The doctor of education was first awarded to two women in 1995.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Youngstown State University will celebrate the 10th anniversary of awarding the doctor of education degree at an invitation-only dinner 5:30 p.m. Friday in the DeBartolo Stadium Club on campus.
The doctorate in educational leadership, or Ed.D., authorized by the Ohio Board of Regents in 1992, is the only doctorate offered at YSU.
The program bestowed its first doctoral degrees in 1995 to Kathleen Nogay, who is assistant superintendent for the Slippery Rock School District in Pennsylvania, and Beth Hargreaves, who works for the Ohio Department of Education.
Since then, 26 other students have earned the degree, including Andrew Pushchak, assistant professor and director of educational leadership at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Pushchak received his doctoral degree at commencement May 21.
"The original purpose of the program was to help build and promote quality leadership in the schools throughout the region," said Robert Beebe, chairman of YSU's Department of Educational Administration, Research and Foundations.
"This celebration gives us the opportunity to reflect on that purpose," he said. "We think it is evident that the program has had a very positive impact on both the university and the community."
Among the graduates, 12 hold superintendent positions.
They are: Wendy Webb, Youngstown City Schools; Anthony D'Ambrosia, Trumbull County Educational Service Center; William Gathers, Mercer, Pa., Area School District; Kenneth Voss, Ambridge, Pa., Area School District; Richard Crepage, Ashtabula County Educational Service Center; John Bruno, Pleasant Board of Education in Marion, Ohio; Lawrence Connelly, Shenango, Pa., Area School District; Sandra DiBacco-Tusinac, Struthers City Schools; Frederick Johnson, Selinsgrove, Pa., Area School District; Joe Latess, Shaler, Pa., School District; Dan Matsook, Center, Pa., Area School District; and Michael Thomas, Monaca, Pa., Area School District.
More than 200 people and their guests, including current and former doctoral students, faculty and administrators, are invited to the dinner.
Beebe, a principal and personnel director in a countywide school system in Virginia before coming to YSU, said one of the strengths of the university's Ed.D. program is the practical experience the faculty brings to the classroom.
Other faculty members are Rich Baringer, who served 20 years as a superintendent; Gunapala Edirisooriya, a former staff program evaluator for the Baltimore Public Schools; and Chuck Vergon, an attorney who has worked with more than 80 school districts across six states.
"We are about preparing the next generation of educational leaders to make a difference in this region," Beebe said.