Campus News: Lee Hosts Inaugural Doctoral Symposium

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Lee Hosts Inaugural Doctoral Symposium
- 5/13/2022

EdD student Chad Dixon shares his poster research with Dr. David Broersma, a professor at Lee.

​On Wednesday, April 27, Lee University's Helen DeVos College of Education (HDCOE) hosted the Inaugural Doctor of Education (EdD) Student Poster Symposium in the William G. Squires Library.

During the symposium, 11 EdD candidates from the inaugural EdD Class of 2023 cohort presented their doctoral dissertation work in a research poster format. Over 125 attendees participated in the inaugural conference, along with nine student judges from the EdD Class of 2024 cohort. The inaugural symposium was an opportunity for faculty members, staff, and students to meet the EdD students at Lee and to bring together teachers, school administrators, and community leaders interested in K-12 and higher education. The event was open to the public and co-hosted by the William G. Squires Library, Graduate Education Committee, and the HDCOE Office of Graduate Studies.

"It was personally very gratifying to experience the first presentation of Lee's EdD students' research in this poster symposium," said provost and vice president for Academic Affairs Dr. Debbie Murray. "The quality of the work, the relevance of the topics, and the excellence in presentation was remarkable.  I look forward to seeing the impact of our students' work in the area schools for years to come."

Dr. Roy Y. Chan, director of graduate studies in education and assistant professor of education at Lee, organized the event for graduate students in Cleveland, the first of its kind in the university's history. Lee's inaugural symposium featured Dr. Paul Conn, chancellor, and Dr. Bill Estes, HDCOE dean and distinguished professor of education, who delivered special remarks during the conference.

Attendees included President Dr. Mark Walker, Murray, Vice President for Student Development Dr. Mike Hayes, Director of Racial and Ethnic Relations Gloria Scott-Richmond, and Director of Student Engagement Alex Staup. In addition, several faculty members from the HDCOE who served as dissertation chairs and advisors to the EdD students, including Dr. Lynda Bowers, Dr. Dan Lawson, Dr. Kimberly Moffett, Dr. Delia Price, and Dr. Jesse Wood, were also in attendance.

"I am extremely proud of our EdD poster presenters who were able to construct and identify actionable problems of practice related to their professional experience," said Chan. "We believe that upon completion of our EdD program, students' dissertation in practice will positively impact educational administration, policy, and instruction within their respected institutions. I am truly honored to be a part of their academic and career development at a Christ-centered liberal arts campus."

The EdD Class of 2023 presenters included Stephanie Beard, Galen Bell, W. Allen Clark, Chad Dixon, Kristen Early, Angela Hayes, Andrew McMahan, Joseph Parker, Valery Taylor, David VanBenschoten, and Danny Wages.

"Completing a doctoral degree involves sharing your acquired knowledge and application back to the learned community," said Conn. "We applaud and congratulate the inaugural EdD Class of 2023 cohort for their unwavering commitment to academic excellence at Lee."

The EdD Class of 2024 student judges included Kathi Douglas, Trista Groves, Erin Hattabaugh, Holly Kidder, Harlie Boyan Li, Robert Lance Perry, Crystal Randolph, Susan Rodriguez, and Natalie Zuzart.

Launched in fall 2020, the EdD Program in Professional Practice seeks to develop passionate and empathetic educational leaders through the practice of ethical action, redemptive service, and responsible citizenship in the church, community, and the world. The program was developed by faculty in the Lee University HDCOE and Local Education Agency partners and, according to Chan, is the only EdD program in the nation to host a doctoral student symposium as part of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.

The mission of the Lee University HDCOE is to produce Christ-centered men and women who are lifelong learners, effective educators, and ethical practitioners. Our graduate degree programs (MEd, MS, MAT, EdS, EdD) in Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, Higher Education Administration, and Special Education are designed to provide teacher-scholars and practitioners with advanced applications, theory, and practice to solve real-world problems in the 21st century through teaching and research. The HDCOE is accredited through the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation and the Southeastern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

For more information about Lee's EdD program, visit:

For more information about the HDCOE, please visit:

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