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Dr. Shawn Savage has been selected for the GW Fellowship & Summer Institute on Antisemitism and Jewish Inclusion. Dr. Savage is an assistant professor in the Watson College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership, co-coordinator of WCE’s master’s and add-on licensure programs in Curriculum Studies for Equity, and area lead for the Curriculum & Instruction doctoral concentration of the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

The centerpiece of the inaugural fellowship is a four-day summer institute currently underway at the George Washington University campus. The institute brings teacher education faculty at university schools of education, campus administrators and DEI officers together with experts in the Jewish experience, antisemitism, DEI efforts, and educational inclusion for an open dialogue on complex and difficult issues. The fellowship program focuses on how to recognize, study, and teach antisemitism and foster Jewish inclusion within university-based schools/colleges/departments of education and other educational settings.

“Like anti-Blackness and other forms of oppression, antisemitism has historically been reified,” Dr. Savage said. “Today, we see those reifications throughout society. Schools and universities have an imperative to address them. This fellowship will allow me space, time, and resources to engage deeply with this topic, and consider ways my praxis (and those of my colleagues at UNCW) may play a part in this dimension of the freedom and justice projects.”

Dr. Savage joined the faculty at UNCW in 2021. A diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice scholar-practitioner, his research investigates issues of access, equity, and justice in K-12, teacher education and higher education. He especially studies the experiences of racially minoritized males across their educational and professional lives—with a specific focus on Black males—using justice-centered qualitative research approaches. Importantly, his work is undergirded by Afrocentricity and explores the experiences of, and supports the well-being of Black and other people who are minoritized.

Nationally, he was one of the University of Texas at Austin's 2020-2021 Project MALES Scholars, and is an inaugural 2021-2023 Emerging Research Fellow for Educator Diversity with the Branch Alliance for Educator Diversity. He currently serves on the board of Eskolta School Research & Design as the Director of Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI). Dr. Savage is also actively involved in various special interest groups and professional organizations, including R.A.C.E. Mentoring and the American Educational Research Association, where he serves as the Special Events Coordinator for the Critical Examination of Race, Ethnicity, Class, and Gender in Education special interest group. He is also connected with several practitioner communities.

The GW Fellowship & Summer Institute is an all-expense paid program offered by the Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) at the George Washington University.

Ray Pastore was interviewed for a recent story on the evolving field of instructional technology and how it is impacting higher education. Dr. Pastore is a professor of instructional technology at UNCW’s Watson College of Education. The story was published in EdTech Magazine on May 4.

Excerpts from the story

Instructional technology is a concept that’s been around for decades and considers everything from calculators to virtual reality tech tools that can and should help instructors in every subject and in almost every setting. Instructional technology represents a philosophy of teaching the teachers how to transmit their expertise to students.

“During the pandemic, instructional technology became a huge thing,” says Pastore. “If a college didn’t have it, they suddenly realized, ‘Hey, we better learn how to do this, because we need someone to teach us how to teach online.’”

What Is Instructional Technology?

“When someone says instructional technology, I think of a whole field,” Pastore says. “It’s a field that involves models, theories, processes, people working in it and a whole literature base around that.”

Through his work as a faculty member in UNC Wilmington’s instructional technology program, Pastore prepares tomorrow’s instructional technologists to enter what he says is a growing field, as evidenced by an uptick in enrollment in his program. His alumni may end up being called instructional technologists or take on another title. Still, nearly every organization — from big businesses to healthcare, the military, and K–12 and higher education —now needs someone in charge of explaining how to better train employees using tech tools.

The field of instructional technology is rooted in philosophy, such as the ADDIE model, more than in technology itself, Pastore says, because technology changes so quickly.

“The technology I learned when I got my master’s in instructional tech is gone. The technology that I’m teaching my students right now is going to be gone,” he says. “It’s why the base and knowledge of the field that doesn’t change is so important. What’s going to change is the tech, especially with ChatGPT and AI. It’s going to change significantly.”

Read the full story here: How Instructional Technology Is Impacting Higher Education.

About Watson’s Instructional Technology Programs 

WCE’s Master of Science in Instructional Technology (MIT) provides a pathway to a high-paying career in the $110 billion educational technology industry. Students with a bachelor’s degree in any field are eligible to apply. Courses are fully online, and applied learning opportunities offered throughout the program enable MIT students to develop a professional portfolio of work prior to graduation. 

Post-baccalaureate certificate programs in Instructional Technology, Multimedia and Instructional Web Development, and Online Teaching and Learning are also offered. For more information, please visit the Instructional Technology website.  


In spring 2023, 171 Watson College students successfully completed internships in 65 area schools. WCE’s Office of Professional Experiences held a celebration seminar to honor teacher intern graduates in May. Three graduates were recognized for excellence in teaching at the event. Please join us in congratulating Nicole Tejada, Sherre Ojeda and Paige Antonelli, and all of WCE’s outstanding 2023 graduates!

Nicole Tejada

Exemplary Intern Award (undergraduate degree program)

Nicole Tejada will graduate in May with a degree in elementary education. She is the recipient of WCE’s Exemplary Intern Award, given each semester to an intern in an undergraduate program who exemplifies all the characteristics of a passionate, committed, intentional and highly skilled educator and mentor for all children. Her supervisor, Ms. Georgie Bramley, shared that Nicole demonstrates genuine care, concern and compassion while also holding each child accountable. She is very kind and gentle in her interactions and creates growth conversations with the students, where her students feel comfortable opening up and sharing their viewpoints. Nicole makes time for each child to shine, feel valued, and have a voice, whether that is during whole group, small group or one to one interaction. She is very committed to selecting materials that consider different points of view, counteract stereotype, and celebrate all cultures. She shares her own Spanish heritage and culture and encourages her students to do the same. “Nicole exudes enthusiasm for teaching!” Ms. Bramley said.

Sherre Ojeda

Exemplary Intern Award (MAT graduate program)

Sherre Ojeda is enrolled in WCE’s  Master of Arts in Teaching degree in Elementary Education. In May, she received WCE’s Exemplary Intern Award for an intern in a Master of Arts in Teaching graduate program. Her supervisor, Dr. Shelly Wilburn, shared that Sherre is strongly motivated to make instructional change in her classroom that brings about a more inclusive learning environment for her students. She cares deeply about the well-being of each of her students and takes action as needed to advocate for their needs. As an example, she recently identified and helped to address food insecurity for one of her students. Her classroom reflects an inclusive learning space that promotes equitable opportunities to participate and engage with curricula. During her internship, Sherre covered topics connected with Black history and Women's history in ways that make the concept of oppression accessible for 3rd graders.

Paige Antonelli

Promise of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion Award

Paige Antonelli is the recipient of WCE’s spring 2023 Grace M. Burton Promise of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion in Teaching Award. Paige will graduate in May with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in Art Education. During the awards presentation, she was recognized for her deep commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity in education through her work. As an intern, she worked with students from predominantly Asian immigrant/first-generation American backgrounds. To ensure that her students feel valued and supported, she worked consistently to promote cultural responsiveness and inclusivity. For example, one of her culturally relevant art projects provided opportunities for students to share their cultural experiences and perspectives. Through an action research project on social-emotional learning practices in the art classroom, Paige was able to explore ways to create a more inclusive classroom environment that supports students' social and emotional needs. The action research project resulted in a wide variety of representations of students’ interests, dreams for their future, gender, and cultural identities. By developing this culturally relevant art project, she was able to encourage students to express themselves and connect with their own identities with the goal of having a more engaging and inclusive classroom environment where all students feel supported and safe to express who they are.

WCE’s Office of Professional Experiences works with Watson faculty and site coordinators in partnership schools to coordinate thousands of field experiences and hundreds of internships for Watson College students each year. The placements give WCE students the opportunity to experience a variety of supportive, professional settings during their educational journey, while gradually assuming the responsibilities of a classroom teacher. For more information, please contact Ms. Cindy Wiseman, Director, at  or visit the website.

UNCW’s Watson College introduced a doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Administration in 2007 to meet a need for leaders at K-12 schools and districts ahead of the anticipated retirement of principals and school superintendents across the state. Since then, WCE has added specializations in the areas of curriculum & instruction and higher education. Now, more than 150 UNCW Ed.D. alumni are making an impact in educational leadership roles in schools, colleges and universities, and government agencies across the state and the nation.

On February 23, the Watson College held the first annual Ed.D. Alumni Reunion to bring faculty and graduates together to celebrate their successes and reconnect. Forty-four Ed.D. alums joined Dean Van Dempsey, Department Chair Andrew Ryder and faculty in WCE’s Department of Educational Leadership at the event.

“You could sense the energy and the joy in the room that evening,” Dr. Ryder said. “Our students and our faculty forge close bonds as they work together through the program, and it was obvious that these close connections last well beyond graduation. As chair, I was proud to be part of an event that was so meaningful and uplifting for all involved.”

Following a welcome from Ryder, and remarks by Dean Dempsey, Professor Michele Parker presented WCE’s first Leading with Impact Alumni Award. Dr. Parker, along with Professor Tamara Walser, was one of the original faculty members in WCE’s Ed.D. program. The award was created to recognize outstanding commitments to leadership, the education profession and public service.

Lisa Ireland Peele ’16 Ed.D. was honored with the 2023 Leading with Impact award. Dr. Peele began her career as a music teacher, and served as an elementary school principal before assuming her current role as Director of Cultural & Global Leadership for Onslow County Schools. Under her leadership, Onslow County has increased enrollment in the Spanish Dual Language program by 72 students over the past two years. Her collaboration with an education foundation in Morocco led to a Stevens Initiative grant that enables high school students and teachers in Onslow County and Marrakesh to participate in virtual exchange, focusing on reducing inequalities, quality education, and strengthening partnerships. And, a partnership she manages with Coastal Carolina Community College brings CCCC, Onslow County Schools students, and community members together to celebrate and enjoy music.

“I am so honored to receive this award,” Dr. Peele said. “My transformation as a leader and professional in the UNCW Ed.D. program is due to the many caring, encouraging, and knowledgeable professors that provided meaningful and challenging opportunities for me to grow and learn as a leader and professional. They are the reason I am making a greater positive impact in education. I am beyond thankful and grateful for their commitment and dedication to my education.”

WCE’s Department of Educational Leadership planned the event in partnership with UNCW’s Division of University Advancement. The Watson College plans to host an Ed.D. Alumni Reunion – and to present the Leading with Impact Award – annually going forward.

“We work hard to build a strong sense of community among faculty and students in our doctoral program,” Ryder said. “We highly value these relationships, and see the reunion as one way to maintain a sense of community and stay engaged with our alumni as they progress through their careers. We are excited to make the Ed.D. Reunion an annual event.”

About Watson’s Ed.D. Program

The Watson College of Education offers a doctoral program for aspiring leaders in variety of educational settings. Specializations are offered in Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Administration and Higher Education. The next cohorts will begin in Fall 2023. For information, please visit the Ed.D. website.