13:16 PM

Ed.D doctoral candidate gets two leadership jobs since entering the program

Doctoral candidate Anna EspinozaLiterally, from the day doctoral candidate Anna Espinoza stepped into her first Ed.D in Ethical Leadership class at the University of Saint Thomas-Houston in May 2021, a leadership job opportunity came knocking. 

“I was walking into my first class at UST when Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District called and offered me the position of Coordinator for Counseling and College and Career Readiness,” Espinoza recalled. “It was a leadership position managing the college and career centers across the district.”  

Ed.D Adds Leadership Skills to Practitioner Skills

The first-generation college student who grew up in the forestry and chicken farming community of Dierks, Arkansas, enthusiastically accepted the job. She also continued to pursue her doctorate.

She said, “I already had the practitioner skills from 13 years of working in higher education admissions and recruiting, advising, and dual enrollment. But I wanted to focus on leadership skills. I knew people who had been through UST’s Ed.D program who had great things to say about it.”

So, with an attitude of “no time like the present” and a goal of completing her doctorate before her son finished elementary school, Espinoza took the academic and career bulls by the horns.

A Second Leadership Job Offer 

Now, only months before she will complete her UST Ed.D in the spring, she has accepted the role of GCCISD’s new Director of Education Foundation and Partnerships. With her background in dual enrollment, academic advising, and recruitment, Espinoza brings widespread knowledge of building partnerships and program management.

Commenting on her new leadership position, she was quoted as saying, “I am honored to step into the role of Director of Education Foundation and Partnerships at GCCISD. I eagerly embrace the opportunity to cultivate educational innovation that uplifts our community and paves the way for a transformative journey in learning.”

In her new job, this first-generation college graduate will build and grow community partnerships, conduct fundraising and bring in more grants to support students in getting to where they want to go.

Learning About Herself

Espinoza will also use everything she has learned on her doctoral journey to accomplish her goals.

“One of my takeaways from the Ed.D program has been discovering my leadership philosophy— a blend of servant and authentic leadership.”

Dean Ana-Lisa Gonzalez, Ph.DUST Dean of the School of Education and Human Services Ana-Lisa Gonzales, Ph.D, said, “It was wonderful to hear of Dr. Espinoza’s appointment with GCCISD. While we were not surprised that she would receive this offer, we were excited to hear that our University program added a level of support that would help her to maximize her potential as a leader. That is exactly what we hope for year after year; that the program will help dynamic individuals such as Dr. Espinoza meet their potential so that they can maximize their effectiveness and reach as leaders.”

Espinoza, with a B.A. in Political Science and MLA in Social Science from Henderson State University, asserts that she “always wanted to be in education and will always be connected to education, helping students achieve their goals, especially first-generation students.”