Home » University of Kansas » Marching on: Reflections of the Second Year Doctoral Program

Marching on: Reflections of the Second Year Doctoral Program

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Sorcha Hyland
Lara Mann
Deb Griswold
Elizabeth Kozleski

“The mission of the doctoral program in special education at KU is to prepare civically-committed scholars who, through rigorous and relevant research and transformational interventions, address significant educational and social problems in ways that advance education, social policy, research, care giving and public service to enhance the quality of life of persons of all ages with (dis)abilities and their families.”

The editors of Hawk Hopes asked the cohort members to reflect on their learning experience in the program. Here is one more inside look at the KU Special Education Doctoral Program. 2013-2014 Cohort members provided five words that described their experience as well as a short reflection of something memorable about the second year.  Good luck to the 2013-2014 Cohort as they enter their third year!


Maggie Beneke

I am in awe of the transformative experiences I have been able to be apart of this year, including: growing a movement of Deweyan pragmatists in Civic Professionalism; digging deep into transcripts with discourse analysis; collaborating with Sorcha and members of the Lawrence/KU community to plan the first See/Saw Film Festival; co-teaching Naturalistic Inquiry; helping to lead a trip to Costa Rica with undergraduate and Masters’ students; hearing Barbara Rogoff present at AERA (!!!); decolonizing everything with my peers in Cultural Psychology, and so much more. As I navigate my personal/professional identities, these experiences have helped me to define and redefine who I will be as a future scholar. And through this dialectic process I continue to wrestle with the perspectives of those around me. So thank you to this incredible community of peers, mentors, colleagues, and friends for engaging me in critical dialogue, challenging my assumptions, and always finding “another article” for me to read J.

David Royer

Favorite memory is winter break 2014, decorating cookies at Molly’s house to resemble faculty members, especially Rud and Ann Turnbull whom we continue to miss dearly.

Gretchen Goodman

My 2nd year started with a sense of familiarity and comfort- no longer felt the fear of the unknown. Relationships with my cohort members have grown even stronger and I continue to be amazed (and envious) of their intellect and dedication. It is disappointing to realize our individual interests are directing us to different classes within the School Education and out into the broader university- I’ve become quite accustomed to seeing these people on a regular basis.

Molly Siuty

In the fall semester, we had two courses with Dr. Tom Skrtic – Civic Professionalism and the Cross-Specialization Seminar. As Tom got ready to leave the room so we could complete our student evaluations, he addressed the group. He got choked up (sorry Tom!) as he expressed how proud he was of us for the growth we had made as a group. His comments echoed my observations of our entire cohort. The final presentations from Cross-Specialization just blew me away. I felt so grateful to be in a group of such brilliant thinkers and also in a program that cultivates and supports innovative thinking. Let the revolution begin!

doc students 13-14 (640x160)

1 Comment

  1. Margaret Williamson says:

    And way to go to all of the other cohorts and students as well! We have one student who is entering her final lap in the program and is planning on graduating in December. The small 2012-2013 cohort is going strong into their 4th year, the 2014 – 2015 Cohort is skipping along into their second year and the newly arrived 2015 – 2016 cohort is already rockin through their second week! Woohoo! Team KU SPED forever!


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