I hold a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership with a minor in Curriculum & Instruction and Comparative & International Education at the Pennsylvania State University. My research agenda has been shaped by more than 10 years of educational work as an international educator in the capacity of high school teacher, principal (K-12), curriculum coordinator, and developer of a summer camp program. As an educator, I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of care, compassion, and trust and their effect on effective schools. I use qualitative methods to examine teachers’ and principals’ well-being and leadership within certain school context and how social emotional learning professional development programs could be implemented to ensure a positive school environment. Broadly my research and teaching interests focus on principal preparation, professional development, school improvement, and international education.
My dissertation explores the influence of CARE (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education) professional development program on principals’ well-being and leadership. The Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Education (CARE) program is a mindfulness-based personal and professional development program designed to support educators by giving them the skills needed to become more self-aware, reflective, and to learn effective ways to understand and manage their own emotions in order to improve their health and well-being. Specifically, I investigate how stress affects principals’ daily work and decision making and how principals manage difficult situations and experience the process of interacting with others after their participation in CARE program. Unpacking the effects of mindfulness practices on school leaders adds an important and unexamined element to the types of professional development school leaders need: Social-emotional based programs.