Ed.D. Alum Profiles
Ed.D. Alum Profiles
Dr. Katie Kirby is currently the Principal at Robert Waters Elementary School in Union City, NJ. She has worked in Union City for the past 19 years as a teacher, technology coach, supervisor, assistant principal, and most recently, Principal. In addition to her administrative duties, she is also the HIB District Coordinator and has been a committee member on the Hudson County Social Emotional Character Development Consortium. She is also a consultant on virtual reality in education.
"The EdTech Leadership program at NJCU not only broadened my education horizons, but helped me establish lifelong friendships and partnerships for years to come. Through this program I discovered a love of Virtual Reality (VR), so much so that I wrote my dissertation on Integrating Social Emotional Learning Through the Use of Virtual Reality. My research led me to a consulting position within a VR company providing them with educational guidance for their programming. NJCU opened doors and bridged connections that would never have been possible if I wasn’t part of this program."
--Dr. Katie Kirby (Ed.D. Cohort 7, Class of 2022)
Dr. Dowayne D. Davis is a decorated scholar-athlete, former national football league (NFL) player, educator, and force-multiplier. Dr. Davis is the Chief Executive Officer for Philip’s Academy Charter School of Paterson, in Paterson, NJ, and Founder & CEO of Systaimable Business. Having served as an administrator in multiple high-performing public schools in Newark, NJ, Dr. Davis has a range of experience in instruction, program design, school administration, information systems, governance, and operations. He holds a B.S from Syracuse University, an M.B.A from Baruch College, an Ed.D from New Jersey City University, and a Certification in School Management and Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education and Business School. Dr. Davis has served and led successful PK-12th grade schools, opening, operating, scaling, and renewing schools in dynamic transformational leadership roles.
"The Ed.D. in Educational Technology at NJCU provided professional learning opportunities that team exceptional experiential learning with theoretical approaches. Completing the program strengthened my academic, research, and professional skills. Equally important, the program allowed me to forge strong relationships with peers and professors, thereby broaden my network of educators, professional, and friends."
--Dr. Dowayne Davis (Ed.D. Cohort 3, Class of 2018)
Dr. Michael Bermudez is currently an assistant professor at the University of Scranton Occupational Therapy Department in Scranton, PA. He has been working as a licensed occupational therapist for more than 20 years. He is the recipient of the Fulbright US Scholar 2022-23 to Uganda and has work and researched at the Faculty of Special Needs and Rehabilitation, Kyambogo University in Kampala, Uganda. He is currently researching makerspace at Kyambogo University and community education on inclusive learning, and educational accessibility in elementary schools around Uganda. He is also helping to assistive equipment, particularly wheelchairs, from local materials and using the Universal Design for Learning to promote inclusive education in Uganda.
“The faculty members have wholeheartedly supported me and nurtured my specific projects and research related to my specific academic and professional interests. Now, as an assistant professor in a prestigious university, I feel that the doctoral program has prepared me to be a leader and a contributor to the promotion of optimal teaching, research, and service for others in the education of future health care professionals.”
-- Dr. Michael Bermudez, OTR/L (MA, 2016; Ed.D. Cohort 4, Class of 2019)
Dr. Katy Blatnick-Gagne is currently an Educational Consultant with the Bureau for Career and Technical Education at the Iowa Department of Education. Previously, she was the Director for The Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences and as a faculty member of the Family and Consumer Sciences Education program at Texas Tech.
" My experiences in the doctoral program at NJCU allowed me to not only grow in knowledge, but as a person. I was able to accomplish it as a long-distance student because of the support I received by from my cohort, the faculty and the staff. I loved the cohort model and how the courses were distributed in the NJCU doctoral program. Our cohort grew so strong that we still hold yearly reunions!"
--Dr. Katy Blatnick-Gagne (Ed.D. Cohort 2, Class of 2017)
Dr. Matthew Farber is an associate professor of educational technology at the University of Northern Colorado, where he also co-directs the Gaming SEL Lab. He has been invited to the White House, writes for Edutopia, has authored several books and papers, and frequently collaborates with UNESCO MGIEP and Games for Change. His latest book is Gaming SEL: Games as Transformational to Social and Emotional Learning.
"The Ed Tech leadership doctoral program at NJCU prepared me to take the leap from K12 teaching to a path in higher education. The program combined scholarly work with practical applications of educational technologies. Further, the program gave us agency to follow our passions in the field, in my case, game-based learning."
--Dr. Mathew Farber (MA 2010, Ed.D. Cohort 1, Class of 2016)
Dr. Emily Vandalovsky is currently the Dean of Mathematics, Science & Technology division at Bergen Community College. Previously, she served as an Assistant Professor and Academic Department Chair of Computer Science, Engineering & Information Technologies department at BCC.
“The Ed.D. program has played a vital role in my professional and personal development. It broadened my viewpoints on the current research, deepened my understanding of the field with its challenges, and strengthened my ability to problem-solve innovatively. The program propelled my levels of professionalism and confidence, without which I would not be where I am today. Undoubtedly, it has been a life-changing experience.”
--Dr. Emily Vandalovsky (Ed.D. Cohort 6, Class of 2021)
Dr. Martin A. Hoffman, Sr. is the Dean of Learning Resources for Rowan College at Burlington County in New Jersey where he directs the activities of the college library, runs a professional development center and oversees the technical aspects of all online, hybrid and web-enhanced credit courses offered by the College. He is also previous Chair of the New Jersey Community College Distance Education Affinity Group, the former Executive Director of the Consortium for Distance Education, a Board Member of the Instructional Technology Council, and a reviewer for the Quality Matters program and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
"One of the hallmarks of NJCU's Doctoral programs is the real-world applicability of the coursework. During my first Summer Institute in the Educational Technology Leadership program I submitted not one but two assignments simultaneously to my professor, and my boss, because the schoolwork was so similar to existing initiatives at my job….In NJCU's Educational Technology Leadership Doctoral program my dissertation committee chair was both supportive and uncompromising. He held me to high standards but at the same time understood I was a working adult with a family and other obligations."
--Dr. Martin Hoffman Sr. (Ed.D. Cohort 1, Class of 2016)