Loyola University Maryland

Center for Equity, Leadership, and Social Justice in Education

Faculty Associates

Meet the Director

Irene Bal
Irene A. Bal, M.M.Ed., M.Ed. Assistant Teaching Professor

Educational Technology

Irene A. Bal is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Loyola University Maryland. She teaches graduate-level educational technology courses on multimedia design, innovation, research, and leadership in PK-12 schools. Irene has received multiple technology and design, development, and implementation grants for PK-12 learning experiences and presents locally and globally at conferences. Irene's research interests are learning in micro, including microlearning and micro-credentials, and designing instruction for innovative and emerging technology. Irene is a doctoral candidate in the Instructional Design & Technology Ph.D. Program at Old Dominion University in Virginia.

Nouf- Bazaz
Nouf Bazaz, Ph.D. Clinical Assistant Professor

School Counseling Program

Nouf Bazaz is a Clinical Assistant Professor at Loyola University Maryland. Her clinical work and research focuses on trauma, torture, grief and loss with survivors of war, violence, and persecution. She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling from George Washington University and an M.A. in Trauma and Violence Studies. Previously, she was the Program Director of a mental health agency for refugees and immigrants and has served as a consultant and trainer globally.

Carey Borkoski
Carey Borkoski, Ed.D. Associate Professor

Educational Leadership Program

Carey is an Associate Professor in the SOE’s Department of Education Specialties where she teaches and advises students in the Master of Education Leadership and the new Executive Leadership programs. Carey’s expertise and experience in student onboarding, coaching, and identity development align well with Loyola’s mission of educating the whole person and will contribute to SOE’s leadership development degrees. Her research publications and projects sit at the intersection of belonging, educating the whole person, leadership, and learning. Carey has published scholarship on best practices for online learning including cultivating community, connections, and belonging. She has written about faculty identity development, well-being, and the role of value congruence in cultivating inclusive and welcoming spaces for faculty and students. Most recently, Carey published her first book about noticing, naming, and navigating personal and professional transitions. Along with her research team, Dr. Borkoski is currently using data from her podcast to explore the many faces of belonging in schools, leadership, and during a global pandemic. Integrating Loyola’s core values and Carey’s expertise represents a tremendous opportunity to reimagine our definition of and approach to education leadership. Her approach integrates current scholarship, coaching strategies, and teaching opportunities to effectively support our diverse and talented students. Moreover, Dr. Borkoski’s training as a research methodologist will contribute to SOE’s ability to strengthen our scholarship, cultivate research collaborations among our Loyola faculty and programs, and build out the Center’s program evaluation projects and offerings.

Stephanie Flores-Koulish
Stephanie Flores-Koulish, Ph.D. Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Social Justice, Professor

Curriculum and Instruction for Social Justice program

Stephanie Flores-Koulish is Professor and Program Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Social Justice. Her primary area of expertise and research has been within the field of Critical Media Literacy Education. She also has conducted research on identity and adoptees, education policy and practices, and critical multicultural education. Her research provides her with many opportunities to practice engaged scholarship in and around Baltimore City. She serves on the board for the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) and is on the executive committee for the Alliance of Adoption and Culture (ASAC). Flores-Koulish is also an alumna and mentor of the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT).

Marie K. Heath, Ed.D.
Marie Heath, Ed.D. Assistant Professor

Educational Leadership program

Dr. Marie K. Heath is an assistant professor of educational technology at Loyola University Maryland. Her research interests center inquiry on young people attending high-poverty, majority-minority public schools, technology use, and civic engagement in online and offline spaces. Prior to working in higher education, Dr. Heath taught secondary social studies in Baltimore County Public Schools.

Christine Mahady, Ed.D., in front of a colorful flower bush
Christine Mahady, Ed.D. Director of Educational Leadership, Assistant Teaching Professor

Educational Leadership program

Dr. Christine Mahady holds a bachelor’s degree in Music from Seton Hill University, Greensburg, where she also earned K-12 teaching certification. She has a master’s degree in music education from the Boston Conservatory, which helped lead to professional opportunities as an opera singer. While in Boston, she worked as a music educator and began to understand the importance of mental health impacts in education. At Propel Charter School in Pittsburgh PA, she worked as creative arts leader, helping to open several campuses while completing a second master degree in marriage and family therapy. From 2013 to 2018 served as the principal of Greensburg Central Catholic Junior Senior HS. Her principal certification and doctorate in educational and organizational leadership is from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education in which her dissertation was focused on women college presidents.  Her research interest include: Women’s Leadership, Systems Theory, Emotional Intelligence, and Trauma Informed Leadership.

Brianne Roos
Brianne Higgins Roos, Ed.D., CCC-SLP Undergraduate Program Director, Assistant Professor

Dr. Brianne Roos is an Assistant Professor and director of the undergraduate program in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at Loyola University Maryland. Her career began as a clinician practicing medical speech-language pathology in hospital settings, where her favorite days were spent teaching and supervising students and new clinicians. She has been teaching in higher education for over 15 years and her areas of research include belonging, stress, well-being, and connection for students and faculty. Brianne facilitates workshops about teaching and learning for faculty across disciplines and she particularly enjoys the opportunity to develop and implement holistic onboarding programming to support new faculty using an Ignatian pedagogical model. Brianne co-hosts a podcast about belonging, where she learns from a diverse range of guests and whose data contribute to research about belonging during the pandemic, in leadership, and in relationships. Always looking for alignment across established high-impact practices and innovative, engaged pedagogy, Brianne’s publications, presentations, podcasts, and classroom practices connect theoretical support with application that centers the whole person. 

Leah Saal
Leah Katherine Saal, Ph.D. Associate Professor

Dr. Leah Katherine Saal is an associate professor of literacy. Dr. Saal’s engaged scholarly agenda focuses on the intersectionality of literacy and social justice. Her work is informed by her ongoing experiences teaching with and learning from families, adults, and communities in and out of school settings in the greater DMV region. Dr. Saal and her colleague Dr. Lisa Schoenbrodt, professor of speech-language-hearing-sciences at Loyola University Maryland, are principal investigators for several interdisciplinary engaged research projects focused on training adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to serve as Self-Advocate Educators (SAEs) in training and advocacy environments including law enforcement and emergency medical services, among others.

Dean Joshua S. Smith, Ph.D.
Joshua S. Smith, Ph.D. Professor of Teacher Education

Joshua Smith earned his B.A. in U.S. History, M.S. in Educational Psychology and Statistics, and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Methodology from the University of Albany, State University of New York, where his dissertation focused on parents’ and teachers’ perceptions of behavioral problems in pre-school children. He has provided professional consulting services to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Public Schools, the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township (Ind.), and several other school systems and educational organizations. His awards and honors include the 2006 Indiana University Trustees’ Teaching Award and the National Advising Association’s 2002 Outstanding Advising Award. Smith has also participated in more than 50 grant-funded projects receiving more than $3,000,000 in institutional, foundation, corporation, and government support, most as principal investigator.

Myra J. Smith, Ed.D
Myra J. Smith, Ed.D Senior Lecturer

Dr. Myra J. Smith is a lecturer of educational leadership at the School of Education, Loyola University Maryland. Her research interests are grounded in professional learning communities (PLCs) and the role of the principal initiating the work, creating, and sustaining the school as a professional learning community (PLC). The literature is very clear about the characteristics of academically successful schools operating as PLCs and (Hord, 2004) espoused that these attributes of PLCs are not isolated, rather intertwined in practice: supportive and shared leadership, shared values and vision, collective learning and application of learning, supportive conditions, and shared practice. Each attribute affects the others in a variety of ways. Dr. Smith studied the PLC conceptual framework and implemented in practice during her tenure as a principal in Montgomery County Public Schools. Moreover, during her tenure as a community superintendent, she facilitated principals’ meetings, convened one-on-one coaching conversations to support principals in creating and operating their schools as PLCs. Her work included monitoring school improvement processes to ensure that schools’ performance goals were aligned to system milestones and the learning needs of students and adults. Dr. Smith’s leadership repertoire also included problem of practice forums and strategic feedback regarding school improvement efforts to build the capacity of instructional leaders. Her scholarship has been featured in professional and academic settings including: the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Maryland Principals’ Academy (planning team and presenter), Center for Educational Leadership Convening for District Leaders, and The Council for Educational, Administrative and Supervisory Organizations of Maryland (CEASOM). Dr. Smith the invited keynote speaker shared her expertise for the topic, Systemic and Sustainable School Improvement for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, professional development conference. Collaborating with colleagues Loyola University Maryland colleagues, Dr. Smith is the chairman of, The Art of Leadership conference which will convene in the fall.

Prior to joining the Education Specialties team at Loyola University Maryland, Dr. Smith served as an elementary school principal in Baltimore County and Montgomery County Public Schools. Furthermore, she worked at the district level as a director of school performance in Montgomery County Public Schools supervising elementary and secondary school principals. Dr. Smith’s leadership, expertise, and skill as an effective instructional leader was recognized and she was appointed to the superintendent’s executive leadership team as a community superintendent for a region supporting elementary and secondary school principals in Montgomery County Public Schools to ensure a quality education for students by supervising, supporting, and evaluating principals.

She earned her Doctorate of Education degree in education leadership, higher education, and policy studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, Master of Education, at Towson University, and Bachelor of Science degree from Coppin State College.

Jennifer Watkinson
Jennifer Watkinson, Ph.D. Faculty Fellow, Program Director of School Counseling Program,

Jennifer Scaturo Watkinson is an Associate Professor of Counselor Education and Program Director of School Counseling at Loyola University Maryland. Watkinson spent 14 years as an elementary school counselor before joining Loyola where she led a comprehensive school counseling program that was data driven and intentional in meeting the mental health needs of children. As a counselor educator, Watkinson partners with local school district leaders to mentor school counseling professionals on how to shift their time away from non-counseling related responsibilities to increase their time on developing and implementing the ASCA National Model. She co-wrote and was the lead on an Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program grant that was awarded to a local school district. While administering the grant, Watkinson worked collaboratively with the district leaders to hire more school counselors and increase the number of professional development opportunities available to school counselors. Over the last eight years, Watkinson has supervised countless school counselors on transformational leadership and tier II interventions. Further, Watkinson has mentored school counselors on how to identify and dispute assumptions they hold about their role to transform their practice. Watkinson has written and presented on topics related to school counselor supervision, professional advocacy, leadership, and school counselor practice. Her new research interest is in supporting the mental health needs of student athlete going through the college recruiting process.