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Educational Leadership Students Publish In Research Journal

Mauricio Gonzales, Jennifer Lopez, Wei Ee "Katie" Cheng, and Dafny Irizarry

Educational Leadership Students Publish In Research Journal

While it is not uncommon for School of Professional Development’s Educational Leadership (EDL) alumni to have their work published, it is less common for students to publish before they graduate. So it came as a welcome surprise when four EDL students had their research accepted for publication in the October 2021 issue of The New York Academy of Public Education Research Journal. The journal also features an article by two EDL faculty members, Robert Scheidet and Cheryl Scheidet, further amplifying Stony Brook University’s contribution to the field of K-12 research.

The students, Wei Ee (Katie) Cheng, Mauricio Gonzalez, Dafny Irizarry and Jennifer Lopez, were all mentored by EDL program director Craig Markson, who encouraged them to submit their work for publication.

“It was an honor and a privilege to work with this group of outstanding educators and to see their research papers turn into publications, prior to even graduating from the Educational Leadership Program,” said Markson. “They have inspired me to encourage future students to follow their example and publish before graduation.”

The students’ research explores several of the diverse subject areas that are pertinent to today’s educators, including how to increase parental involvement, why workplace bullying is persistent even in progressive workplaces, how to bridge the gap between teachers and students of color, and what administrators should know about the current best practices of reading instruction.

“Dr. Craig Markson was integral to the process of developing the ideas for this research done in my project seminar paper. It felt overwhelming to do and he broke it down into manageable parts and when I needed the push to just write it, he was so helpful in advising me to get it done,” stated Jennifer Lopez.

Learn more about the students who were published below and read their full articles on the NYAPE Research Journal website.


EDL Students and Their Work

Wei Ee (Katie) Cheng

Article Title: Effective Ways to Increase Parental Involvement

Graduation Date: December 2021

Current Position: ENL Teacher for NYC Department of Education (NYCDOE)

Research Paper Synopsis: This study investigated the types of parental involvement that positively affect students’ academic achievement, how leadership styles play a significant role in parental involvement, and best practices for using technology to increase parental involvement. The findings indicated that home-based parental involvement and a transformational leadership style were the most effective in promoting students’ academic achievement.

Inspiration: I decided to write about this topic because I feel that the education of children is a true partnership between parents and the schools. I have seen a drastic decline in parental involvement in the NYCDOE schools in which I have worked over the years. With the coronavirus pandemic and the transition to remote and blended learning in New York City, there has been an increased use of technology and an even more urgent need to ascertain effective ways to increase parental involvement. Therefore, I was interested in how K-12 urban school leaders can involve parents effectively in order to positively impact their children’s education.

Mauricio Gonzalez

Article Title: Pride and Prejudice: How Workplace Bullying Has No Place in Schools

Graduation Date: 2021

Current Position: Marine Biology Research Instructor & Work-Based Learning Coordinator at Urban Assembly New York Harbor School

Research Paper Synopsis: By bringing to light the fact that nearly 50% of working adults in the United States and Europe report being bullied or experience others being bullied in the workplace by their fellow coworkers and leaders, we may come to understand why it happens, how it may affect our students’, school, and personal well-being, as well as how it might be addressed. Uncovering the psychological underpinnings of workplace bullying, legally protecting victims, and understanding its effects on school performance are burning ethical dilemmas for our society today. No one should have to go to work feeling terrified, shunned, and humiliated only to go home in dread after the ordeal.

Inspiration: This is a topic I’m very passionate about because it has remained largely ignored in one of the most progressive cities with powerful unions in the world.

Dafny Irizarry

Article Title:: The Growing Gap Between Teachers and Students of Color: What Are the Benefits & Barriers, Policies, Procedures and Programs to Close the Gap

Graduation Date: May 2022

Current Position: ENL Teacher in the Central Islip School District as well as the Founder and President of the Long Island Latino Teachers Association (LILTA)

Research Paper Synopsis: The paper investigated how the lack of teacher diversity impacts the academic achievement of minority students. In addition, the study examined the benefits and barriers in recruiting and retaining teachers of color and how policies, practices, and programs are succeeding in closing the growing gap between teachers and students of color.

Inspiration: Diversity in the teaching profession is one of my passions as an educator and as a leader. As a teacher of color, I know firsthand the significant impact of having teachers as role models who look and sound like you. 


Jennifer Lopez

Article Title: Reading Research for the School Administrator: Best Practices for General Education, Special Education (SWD), English Language Learner (ELL), and the ELL SWD

Graduation Date: December 2021

Current Position: Director of Pupil Personnel in the Hauppauge Union Free School District

Research Paper Synopsis: This paper is a sampling of what administrators need to know about the current research on best practices in reading instruction. It also looked at best practices for subsets of populations, including; special education students (SWD), English language learners (ELL), and the interface of ELL SWDs.

Inspiration: Reading is such a critical skill for the academic success of our students and with the amount of research out there on the subject, what are the critical points an administrator should know about what the research says about what is best practice in the teaching of reading for the critical populations we serve? This article serves as a “What to look for guide” and where to further research when considering a reading program in your school or district. 

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