Student & Alumni Updates

Dustin Hornbeck

Dustin Hornbeck, Ph.D. student LCC

On Saturday, February 10th, EDL Ph.D. student, Dustin Hornbeck, gave a guest lecture about Abraham Lincoln as part of ongoing special programs in history at the Oxford Lane Public Library. Hornbeck holds a master’s degree in American history and government, and wrote his master’s thesis about Lincoln. The topic of the guest lecture was about how Lincoln used the ideas of the American Founders as a way in which to solve the political problems of the Antebellum period in U.S. history. The lecture was well attended by people of all ages, and required additional added seating. Hornbeck said about the experience, “I’m just happy that people are interested in one of the most fascinating, turbulent, and identity forming periods of United States History.” Several of those in attendance asked questions and a healthy discussion ensued. Hornbeck taught high school history for nine years before joining the Leadership, Culture, and Curriculum Ph.D. program in 2016. Dustin Hornbeck is a second year Ph.D. student in EDL


Kurtz K. Miller

Kurtz Miller, Ph.D. student

In January, Kurtz Miller was notified of acceptance to serve as a NASA Solar System Ambassador for the 2018 calendar year. NASA, through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, manages a volunteer program for educators who share the exciting events and missions of solar system exploration.  Ambassadors commit to making four presentations per calendar year. As an Ambassador, Miller keeps up with astronomy and space science news as well as upcoming NASA missions.  He also attends teleconferences to learn about NASA missions. As a doctoral candidate, Kurtz Miller’s primary research interests are teachers’ perceptions, stories, and understandings of implicit bias, more specifically, a better understanding of how and why teachers come to the realization they have implicit biases toward African-American students. Many forms of implicit bias are unconscious, so it can be difficult for teachers to detect and identify its presence. Astronomy and space science are two of the many fields within the physical and geosciences where African-American academic and career representation is low. In the literature there are a number of potential reasons why representation may be low including but not limited to few early internship/research opportunities, imposter threat, few high-quality mentorships, stereotype threat, and not enough supportive environments, among others. Implicit bias may be a lesser known, but significant, factor that influences African-American students to choose certain fields of study over others. Being relatively well hidden and subtle, implicit bias can be studied through qualitative methods such as storytelling. Miller is hopeful this research will help scholars to more thoroughly understand how teachers come to the realization they have implicit bias. “With the right knowledge, it is possible to help teachers overcome implicit bias.” Kurtz K. Miller is a science instructor at Wayne High School and a doctoral candidate in the Ph.D. program in EDL.


Sarrah Grubb

Sarrah Grubb, EDL graduate

Sarrah Grubb graduated from the Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership in August 2016. Her work predominantly focuses on collaborations with preservice teachers to develop their teacher hearts at a small, rural work college in the hills of eastern Kentucky.  In August 2018, she will begin a tenure-track appointment with the School of Education at Indiana University Kokomo.  She looks forward to seeing Miami colleagues this May at the Currere Exchange.  Though it will be bittersweet to leave her students and the mountains, she is excited to return to her roots in the Hoosier state with her partner and daughters.