PhD Student Profiles

PhD Student Profiles

Ph.D. Student Profiles



Name: Estyr Bomgardner

Concentration: Special Education

Previous Education: M.A. Special Education, San Francisco State University and B.A. Psychology. Rutgers College of Arts and Sciences Camden            

Background Experience: Special Education Teacher and Behavior Therapist and Interventionist

Current Career Goal: I see the PhD program helping me towards my lifelong goal of doing research pertaining to autistic populations in educational settings.

Research Interests: Socio-emotional learning and impact on academic achievement, increasing self-advocacy in sped populations, efficacy of current special education methodologies in long term outcomes.


Name: Natoya Coleman

Concentration: Urban and Diverse Learning Environments

Previous Education: M.A. Elementary and Secondary School Administration and Supervision, Bowie State University, M.A. Education and Secondary Education and B.A. English and Political Science, University of Michigan            

Background Experience: Ninth Grade Academy and Scholars Program Coordinator, English and Language Arts Teacher

Current Career Goal: I hope to create a rigorous yet culturally responsive curriculum for urban school districts to implement.

Research Interests: Culturally responsive teachings, curriculum development/a comparative analysis.

 photo of Kerry Cormier

Name: Kerry Cormier

Concentration: Special Education

Previous Education: M.A. in Teaching and B.A. in History Northeastern University

Background Experience: ¾ Instructor and former Special Education English teacher

Research Interests: What works in special education


Name: Felicia Crockett

Concentration: Higher Education

Previous Education: M.A. Higher Education, Rowan University and B.S. Biology, Ramapo College of New Jersey            

Background Experience: Graduate Research Assistant, Intern for Engineering Learning Community, Educational Opportunity Fund Program Graduate Assistant and student organizations and Greek life work.

Current Career Goal: My current goal is to become a tenure professor whose research transforms the educational system.

Research Interests: I am hoping to explore research interests involving diversity, equity, opportunity programs, and underrepresented students.


Name: Angeline Dean

Concentration: Urban and Diverse Learning Environments

Previous Education: M.S. Community/Economic Development, B.A. Social Science, Thomas Edison State University

Background Experience: Community Organizer, Non-profit/Co-Founder Executive 

Current Career Goal: Presently, aiding me in becoming more knowledgeable about what I don’t know/that I don’t know, aiding me in conferring/obtaining more knowledge and as I move forward I feel I can best answer that question.

Research Interests: Voice, intersectionality of systems that dismantle equity, voice, marginalization around race, social justice.


Name: Madji Fall

Concentration: Language and Literacy

Previous Education: M.Ed. Teacher Leadership and ESL Certificate, Rowan University and B.S. Business Administration and B.A. Liberal Studies, Thomas Edison State College

Background Experience: Teacher of English as a Second Language and World Cultures/Spanish

Current Career Goal: I hope to engage in research that will contribute to the literature on immigrant and language minorities’ formal and informal educational experiences across the globe.

Research Interests: I hope this program will continue to support my exploration of the literacies of immigrant diasporas and language minorities and how they are impacted by the socio-economic circumstances and political climate of the countries where they reside.

 image of Donn Garby

Name: Donn Garby

Concentration: Higher Education

Previous Education: M.S. in Educational Leadership, Old Dominion University and B.A. in Political Science, Flagler College

Background Experience: Residence life and student organization and event support

Research Interests: Town/gown relations, community engagement and policies within higher education


Name: Lesa Givens

Concentration: Special Education

Previous Education: M.A. Special Education, Rowan University and M.A. Music Theory, Catholic University of America, and B.A. Elementary Education and Music Education, NC Central University

Background Experience: Special Education Teacher, Teacher Training Instructor, and Music Instructor

Current Career Goal: I would like to learn more about and develop the skills of research and scholarly inquiry, and scholarly writing which will be necessary to future goals.

Research Interests: 1.) Bringing teacher training and educational opportunities to severely under-privileged populations, especially in poor nations (ie. Post conflict nations, third world nations). 2) Inclusive education-using alternative education model effectively


Name: Benita Kluttz-Drye

Concentration: Special Education

Previous Education: M.S.W. Social Work, University of South Carolina, Special Education Certification, University of North Carolina, School Administration Certificate and B.S.W. Social Work, North Carolina A& T University

Background Experience: Exceptional Children’s Program Administrator and Special Education Teacher


Name: Sharada Krishnamurthy

Concentration: Language and Literacy

Previous Education: M.A. Writing, Rowan University, M.A. French, Ohio State University, and B.A. History, Women’s Christian College

Background Experience: Writing Center Director, Faculty/Instructor College Composition and French.

Research Interests: The inequities that bilingual and multilingual learners experience in educational settings and ways to address them. Changing negative/deficit perceptions of English language learners/bilinguals/ multi-linguals to positive ones.


Name: Nina Nagib

Concentration: Counselor Education

Previous Education: M.A. School Counseling, Eastern University and B.A. Psychology & Sociology, Grove City College

Background Experience: School Counselor and founding director of non-profit aimed at empowering and creating opportunities for girls globally

 image of Mbuh Payne

Name: Mbuh Payne

Concentration: Special Education

Previous Education: M.Ed. in Special Education, Pennsylvania State University, M.A. Interactive Communication, American University and B.S. in Mass Communication, University of Buea, Cameroon

Background Experience: Human Services, working with individuals with developmental disabilities

Research Interests: The role positive behavior supports play in the lives of adult learners whose untreated behaviors negatively impact their social /learning habits and examining the intersection between applied behavior analysis and the social model of disability.  


Name: Eshe Price

Concentration: Urban and Diverse Learning Environments

Previous Education: M.A. Education and Human Development/Bilingual Special Education, George Washington University and B.S. Elementary Education, Towson University

Background Experience: Special Education Mentor/Teacher, Grade Level Chair, and Math Teacher

Current Career Goal: My current career goal is to become a professor and research partnerships between higher education and P12 schools.

Research Interests: My research interests include urban education professional development in schools and implementing culturally responsive pedagogy.

 Image of Sanaz Shahi

Name: Sanaz Shahi

Concentration: Higher Education

Previous Education: M.A. in Higher Education, Rowan University, M.B.A. Business Administration, Bahar Business School

Background Experience: Database specialist, sales & marketing experience

Research Interests: Commercialization and technology in Higher Education

 image of Sa-Rawla Stoute

Name: Sa-Rawla Stoute

Concentration: Higher Education

Previous Education: M.S. Counseling Education and B.A Psychology, St. John’s University in Jamaica

Background Experience: Counseling and teaching at the college level

Research Interests: LGBTQIA+ students and the negotiation of their identities


Name: Daniel Tulino

Concentration: Language and Literacy

Previous Education: M.F.A. Creative Writing, M.A. English, and B.A. English, William Paterson University

Background Experience: English Language Arts Specialist and Teacher

Current Career Goal: There are a few careers I have been thinking about once I complete this program. One of the biggest goals would be to find a full-time faculty position, but I could also see myself doing more grassroots work. At this point, I am trying to experience as many possibilities as possible and keep many doors open to opportunity.

Research Interests: I have a strong connection to literature and power of personal narratives, therefore, I would love to research students’ critical thinking skills, curricula, and the literary canon. By doing so, I want to explore the ways racism affects the institutional outcomes in education.