Students, prospective students, faculty, and alumni came together at SF State on Saturday, April 8, to hear about current research coming from the program. The event also provided a chance for attendees to connect, network, and share ideas.
“It’s been so invigorating,” said Denicia Cormier, who has been accepted into the incoming 2017 cohort. “When I accepted my entrance into the program, I was a little overwhelmed and shell shocked, and then I had a bit of hesitation – can I really pull this off? So, it was really amazing to come today and hear the different presentations."
Danica also appreciated hearing from all three current cohorts, “because you could really see their transformation. That really helped open and broaden my own horizons.” In addition, she said, “It was nice also to hear the career panel, to see how it translated for them in the real world.”
Vanson Nguyen (Cohort ’15) said he was impressed by his classmates. “The biggest thing that stood out to me was the quality of research that the third years have done. I really feel like their work is going to make big impacts, which gives me hope that my work will make a big impact.”
Janelle Waldrep (Cohort ’14) said she is excited to see what cohorts behind her have already achieved. “I was impressed with Cohort ’15 [students in their second year], how far along they were, and how refined their thinking was,” she said. “It’s probably a lot further along than we were.” Waldrep, who was preparing to defend her disssertation on first-generation students in study abroad, also made connections with several other research projects. “It was fascinating how often first-generation college students were coming up, which is a topic that I’m looking at. So, I’m really excited to look at other people’s research and see where their intersections match up with mine.”
Hope Ortiz (’15) agreed. “It was great to see where the other cohorts are and hear updates in their research, especially the third years, since we’ve seen them go through it the last two years, and have seen how they’ve been able to progress,” Ortiz said. “It also gave us an opportunity to talk about our research. We’re so used to talking amongst ourselves that it’s nice to have an opportunity to talk about it with outsiders. Then, we can get different perspectives.”
“I am very thankful to be here today,” said prospective student Isabel Eliaschev, who was interviewing with the Admissions Committee the following week. “It was great to hear the research. It was really real, saying the struggles, the challenges, and then the successes, too. It was great to be here.”
Marilyn Jones (Cohort ’16) appreciated the opportunity to connect with her classmates, prospective students, and alumni. “I just like everybody gathering together and the peer support.”
Alumni Michael Reimer (Cohort ’08), Principal of Galileo Academy of Science & Technology High School in San Francisco, said it is important for him to stay connected to the SF State Ed.D. program. “I took away a great deal from the program. It enriched me so much,” he said. “So coming back on a Saturday for a couple of hours to help support the program for the students… I’m happy to do it.”
Mary Gutierrez (’16) was one of many students inspired by third year Bobby Nakamoto’s presentation. “I was really impressed by Bobby’s research design,” said Gutierrez. “His 25 interviews is a really significant commitment to the quality of the research that he’s doing, and I think it sets a really high standard for all of us in doing that work."
Gutierrez was also impressed by the depth and quality of work across all of the cohorts, adding "From first years all the way up, we’re doing really good work, important work, and it’s fantastic for us to see that across the cohorts, not to have just the context of our own individual cohort.”
The annual event consisted of third year paper presentations, second year roundtable discussions, first year poster presentations, and an alumni panel. It gives current Ed.D. students an opportunity to present their research and get feedback from classmates, faculty, industry professionals, and other stakeholders. It also gives those in the field the opportunity to hear about the significant work Ed.D. students are pursuing. This is one way the program supports our goal of praxis, bringing theory and action together to improve the education of all students.