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Educational Foundations & LeadershipStudent Profiles

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Education Building

Student Profiles & Research Interests

Our program students come with a rich mix of academic, professional, and life experiences from various sectors of education, business, government, social services, and other professional domains. Check out their stories down below.

Community College Leadership


M.S. Illinois State University, Higher Education Administration and Foundations College Student Personnel Administration| B.S. Illinois State University, Speech Communication| A.A. Heartland Community College

"I knew after my first semester as an admissions professional that I wanted to learn more about our profession of higher education and sought a master's degree. Since gaining professional experience with both 4-year and 2-year institutions, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Community College Leadership. ODU provides the curriculum that I had been searching for and I am excited for the journey."

Julie Marlatt serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management at the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR). Her path for higher education started at Heartland Community College as a first-generation college student and her time is spent advocating for the community college student.

Julie's research interests include data-driven decision making and change management. As a campus leader utilizing strategic enrollment management in the community college, both of these components are necessary to make the biggest impact on student success.


Kansas State University, Graduate Certificate in Academic Advising| University of Maryland, College Park M.Ed. Counseling and Personnel Services - College Student Personnel| Old Dominion University B.S. Human Services Counseling

"The pursuit of doctoral study has always been a personal interest of mine and the timing was right. I'm ready to learn more, in a more formal way. My selection of ODU was easy because I'm an alum ('01), but also because the program is respected, cost effective, and great time to degree completion rates."

Marcus serves as the associate dean of student affairs at the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College in Maryland.

He is also the chair of campus Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) and helps to provide operational leadership for the Assessment Centers, Enrollment Services, Germantown campus Counseling Department, Recruitment, Response Center, and Welcome Centers.

Marcus' research interests include: student access and success, organizational collaboration and change, sociology of higher education and student affairs.


Executive MBA, Texas A&M University| B.A. in Business Management, Marylhurst University

"I am pursuing a PhD in Community College Leadership so that I can learn how to be most effective in my position. ODU has a well-known reputation and is an institution I would be proud to have on my resume".

Angela Lawhorne is a military veteran with over 16-years of experience in workforce development, having worked for the Workforce Investment Board in California, the Virginia Employment Commission, Paul D. Camp Community College and the Virginia Community College System Office.

Angela has recently assumed a new role in February of 2017 as the Director of Workforce Development at Paul D. Camp Community College in Franklin, VA.

Angela's research interests include Organization administration and leadership, Organizational strategy and change, Workforce and labor market outcomes, and Coaching in Community Colleges.


M.Ed. Educational Counseling, Virginia Commonwealth University| B.S. Psychology, University of San Diego

"I had a growing realization that the educational system's inequities are failing the less fortunate, who are in turn failing to thrive. I chose ODU's CCL program because it offers a solid education with an excellent reputation, is offered in a format that fits my busy life, and will one day allow me to better serve those less fortunate."

David has been employed at Piedmont Virginia Community College since 2001 and currently serves as Director of Student Success and Retention.

David's research interests include: Diversity, equity, and inclusion, Organization, administration, and leadership, and Student success, well-being, and development.


M.A. Public Administration, Webster University| B.A. English, The University of Texas at San Antonio

"The mission of the community college is important to my community. I want to help this organization continue to provide access and equity to students. ODU is the perfect program for me because of the cohort support and the synchronous classes."

Janie is currently the Project Facilitator for Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas, where she leads and collaborates on initiatives that include capital improvement projects, transition to a Pathways model, and strategic planning.
In her 16 years with NVC Janie has served in many positions, such as Service Learning Coordinator, Associate Director of Student Activities, Assistant to the Vice President, and Adjunct Faculty.

Janie's research interests are: Diversity, equity, and inclusion, Organization, administration, and leadership, Politics, policymaking, and planning.

Educational Psychology & Program Evaluation


MS.Ed Adult Education/Human Resource Development, James Madison University | B.S. Psychology, James Madison University

"I always knew I enjoyed the study of Psychology, but I couldn't decide on a specialized area. It wasn't until my Master's program that I found my passion for adult education and learning, learning theories, and research. After a gap year, I was thrilled to join the Educational Psychology and Program Evaluation program as a doctoral student. This program allows me to expand my skills, sharpen skills I already possess, and support my career goals. I aspire to be a graduate faculty member and help students as my professors have supported me throughout my academic career."

Kendra is a first-year Ph.D. student in the Educational Psychology and Program Evaluation program. She is currently working as a research assistant with Tony Perez in the Motivation, Identity, and Learning Lab (MilLab). She received a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Adult Education and Human Resource Development from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA.

Kendra works as an Instructional Systems Designer in Newport News, VA. She writes effective online curriculum and training for adult learners in various sectors. Kendra's areas of interest are adult learning, student motivation, and assessment practices.

Lucinda R. Wittkower, Cohort '19

MLIS, University of South Carolina, MME, Shenandoah University, BM- Music Education, Longwood University

"I discovered my love of doing research when I was working on my masters degree in Music Education. The primary reason that I became a librarian after teaching public school for ten years was because I loved helping others with their research as well as conducting my own. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge and skills and contributing to the improvement of our educational systems."

Lucy is a first year Ph.D. student in the Educational Psychology and Program Evaluation Program. She works full-time at ODU as the Head of Teaching & Learning Initiatives at the ODU Libraries. Lucy is interested in how undergraduate students conduct research in everyday life and academic settings, assessment in academic libraries, and teaching information literacy, particularly in online environments.


MS.Ed Adult and Lifelong Learning, University of Arkansas | B.S.B.A Business Management, University of Arkansas

​"​I found my inspiration for continuing my education in the EPPE program through the students I work with on a daily basis as an ODU employee and their own struggles and triumphs as they work to succeed in higher education. I'm excited to grow and learn with the great faculty of this program so that I can make a positive impact on students and institutions.​"​

Erin is a first-year doctoral student in the Educational Psychology and Program Evaluation program. She is an ODU employee of both athletics and the Office of Educational Accessibility.

Erin's research interests are in the areas of self-regulation and metacognition, focused on college student populations.


M.A. Sport Leadership Miami University, Oxford, OH | M.A. Educational and Developmental Psychology Liaoning Normal University, China| B.S. Psychology Liaoning Normal University, China

"My experiences as an international student and training in the Educational Psychology and Program Evaluation program at ODU has given me the global perspective and research skills that I need to successfully achieve my career goals."

Yuanyuan Yue is a third year Ph. D student in Educational Psychology in the Educational Foundations and Leadership department at Old Dominion University. She received a Master's degree in Sports Leadership at Miami University and a Master's degree in Educational and Developmental Psychology at Liaoning Normal University, China.

Yuanyuan is interested in motivation and student's learning. She is currently working on a NIH grant about undergraduate enrichment experiences and motivation toward STEM. She also researches a variety of factors related to international student's educational outcomes. Her research fits into a larger burgeoning research agenda focused on cross-cultural studies of student motivation, learning, and development.


M.S. Experimental Psychology, Old Dominion University| B.S. Psychology, Old Dominion University| A.A.S. Business Administration, Paul D. Camp Community College

"I decided to pursue a graduate degree because I wanted to give myself more options. After finishing my master's program, I realized that I really love doing research, but didn't have as much experience as I wanted. I felt that pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology would give me both the knowledge and experience needed, as well as make me eligible for employment opportunities in both research universities and research facilities. Old Dominion has a great reputation and was one of the schools to which I could commute without having to move out of the area."

Wanda is a third-year doctoral student in the Educational Psychology and Program Evaluation program. She is currently working with Tony Perez, Ph.D. in the Motivation Interventions in Learning Lab on a project concerning motivation in academic persistence and achievement. She also works with David Ayers, Ph.D. in the Higher Education department as a graduate research assistant.

Her current research interests are in the areas of self-regulation strategies, and motivation interventions in STEM. Following graduation, Wanda hopes to continue her research as a university faculty member.


Postgraduate Professional License in Elementary Education (PK-6), Virginia Department of Education M.A. Teaching in Early and Elementary Education (PK-6), Virginia Commonwealth University| B.I.S. Interdisciplinary Studies for Early and Elementary| Education, Virginia Commonwealth University

Mel is a doctoral candidate in the Educational Psychology and Program Evaluation program. She currently works for the Old Dominion University Research Foundation and the Center for Educational Partnerships as an Education Specialist. Mel's research interests are in educational measurement and validity, psychometrics, student and teacher identity, standardized testing, and STEM education.


Ed.S. K-12 Administration, Virginia Tech| M.S. Secondary Education, Old Dominion University| B.S. Biology, Old Dominion University| B.S. Education, Old Dominion University| Graduate Certificate Integrative STEM education, Virginia Tech

Melani Loney holds BS degrees in Biology and Education and a MS degree in Secondary Education from Old Dominion University. In addition, Ms. Loney holds an EdS from the University of Virginia in K-12 Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Integrative STEM Education from Virginia Tech. Ms. Loney's work experience includes thirteen years as a science teacher and eleven years as a Secondary Science Coordinator at Virginia Beach CityPublic Schools. Ms. Loney's areas of expertise include science education, Integrative STEM education, teacher professional development, curriculum design, assessment design, Argument-Driven Inquiry, problem-based learning, project-based learning, and lab safety.

Higher Education


M.S. Higher Education Florida State University

"I was looking for a reputable program on the east coast that allowed me to continue working with students while pursuing my degree full-time. ODU's faculty were very accommodating and the program offers a strong balance of research, theory, and practice. The Summer Institute and interacting closely with the CCL Program was also a major draw."

Preston Reilly worked in student activities for five years prior to becoming a full-time Ph.D. He currently works as a GA in the Dean of Students Office advising Student Government Association.

Preston's research interests include: Belonging, campus traditions, student success, and student affairs professional development.


M.P.S. Clinical Psychology, Concentration: Higher Education

"Initially, I was hesitant about transitioning from the field of psychology to education; however, the program's cognate courses allow students to take courses offered by other departments relevant to education to suit student's personal interests."

Courtney Jane currently teaches at Christopher Newport University, and works as a Graduate research assistant at Old Dominion University.

Courtney Jane's research interests include: Adjunct faculty teaching quality and strategies and their impact on undergraduate student academic achievement.


M.B.A. Marketing, Indiana University Kelley School of Business| B.S. Mass Communications Study, Boston University

"I chose to return to school for my PhD in higher education when I realized that I needed to change the course of my career and pursue my passion for higher education administration. I selected ODU for the opportunities I would be afforded in terms of class selection, GA work, and the overall community atmosphere of the program."

Amy spent the majority of her career working in the Investment Banking industry as a Corporate Access professional.

Amy's research interests include: Entrepreneurship education and the impact of entrepreneurship on economic development, Alumni relations, branding, marketing, and communications; Organizational strategy and change; Philanthropy, civic engagement, and fundraising.


M.Ed. College Student Personnel, Ohio University | B.B.A. Marketing and Human Resource Management, Ohio University

"I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in higher education to further my knowledge base and open up future career opportunities in university administration. I chose ODU because I was excited for the opportunity to pursue a degree in higher education administration with a cognate in educational psychology and program evaluation. The knowledge I have gained through the program has made me a better and more intentional practitioner in my work for the university, and it has opened-up opportunities to pursue research interests in my career field."

Jenn currently serves as the Director of the Peer Educator Program in the Center for High Impact Practices at Old Dominion University, overseeing peer tutoring, peer academic coaching, and peer-assisted study sessions for undergraduate ODU students.

Jenn's research interests include: Peer education and Supplemental Instruction; Completion and transfer; Student success, well-being, and development; and Teaching, learning, and assessment.

Future Faculty Fellows (F3)

Camisha Parker, Community College Leadership
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Felecia Commodore

F3 Research Project - Equity-mindedness emphasizes institutional responsibility to create equity and directs practitioners to focus on what they can do to close equity gaps. Rather than attribute inequities in outcomes to student deficits, being equity-minded involves interpreting inequitable outcomes as a signal that practices are not working as intended. This research project will focus on the intersectionality of equity-mindedness and leadership.

Erin Cousins, Educational Psychology & Program Evaluation
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Linda Bol

F3 Research Project: My proposed research project is to complete a systematic review centered on the following research questions: (1) How enduring are the effects of self-regulated learning interventions? (2) What intervention designs lead to lasting improvement of students' self-regulation of learning? Many interventions targeting SRL have been completed; however, interventions vary widely in length of implementation and inclusion of delayed posttest and follow up measures. Given the benefits of SRL and its responsiveness to training, it is worthwhile to explore the longevity of improvements related to interventions, and how this may relate to timing and duration of implementation.

Minghui (Hannah) Hou, Higher Education
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Felicia Commodore

F3 Research Project: The study aims to address the following research questions:
What are the pathways for women to participate in governing boards?
What are the challenges or obstacles for women to be or being on governing board positions?
This study provides more insight into the existing literature on the role of women as governing board leaders in higher education and pathway in their positions.

Tabasum Wolayat, Higher Education
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chris Glass

F3 Research Project: The proposed study aims to shed light on the impact of the Fulbright Exchange Program in Afghanistan on Afghan youth. Specifically, this study focuses on the impact of Fulbright on the Afghan students' personal and professional lives.

Kendra Hall, Educational Psychology & Program Evaluation

F3 Co-Chair

Research Interests: My research interests are centered around self-regulation, motivation, and how these influence achievement. I am also passionate about inclusion, multicultural education, and culturally responsive teaching. My current research involves exploring how culturally responsive pedagogical practices, in conjunction with self-regulation, can influence student engagement and achievement.

Learn more about F3 here.