School of Education Faculty and Graduate Students Present at the University Council for Educational Administration Conference


January 6, 2020  

BATON ROUGE–Two School of Education faculty led a team of two current graduate students and four recent graduates as they presented an innovative session at the 33rd annual University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) conference.

Representing LSU’s School of Education and Educational Leadership programs, Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, PhD, and Carlos Lee, PhD, ended the final days of fall 2019 semester focusing on research and mentoring recently minted PhDs and doctoral candidates through the experience of presenting at a high-level research conference.

At the UCEA conference, Sulentic Dowell and Lee’s collaborative session was titled Lagniappe Leadership in PK-12 Louisiana Schools: Overcoming Barriers in Subaltern Configurations of Educational Leadership. The presentation explored several timely issues facing Louisiana’s educational leaders and showcased graduate students’ research. It focused on the challenges educational leaders face in 21st century schools – specifically, concepts, ideas, leadership practices, and pedagogical stances that exist outside the norms of traditional power configurations in PK-12 schools.

Sulentic Dowell coordinates the PhD program in educational leadership; Lee is the program coordinator for the MEd in educational leadership. “Presenting to a high-powered national audience was rigorous,” said Sulentic Dowell. “Illustrating how our graduates and soon-to-be graduates address pressing social issues that impact educational leadership within their dissertation studies was edifying.”

Lee commented, “As a researcher, I was challenged to share with a national audience in a spare amount of time, while demonstrating professionalism to recent graduates and those still completing degrees. It was very stimulating.”

Alica Benton (LSU ‘18), PhD, in her second year as an assistant professor of professional practice, shared the results of her dissertation study titled Implications for School Leaders regarding Foster Care in Louisiana and Beyond:  An Examination of Emotional and Academic Deficits that Challenge Subaltern Children of Foster Care.

N. Claudette Jackson Perkins, PhD, (LSU ‘18), principal at Audubon Elementary School in the East Baton Rouge Public School System, presented The Making of an Urban Louisiana Principal:  Purposeful Planning–Intentional Practice in Subaltern Literacy Leadership.

Earlisha Whitfield, PhD, (LSU ‘19), assistant principal at Iberville Charter Academy, presented How School Leaders Position Teachers as Change Agents: An Investigation into the Literacy Practices of Effective Tier 2 Teachers in a South Louisiana Charter School.

Scott Blanchard, PhD, (LSU ‘18) presented the results of his dissertation Servant Leadership in Subaltern Spaces: Investigating Spiritual Leadership in a South Louisiana Public School.

Current doctoral students also presented as part of the innovative session. Angela Bradley, principal at Ella Dolhonde K-5 Elementary School in Jefferson Parish, communicated the importance of the principal’s role in Serving Subaltern Students: What We Fail to Teach Educational Leaders about Engaging Families of Students Identified as ESL.

Overlaying these issues is the success and retention of African-American students, from elementary to doctoral students. That topic was the focus of doctoral candidate Langley McClay, who is assistant principal at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Baton Rouge. McClay’s presentation was Critical Issues that Impact the Success and Retention of African American Doctoral Students in a Louisiana PWI: What Educational Leadership Scholars Can Learn.  

Educational leadership programming in LSU’s School of Education encompasses an online master’s degree, an educational specialist degree, a certificate in instructional coaching, and a PhD in educational leadership and research: P-12 educational leadership.