Doctoral Studies

Congratulations Annemarie!


Annemarie Grassi • Courtesy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer • Photo by Gus Chan

On October 19, 2012, Annemarie Grassi, from Cohort XXIII of the Urban Education Ph.D. Program, defended her dissertation, entitled Quality Afterschool Programming and its Relationship to Achievement Related Behaviors and Academic Performance.

Annemarie, who studied within the Learning and Development area of specialization, is Chief Executive Officer of Open Doors Academy, which provides meaningful, out-of-school enrichment programming. Her organization serves 320 students and 700 family members, 88% of who live at, or below, the poverty line.

Under the skillful guidance of Dr. Brian Harper, chair of this dissertation committee, and Dr. Graham Stead, director of the Urban Education Ph.D. program, as well as Annemarie's committee members, the defense featured a unique blend of scholarship and community engagement. This was achieved through the invitation of several hundred of youth who participate in the Open Doors Academy (ODA). In preparation for the event, the youth from ODA examined the level of study and degrees awarded leading up to and including doctoral study.

The students are also familiar with the defense topic, as it is a study of the benefits of programming available to them through ODA. This event is in keeping with the primary purpose of the Urban Education Ph.D. program: to prepare leaders with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to effect change in urban educational systems within and beyond Northeast Ohio.

Plain Dealer Article • October 21, 2012

Slideshow of the event.