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Educational symposium a success

The first Kentucky Educational Leadership Doctoral Symposium was held on March 31-April 1 at WKU’s Knicely Conference Center.

The Symposium was designed to provide a forum for doctoral students from across the state to learn from, and network with educational leaders, legislators, and policy makers in exploring key issues and challenges that can make a difference in the state in advancing student success.

The Symposium was created by 10 doctoral students enrolled in an Educational Leadership practicum. The Leadership Team included doctoral students from five cohorts and all four strands: Stephanie Cornwell (Cohort I); Edwin Craft (Cohort II); Cory Alderdice and Greg Ross (Cohort III); Heidi Crocker and Mary Lloyd Moore (Cohort IV); and Catrice Bolton, Nancy Givens, Christopher King, Kenyetta Martin, and David Oliver (Cohort V). The practicum was supervised by Dr. Barbara Burch, Provost Emeritus, with the assistance of Lynn Hines, assistant to the dean, School of Teacher Education and also a doctoral student in Cohort VI.

The doctoral student Leadership Team worked over a six-month period, beginning in the late fall of 2010, with the intensity of the work increasing as the conference date approached. The Leadership Team was responsible for all aspects of the event, including participation, programming, funding, promotions, facilities, technical, hospitality and post-event.  The Symposium included attendance of doctoral faculty and P-16 practitioners from the region. Also attending were representatives from the doctoral programs at Morehead State University and Spaulding University. 

Speakers for the conference included Dr. Kati Haycock, President of the Education Trust; and Dr. Wil Parker, Regional Outreach Director for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Major presenters included several key state legislators – Sen. Ken Winters, Rep. Jody Richards and Rep Jim DeCesare; Dale Brown, associate vice president for Enrollment Management; Ruth Webb, Director of Planning for the Kentucky Department of Education; and Cindy Heine, Interim Director of the Prichard Committee. Six doctoral students also presented their research: Matt Constant, Edwin Craft, Kelly Davis, Nancy Givens, Angela Gunter and David Oliver.

An appreciative inquiry process was facilitated by Dr. Matt Basham, associate professor in the Educational Leadership Doctoral program, to engage doctoral students in determining priorities, solutions/opportunities, and resource needs to enhance educational quality. Data generated from the Symposium will be further developed by Leadership Team participants for research applications.

One of the highlights of the event was the inaugural Pinning Ceremony for doctoral students who have advanced to candidacy stage. Doctoral candidates were recognized and pinned at a reception hosted by Dr. Sam Evans, dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. The pinning was presented by Dr. Gordon Emslie, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, assisted by Dr. Evans. Students who have advanced to candidacy status and who were recognized at the ceremony were: John Baker, Matthew Constant, Stephanie Cornwell, Dan Costellow, Wes Cottongim, Edwin Craft, Kelly Davis, Cindy Erhesman, Angela Gunter, Tracy Inman, Penelope Logsdon, Jace Lux, Lee Maglinger, Jamie Martin, Sherry McGuffin, Donna Renaud, Holly Ross, Carol Schreiber, Tom Stewart, Kevin Thomas and Wesley Waddle.

WKU will again be host to next year’s conference, which all doctoral students at WKU and throughout the state are expected to attend. In future years, the conference site will be rotated among other institutions that grant doctoral degrees in Educational Leadership.

Contact: Nancy Givens, (270) 745-2842.

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