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Meet EdD Faculty


Linda LaPinta, EdD

Director of the EdD: Leadership Program

Linda LaPintaDr. Linda LaPinta earned a BA from Beloit College in English Composition, English Literature, and Oral History; an MA in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication; an MAT in English from the University of Louisville; and an EdD in Educational Leadership from Spalding University. LaPinta (under her maiden name, Beattie) is the author of four books—Conversations with Kentucky Writers, Savory MemoriesConversations with Kentucky Writers II, and Sisters in Pain:  Battered Women Fight Back (co-authored with M.A. Shaughnessy).  She has published more than 700 feature articles and book reviews in regional and national journals, magazines, and newspapers, and is a member of the International Leadership Association(ILA) and the Association of Leadership Educators (ALE). LaPinta’s career has included writing, editing, oral history, and social service positions as well as full-time faculty positions teaching English, journalism, communication and leadership at the undergraduate and graduate levels. 


Mistalene Calleroz White

Mistalene Calleroz-WhiteBefore arriving in Kentucky, Dr. Calleroz White served in Student Affairs at Arizona State University (ASU) at the West and Tempe campuses in various roles, including Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students.  During her tenure at ASU, she was responsible for key university initiatives: leading college outreach and access initiatives in the Phoenix community and launching three new on-campus facilities totaling $50M.  Dr. Calleroz White holds a BS in Spanish and English Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and received an MEd in Higher Education and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program from Arizona State University.

Kristen Harris, PhD

Kristen HarrisDr. Kristen Harris earned her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland-College Park. During her tenure in Maryland, she researched and worked with pre-service and veteran teachers in urban high schools. Prior to that experience, Dr. Harris earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Centre College. She then taught high school history and geography in Boyle County, Kentucky. Dr. Harris has also worked with the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program. She is a member of the American Educational Research Association, and her scholarship focuses on college access and choice for high school students in Kentucky.

Susan Jackson-Dowd, EdD

Susan Jackson-DowdDr. Susan Jackson-Dowd earned a BA from Murray State University in journalism/radio television, an MA from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Education, and an EdD in Leadership Education from Spalding University. Jackson Dowd is the executive director, president and publisher for Presbyterian Women, Inc., the women’s organization of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Previously, she served as communications coordinator for Presbyterian Women, managing editor for Horizons magazine, and associate editor for the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Jackson-Dowd’s leadership experience also includes national and international board service, including chair, World Day of Prayer U.S.A. Board of Governors and executive committee member, World Day of Prayer International Committee. Jackson-Dowd is a national and international group facilitator and a speaker and workshop leader on women’s organizations and leadership, as well as on systemic issues that impact women and children. 

Kurt W. Jefferson, PhD

Kurt JeffersonDr. Kurt Jefferson is currently the Dean of Graduate Education. He earned a BA from Western Illinois University in Political Science and MA and PhD degrees from the University of Missouri–Columbia in Political Science. He is the author of two books, the most recent of which is, Celtic Politics: Politics in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. He has published numerous scholarly articles in such journals including the Journal of Scientific Psychology, The Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, and North American Journal of Welsh Studies. He has been a frequent commentator on world affairs and leadership in various local, regional, national, and international media outlets. Dr. Jefferson served more than 24 years at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, where he was a professor, department chair, division chair, and assistant dean. He was the founding director of leadership studies at Westminster where he also taught courses in leadership theories and practice, innovation and creativity, and transnational studies.

Thomas Malewitz, PhD

Thomas Malewitz

Dr. Thomas Malewitz earned a B.A. from Eastern Michigan University in Mathematics and Philosophy, an M.T.S. in Pastoral Theology from St. Meinrad School of Theology, and a Ph.D. in Education and Social Change from Bellarmine University.  He has experience teaching at the secondary level and serving as an adjunct instructor for local universities in the disciplines of Education and Theology.  He frequently leads workshops on topics in pedagogy and theology and has published articles on Thomas Merton, adolescent education, and youth ministry practices.  Dr. Malewitz’s research interests include ethical and social justice theory in education and leadership, as well as curriculum and pedagogical practices aimed at holistic human development. He is a member of the American Association of Teaching and Curriculum (AATC), the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the International Thomas Merton Society (ITMS).

Christopher J. Walsh, EdD

Chris Walsh

Before joining the leadership team at Spalding, Dr. Walsh served as Assistant Professor of Education in the Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education at Bellarmine University. Dr. Walsh is an experienced educational leader having served in the Archdiocese of Louisville as an assistant principal and principal prior to his transition into higher education. Dr. Walsh earned his undergraduate degree at Western Kentucky University. Later, he earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree at Spalding University, a Master of Arts in Instructional Leadership and School Administration degree from Bellarmine University, and a Doctor of Education in Leadership Education degree from Spalding University.  Dr. Walsh’s research interests are focused on the ethical domains of educational leadership, as well as motivation and decision-making theory in educational leadership.