PhD in Public Policy

Meet Our Alumni

Sculpture in Wishcamper CenterThrough our supportive faculty and cohort-based model, our PhD program generates strong communities of educational leaders. As a member of a cohort, you’ll progress through courses and the dissertation process along with fellow doctoral candidates. This model creates a dynamic, interactive setting, which is ideal for collaboration and networking both during doctoral studies and after graduation. 

Upon obtaining their doctorates, our alumni have advanced their careers in K-12, higher education, and non-profit management. Among their accomplishments, our alumni have received accolades such as Maine Superintendent of the Year, Maine High School Principal of the Year, Maine Assistant Principal of the Year, Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership, and serving on the International Advisory Board of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Principals’ Center.

Alumni Careers & Dissertations

Below you can browse our alumni career details as well as their dissertation topics and abstracts.

  • Paul Austin — Superintendent of Schools, Hingham Public Schools, Hingham, MA  
    • Dissertation Title: An Examination of Response to Intervention Development and Implementation Relative to Best Practice
  • Jane Crowley — Literacy Interventionist and RtI Coordinator, Grades 6-8, MSAD 51
    • Dissertation Title: A view from the bottom: The self-perceptions of highly regarded teachers' experiences in a time of multiple policy implementation
  • Andrew Dolloff — Superintendent of Schools, Yarmouth, Maine
    • Dissertation Title: Resource Allocation in Maine's More Efficient Public High Schools
  • Becky Foley — Superintendent of Schools, RSU 5: Durham, Freeport, Pownal
    • Dissertation Title: Breaking Barriers to Achieve the Superintendency
  • Emma Gelsinger — Research & Policy Analyst, University of Texas System
    • Dissertation Title:  Federal Work-Study Program Equity: A Public University System Survey and Aggregate Data Analysis
  • Patrick Hartnett — Assistant Superintendent, MSAD #17
    • Dissertation Title: Principal Leadership in Improving Rural High Schools in Maine
  • Barbara Maling — Principal, York Middle School
    • Dissertation Title: An Examination of How Middle School Principals Make Sense of their Role in Leading Standards-Based Educational Reform
  • Stephen Marquis — Director of Operations, Regional School Unit 21
    • Dissertation Title: Investigating the Influence of Professional Development on Teacher Perceptions of I Engineering Self-Efficacy
  • Diane R. Nadeau — Principal, Scarborough Middle School 
    • Dissertation Title: Addressing Critical Shortages: An Examination of Supports for Early Career Special Educators in Maine
  • Kim O'Donnell — Assistant Superintendent, Westbrook School Department
    • Dissertation Title: Examining School Administrators’ Beliefs and Perceptions Regarding Transgender Students
  • Chris Record — Assistant Superintendent, Gorham Schools
    • Dissertation Title: Secondary School Principal Stress and Coping Strategies
  • Jessica Yates — Special Education Director, Regional School Unit #13
    • Dissertation Title: An Examination of the Relationship between the Achievement of Students with High Incidence Disabilities and Maine State Compliant Standards-Based Individualized Educational Programs
  • Clara Jean Howard -- Assistant Professor, Secondary Education at University of Maine Farmington
    • Dissertation Title: "Academic Languages Isn't Easy":English Learners Perceptions of Learning in High School
  • Brian Mazjanis — Principal, Saccarappa Elementary School, Westbrook
    • Dissertation Title: Different Summers: Measuring the Effect Size of Summer Vacation on Reading and Mathematics Achievement Scores for Different Populations of Maine Students
  • Julianne R. Opperman — Writer/Educational Consultant
    • Dissertation Title:  Elementary Teachers Committed to Actively Teaching Science and Engineering
  • Jonathan Payne — Senior Program Manager, JFF
    • Dissertation Title: A Pilot Benefit and Cost Analysis Study of Sponsors of Registered Apprenticeships in Maine
  • Mark Schrader — Building Administrator K-8, MSAD #72
    • Dissertation Title:  Understanding Elementary-Aged Student Engagement
  • Erika Stump — Learning Assessment Specialist, Bates College
    • Dissertation Title: Students Beating the Odds: A Multilevel Analysis of Factors Relating to Academic Achievement among Students Living in Persistent Poverty
  • Grace Valenzuela — Director, Multilingual & Multicultural Center, Portland Public Schools
    • Dissertation Title: Academic Performance of High School Students from Refugee Backgrounds
  • Paul Cochrane -- Executive Director of Digital Learning Strategy, University of Southern Maine

    • Dissertation Title: Crafting the Experience of Online Education: Student and Faculty Perceptions of Quality

  • Erin Connor — Program Manager - Graduate Programs in Education, College of Graduate & Professional Studies, University of New England
    • Dissertation Title: Ready?: The Experiences of Maine High School Graduates in Remedial College Classes
  • Laura Cyr — Director of Strategic Projects, University of Maine System 
    • Dissertation Title:  Bridging the Gap: A Case Study Evaluation of the Opportunity Maine Tax Credit
  • Paul Dexter — Director of Academic Retention Initiatives, University of Southern Maine
    • Dissertation Title: The Influence of Engagement Upon Success and Persistence of Online Undergraduates
  • Sarah E. Holmes -- Assistant Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Coordinator, University of Southern Maine
    • Dissertation Title: LGBTQ+ Students and Campus Sexual Violence: Prevalence Rates and the Effect of Expansive Demographic Questions

  • Vincent J. Kloskowski, III — Assistant Dean of the College, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine
    • Dissertation Title: Understanding the Outcomes From Boots to Books: A Study of the Higher Education Experiences of Student Veterans
  • Holly Parker -- Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Director, UNE North - Institute of North Atlantic Studies, University of New England
    • Dissertation Title: Leadership of Heart and Mind: Examining the Mind and Skill Sets of Student Sustainability Leadership
  • Stacy Stewart — Career Advisor, University of Southern Maine
    • Dissertation Title: Grit and Self-Control as Predictors of First-Year Student Success
  • Regan A. Thibodeau — ASL Professor and Interpreter, University of Southern Maine
    • Dissertation Title: Dynamics of Deaf Leadership: A Theoretical Model

Read more about our dissertation process