Faculty & Staff
| Department Chair
Lisa B. Hunt
- Marsha Carr
- Susan Catapano
- James DeVita
- Amy Garrett Dikkers
- Scott Imig
- Martin Kozloff
- Joanne Nottingham
- Kennedy Ongaga
- Michele Parker
- Andrew Ryder
- William Sterrett
- Robert Tyndall
- Tamara Walser
Educational Leadership Faculty
Ph.D., North Carolina State University
Director of the UNCW Office of Student Leadership and Engagement
Dr. Sonja Ardoin is the Director of the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement and an Adjunct Faculty member for the Watson College of Education, the Honors Program, and University College. She earned a B.S. in Secondary Education from Louisiana State University, a M.S. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Florida State University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Research and Policy Analysis, specializing in Higher Education Administration, from North Carolina State University. Her dissertation focused on the relationship between rural students, university jargon, and college access. Dr. Ardoin’s other research interests include college success, leadership, civic engagement, and career strategies in student affairs.
Dr. Ardoin has held administrative roles in a variety of student affairs areas including leadership, service, student activities/student union, fraternity and sorority life, student conduct, academic advising, and college access programs. She is an active member of NASPA and ACPA and presents yearly at national conferences. Dr. Ardoin has written articles for ACPA publications and is publishing her first book – The Strategic Guide to Shaping Your Student Affairs Career – with Stylus in March 2014. She also serves as a facilitator for national nonprofit organizations such as LeaderShape, Inc., Zeta Tau Alpha, Lambda Chi Alpha, Chi Phi, the Social Justice Training Institute, and College Summit.
D.M., University of Phoenix
Dr. Marsha Carr serves on the faculty of Educational Leadership at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She previously served as a superintendent of schools in West Virginia for the past decade. Her other prior roles include serving as a Pre-K - 12 principal, Director of Curriculum/Instructional technology, and a reading specialist during her 35 years of service. In 1994, Carr received the Milken National Educator Award as a reading specialist, a Teacher of the Year award for Allegany County, Maryland and was recognized by the Maryland House of Delegates as well as received the Maryland Governor's Citation for her work.
Carr is author of Educational Leadership: From Hostile Takeover to a Sustainable Successful System; and co-author of The School Improvement Planning Handbook,.
Carr's areas of research include educational leadership, organizational management, cultural studies, and self-mentoring™. Self-mentoring™ was trademarked in 2012 by Carr and is gaining national attention. Carr is author of The Invisible Leader: A self-mentoring sustainability model for university faculty and The Invisible Teacher: A self-mentoring sustainability educator workshop guide.
She earned a B.A. in Art and M.A. in Reading from West Virginia University (WV), M.A. in Administration from Frostburg State University (MD) and a doctorate in Management from the University of Phoenix. Carr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ed.D., NOVA Southeastern University
Dr. Susan Catapano, Ed.D., came to UNCW in 2008 and is Chair of the Educational Leadership Department and a Professor with over 20 years in higher education. Dr. Catapano has a doctorate in higher education with concentrations in adult learning and early childhood education. She teaches courses in graduate and undergraduate teacher education in curriculum, supervision, instruction utilizing both on campus and online formats. Dr. Catapano also works on the development of new courses in curriculum and instructional models, educational psychology, family and community connections, and international study abroad (Belize). As Co-Leader of a 6-week student teaching abroad experience to Belize, she has expanded the work to include a 2-week professional development experience for doctoral students.
Ph.D., University of Tennessee Knoxville
M.Ed. in Higher Education Coordinator
Dr. James M. DeVita is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education, a newly developed graduate program in the Department of Educational Leadership in the Watson College of Education. He earned both his doctorate in Higher Education Administration and M.S. in College Student Personnel from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where his dissertation included three research projects on the experiences and development of gay male college students. His research is focused on examining the educational experiences of marginalized and targeted populations in higher education, particularly related to issues of identity development, as well as issues of access and success during college and the transition from secondary to post-secondary institutions. Current research projects include a mixed methods study on the educational experiences of LGBTQ identified youth, and a qualitative project that examines ally identities.
Dr. DeVita currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Student Affairs and Research and Practice (JSARP). He has presented at numerous national and international conferences, including the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). He has also published several book chapters and research articles in journals such as the Journal of African American Studies and NASAP Journal.
Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Dr. Amy Garrett Dikkers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at UNCW and teaches in all graduate programs in the department. She earned a Ph.D. in Comparative and International Development Education at the University of Minnesota in 2006, a M.Ed. in Secondary English Education from Wake Forest University in 1996, and a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1995. Before her doctoral study, she taught secondary school English domestically and abroad. The focus of her doctoral study was international development education, specifically the education of children in difficult circumstances, such as street children, ethnic minority children, refugee and immigrant children, and other groups often not served effectively in formal school settings around the world.
She has taught face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in educational reform, school technology leadership and vision, comparative education, human rights education, research design, and the foundations of education. Her professional interests include the preparation of educational leaders and the use of technology-enhanced and online learning in higher education. Her current research centers on reflective practice, maximizing online learning, incorporating community professionals into courses through technology, and the use of video to provide authentic voice in the classroom.
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Dr. Scott Imig serves as an Associate Professor in the Curriculum, Instruction and Supervision program at the Watson College of Education. He teaches graduate courses in the areas of evaluation, supervision, research and coaching. In addition to his faculty role, Dr. Imig has spent the past three years serving as the Watson College's Interim Associate Dean for Outreach. Prior to coming to UNCW, he was an Assistant Professor and Director of the Teaching Assessment Initiative at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education. In this role he developed and implemented numerous studies designed to measure the effectiveness of teacher education and teaching methods. He has served as both an elementary and middle school teacher.
Dr. Imig's research on teacher education and teacher effectiveness has been widely published, including articles in the Journal of Teacher Education, Teachers College Record and Change Magazine. He is also the author of numerous chapters on teacher certification, teacher quality, educational standards and teacher dispositions. His current research is focused on identifying the shared characteristics of the state's top performing educator preparation programs. Dr. Imig earned both his Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Evaluation and his Master's degree in teaching from the University of Virginia. He also holds a B.A. in Language and Literature from St. Mary's College of Maryland. He lives in Wilmington with his wife and three young children and he continues to try to learn how to fish.
Ph.D., Washington University
Watson Distinguished Professor of Education
Dr. Kozloff is a Watson Distinguished Professor of Education Co-Director, Hillcrest Reading Program, an afterschool tutoring program for disadvantaged children, K-2. He graduated from Washington University with a B.A. in Psychology, master's and Ph.D. in Sociology. Dr. Kozloff has formerly been a Professor of Sociology at Boston University and worked for 16 years as Director of federally-funded projects (NIMH, BEH) developing and testing curricula and instructional methods for children with autism and their families. In addition he worked on reform of reading instruction in New Hanover County, for 3 years. Dr. Kozloff' s interest in research and writing are in the areas of reading reform, instructional design and evaluation, teacher assessment, and publishing works such as Kozloff, M.A. (1994). Improving Educational Outcomes for Children With Disabilities: Principles for Assessment, Program Planning, and Evaluation. Paul H. Brookes.
Ed.D., University of North Carolina Wilmington
Dr. Metcalf is the Director of Elementary Student learning and Title 1 for Pender County Schools. Metcalf’s research interests include adult learning, instructional leadership, teacher leadership, and transformative change. Dr. Metcalf has worked extensively to prepare and develop transformative school cultures in multiple districts across the state. She has led national, statewide and regional professional development, as well as being a keynote speakers on the topics of 21st Century Schools, the Common Core, Instructional Leadership, and Transformative Coaching. Metcalf received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the Watson College of Education at UNCW.
Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Leadership Studies Coordinator
Dr. Joanne E. Nottingham, also known as "DocNott", is a faculty member of the Department of Educational Leadership in the Watson College of Education where she coordinates the Leadership Studies minor and teaches core leadership courses. In addition, she has served as the faculty secretary of the UNCW Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the National Leadership Honor Society for many years. DocNott has more than forty years of academic and professional experience in higher education and in private sector employment. Her corporate experience and particular knowledge in public relations, marketing, and advertising contributes to positive results in higher education and corporate environments.
DocNott earned her B.S. in Elementary and Special Education at Southern Connecticut State College, and her M.Ed. and Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut. For five years DocNott was the UNCW Director of Campus Diversity, which also included the management of the Upperman African American Cultural Center and she championed the development of the current Office of Institutional Diversity. During her administrative years at UNCW, the University of Miami (FL), and Florida International University, DocNott designed and managed academic, multicultural, and student services programs that contributed to increasing the retention of students in higher education institutions and raised community awareness. DocNott has an illustrative record of commitment to ethics, diversity, and leadership education as crucial components of lifelong learning.
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Dr. Kennedy Ongaga is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership in Watson College of Education. He earned his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in K-12 Educational Administration. His research examines experiences of marginalized populations and aims to inform and influence institutional policies that affect these groups within K-12 educational institutions. His scholarship centers on the examination of four interrelated themes: the principalship and organizational change; small learning communities in the context of school reform; social justice issues; and the K-12 connection. Other interests include understanding the Early College High School (ECHS) model, and how education can be used as a social vaccine against HIV/AIDS impact on education. His current research examines successful school principals under the framework of International Successful Principals Project (ISSPP), and pathways to principalship in sub-Saharan Africa. He is also involved in faculty/teacher collaborative research projects around issues of dropout prevention and targeted professional development for teachers.
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Dr. Michele A. Parker is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Her doctorate is in Research, Statistics, and Evaluation from the University of Virginia. She teaches an instructional technology course for prospective teachers and research courses for graduate students. Her research interests include the use of technology in K-12 and higher education as well as methodological issues in conducting research.
Dr. Parker has experience with several large-scale research projects. Currently, she is the Lead Analyst for two HillRAP evaluation contracts in Carteret County and Brunswick County Schools in North Carolina. Also, she is collaborating with staff from Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky to examine how neural network analysis can be applied to educational settings and how sampling stratification can be used to increase parent survey response rates.
Ph.D., Iowa State University
Dr. Andrew J. Ryder is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership in the Watson College of Education. Andy earned both his doctorate and master of science degrees in higher education from the Iowa State University and his bachelor of arts degree in history and government from the College of William & Mary. His dissertation studying Iowa GED students’ pathways to community college completion earned the 2012 Dissertation of the Year Award from the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC). Andy’s research and scholarly interests include access to postsecondary education for students who have been both under-prepared and under-served by K-12 schools and institutional practices which support college students’ development of personal and social responsibility. He also studies the history and philosophy of student affairs practice. Andy has twelve years of professional experience in the field of student affairs, having worked as an honors program student advisor at Iowa State, residence hall director and assistant director in residence life at Northeastern University and assistant dean for residence life at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Andy's current research projects include faculty and curricular influences on students’ openness to diversity and challenge and the perceptions of essential competencies for new student affairs professionals held by their direct supervisors. He has authored several chapters for the New Directions sourcebooks for higher education and institutional research published by Jossey-Bass and presented at national and international meetings, including the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Andy is a big fan of the Boston Red Sox and enjoys running and triathlon.
Ph.D., University of Virginia
Dr. Sterrett is a former award-winning principal who now serves as program coordinator of the Watson College’s Master’s of School Administration (MSA) program at UNCW. Sterrett is the author of the ASCD books Short on Time (2013) and Insights into Action (2011), and has published in numerous journals on the subject of school leadership.
Focused on the theory and practice of instructional leadership, Sterrett has researched, taught, and written about the use of collaborative learning communities and school & teacher leadership. He has served as a workshop facilitator and keynote speaker, having worked with groups on the school, district, regional, and state level. Sterrett has also presented at numerous state, national, and international conferences. He prioritizes building long-lasting collaborative relationships with school leaders in the field. Sterrett earned his B.S. in Middle Grades education from Asbury College and his M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Educational Administration & Supervision from the University of Virginia.
Ed.D., UNC Chapel Hill
Executive-in-Residence in the Cameron School of Business
Dr. Tyndall is currently a professor in the Doctoral Educational Leadership Program in the Watson College of Education and an Executive- in- Residence in the Cameron School of Business. Dr. Tyndall has spent forty years serving education. He earned undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and did advanced graduate studies at the University of California at Los Angeles.
In addition to his current roles Dr. Tyndall has served in a wide range of leadership positions in public schools, including principal of three schools and Deputy and Associate Superintendent in Durham City and Durham County and Superintendent of Schools in Moore County. While serving in educational leadership positions in public schools, he also taught at North Carolina Central University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University as a Resident Scholar, Adjunct Professor, and Visiting Executive Scholar, respectively. For three years Dr. Tyndall served as Special Advisor to the President of Duke University and Executive Director of the Research Triangle Education Consortium. Since arriving at UNCW in 1989 he has served as UNCW's Special Advisor to the Provost, Vice Chancellor for Information Technology Systems and Associate Provost, Dean of the Watson College of Education, Associate Dean for Outreach and Partnerships and Chair of the Department of Design and Management.
While serving as Dean of the Watson College of Education, Dr. Tyndall founded and served as the Executive Director of the Consortium for Advancement of Public Education (CAPE), comprising 14 school districts, 7 community colleges and 10 businesses; created the national award winning Professional Development System (PDS); and founded the Razor Walker Awards. He is credited, along with Chancellor Leutze, with leading the effort that resulted in the construction of the new Watson College of Education which he refers to as “a powerful tribute to the profession of teaching.”
Ph.D., Utah State University
Director of Assessment and Evaluation for the Watson College of Education
Dr. Tamara Walser has been conducting educational research and evaluation for more than 18 years and has worked in education for more than 23 years. Currently an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Dr. Walser is Director of Assessment and Evaluation for the Watson College of Education and teaches graduate courses in research and evaluation. She has also served as Co-Principal Investigator on two grants to evaluate a reading intervention and as an evaluator for a North Carolina Quality Educators through Staff Development and Training grant at UNCW.
Before coming to UNCW she served as Project Manager for the U.S. Department of Education Magnet Schools Assistance Program Technical Assistance in Data Collection, Analysis, and Report Preparation contract, which included quantitative analysis of magnet schools data and technical assistance to grantees on performance measurement and experimental/quasi-experimental evaluation. She also served as Project Manager for the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) State Service Center Evaluation and NAEP State Coordinator Program Review subcontracts with Westat for the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. In addition, she has evaluated programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology, and Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities; as well as the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Casey Family Programs. Dr. Walser received her Ph.D. in Research and Evaluation Methodology from Utah State University.
Ed.D., NC State University
Dr. Karen S. Wetherill is a Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership. She served as the Associate Dean for Outreach Alliances for 11 years prior to assuming a two-year administrative role as Interim Dean of the Watson College of Education. In that capacity, Dr. Wetherill was a co-founding leader for the development of the University-School Professional Development System Partnership. She has worked extensively with university-school partnerships since 1992 both at the university and the state level, providing leadership to move partnerships to higher, more meaningful standards and to address student- learning outcomes. She created the Learning-Centered Supervision model used across the partnership for intern supervision, designed the two foundational Supervision courses for graduate programs, and developed mentoring / coaching modules for use with other audiences.
Ed.D., Fayetteville State University
Dr. Williamson is currently serving as Superintendent of Hoke County Schools, in Raeford, North Carolina, where he has served for eight years. Dr. Williamson has over thirty years of service in public education, with the majority of his service time spent in educational leadership roles. Prior to coming to Hoke County, Dr. Williamson worked in Scotland County as the Associate Superintendent of Human Resources and Sampson County where he worked as a classroom teacher, Assistant Principal, High School Principal, Director of Personnel, Director of Vocational Education, and Director of Secondary Education. Dr. Williamson earned his undergraduate, and master's degrees from North Carolina A&T State University, advance graduate degree from East Carolina University, and doctoral degree from Fayetteville State University. Additional studies completed at South Carolina State University, and UNC Chapel Hill School of Government.
Under his leadership, Hoke County Schools has been recognized at the national at state level. Former Governor Beverly Perdue, named Hoke County Schools as one of the state's top ten digital school districts. Sandy Grove Middle (constructed) in one year, was recognized at the nation's 1st Net-Postive, LEED Platinum Designed, Public/Private leased construction school. Dr. Williamson has received several awards for leadership including: 2011 Sandhills Regional Superintendent of the Year, North Carolina Association of Education Office Personnel Administrator of the Year, State Principal of the Year Finalist, Southeast Regional Principal of the Year, and twice Wachovia Principal of the Year.
Dr. Williamson has and continues to demonstrate a passion for leadership and transformation.
Staff & Graduate Assistants
B.A., UNC Wilmington
Lisa Hunt, Administrative Associate, in the Department of Educational Leadership, is a graduate of UNCW. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the College of Arts & Sciences and teaching certification in Secondary Education from the Watson School of Education. Before returning to UNCW, Lisa worked, for six years, at Forsyth Technical Community College, in Winston-Salem, NC. At Forsyth Tech she served the Dean and faculty in the Business & Information Technologies Division, served on the President’s Advisory Council, Student Retention and March of Dimes committees. In 2009, Lisa returned to Wilmington, UNCW and the Watson College of Education after accepting the position of Administrative Associate, in the Department of Educational Leadership. In this position she supports the department chair, Dr. Susan Catapano, thirteen full-time faculty members, the Ed.D. doctoral program, MSA, CIS and Higher Education graduate programs, Leadership minor program, manages five Graduate Assistants and an undergraduate office assistant. Lisa is committed to excellence in her service to UNCW, WCE faculty, staff and students. In 2011 she was nominated for and received a KUDOS award from the university, for outstanding service.
M.Ed. in Higher Education Candidate
Kevin Derajtys is a Graduate Assistant in the Educational Leadership Office at the Watson College of Education. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Georgia College & State University. As an undergraduate student he was heavily involved with restorative justice initiatives on campus, particularly in the areas of public safety, student housing and research into student judicial boards. He also presented his research and involvement at the 2012 Southern Criminal Justice Association Regional Conference. He is currently in the M.Ed. in Higher Education program at UNCW and hopes to work in student affairs after completing the program.
M.Ed. in Higher Education Candidate
Josh Kinchen is a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Educational Leadership in the Watson College of Education. After serving in the United States Marine Corps as an Intelligence Specialist, he worked in restaurant management for several years. During this time, he earned an Associate's of Arts in Pre-Sociology from Cape Fear Community College. He then transferred to the University of North Carolina Wilmington as a Communication Studies major and Leadership Studies minor. As an undergraduate student, Josh was heavily involved in student leadership. Among the honors he received were: being named Member of the Year from the Student Government Association and delivering the Keynote Address at the Commencement Ceremony for the Department of Communication Studies. Josh is currently enrolled in the M.Ed. in Higher Education, where he has focused his practical experiences and coursework with marginalized student populations. After graduation, he hopes to work in a postsecondary setting with LGBTQ students.
MSA Candidate & Principal Fellows Program
Michael MacGovern is a graduate Assistant in the Educational Leadership Department at the Watson College of Education. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from the University of Akron and a Master’s degree in Special Education at East Carolina University. During that time, he became a National Board Certified Teacher. He taught at New Hanover High School for 7 years before being accepted into the Principal Fellows Program at UNCW. Michael will use this time as a Principal Fellow to develop research in co-teaching practices. He continues to serve as a coach for the New Hanover High School varsity football team. Michael will participate in a one year internship and become an administrator at a local school.
Ed.D., Concentration in Higher Education Candidate
Bethany Meighen joined the Educational Leadership Department in 2012 after relocating with her family from Charleston, WV. Prior to moving to Wilmington, she served for six years as the Dean of Student Life at the University of Charleston. In this role, Bethany was responsible for the designing and implementing the University’s retention and student success initiatives. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Charleston. Bethany is currently enrolled in the Ed.D. with a Concentration in Leadership in Higher Education. Upon completion of the program, Bethany would like to continue to work in the areas of retention and student success.
MFA in Creative Writing Candidate
Bethany Tap is a MFA candidate on the fiction track. She received her BA in English literature from Calvin College, a small liberal arts school Grand Rapids, MI. On top of working as a graduate assistant and attending classes, Bethany also does freelance writing for ideal-LIVING magazine and teaches creative writing weekly at a local middle school. After graduation, Bethany hopes to pursue work in the publishing industry.