Dominique Baker, Assistant Professor

Dominique Baker, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., Vanderbilt University

Dominique Baker is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Her research focuses on the way that education policy affects and shapes the access and success of underrepresented students in higher education. She has received an AERA research grant for 2020-2021 to study course-taking and student loan debt in Texas. She primarily investigates student financial aid, affirmative action, and policies that influence the ability to create an inclusive & equitable campus climate.

Profile

Sondra Barringer, Assistant Professor

Sondra Barringer, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of Arizona

Dr. Sondra N. Barringer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education Policy and Leadership at the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development where she teaches courses in statistics and academic governance. She was awarded her Ph.D. and Master of Arts degrees in Sociology from the University of Arizona where her research was funded by the Association for Institutional Research and a University of Arizona Excellence Graduate Fellowship in the Social Sciences. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in sociology and economics at Baylor University.

Profile

Les Black, Clinical Professor

Les Black, Clinical Professor

Ph.D., University of North Texas

Watt Lesley Black, Jr. joins the SMU faculty after a 26-year career in public schools, beginning as a foreign language teacher and culminating with a successful 8-year tenure as principal at Blalack Middle School in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. Dr. Black joined SMU as an adjunct professor in 2009, teaching campus level law and ethics.

Profile

Roxanne Burleson, Clinical Assistant Professor and Director for the M.Ed. Accelerated Leadership Program

Roxanne Burleson, Clinical Assistant Professor and Director for the M.Ed. Accelerated Leadership Program

Ph.D., University of Texas at Dallas

Roxanne Burleson is a Clinical Assistant Professor as well as serving as Director of the Accelerated Leadership Program within the Simmons School of Education & Human Development. Her research interests include education policy and governance of public and non-profit organizations.

Profile

S. Kiersten Ferguson, Clinical Associate Professor and Director for the M.Ed. Higher Education Program

S. Kiersten Ferguson, Clinical Associate Professor and Director for the M.Ed. Higher Education Program

Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

S. Kiersten Ferguson is a clinical assistant professor and the higher education program director in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Ferguson is also a Faculty Fellow for Inclusion and Equity in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin

Profile

Denisa Gándara, Assistant Professor

Denisa Gándara, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of Georgia

Denisa Gándara is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. She is the recipient of the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, the American Educational Research Association's Dissertation Travel Award, and the Zell and Shirley Miller Graduate Fellowship.

Profile

Michael Harris, Associate Professor and Director for Center of Teaching Excellence

Michael Harris, Associate Professor and Director for Center of Teaching Excellence

Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania

Michael S. Harris is an associate professor of higher education and director of SMU's Center for Teaching Excellence. His research considers how economic, political, and social changes influence the culture, strategy, and behavior of higher education institutions. He is currently explore how institutional strategy and behaviors differ in light of varying missions and organizational cultures.

Profile

Frank Hernandez, Professor

Frank Hernandez, Professor

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Frank Hernandez holds the Annette and Harold Simmons Centennial Chair in Education Policy and Leadership and serves as the Associate Dean in the Simmons School of Education & Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Prior to his work at SMU, Dr. Hernandez served as Dean of the College of Education at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (Odessa, TX).

Profile

Akihito Kamata, Professor

Akihito Kamata, Professor and Director of Center on Research and Evaluation

Ph.D., Michigan State University

Dr. Kamata is a Professor at Southern Methodist University since August 2013 (Department of Education Policy & Leadership, and Center on Research and Evaluation, Simmons School of Education & Human Development; Department of Psychology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences). Prior to joining SMU, Dr. Kamata was a faculty member at the University of Oregon and Florida State University. Dr. Kamata's primary research interest is psychometrics and educational and psychological measurement, focusing on implementation of item-level test data analysis methodology through various modeling framework, including item response theory, multilevel modeling, and structural equation modeling.

Profile

Leanne Ketterlin Geller, Professor, Texas Instruments Endowed Chair in Education, Director of Research in Mathematics Education and Faculty Fellow K-12 STEM Initiatives, Caruth Institute for Engineering Education

Leanne Ketterlin Geller, Professor, Texas Instruments Endowed Chair in Education, Director of Research in Mathematics Education and Faculty Fellow K-12 STEM Initiatives, Caruth Institute for Engineering Education

Ph.D., University of Oregon

Leanne Ketterlin Geller, Ph.D., is engaged in research and scholarship focused on supporting all students in mathematics education through application of instructional leadership principles and practices. She has served as Principal Investigator for federally and locally funded research grants emphasizing the development of formative assessment procedures in mathematics and valid decision-making systems for students with diverse needs in the general education curriculum.

Profile

Dawson Orr, Department Chair and Director for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

Dawson Orr, Department Chair and Director for the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

Ph.D., University of Texas

Dr. Dawson Orr earned his bachelor’s degree in public administration and social studies from the University of Alabama in 1975. He continued his studies at the University of Alabama, completing a master’s degree in administration and planning in 1976. Dr. Orr went on to earn his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Texas

Profile

Alexandra Pavlakis, Assistant Professor

Alexandra Pavlakis, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Pavlakis is an Assistant Professor in the Education Policy and Leadership department at Southern Methodist University (SMU). She holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MSc. in Social Policy & Planning from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an MSc. in Teaching from Pace University through New York City Teaching Fellows Program, and a B.A. in History from Brown University.

Profile

Meredith Richards, Assistant Professor

Meredith Richards, Assistant Professor

Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Richards is an Assistant Professor of Education Policy and Leadership in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Policy from the University of Texas at Austin and was an IES Post-doctoral Fellow in Education Policy and Methods at the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a B.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of Virginia, a M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from George Mason University. At SMU, she is responsible for teaching doctoral coursework in educational research methods.

Profile

Milan Sevak, Clinical Associate Professor and Director for the Aspiring Leaders Program

Milan Sevak, Clinical Associate Professor & Director for the Aspiring Leaders Program

Ed.D., Harvard

Milan Sevak has served in school and district roles in a variety of settings. Most recently, Milan worked as Assistant Superintendent of Strategic Leadership in Dallas ISD, where he led the District’s efforts to reform teacher evaluation, compensation, and support systems. Previously, he also served as a Division Assistant Superintendent and was responsible for student outcomes for 41 schools with 30,000 students.

Profile

Ashley Tull, Clinical Associate Professor and Director for the Ed.D. in Higher Education

Ashley Tull, Clinical Associate Professor and Director for the Ed.D. in Higher Education

Ed.D., Florida State University

Dr. Ashley Tull serves as a Clinical Associate Professor and as Program Director for the Ed.D. in Higher Education Program. Most recently he served as the Director of Assessment and Strategic Initiatives for the Division of Student Affairs at Southern Methodist University. He has held previous administration and teaching roles at Tarleton State University, the University of Texas at Arlington, University of Arkansas–Fayetteville, and Florida State University.

Profile