Executive Ed.D. Cohort Profile

Summer 2019




Mean GPA


Mean GRE
Quant, Verbal


Mean GRE



Fay Lee

Professor of Education, Lone Star College-CyFair, Cypress, Texas
My interest in community college student transfer grew, so I decided to pursue further studies in order to deepen my knowledge and inform my practice. I’d read an article by Dr. Lauren Schudde on transfer issues in Texas. I realized that I was interested in her research and the work that UT Austin has been doing with community colleges through various ways (CCSSE, NISOD, etc.). I hope to conduct research that will help inform my current practice and eventually obtain a role in higher education leadership that would allow me to further opportunities for and make a broader impact on community college students and their goals in higher education.

Each course has stretched me intellectually, emotionally, and socially. My cohort members are a great influence to me. We have cried together, laughed together, and respectfully pushed back on many topics from our readings and conversations that organically arose in and out of class. I am privileged to be part of a great group of people that share the same goals, provide opportunities for all students at the post-secondary level, close gaps in various areas (demographic opportunities, social mobility, etc.), and the desire to see processes streamlined as well as accommodate to the incredibly diverse populations of students entering institutions of higher education today.

Yulanda McCarty-Harris

Photo of Yulanda McCarty-HarrisDirector of Mission Critical Initiatives, Institute for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Steve Hicks School of Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin
I am a first-generation Longhorn and earned my juris doctor degree from Southern Methodist University. I became interested in education policy beyond advocacy after working at  Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. I felt that there was a need for those who care about education to understand that policy is where the needle for positive change is moved. Advocacy work that changes policy is sustainable. I’m interested in administration and leadership. I knew, however, that in academia, a J.D. only has so much weight and to have the type of impact and influence I wanted to have, I needed a doctorate.

I learned about the Ed.D. from Associate Dean Richard Reddick, who has continued to be a mentor.  My career aspirations are to become president of a small university or a community college. 

I have valued the sense of community and support in the program and I love the cohort model. Everyone who comes into this program does so with the mentality that they need this degree and they know the sacrifices that it’ll take to get it. They all have incredible strength and unbelievable work ethics and are awesome intellectually and as humans. We have an incredible community and we want each other to succeed.

Robert Rico

Photo of Robert RicoLecturer, Department of Criminology
Restorative Justice Coordinator, Office of Inclusive Excellence, UT San Antonio

This is a really good program for working professions and UT is a really good school. You put both together and it’s a win-win. I was really excited to find a program that worked with my schedule and the faculty and research here are great. My goal is to be in higher education leadership, and we recently took a leadership course that will help me reach my goal. I personally don’t have experience with budgets, so the econ and finance course is really helpful to me. I also enjoy the cohort experience. We get along so well and help each other. Faculty here make me feel welcome. They are the key to our academic success. The cohort and faculty combined really matter.

Steven Zumarán

Photo of Steven ZumaránDevelopment Officer, Our Lady of the Lake University
My institution’s president spoke with me and asked if I ever thought about pursuing a doctorate. She said I had qualities that are crucial to a president's role of an institution. I am hoping to gain more knowledge on higher education finance and become more knowledgeable of how higher education is changing. I chose The University of Texas at Austin's program because it allowed me to work and still pursue an Ed.D. Also, the fact that the program was in person and taught with professionals in the field was enticing. I have enjoyed the classroom discussions the most. Learning in the cohort model has been extremely meaningful.