What is your current job title and responsibilities?
Professor of Educational Leadership, School of Teaching, Learning and Leadership, College of Education. I teach master’s degree and Ed. D. students in educational leadership and chair dissertations. Beyond that, I support my colleagues as we work collaboratively to continuously improve the effectiveness of our programs, based on research and advisement from school district superintendents and leaders. Also, I am the PI for the Resident Teacher Professional Preparation Program (rtp3 ) and collaborate with a fantastic team. It has brought 140 STEM graduates into the Master of Arts in Teaching program and employment as teachers in one of our partner school districts.
What is your history at UCF? (past job titles, responsibilities)
I came to UCF as an Assistant Professor in 2000 and have had similar responsibilities as I have now through the years.
What is your favorite UCF memory?
Graduation is always the best memory as I see so many young people receive their degrees and be cheered on by their parents. In the College of Education and Human Performance, we have a pre-commencement event during which I am honored to meet the parents, grandparents, spouses, siblings and children of our doctoral graduates. It is a very special time for me to engage with those who have been part of the journey.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your colleagues?
As a former colleague was fond of saying, “Keep the main thing, the main thing.”
What is your favorite restaurant or food?
If UCF was going to name something in your honor, what would you like it to be and why?
My dearest wish is to provide some funds for those who wish to become teachers and leaders in our public schools and who are committed to serving the under-resourced families in our local community with high expectations for their success.
If you could have lunch with anyone at UCF (who you do not normally eat lunch with), who would you choose and why?
That is a difficult choice given that everyone I know at UCF is interesting, so I think I’d like to draw a name out of a hat and be surprised.
Who at UCF would you like to thank for your success?
I have many cherished colleagues who have contributed to my thinking and challenged me to be more deliberate in research and practice, either by their support or role as critic.
Name and describe a teacher or researcher from your past who truly inspired you and why.
Thomas Sergiovanni was the first researcher and author whose work I read because I wanted to and not because it was a requirement. From the first reading and listening to him speak, I knew that I had found someone who had the ethics to do what was right and the intelligence and persistence to expect the rest of us to lead with integrity.
What undergraduate or graduate class/program/experience inspired you the most and why?
In graduate school, I remember the first time a professor said to me, “You are a good thinker.”
Never had I thought of myself as a thinker, but from then on I started being meta-cognitive about what I thought and realized that I didn’t think like a lot of others. I am grateful that he spoke that one sentence. What a lesson on choosing words carefully and the power to hurt or inspire!