COPE PhDs earn faculty positions within year of graduating

August 31, 2021 — DENTON — There are many reasons to pursue a doctorate, but one of the most common is to gain a faculty position at a university or college. Recent PhD graduates out of the College of Professional Education (COPE) are doing that quickly and at a high rate.

In the past year, at least four COPE PhD graduates attained a faculty position within just one year of graduation.

  • Amanda Brewer, Reading Education — University of Central Missouri
  • Karina Donald, Marriage & Family Therapy — Florida State University
  • Mariannella Núñez, Reading Education — University of the Incarnate Word
  • Zlata Stankovic-Ramirez, Child Development & Early Education — Coastal Carolina University
COPE PhD graduates on faculty within one year

“We are proud of our recent graduates achieving university faculty positions across the nation,” COPE Dean Lisa Huffman said. “This is a great accomplishment based on years of hard work from the students and the dedication of our outstanding faculty.”

Donald, now an assistant professor in FSU’s Department of Art Education, said interacting with Texas Woman’s faculty was a highlight of her TWU experience.

“The faculty both in the MFT PhD program and in the department really want students to succeed,” Donald said. “I did not feel like an outsider as an immigrant from a developing country. In fact, I know that I have lifelong relationships with the faculty.”

Brewer, an assistant professor of English education at the University of Central Missouri, expanded on how helpful TWU faculty is in the pursuit of a doctorate, not only in how faculty members prepare coursework but in how flexible they can be. Brewer entered the Reading Education PhD program while working full-time as a teacher.

“They saw my working as a teacher as an asset rather than something that was taking away from my studies. They saw me as a whole person — a mom, wife, daughter, friend, colleague, teacher — and they showed me how I could use all of those identities to better my experience as a researcher and future professor,” Brewer said. “The courses were hard, but it was exciting to see connections between language, metacognition, and writing. The professors always included ways for me to bring in my own interests to whatever we were studying.”

The coursework helped prepare Donald for her current role at Florida State.

“Each course increased my confidence that I can find a job in academia and succeed,” Donald said. “I knew how to prepare for interviews for positions in higher education, understand the tenure process, gain online and in-person teaching skills, and provide clinical supervision.”

College of Professional Education Doctoral Degrees

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Page last updated 9:27 AM, September 1, 2021