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Dana Lockhart

Ph.D. in Gifted Education Administration

Education Policy, Planning & Leadership

  • 2024, William & Mary, Doctor of Philosophy, Gifted Education Administration
  • 2017, Virginia Commonwealth University, Master of Education
  • 2016, State University of New York - Empire College, Bachelor of Science, Mathematics

What kind of educational and professional experiences did you have prior to beginning this degree?
During my undergraduate studies, I was awarded two National Science Foundation grants for my papers on computability and the sound-intensity formula. Additionally, I participated in a National Science Foundation initiative in computational modeling. I sought my master's in education as a NOYCE Fellow through the Richmond Teacher Residency program, a teacher preparation program rooted in social justice advocacy. Before beginning this program, I spent five years in the classroom, teaching 6th through 8th-grade mathematics and Algebra in Title-1 schools. Additionally, I have reviewed textbooks, worked with after-school programs and served in leadership positions.

As a student pursuing a doctorate in Gifted Education, why did you choose this field, and what motivates you in this work?
I am motivated by my daughter and former students. Their brilliance and innovative spirit inspire me to push back against unjust norms to ensure students are adequately represented in the field of Gifted Education. The next generation is filled with beauty, and we must ensure they have the tools they need to be influential change-makers.

What do you hope to be doing after graduation? In 10 or 15 years?
Upon graduation, I plan to pursue research that advocates for innovation and change. To accomplish this, I hope to work alongside other scholars who are inspired to question society and push our field to a place where the silenced can be heard.

Why did you choose William & Mary and specifically your degree program? What sets this degree program apart from those offered at other colleges?
I chose William & Mary's Gifted Education Administration program because I was inspired by the foundational work that has come from the Center of Gifted Education at the university. Additionally, the program allows me to study policy, planning, and leadership, which are instrumental in enacting change.

What has been the most influential experience you've had so far in your program?
My assistantship and professors have been highly influential. I believe strongly in the role of mentorship in education and have been fortunate to see it in action. My professors have inspired me to explore new topics and have demonstrated what scholarly leadership looks like in action. Additionally, my assistantship has presented a breadth of opportunities, some of which I did not know existed before.

Is there any additional information you would want a prospective student to know about the School of Education and its degree programs?
William & Mary has been incredibly supportive in my educational endeavors. The professors have provided me with the confidence to explore and discover my talents. My department has provided me with avenues for experiences that are needed to enter the field of academia upon graduation. And my classmates foster collaboration over competition, which I believe is the key to the success of our generation.

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