Meet the Director
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.
Stephanie Flores-Koulish, Ph.D.
Director, 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 Heath, Ed.D.
Educational Technology 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.
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.
Benjamin Parker, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dr. Benjamin Parker is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Teacher Education. He holds a Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education from the University of Georgia. Ben currently serves in a leadership role as the Division G (Social Context of Education) Section 1 Co-Chair of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). His own research investigates how artifacts of school material culture, namely curricular resources, and educational iconography, are implicated in the marginalization of students of color.
Leah Katherine Saal, Ph.D.
Literacy Education program
Teacher Education Department
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.
Joshua S. Smith, Ph.D.
Professor, 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.
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.