRLT Framework focused on two specific areas: (a) a culturally responsive curriculum and (b) a team-based service-learning experience. As a result, Beth continues to teach the CRLT Framework as the CRP curriculum increased preservice teachers’ understanding about how their sociolinguist views influenced their pedagogical knowledge about teaching CLD students. In addition, the team-based approach, which afforded opportunities to function as a community of practice, provided authentic experiences for preservice teachers to apply theory to practice. When Beth is not teaching at Mesa Community College, you can find her hiking at South Mountain, reading at the park or watching her daughter at the golf course.

Renee Bhatti-Klug headshot

Renee Bhatti-Klug
May 2022

Dissertation Title: Increasing Intercultural Competence in University Faculty Through Cultural Intelligence Training
Renee Bhatti-Klug [Ruh-nay ba-HA-tee Kloog] is an innovative educational leader and researcher committed to the topics of developing Cultural Intelligence (CI), building people-centered curricula, and fostering inclusive environments. She has been educating students and training leaders from over 100 nations for twenty years. As a leader, Renee seeks to model the values of curiosity, empathy, and compassion, all through action-oriented and data-driven decision making. As Arizona State University's first Senior University International Educator, Renee trains faculty and staff on fostering culturally responsive environments through demonstrating CI. Through this role, she hosts The Global Advocacy Certificate Program, in which over 1,000 ASU faculty and staff members have become Global or Advanced Global Advocates by attending monthly workshops on diversity and inclusion. Through Culturally Intelligent Training & Consulting, Renee and her team provide organizations holistic, long-term solutions for sustaining culturally diverse and inclusive workplaces. Renee is a first generation American, the firstborn daughter of a Punjabi father, and the great granddaughter of Polish and Irish immigrants on her mother’s side. She lives in the both/and of her multicultural heritage, and discusses the nuances of intersecting identities in the podcast Not Only, But Also. Wife to a composer and pianist and mother to three young children, Renee has lived in England and France, backpacked Europe, kayaked in Fiji, and trained teachers in Madagascar.

Julia Brady headshot

Julia Brady
Graduated in December 2020

Dissertation Title:  Preparing Teachers for Diverse Classrooms: Developing Intercultural Competence

Julia was born and raised in Africa, attending schools in Tanzania, Kenya, and Botswana which fueled her interest in international education.  She holds a B.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology and a graduate certificate in TESOL from Brigham Young University, an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership & Organization from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a doctorate in Education Leadership & Innovation from Arizona State University.  Her research interests focus on supporting professional development for in-service K-12 public school teachers facing diverse classrooms and building their skills to provide culturally responsive instruction and make meaningful connections with their students.  She has been involved with K-12 public education since 2007 implementing the International Baccalaureate continuum of programmes, and is passionate about helping others become more culturally aware in their interactions with one another.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, and traveling as much as possible.

Craig L. Jackson, Jr. headshot

Craig L. Jackson, Jr.
December 2021

Dissertation title: Social unrest and the march toward equality: Preparing managers to enact diversity and inclusion policies

Craig L. Jackson, Jr. serves as Senior Director of Development for the College of Engineering at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). In his role, he oversees the College’s frontline fundraisers and corporate engagement strategy. He is also the lead fundraiser for the UC Davis Coffee Center, the first of its kind in the country. Additionally, Craig serves as co-chair of the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee (DEI Committee) for development and alumni relations (DEVAR) at UC Davis. In his role as co-chair, Craig oversees a 16-member committee that is charged with developing educational opportunities, DEI related policies and procedures, and unique initiatives to improve the culture and climate of DEVAR, which consists of 310 employees. 

Craig began his career in advancement as a Clarence J. Jupiter fellow, an honor that is bestowed by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), which is the professional organization for fundraising professionals in higher education. He received this honor as an undergraduate student at Upper Iowa University, a private liberal arts college in Iowa. Given this honor, Craig was recruited to KU to serve as a Graduate Assistant at KU Endowment, where he worked to engage alumni of color in the philanthropic efforts of the university.

The experience at KU emboldened Craig to go on to have an extensive and robust career in advancement serving in major gift positions at Oklahoma State University Foundation, Arizona State University (ASU), and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, before accepting his current role at UC Davis. In addition to his work as co-chair of DEVAR’s DEI committee, Craig serves as an advisor on DEI issues to the Dean of the School of Education at the University of Kansas and on the Dean’s National Advisory Board. Craig holds a bachelor’s degree from Upper Iowa University, a master’s degree from the University of Kansas, and is currently working on his Ed.D. at ASU in Leadership and Innovation. Craig will complete his doctorate in Fall ’21 after conducting research on how predominately white organizations can prepare managers to enact diversity and inclusion policies and procedures to improve diverse and marginalized employees' professional experiences. Lastly, Craig is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.