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NewsJun 3, 2022

Lesley honors 2022 doctoral graduates

South Campus ‘Doctoral Draping ceremony’ marks academic achievement of ‘experts in inquiry and expression’

president and doctoral graduates standing on stage

On May 20 at First Church in Cambridge, the university recognized 32 students who received doctorates from our Graduate School of Education and Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, a day before Lesley’s full Commencement ceremony.

“You have persisted on this journey and your scholarship will have an impact on the world,” said Provost Jonathan K. Jefferson at the start of a special “doctoral draping ceremony,” where the new PhDs received their academic hoods. “Lesley University and your faculty are so proud of you and your work.”

With dissertation topics ranging from “Investigating the Spiritual Dimensions of the Theatrical Rehearsal Process” (Dorothy Bryan-Ployer) to “Acknowledge Us: An Exploration of the Lived Experiences of Female Army Veterans in Undergraduate Programs” (Jennifer O’Neil), our new PhDs were feted by family, friends, faculty and administrators with an official word of congratulations from Board of Trustees Vice Chair Juanita James.

“As you receive your doctoral hood during today’s ceremony, I hope you will take it as a visible symbol of your perseverance and accomplishments along the road to earning your doctoral degree,” James said. “When you first don your hood, you enter into an academic community that you will turn to throughout your career.”

President Janet L. Steinmayer acknowledged the obstacles the university’s newest doctoral graduates had to overcome, underscoring the PhDs’ drive and commitment to academic excellence.

“Earning a doctoral degree is an extraordinary accomplishment, and you have done so during a global pandemic,” the president began. “Your diligence and passion set you apart, and you have persisted in overcoming an unprecedented set of challenges to take your place today as the newest members of the Lesley Community of Scholars.”

Calling the doctoral graduates “experts in inquiry and expression,” President Steinmayer applauded their perseverance and commitment to effecting change.

As Lesley scholars, the president said, “You have chosen to focus on academic topics that are inspiring and highly relevant outside of academia. Through your scholarship, you demonstrate your commitment to the university’s mission to strengthen our human connections and to make a positive difference in our world.”

Doctoral Graduates Recognized

Expressive Therapies

Merav Berger
Teacher Perceptions of Self-Efficacy Before and After Engaging in Hevruta or Psychodrama-Based Online Workshops

Corinna Brown
Tacit and Kinesthetic Healing Factors in Chacian Dance/Movement Therapy

Iman Kheil
Enhancing Self-Efficacy Through Drama Therapy in a Bullying Prevention Program for Arab-Israeli Teachers: A Phenomenological

Darlene M. Kuehn (graduated May 2020)
The Art of Forgiveness: How the Arts Helped Facilitate Forgiveness

Christina Lee
Singing Voices: A Digital Arts-Based Exploration of Recording and Visualizing Combined Vocal Parts

Maryellen Mahar
The Experience of an Intermodal Arts Exploration

Giselle Ruzany
Embodied Digital Storytelling with Ancestral Legacy

Chevon Stewart
Anti-Oppressive Pedagogy in Dance/Movement Therapy Education: Embodied Experiences of Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color

Counseling and Psychology

Jeanne Baskin
Understanding the Role of Educator: Leveraging Social-Emotional Learning in Service of Equity and Inclusion in K-12 Public Schools

Heath Hightower
Black Deaths Matter: Critically Understanding Black Female Clinicians’ Perspectives About Suicide in Black Communities

Eileen Kaskons
Simple but not Easy: An Examination of the Test-Retest Reliability of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) and Exploration of a Meditation App for Stress Management with High School Students

Parad Koree Meier
Understanding Factors Associated with Clinician Confidence to Identify and Treat PTSD and Complex PTSD

Nicole Passanisi
Porque no todos somos iguales: An Examination and Exploration of School Completion among Early English Proficiency Hispanic English Learners within the Context of Hispanic Heterogeneity

Myisha R. Rodrigues Embodied Critical Analysis: Exploring the Impact of Systemic Oppression on Black, Public School Educators Through Supervisor Relationships

Educational Studies

 Michelle Addario
Reconceptualizing Massachusetts’ Public High School Mentoring Programs
Educational Leadership Specialization

Myla Kori Bardige
Creating a Cycle of Learning: Exploring how Knowledge of Formative Assessment Can Support Pedagogical Practice in Early childhood Education
Individually Designed Specialization

Dorothy Bryan-Ployer
Investigating the Spiritual Dimensions of the Theatrical Rehearsal Process
Individually Designed Specialization

Tessa Bry-Taylor
The Teaching Artist Experience: An Art-Based Study Exploring Teaching Artists’ Perspectives on the Efficacy of Employment-Based Training and Support
Individually Designed Specialization

Rusty Dolleman
“I Don’t Know What You’re Expecting But I Can Make Something Here”: Epistemological Beliefs of Adult Undergraduates and the Prior Learning Assessment Portfolio Process
Human Development and Learning Specialization

Jennifer Etesse Herring
Examining the Voices of Sexual Trauma: A Phenomenological Study on Sexual Trauma Survivors and Their School Experiences
Educational Leadership Specialization

Katina Fontes
Preparing Emerging Adults for the 21st Century: Diapraxis as a Bridge in the first-Year Seminar I
Individually Designed Specialization

Ramona Islam Crawford
The Mind’s Eyes: An Autoethnographic Exploration of Learning to Draw in Adulthood
Individually Designed Specialization

Kevin Linton
Queering The Bible Belt: Stories of Student Affairs Professionals Establishing LGBTQ Pride Centers In The Deep South
Individually Designed Specialization

Terence Lynn
White, Working-Class Adult Male Students in Higher Education: The Effects of Working-Class Identity on Education Success
Individually Designed Specialization

Katherine Marsh
Comparing Text Type and Inferences
Individually Designed Specialization

Margaret J. McGee (degree conferred posthumously)
Valuing a Life: How Do Caregivers, Service Providers, and an Adult with Severe, Multiple Disabilities Co-Construct Meanings of Complex Developmental Disability?
Adult Learning and Development

Jennifer O’Neil (graduated September 2020)
Acknowledge Us: An Exploration of the Lived Experiences of Female Army Veterans in Undergraduate Programs
Adult Learning and Development Specialization

Cynthia Roy
Lessons to Learn from Teacher Activists Organizing for Systemic Change Through A Community-Based Coalition
Educational Leadership Specialization

Elizabeth Santiago (graduated May 2020)
“My heart was like, write about this. There’s no other way”: Strengthening and Deepening Literacy Skills of Adults in a High School Equivalency Program through Creative Writing
Individually Designed Specialization

Patrick Sharry
Examining Developmental and Sociological Effects of Restrictive Behavioral Sanctions on College Students
Human Development and Learning Specialization

Brenda Stockdale
Can Hope Be Primed in Chronic Pain? A Clinical Application of Health Priming
Human Development and Learning Specialization

Margaret Van Camp
Parents and Teachers Perceptions of Play: Family Social Capital
Individually Designed Specialization

Geeta Pradhan addresses the Class of 2022
‘Forged in the fire’
Shelly Lowe speaks at Commencement
Meeting the challenges with joy and spirit