GSE news brief artwork.
Tiffany Karalis Noel, PhD standing on walkway with picnic tables behind her.

Published October 19, 2023


Transforming EdD education: GSE researcher’s new book empowers scholar-practitioners

Headshot of Tiffany Karalis Noel, PhD.

Tiffany Karalis Noel, PhD

Driven by a desire to help students achieve success, University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education researcher Tiffany Karalis Noel recently published the book, "Empowering Scholar-Practitioners: A Comprehensive Guide for Conceptualizing, Designing, Writing, Defending, and Publishing a Dissertation in Practice.” Through the publication, Karalis Noel, clinical assistant professor of learning and instruction, aims to equip doctoral students with the knowledge and practical guidance necessary to successfully complete their dissertations in practice.

Published in June 2023, the book provides Doctor of Education (EdD) students with clear, actionable steps to formulate research questions and undertake research addressing educational issues in their professional fields.

Throughout the book, Karalis Noel—also the director of doctoral programs at GSE—covers every stage of the dissertation in practice process. From articulating the problem they aim to address to analyzing data and disseminating findings, readers gain comprehensive guidance and a deep understanding of the research journey. The publication also offers practical, real-world examples and strategies for making a scholarly impact.

“I wondered how students’ experiences in the program might be enhanced by having access to a guide like this. I didn’t have a dissertation guidebook when I was a doctoral student and remember thinking how helpful it would have been. But, I also acknowledge that what I would have wanted and what I felt I needed isn’t something that I necessarily wanted to project on other students,” said Karalis Noel.  

This mindset led her to have numerous conversations with GSE’s doctoral students, collecting data to learn more about what they wanted and needed from this kind of resource. “Writing something that would help students was very important to me,” she said. 

Since its publication, "Empowering Scholar-Practitioners" has generated positive feedback from and excitement among GSE’s doctoral students and faculty members, including Julie Gorlewski, professor of learning and instruction and senior associate dean for academic affairs and teacher education, who Karalis Noel cites as a source of mentorship and support. 

“Dr. Karalis Noel exemplifies the dual roles of scholar-practitioner. Her own research is designed to impact the lives of learners and their communities, and, as a mentor, she is unparalleled in the support and guidance she provides to her students and advisees,” said Gorlewski. “This most recent publication is certain to create ripples of change that will be transformative in communities locally and globally.”

While students in GSE’s learning and teaching in social contexts EdD program are already using the text as a resource as they embark on a new educational journey, Karalis Noel believes that her work on the book is not quite complete.  

“As you’re reading this to support your process, let me know what’s missing,” she has said to her students. This request for feedback stems from a desire to constantly evolve and improve future iterations of the publication—something that she believes will be of value to EdD students at UB and beyond. 

“This book is a testament to serving future generations of students… my true intention was to create something that meets doctoral students wherever they are in their dissertation writing journey," said Karalis Noel.