Celebrating a Milestone

Last night I celebrated a bit of milestone – my last(ish!) ASU dissertation defense. (I am second on a few more at ASU, but those are down the road and not as immediately time intensive as these past several months have been.) Since I started my new position at UCD mid-year, I did not want to leave my students in the lurch without a chair the semester of their defense. Both ASU & UCD agreed that I could stay on to complete the dissertations (and timing wise it worked out because when the clock it 5pm here, it was 9am in Arizona!)

It has been a true labor of love over the past several months. It’s always a tremendous honor and privilege to be a part of a dissertation journey – and this semester, I was a part of 12. I chaired 5 dissertations, 1 dissertation proposal, was second on 5 additional committees and an external committee member on a dissertation here in Ireland at Dublin City University. So, in total, leaving ASU I have chaired 11 dissertations and sat as second on 23. (34 total!)

I’ve listed them all out below – as you can see, I was witness to an absolutely incredible amount of scholarship from so many disciplines and spaces across the educational spectrum.

I would like to draw attention to two dissertations which pushed boundaries by integrating multimodal aspects into the dissertation and moved beyond the 5-chapter model:

Dr. Michael Little Crow created a podcast series, As the Little Crow Flies, which is a series of conversations with educators who work in Tribal Communities – you can access the podcast here (and each podcast is a “chapter” in his dissertation) https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/as-the-little-crow-flies/id1643415571

Dr. Debbie Stephens Stauffer also created a podcast series (and drafts of two journal articles) – the episodes (and activities) can be found here: https://www.givinggracematters.com/

I’m looking forward to both of these going up on ProQuest as I know they’ll serve as models for other EdD/CPED students who wish to explore new modalities and formats. I’m looking forward to the rest being up on ProQuest too! Lots of amazing practitioner based action research to share and learn from.

It was also great to be joined on the committees by some of my cherished collaborators and colleagues (Andrea Zellner, Liz Owens Boltz, & Aman Yadav.)

And now, it’s time for a bit of rest in the evenings.


Dr. Leroy McLean: Developing Expertise & Expert Teams for High Performance: Utilizing the Expert-to-Expert Practice Framework

Dr. Lois Malone: Chameleons among Us: A Hermeneutic Inquiry about Adults and Belonging after a Globally Nomadic Childhood

Dr. Deborah Stephens Stauffer: Tuning In To A Grace-Based Approach To Leadership: A Management Podcast Designed for Learning

Dr. Zoe Bennett: Those Who Play, Emerge Together: Toward a Community-Building Framework through Role Playing Games

Dr. Zsuzsa Szabo: Building a Collaborative Culture: Study of a High-School Cross-Curricular Professional Learning Community

2nd Committee Member:
Dr. Youlina Rehak: Designing for Struggle in Urban Schools: Mathematics Teachers’ Perspective on Productive Failure

Dr. Elizabeth Thies: Once a Coach, Always a Coach Creating professional development for a co-teaching model designed to support second language learners

Dr. Michael Little Crow: Professional Development for Math Educators Podcast: Amplifying, Hearing, and Understanding the Voice of Community Educators

Dr. Yassanne Garraway: Creating Self-regulated Student Teachers at the University of Guyana: Strategies to strengthen student teachers’ awareness and learning skills

Dr. Chris Brooks: Transforming Teacher Beliefs and Roles to Change Student Engagement Practices in Online Classrooms

Dissertation Proposal (Co-Chair)
Jacob Bunch: Assistive Technology and the Lifeworld of Postsecondary Students with Dyslexia Understanding ‘Fractions’ of Experience through Narrative Storytelling

External Committee Member:
Dr. Fergus Timmons, Dublin City University. Supporting family carers of people living with dementia through online education: A case study from an Irish NGO.

I am here now (some major updates!)

It has been a busy few months – lots to catch up on, but, the most exciting is…I moved to Ireland. In January I started a new post as an Assistant Professor in Educational Practice with the Teaching & Learning Centre at University College Dublin. To say this is a dream come true, is an understatement.  I have so many posts and thoughts brewing in my head.  I am still with ASU in the evenings to see my Leader Scholar Community (LSC) through the end of their dissertations (I would never leave them hanging!) Thus, my headspace is a bit packed at the moment. I’m looking forward to finding my new “normal” pace and rhythm soon.

In the meantime, I’ll share this wonderful conversation from a few weeks ago. Good friends Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin and Tom Farrelly invited me to this conversation at MTU in Cork along with the incredible Frank Rennie. We had all known each other virtually for over a decade, and it was so wonderful to meet in person. I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Catching Up & Documenting All the Things

A slide with a picture of Leigh along side text that says Recognition Integrating Scholarship with Service

Oy, it’s November and the lack of a post since June is an indication that it has been a whirlwind of a few months.  In an effort to use this space for documentation of artifacts for annual review, I’ll post a few highlights from the semester (so I have them officially archived!)

I started out the semester with a very nice surprise, I was named a recipient of the MLFTC Integrating Scholarship with Service Award. This was completely unexpected and was a wonderful way to start the semester.

A slide with a picture of Leigh along side text that says Recognition Integrating Scholarship with Service

This semester I’ve been teaching a hybrid version of TEL 713 (Qualitative Methods in Action Research) and it has been such a change to be back in the classroom “real time” – after the semester is over I’ll put myself on the hook for a blogpost reflecting on the experience (hopefully the picture gives some indication of the joy in the experience.)

Picture of a class of 16 adults, from different backgrounds.

I was able to attend the 2022 CPED Convening in person this year after helping to orchestrate the past two virtual sessions. Additionally, I was the faculty coordinator for the 3rd Annual CPED Scholarly Practitioner Research Forum. Working with the student co-chairs Matt Rice and April Lovett was a true joy.  I also was able to present with dear colleagues from ASU and DCU – so much joy!

5 scholars - 4 women on left and one man on right in front of slide presentation.

Here are the slides from our presentation: Fostering and Maintaining International Collaborations for Student Development

Finally, In late October I facilitated a (virtual) presentation with the great folx at UNC Charlotte titled Exploring the Pedagogical Landscape of Trust and Fairness (slides):

I’m sure I’m forgetting a few things, but, I think this helps me get caught up on a few things before more time slips away!


A Tribute to Michael Hughes

A tall white man in graduation gown giving thumbs up to cameraI first started teaching overseas with the MAET program in 2006. At the age of 30, this was the first time I had ever ventured overseas (beyond Canada.) While many of our students talk about how transformational the experience is (even for seasoned overseas travelers) I might argue back that it was equally if not more transformational for me as well – and that is all because of the amazing human beings I  had the privilege of working with. Michael Hughes is one of those humans.  

Bindu (his amazing wife, fellow MAET grad, and another incredible human) messaged me Saturday to let me know the devastating news that Mike unexpectedly passed away on Friday, June 10th.  My heart stopped.  Mike’s memorial is today, and I cannot be there in person, so I am honoring him the best I can with this tribute.   

As I started culling through photographs and emails, it became difficult to see through the tears. MAET Overseas is an intense and joyous Masters program for teachers – it’s 9 credits, in-person, over 4 weeks of 8am-4pm Monday – Friday. Teachers come to the program from all across the globe. When Mike and Bindu were in the program, the majority of teachers were from international schools and we had growing cohorts of students from the US joining. This mix of teachers was like nothing I had ever experienced.  The seasoned international school teachers in the program often served as informal mentors to the US students, and many went on to expand their own teaching horizons overseas. In the program we lived together, worked together, learned together, ate together, and celebrated together – often spending more intense time with each other than our own family and friends.  When Mike went through the program, it was located in Plymouth, England.  He was always the center of joy and wisdom in our classes and he was a consummate lifelong learner.  Mike and his cohort graduated in 2009.  

Anyone who has been an educator knows the joys of receiving an “out of the blue” email from a former student – it always brings a ray of sunshine to my (usually mundane and sometimes fraught) inbox.  Mike, Bindu, and I formed a continuing bond and I would receive messages frequently post graduation.  As I was looking back through emails, this one started the flood of tears and I think keenly represents the incredible educator that Mike was:  

August, 2009 

My school just admitted its first 100% deaf student, sixth grade, my homeroom. How cool of an opportunity is that?

I’m now searching out ways I can learn to sign, and wonder if there is anything you know of that would help me. Anything from MSU, or Berlitz or anything else?

I’m excited and searching.

Thanks for any suggestions,


This was the first of many years of emails related to his quest to learn and support ASL. Fast forward to 2013 – Mike was no longer in a formal teaching position because of the rules in his country that required educators to stop teaching at the age of 60. 

August 2013

Hello Leigh and Punya,

I wanted to catch up and let you know what an MAET grad does once he’s no longer in the formal classroom.

When my knowledge of eBooks combined with my contact with the deaf community, it set off a buzzer in my head. Every child sitting on the lap of their parent deserves to have literature delivered to them in their first language. Ok, that is generally quite possible…unless the child is deaf. 

The deaf 3 year old who’s struggling to learn sign language could not experience sign in a paper book. From their earliest days, deaf youth are learning one language to make their way in the complicated world, and yet another language to decipher written text.

Along comes the eBook with the inclusion of video–a game changer for this young child. Now the youngster can page through the eBook on an iPad, seeing their first language coming back to them in the form of video.

This is what I am doing, producing eBooks for the deaf/signing community.

Attached is the flyer I’m sending with my letter to organizations of deaf persons. I’m getting results. This idea is gaining traction.

Please feel free to forward this info on to anyone you know who would be interested in ASL eBooks as well as maybe promote the effort a little bit. 

Michael Hughes

Creating eBooks for the deaf/signing community


Mike and Bindu eventually moved to the US in 2016 once they were both fully retired. We would zoom every so often and nothing delighted Mike more than sharing with me how amazing Bindu is and he would also share with me his new passion of learning leather making and how he was giving back to his new community in Durango – continuing sharing his love and talents with the world, making people feel welcome, human, and loved in a unique way that I have never experienced and that I will carry with me in perpetuity. 

When I am sad and grieving, I often seek solace in poetry as I don’t feel my own words are ever quite enough.  One of my favorite poets John O’Donohue always seems to capture emotions in a way that brings me a bit of peace. Bindu, and Mike’s family and friends – I hope this poem can bring an ounce of comfort to you in a time when our hearts are shattered.  


Though we need to weep your loss,

You dwell in that safe place in our hearts

Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.


Your love was like the dawn

Brightening over our lives,

Awakening beneath the dark

A further adventure of color.


The sound of your voice

Found for us

A new music

That brightened everything.


Whatever you enfolded in your gaze

Quickened in the joy of its being;

You placed smiles like flowers

On the alter of the heart,

Your mind always sparkled

With the wonder at things.


Though your days here were brief,

Your spirit was alive, awake, complete.


We look toward each other no longer

From the old distance of our names;

Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,

As close to us as we are to ourselves.


Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,

We know our souls gaze is upon your face,

Smiling back at us from within everything

To which we bring our best refinement.


Let us not look for you only in memory,

Where we would grow lonely without you.

You would want us to find you in presence,

Besides us when beauty brightens,

When kindness glows

And music echoes eternal tones.


When orchids brighten the earth,

Darkest winter has turned to spring;

May this dark grief flower with hope

In every heart that loves you.


May you continue to inspire us:

To enter each day with a generous heart.

To serve the call of courage and love

Until we see your beautiful face again

In that land where there is no more separation,

Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,

And where we will never lose you again.


By John O’Donohue

To Bless the Space between us


Catching Up: AERA 2022 Recap + Shout Out to The Civics of Technology Project

Spring semester 2022 will certainly go down in the record books as one of the most challenging on record. I’m just now coming up for some air.  Before too much more time escapes, I want to make sure to document the amazing AERA Symposium that I was honored to serve on as a discussant back in April:

Educating techno-skeptics: Critical approaches to educational technology in a dystopian world.

The amazing Dr. Marie Heath was the chair/organizer of the symposium and it included the following presentations (and I highly suggest clicking on the link above to check out all of the paper abstracts):

Big Tech’s Inculcation of Inculcation of Education – Marie K. Heath, Loyola University Maryland; Sumreen Asim, Indiana University Southeast; Jessa Henderson, George Washington University; Natalie B. Milman, The George Washington University.

Graduate Students Critically Investigating Emerging Technologies – Jason Trumble, University of Central Arkansas.

Confronting Neoliberalism Within the Teacher-to-Teacher Online Marketplace of Ideas – Catharyn Crane Shelton, Northern Arizona University; Stephanie Schroeder, The Pennsylvania State University; Rachelle Curcio, University of South Carolina.

Technologies of the Global South: Exploring the Alternatives to Neoliberal Colonization – Ted Hall, Martin University; Rohit Mehta, California State University – Fresno.

“In That System, We All Look Like Thieves”: Developing Young People’s Critical Digital Citizenship – Charles Logan, Northwestern University; Amy Lynn Chapman, Teachers College, Columbia University;  Daniel G Krutka, University, University of North Texas; Swati Mehta, Michigan State University; Sepehr Vakil, Northwestern University.

Designing for Critical Technology Literacy in Teacher Education –  Jamie D. Gravell, California State University – Stanislaus.

I also want to give a shout to the Civics of Technology Project which is a tremendous place to continue these conversations (and many people involved in the project were a part of this symposium!) I was honored to be a guest on the March Madness “Must Read” Books discussion a few months ago!

A (Special) New Publication: Leadership Lessons from Lasso

Publication day is always fun – and this one, is just a bit more fun. In August 1997, I met Piya Bose. Back then, she was Piya and I was Ms. Graves.  Now, (25 years!) later, she’s Dr. Bose and I’m Dr. Wolf.  It makes my heart happy that we’ve stayed in touch for all of these years. My time at the International Academy was filled with so many happy memories and people – and Piya, my tech lab buddy, holds a very significant place in my heart.

A few months ago Piya reached out to see if I would be interested in writing something together with her, and of course I said yes. We wanted to write something fun about Ted Lasso & Leadership…and…here is the result! It was a tremendous process (and the editor we worked with was absolutely fantastic!) If you haven’t watched Ted Lasso, we tried to reduce the spoilers – but, a few slipped through so be aware – and enjoy!

Bose, P. & Wolf, L.G. (2022) Leadership lessons from Lasso. NASPA Leadership Exchange. 20(1), 22-25.

WiPSCE 2021 Keynote: Computing Education Online: Critical Perspectives, Ponderings, and Possibilities

I’m a bit behind with documenting (there is still a pandemic happening!) – and I realized that I failed to post my slides from my Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education (WiPSCE) 2021 Keynote.  I’m so thankful to Dr. Marc Berges for the invitation.  The session was not recorded – but – I can attest that it was a really wonderful discussion, and it was so great to reconnect with the Computing Education & Computational Thinking community! 

Catching Up & Documenting All the Things

As of late I primarily use my blog to document presentations and publications (to help with my annual review process) – and I’m behind (like pretty much everyone I know living through the pandemic.) I have a handful of reflective blog posts started, but, they’re not ready to publish yet. So, before too much time slips away, here is documentation of quite a few things (that I’ll need to add to my review document at the end of the year!)


ICTEDU – May 15, 2021 (Ireland, Virtual)

I was honored to Keynote the 2021 ICTEDU conference. My talk was titled “I’m not complaining, I’m just explaining…Reflecting on Teaching and Learning: Effective Practices and Processes in a Pandemic/” The title is an homage to my dear grandmother. My slides can be found below (and I’ll link to the recording when it is available.)

Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED)

I am still actively involved in CPED.  Along with Dr. Danah Henriksen I am co-leading the Dissertation in Practice CPED Improvement Group (CIG). In June we (re)launched the CIG – slides are below.


I am the faculty co-advisor for the CIE Journal along with Dr. Josephine Marsh.  The students published an issue in May and they also worked very hard to get indexed by the DOAJ. (This work was spearheaded by Ivonne Lujano.)

I was the coordinator for the 2021 ASU EdD Doctoral Research Conference (we had almost 200 students present this year!)

I am the faculty advisor for the 2021 Scholarly Practitioner Forum and I am a member of the 2021 Convening Committee.


I’m delighted to share this (open access) piece written with my dear colleague Ray Buss:

Buss, R. R., & Wolf, L. G. (2021). Building and sustaining community in an online EdD program. Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, 6(3), 47–53. https://doi.org/10.5195/ie.2021.192

I was also approached by OneHE to create a course around improving feedback in asynchronous course environments and the course was launched in August. (You must sign into view the course.)

Improving Feedback in Asynchronous Online Courses Leigh Graves Wolf Leigh Graves Wolf Feedback in asynchronous online courses is critical as students may have limited opportunities to discuss their work with peers and teachers. This course explores how you can enrich your feedback between tasks and make good use of technology to improve student learning.

Recap – CPED EdD Fireside Chat: Building an Online Presence

It was great to talk with CPED students, faculty, and staff a few weeks ago for the EdD Fireside Chat on Building an Online Presence. In preparing for the chat I was able to revisit a lot of the great scholarly and digital presence work that I did with Chris Long, Kristen Mapes, Stephen Thomas, and Scott Schopieray many years ago.

Here is the workshop description:

While many conversations about online presence start with the “how to”, this chat is designed to help you navigate challenging and nuanced questions like: Why should you have a digital presence? Who is interested in my work and scholarship? How can this work be recognized professionally? We will discuss issues of “control” over online spaces, provide resources for building an online presence strategy, and then move to discussing options for digital tools to support your strategy. This conversation will be relevant for all members of the CPED community (students, faculty, and program support staff are welcome to attend!)

Here is the recording:

And here are the slides:

My (virtual) week in Ireland

A few weeks ago I was lucky to spend time with my dear Irish friends and colleagues. On Monday, April 12th I got a notice that my book review of Blended and Online Learning for Global Citizenship: New Technologies and Opportunities for Intercultural Education was published in Irish Educational Studies.

Then, I trotted off to Munster Technological University on Wednesday, April 14th for #GastaGoesGlobal, One Year Later. You can check out the entire recording here:

Finally, I popped over to NUI Galway on Friday, April 16th in the early morning (my time) to meet with the lovely folks in the Teaching Online course with the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). We had a nice informal chat and I shared some of my experiences and resources for teaching online.

I’ll be headed back on Saturday, May 15th for #ICTEDU! Registration is open, so please click through and join us!

In the meantime, I’ll be continuing to perfect my Gaeilge. I took an adult learning course through the Two Rivers Gaelic League this winter and I’m working my way through (and beyond) Dia duit, Is mise Leigh. Cad é mar atá tu?

Slán go fóill!