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SOE Faculty and Graduate Students Lead Presentations at ASHE [12/01/2016]



Dean McLendon (far right) with doctoral students at ASHE

For the second year, Baylor School of Education (SOE) dean, Dr. Michael McLendon, chaired the Graduate Student Policy Seminar for the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) annual conference, held in November. The seminar invites, through a competitive process, 50 advanced doctoral students from leading universities for a two-day pre-conference series of discussions, addresses and workshops around issues pertaining to public policy and higher education.

McLendon also served as a panelist and discussant for two separate sessions — on “Policy Influencers” and “Reaction to the November Election.”

In addition, SOE faculty members Dr. Lakia Scott and Dr. Nathan Alleman and doctoral student Cara Allen gave presentations at the conference.

Graduate student Jessica Robinson, a Baylor SOE doctoral student earning a PhD in Higher Education Studies and Leadership, was selected as one of the 50 participants in the Graduate Seminar led by McLendon.

Robinson said she found the seminar highly beneficial to her studies, both because of the excellent content and specific workshop on grant and policy writing, but also because of the networking opportunities.

Robinson said she enjoyed connecting with McLendon in a context outside of Baylor and gaining an understanding of his work within the policy community at large. She also made important connections with faculty members from across the nation who are engaged in high-level policy work, she said. And she networked with graduate students from other universities. “We were able to discuss emerging scholar questions such as grant writing, dissertation preparation, and making a meaningful contribution to the field overall,” she said.

“Attending the Graduate Student Policy Seminar was one of my personal highlights for this year’s ASHE conference and an opportunity I would strongly encourage each student in my program to pursue,” she said.


(L-R) Dr. Nathan Alleman, Justin Nelson, and SOE student Cara Allen

Also a PhD student in Higher Education Studies and Leadership, Cara Allen, gave a poster presentation with Dr. Nathan Alleman, associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, and Baylor sociology doctoral student Justin Nelson. The poster, titled “The Stigma of Tenure Denied: An exploration of Individual and Institutional Implications,” introduced Erving Goffman’s sociological concept of “stigma” to analyze experiences of faculty who were denied tenure.

Dr. Lakia Scott, assistant professor in Curriculum & Instruction, gave a presentation titled “’Something You Can’t Put into Words’: Multi-generational Themes about Experiences of Attending an HBCU.” She presented a study following three generations of one family who all attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities, examining the reasons they attended, the influence of family members on HBCU attendance, legislation that has impacted attendance at HBCUs, and racial/ethnic demographics of college-goers. Scott is the author of a book, The Last of the Black Titans — written with her mentor and friend, Dr. Greg Wiggan, associate professor of urban education at the University of North Carolina Charlotte — that presents ways these schools can survive and thrive in today’s educational landscape.

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Founded in 1919, the Baylor School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The School prepares leaders beginning in undergraduate programs, continuing through master’s-level work and culminating in both Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs; impacts the world as students participate in faculty-guided fieldwork, service learning and community-focused research in local and global contexts; and shapes the future by mentoring the whole person, developing an understanding of theory and practice and encouraging responsiveness to one’s calling.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


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