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Carol Ann Brooks

Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership

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Melissa Marie Barker

Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership

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Rochelle Hooks

Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership

Elizabeth Quiroga Valadez

Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership

Hometown

Oakland, Ca

My Greatest Supporters

My greatest supporters are my amazing husband and wonderful kids who sometimes believe more in me than I believe in myself and push me to be a better person. I also would not be the person I am without the support and encouragement from my parents and my sisters.

Favorite Saint Mary's Memory

Sharing personal stories and goals with EdD cohort 17!

My Next Chapter

Creating a path for underrepresented groups into technology careers to reduce the gap that exists today.

Favorite Quote

“Do not give your past the power to define your future.”
— Dhiren Prajapati
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Sonya Evette Martin

Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership

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Esther Marie Berndt

Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership

Denishia LaVonne Clark

Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership

Honors

Outstanding Doctoral Research

Hometown

Hayward & Oakland, CA

Award Bio

A Bay Area native, originating from Oakland by way of Hayward, Denishia Clark is a public health advocate and higher education professional in career services. She holds a Bachelor of Science from San Diego State University and Master's in Urban Public Health (MPH) from Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. She is graduating with a Doctorate in Educational Leadership (EdD).

My Greatest Supporters

The most incredible support on this journey comes from the prayers and dreams of my ancestors. I feel their strength and spirit every day. My parents Edward Ray and Sharon, and sister Sharonda are the heartbeat of my support system. I am grateful for the Clarks, Smiths, best friends, sorors, Cohort 17, and so many others, too many to name from my beloved tribe.

Favorite Saint Mary's Memory

Every moment shared with C17 makes up my favorite memories. From our first meeting four years ago to the abrupt and virtual shift for our final class last year. I've been blessed to share learning spaces with (and often life support from) Jeannine Manguiat Megia, Marci Van Horn, Susan Lemke, Holly Joshi, Moira Delgado, Kelly Duncan, Christy Glaser, Esther Berndt, and the wise Elizabeth Valadez.

My Next Chapter

I will continue to learn daily, advance professional aspirations in higher education, and explore research opportunities focused on emerging leaders, ethics, and social justice.

Clubs and Activities

P.S. Another favorite SMC memory was that a deer chased Marci and me on campus one time!

P.P.S. I probably have 4+ pages about my supporters and inspiration. So, after it's published, you can read the Acknowledgments section plus a WHOLE lot more in my dissertation.
*smile*

Favorite Quote

"If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair."
— Shirley Chisholm

Susan Francis Lemke

Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership

Hometown

Fremont

Favorite Saint Mary's Memory

Dancing with Taj and Cohort 17 and getting rid of our coolness...the potluck dinners, conversations, celebrations and commiserating...above all. the friendship.

My Next Chapter

Looking forward to putting my research findings into practice. Also time... to cook more, read for pleasure, spend time with family and friends, draw, garden, and many more right brain activities.

Favorite Quote

It is never to late to be what you might have been.
— -George Eliot

Marci Bach Van Horn

Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership

Hometown

San Jose

My Greatest Supporters

There are too many to list considering this only provides me with 400 characters and if you're really curious, you can read my dedication and acknowledgment page in my dissertation. However, the greatest supporter I had, I lost during this process, my Dad. I know he's laughing somewhere telling people his daughter is now a Doctor but not the kind who can prescribe medicine.

Favorite Saint Mary's Memory

My favorite Saint Mary's memory was the time spent with Cohort 17. We've cried, laughed, and cried some more. While our meals gave us sustenance, our friendships fueled the soul.

My Next Chapter

To enjoy the next year without having to write a single paper! While the writing improved by ability to discuss theoretical frameworks, analyze data and use transitional phrases, I will not miss it. I look forward to watching a Netflix series without an open laptop on the coffee table while rifling through the APA manual. All kidding aside, I look forward to the next chapter whatever it may be!

Clubs and Activities

American School Counselor Association (ASCA)

Favorite Quote

I would hate for someone to look at my shoes and say, “Oh my God! They look so comfortable!”‘ – Christian Louboutin

Jeannine Marie Manguiat Megia

Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership

Hometown

Oakland, California

My Greatest Supporters

My parents, my son Colton, and my husband Rex have especially supported me all through this journey! They have encouraged me, celebrated with me, and taken things off my plate when I’ve needed extra study time. My family has been a huge support! Cohort 17 has also been a great support. I've learned from and been inspired by each one of them and am thankful to have been on this journey with C17!

Favorite Saint Mary's Memory

Cohort check-ins at the beginning of class on Friday evenings were my favorite Saint Mary's memory! The community and support C17 built throughout this program kept me going when things got difficult. We were more than classmates, we became a family. I feel so blessed to have been part of such an amazing cohort!

My Next Chapter

I plan on continuing to work as an educational leader while applying what I've learned throughout this program to the field. I am excited to continue reading and researching about how we can close the opportunity and discipline gaps while committing to that work. In my post-dissertation chapter, I am also looking forward to having freer weekends to spend more time with family and friends!

Favorite Quote

Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly
-Micah 6:8

To the children of our country,… Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourselves in a way that others may not, simply because they’ve never seen it before. But know that we will applaud you every step of the way.
-Vice President Kamala Harris