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.

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

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

Ph.D., University of Texas at Dallas

Roxanne Burleson is a Clinical Associate 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.

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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.

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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.

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

Dawson Orr, Clinical Professor 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.

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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, a MSc. in Social Policy & Planning from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a MSc. in Teaching from Pace University through New York City Teaching Fellows Program, and a B.A. in History from Brown University.

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Meredith Richards, Assistant Professor

Meredith Richards, Associate Professor

Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Richards is an Associate 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.

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

Milan Sevak, Clinical Associate Professor and 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.

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