Student & Alumni Achievements

Anji Buckner-Capone  Anji Buckner-Capone

Upon completing the Ed.D. Leadership Program in Spring 2019, Dr. Buckner started a new position as an Assistant Professor in the College of Health and Human Sciences, Department of Health Science and Recreation. She is the first graduate of SJSU’s Ed.D. program to be appointed to a tenure-track position within the university.

Dr. Buckner will also be presenting one component of her dissertation in November 2019 at the American Public Health Association annual meeting in Philadelphia. The presentation "Understanding California Superintendents' Beliefs About School Climate Data and its Uses” will focus specifically on superintendent beliefs and practices related to the importance and uses of school climate assessment data for community collaboration.

Gigi CarununganGigi Carunungan

Gigi Carunungan, a student in cohort 6, recently spoke at the Third Annual Chinese STEM Education Development Conference, held in Xi'an, China. Her presentation focused on science, technology, education, art, and mathematics (STEAM) as a way of teaching and learning. STEAM is also at the intersection of various fields, resulting in new ideas and innovation. In education, a new field has emerged from the intersection of neuroscience and learning.

Heidi Eisips 

Heidi Eisips chaired a session recently at the 2019 Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) Annual Meeting entitled “Debiasing Decision Making – Ethical Data Mining and Eliminating Algorithmic Bias,” that explored how to balance the benefits of data mining and data analytics in modern society while creating and sustaining a legal and ethical framework to prevent bias. Listen to the recording at

Sofia FojasSofia Fojas

San José State University's Center for Collaborative Research Excellence in Education (CCREE) has awarded a 3-year Doctoral Fellowship to Sofia Fojas through partnership funding provided by the SJSU Ed.D. Leadership Program and the Connie L. Lurie College of Education.

Dr. Brent Duckor, Director of SJSU’s CCREE says the goal of the multi-year fellowship is to engage in applied research that addresses and advances equitable outcomes for students in foster care and students experiencing homelessness in the K-12 population. He notes that this fellowship will provide advanced training in quantitative and qualitative research methods and opportunities for engagement in education policy with a focus on moving research into spheres of professional training and practice.

As Sofia notes, “The success of any effective academic intervention is rooted in connecting with the heart, not only the head. The arts can make that emotional connection that I believe is critical to effectively addressing and bridging the opportunity gap for our most vulnerable youth. I have combined my love for and commitment to culturally responsive arts education my whole life. This fellowship will help me bring to life even deeper arts education work aimed at diversity, equity, inclusion, and most importantly, access for our most underserved students across the state.”

 Carrie HolmbergCarrie Holmberg

Dr. Holmberg has been publishing with her former Ed.D. faculty advisor, Dr. Brent Duckor, since before graduating from the Ed.D. Leadership Program. She is now publishing a new co-authored journal article to be released in December 2019/January 2020.

Duckor, B., & Holmberg, C. (in press). Exploring How to Model Formative Assessment Trajectories of Posing-Pausing-Probing Practices: Towards a Teacher Learning Progressions Framework for the Study of Novice Teachers. Journal of Educational Measurement.

Jennifer Izant GonzalesJennifer Izant Gonzales

Cohort 5 student, Jennifer Izant Gonzales was recently appointed as a trustee to the Soquel Union Elementary School District in Soquel, CA. She also transitioned to a new role over the summer as the Project Director for Continuous Improvement, Curriculum and Instruction, and Professional Learning for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, Alternative Education Department.

Annette KennedyAnnette Kennedy

Annette Kennedy, a recent graduate of the Ed.D. program, recently moved to North Carolina, where she is now a Senior Administrator of Math – Special Education Services with the Wake County Public School System. 

Marcella McCollumMarcella McCollum

Cohort 6 student Marcella McCollum gave two presentations at a conference in her field last March, just prior to entering the Ed.D. program. Subsequently, she was also awarded a Lurie College Research and Teaching Collaboration grant with Dr. Matthew Love and Ed.D. faculty member Dr. Eduardo Muñoz-Muñoz to investigate the intersection between Dual Language Bilingual Education (DLBE) and Special Education. Additionally, Marcella was also recently appointed to the newly-established position of Undergraduate Program Coordinator for the department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences. 

Several other grants that Marcella was awarded over the summer to develop department level priority programs include:

  • Cultural Humility Module: collaboratively with Pei-Tzu Tsai to provide incoming graduate students with greater understanding of concepts of privilege, cultural humility, and the relationship to practice in Speech-Language Pathology
  • Gender Equity Module: Providing graduate students with key experiences and language for gender diversity and equity
  • Inaugural Undergraduate Orientation: aimed at Encouraging Success in CDS

Conference presentations at the March 2019 at California Speech-Language Hearing Association Annual Convention (peer reviewed):

  • Am I Biased? An introspective discussion on cultural and linguistic diversity.

While much attention has been paid in our profession to explicit, external bias, implicit biases that shape our initial impressions of families that we work with may play a larger role in our interactions. An awareness and understanding of differences in belief systems, theories of language development/treatment, and willingness to be open and aware of our differences will help improve patient services, and outcomes. This seminar provided information and opportunities to discuss the differences between internal and external biases, and invite the participant to explore issues of preference, familiarity, and perspective.

  • Structured Observation; Guiding our Students in Observations, Increasing Clinical Competence.

This seminar provided clinical educators with guidance on pre-clinical observation hours from the perspective of both a student and a faculty member. ASHA's guidance in the area of observation was implemented in an experimental course at San Jose State University, focused on guided observation. A guide was provided to all students enrolled in this course, along with standardized clinical observations.

 Candice NanceCandice Nance

Candice Nance, one of the newest Ed.D. students, received two scholarships over the summer.

Robert G. Porter Scholars Program Scholarship

The Robert G. Porter Scholars Program honors Robert G. Porter, an American Federation of Teachers union activist who dedicated his life to championing the rights of working people, promoting civil rights and ensuring that the union was a vehicle for enabling the growth of members' ability to achieve justice. Grants support members' ideas to promote the promise of a just society for all.

College of Education General Scholarship

The Lurie College of Education awarded Candice a scholarship for her fall 2019 studies in the SJSU Ed.D. program.

Manuel NuñezManuel Nuñez

A graduate of the Ed.D. program’s first cohort, Dr. Nuñez was recently promoted to the position of Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources with the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District.

Tricia RyanTricia Ryan

Tricia Ryan, a student in cohort 5, was recently approved to present at two workshops at a national conference for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). This higher education association was founded in 1910 and interfaces regularly with the US Department of Education. Tricia will present at the AACRAO annual meeting in April in New Orleans.


  • Through the API Lens: An Exploratory Discussion of Topics Unique to Asian & Pacific Islander Communities
  • A Million Tiny Paper Cuts: Understanding and Responding to Microaggressions