Six Doctoral Candidates Graduate May 2020

Congratulations to the six doctoral candidates in the Reich College of Education’s (RCOE) Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership who graduate at the end of the 2020 spring semester: 

  • Andrea Watson Anderson
  • Elizabeth C. Coleman
  • Peaches Hash
  • Eric A. Klein
  • Ann Marie McNeely
  • Teresa Joyce Smeeks

Andrea Watson Anderson

Andrea AndersonDissertation Title: Pushing Back Against the "Push Down": Pre-service Teachers Engaging in Complex Pedagogies as Pathways of Resistance to the Accountability Movement in Early Care and Education Settings

Dissertation committee: Dr. Denise Brewer (chair), Department of Family and Child Studies; Dr. Beth Buchholz, Department of Reading Education and Special Education; and Dr. Teressa Sumrall, Department of Family and Child Studies

“For me, every growing pain and feeling of uncertainty was an opportunity for growth. Be open to all of it: the joy and disequilibrium you feel is an investment in yourself.”

Grants: For the 18-20 grant cycle, Anderson received $267,600 to provide programming for at-risk four-year-olds in Watauga County.

Elizabeth C. Coleman

Elizabeth ColemanDissertation Title: Bodies, Brains, & Besties: Student Perspectives on Making the Transition from Elementary to Middle School

Dissertation committee: Dr. Chris Cook (chair), Department of Curriculum and Instruction; Dr. Lucy Purgason, Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling; and Dr. Beth Buchholz, Department of Reading Education and Special Education

“The doctoral program pushed me to my limits as an educator and a person. I learned about myself as a person, an educator, and accomplished professional and personal goals. I am truly grateful for the education practitioner I have become, and the friends and colleagues I developed during my time in the program.”

Peaches Hash

Peaches HashDissertation Title: ARTiculations: Expressive Arts-Based Curriculum in the Composition Classroom

Dissertation committee: Dr. Damiana Gibbons Pyles (chair), Department of Curriculum and Instruction; Dr. Brooke Hofsess, Department of Art; Dr. Leslie Cook, Department of English

 “The doctoral program enabled me to contribute to the field of Educational Leadership in a variety of ways, including research, scholarship, and teaching.”


  • Pyles, D. G., Buchholz, B. A., Hagaman, K., & Hash, P. (2019). Teacher curatorship: Fostering literacies with kindergartners using youtube videos. In P. M. Sullivan, J. L. Lantz, & B. A. Sullivan (Eds.), Handbook of research on integrating digital technology with literacy pedagogies(pp. 287-312). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-0246-4
  • Dentith, A. M. & Hash, P. (2019). Curriculum leadership: A four-fold process. Journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies, 13(2), 1-13.
  • Hash, P. (2019). Theoretical book clubs: Social experiences with required reading. English Journal, 109(2), 47-53.
  • Hash, P. (2019). The educator inferno. The Currere Exchange Journal, 3(1), 74-81. 

Awards and Honors:

  • Appalachian State University Domer Research Award, 2019-2020
  • Appalachian State University Rhododendron Society Scholarship, 2019-2020
  • ASU Office of Student Success “Most Helpful Faculty & Staff” 2018-2019 
  • Fulbright-Hays Group Seminar to Indonesia, July 2019

 Conferences and Campus Presentations:

  • Article Presentation: “Theoretical Book Clubs: Teaching Required Texts with Literary Theory”, Fresh Take: Strategies for Student Success, February 7, 2020
  • Presentation: “From Indonesia to America: Translating Indonesia Culture into U.S. Classrooms” with fellow Fulbrighters Kara Janes and Elizabeth Bailey, Appalachian State’s Global Symposium, November 20, 2019
  • Research Presentation: “ARTiculation: Arts-Based Curriculum in the Gen. Ed. Composition Classroom”, State University of New York (SUNY) Council on Writing Conference, November 9,  2019
  • Workshop and Research Presentation: “Art and Composition Pedagogy”, Appalachian State’s Rhetoric and Composition Institute, October 25, 2019
  • Workshop and Research Presentation: “Arts-Based Learning in Rhetoric and Composition”, Appalachian State’s Fulbright TEA Fellows Program, October 21, 2019
  • Presentation: “Arts-Based Curriculum in the Collegiate Writing Classroom”, BINUS University’s Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad: Indonesia Educational Presentations, July 9, 2019
  • Workshop: “Expressive Arts Practices as Data in the Ed.D. Program”, Appalachian State’s Educational Leadership Doctoral Program New Student Orientation, June 24, 2019
  • Panel: “Q&A with Current Doctoral Students”, Appalachian State’s Educational Leadership Doctoral Program New Student Orientation, June 24, 2019
  • Research Presentation: “A/r/ticulation: Arts-Based Inquiry in the Composition Classroom”, Finding Our Voice: Appalachian State University’s Doctoral Symposium, March 29, 2019
  • Co-Presented with Dr. Holly Thornton’s research: “Do You Have the IT Factor: Teacher Dispositions Impact Student Learning!”, Fresh Take: Strategies for Student Success, February 1, 2019
  • Paper Presentation: “The Art of Writing: Expressive Arts Techniques in the Rhetoric and Composition Classroom”, Bergamo Curriculum Conference, November 1-3, 2018


  • Appalachian State University Office of Student Research Research Travel Grant (2020
  • Appalachian State University Graduate Student Government Association Research Materials Award (2020)
  • Appalachian State University Doctoral Student Enrichment Grant (2017-2018 & 2019)
  • Appalachian State University Graduate Student Government Association Research Presentation Travel Award (2019)

Eric A. Klein

Eric KleinDissertation Title: Otherwises at school and in the community: Public schools as leaders in rural food system relocalization

Dissertation committee: Dr. Gregory McClure (chair), Department of Curriculum and Instruction; Dr. Anatoli Ignatov, Sustainable Development Department; Dr. Vachel Miller, Department of Leadership and Educational Studies; Dr. James Veteto, Western Carolina University

"I wish I could go through the doc program all over again! Only in retrospect am I realizing how precious that time was."


  • 2018 Sustainable Agriculture Award, Farm-City Week, Yancey County
  • 2016-17 Educational Policy Fellow, North Carolina Public School Forum

Conference Presentations:

  • Why Is It Valuable for a School to Grow Its Own Food? Youth Voices in Food System Relocalization, National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals Annual Conference, Asheville, North Carolina, June 2019 
  • Towards a Theorization of the Analogue, 62nd Annual Conference of the South Atlantic Society for the Philosophy of Education, High Point, North Carolina, February 2018
  • Measuring the Economic Impact of Farm to School Programs, Southeast Farm to School Conference, Greenville, South Carolina, September 2016 

Ann Marie McNeely

Ann Marie McNeelyDissertation Title: Making Workers: A Foucauldian-Influenced Poststructural Analysis of the Purposes of Community College Education

Dissertation committee: Dr. Alecia Jackson (chair), Department of Leadership and Educational Studies; Dr. Damiana Pyles, Department of Curriculum and Instruction; Dr. Star Brown, Western Piedmont Community College

“The highlight of my time at Appalachian was the personal and professional transformation that I underwent during my classes and my work on my dissertation. As I wrote on the Acknowledgement page of my dissertation: I learned so much from all of my professors in Appalachian State University’s Educational Leadership Ed.D. program, whose expertise and wisdom led me to develop not only intellectually but also personally and professionally. In particular, they inspired me to view my studies through a social justice lens that will forever impact the way I move through and respond to the world.”

Awards: Alice Naylor Outstanding Dissertation Award nominee

Teresa Joyce Smeeks

Teresa SmeeksDissertation Title: The Opportunity Gap: Rural Gifted Students Left Behind

Dissertation committee: Dr. Barbara Howard (chair), Department of Leadership and Educational Studies; Dr. Tracy Goodson-Espy, Department of Curriculum and Instruction; and Dr. Elizabeth Curry, Alexander County Schools

“I feel my cohort has become its own type of family. This family and my professors provided a wonderful environment to learn, research, and grow.”

Doctoral Students
Published: May 12, 2020 8:03am