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2023 Research Summit Summary

Theme: Thrive in a Brave New World

The theme of this year's 2023 conference was "Thrive in a Brave New World," which provided attendees a chance to hear about a wide array of research presenter's explorations into topical matter that broadens the expanse of research.

Below you will find a recap of the 2023 conference stats concerning this year's summit, including videos from main-stage events, and a downloadable PDF from our Keynote speaker, Dr. Cheryl Lentz.


  • 10th annual conference
  • 523 registrants
  • 14 countries represented
  • 38% are students
  • 21% are faculty
  • 16% are alumni

On behalf of all of us in the College of Doctoral Studies and the leaders of the Research Centers, we thank you for a wonderful event and already look forward to next year's conference!

2023 Summit Stats

This year's summit was well attended. We had 523 registrants, which makes this, our 10th annual conference, the second consecutively largest one we have held for two years in a row!

Our Summit Eventbrite page alone received over 2100 page views.

Registrants who attended represented these 14 countries:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Italy
  • Algeria
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Philippines
  • Peru
  • Nigeria
  • Mexico
  • Japan
  • Jamaica
  • Ghana

Additionally, 61 states or provinces were represented amongst registrant attendees.

word cloud of states represented at Research Summit with California, Texas, Arizona, Florida and Viriginia standing out

How guests identified themselves:

  • 38% of attendees were students (92% identifying as doctoral students, with the remaining 8% as Bachelor/Masters level students)
  • Most students were from business, education, and healthcare disciplines
  • 21% were faculty
  • 16% of attendees were alumni
  • 13% were presenters
  • 11% were staff
  • 2.4% were external visitors

Professions represented:

  • Executive Director
  • President
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • Chief Officer
  • Financial Industry Leader
  • Director
  • Educator
  • Professor
  • Secondary school professional
  • Middle School Professional
  • Principal
  •  IT Analyst
  • Vice President
  • Healthcare professional
  • Life Coach
  • Sales
  • Law Enforcement
  • Cybersecurity
  • Behavioral Health
  • Military
  • Human Resources
  • Religious Leadership

Many of our attendees work for some major  industry players like: Bank of America, Amazon, DeSales University, Mayo Clinic, Google, US Army, JPMorgan Chase, Kings County Hospital, Chicago Public Schools, Walmart, Purdue University Global, Walden University, Capella University, Grand Canyon University, Rowan College of South Jersey, Blue Cross, Methodist Texsan Hospital, US Air Force/Gov, American Heart Association, Cigna, Kaiser Permanente, Optum, US Department of Homeland Security, California Dept of Human Resources, Clarke University, St. Vincent Medical, Baptist Memorial Hospital, and DeSales University.


Zoom login summary

Overall, the Zoom report shows a total of 2,376 various [participant log in] events. This is an amazing level of activity over 3 days!

  • Day 1: 1,174 participants active over 428 minutes
  • Day 2: 779 participants over 423 minutes
  • Day 3: 339 participants over 249 minutes.

Some of the variation recorded here may be from those logging in and out of the day at various times, as well as those who may not have registered but were invited by guests as well.

Day 1 Keynote-Dr. Cheryl Lentz

Author and TEDx speaker Dr. Cheryl Lentz provided guests with an outstanding presentation that covered facets of what she calls "The Einstein Perspective" discussing how researchers must learn to engage the deeper introspective side of self and research. Topics covered inside the keynote address included Gesellschaft, refractive thinking, building a career with research, the path forward, choice, failure has no alibi, the 3 pillars of publishing, and legacy thinking.

Dr. Lentz also graciously bestowed to guests in attendance a copy of her book which can be dowloaded below. You can also view Dr. Lentz' keynote address here.

Knowledge without boundaries Research Summit Day 1 video

Day 1 Mainstage events

Day 1 was the opening of the Summit and included a presentation by Dr. Hinrich Eylers who did a retrospective look at all the conferences from their inception to now, alongside some stats on the centers themselves and the evolution of the research arm of the university. The audience also heard from Dr. Cheryl Lentz, author, and TEDx speaker, in what was a riveting and motivating keynote address that truly set the tone of the first day. As well, the following were some great presentations that brought in some dynamic subject matter. There were 24 presenters on Day 1.

Knowledge without boundaries Research Summit Day 1 video

Kimberly Underwood: Building Social Capital as a University Imperative

Sandra Sessons-Penny, Joy Taylor, Marlene Blake: How Employees of Color Experience a Sense of Belonging Within the Work Environment

Marlene Blake, Jessica Flores, Patricia Battson: How Higher Education Leaders Can Help Students of Color Thrive by Building Belonging

Thureiyya Rodriguez and Sharam Moslehi Seisan: Great Resignation of COVID-19: The Entrepreneur's View on the Challenges and Benefits of Transitioning from Employee to Entrepreneur During a Pandemic

Karen Martin, Les Huffman, and Donald Munday: Women’s Advancement Lived Experiences in the Consumer-Packaged Goods Industry: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study

Jason Stroman and Crystal Lupo: The Relationship Between Work Stress and Job Satisfaction: Organizational Stress Prevention Programs as as a Moderator

Kristy Tyson: Equitable Design of Virtual Leadership Development Programs for Remote Employees: Unveiling Insights from a Quantitative eDelphi Study

Ken Murphy: Case Study of the Challenges of Creativity and Innovation in Virtual Organizations

Janice Cardwell and Renee Green: Thriving in a World that Needs Bionic Energy: Reflections on Self-Care for the Speed of Life

Maureen Marzano, Juana Lang, Joshua Valk: The Condition of Education: Teacher Absenteeism in the Aftermath of COVID-19

Courtney Campbell and Iris Campbell: Preschool Teachers’ Perceptions of Early Learning Science Standards and Implementation: A Qualitative Exploratory Case Study

Jaynelle Nixon: Increasing Student Engagement and Enjoyment through the Oppositional Gaze

Kyla Tennin: The Access to Smart Finance - Female Entrepreneurship Survey: A White Paper to Shape the Future of Female Entrepreneurship

Rheanna Reed,  Jennifer Carriere, and Laura Pipoly: Burnout, Cynicism, and Performance: A Correlational Examination of Adjunct Online Instructors at a Private Higher Education Institution

Nadine Spence-Clarke and Charles Elliott: Patient/Family Engagement in Advisory Councils, Quality Improvement, or Safety Committees: A Qualitative Exploratory Case Study

Joy Taylor and Sandra-Sessoms Penny : Examining the Value and Utilization of Earning a Bachelor’s Degree Among Women of Color

Ashita Parmar: Understanding Online Community College Students’ Underachievement Reasons: An Exploratory Case Study

Brian Stern: Identifying Online Student Support Approaches

Aaron Kenneston, Arnetra Arrington, and Susan Fereee: Exploring Educational Implications and Strategies of Using ChatGPT in Courses at an Online Higher Education Institution

LauraAnn Migliore: Application of Machine Learning and Generative AI to Create Systematic Literature Reviews Using a Technical Action Research Approach

Octavia Quarles: Thrive in a Brave New World: The Role of AI and Possible Channels of Impact and Growth

Joanne Vázquez de Príncipe: Third Culture People Evolving Management and Leadership Post-Pandemic: An Applied Multicultural Industrial and Organizational Psychology Perspective

Alisa Fleming: Examining Leadership Styles as Predictors of Workplace Bullying

Ela-Joy Lehrman, Martha Zepeda, and Tiffany Lemmen: Women in Leadership in Higher Education: A Systematic Review

Day 2 Mainstage events

Day 2 was yet another fantastic day as our own University of Phoenix President, Chris Lynne, alongside our moderator Dr. Kimberly Underwood, introduced Day 2 and the first-ever DEIB Recognition awards. President Lynne announced the 2023 winners of the President's Award for Excellence in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging that morning and it was exciting to see the various recognitions and see the honorees accept their awards. The first awards went to Drs. Sessoms-Penny and Joy Taylor, Julie Ballaro, Levon Russell and Kevin Meade, and LeQwan McDowell. Day 2 saw again some great research presentations in sessions 9-11.

Knowledge without boundaries Research Summit Day 2 video

Rodney Luster: The Implications of a Protein Named Fosb in Addictive Behavior and How to Challenge It

Madrid Francois : Mitigating the Waste Management Problem In Haiti from an Entrepreneurial Standpoint

Iris Campbell and Courtney Campbell: Curriculum-Based Professional Development for Third Through Fifth-Grade Teachers: A Qualitative Exploratory Case Study

Zenovia Braham: African American Male High School Student Persistence: An Exploratory Case Study

Scott McCalla, Lisa Langford, and Alfreda Goods: Considering Belonging: Making a Case for Allyship

Paula Johnson: Improving Cultural Competency for Educational Best Practices

Erik Bean: The Seven Sources of All Impartiality

Sonja Lamppa, Yvette Ghormley, and Yuvonne Richmond: A Review of Higher Education Institutional Policies and Practices in Response to the Use of ChatGPT

Suchitra Veera, Samantha Bietsch, and Susan Jones: Linkages Between Corporate Sustainability Practices and Corporate Financial Performance: A Systematic Review

Joy Taylor and Sandra Sessoms-Penny: Helping Teachers of Color Feel Included: What Can K-12 Leaders Do?

Rodney Luster: The Rise of the Stress Arc: Managing (ROC) Rapid Onset of Change in Business Through Efficacious Strategy

Danielle Kearns-Sixsmith: University Supervisors of Student Teachers: A Scoping Review

Joanne Vázquez de Príncipe: Work-Life Dynamics Evolving Strategic Holistic Ecosystems Post-Pandemic: An Applied Organizational Development Perspective

Donna Taliaferro: Holistic Leadership

Carmen Vega-Stevens and Charles Elliott: The Relationship Between Employee Engagement and Perceived Mindful Leadership: A Quantitative Correlational Study

Christa Banton and Tiefa Jones: Examining the Retention and Exodus of Women in Technology 

Danielle Kearns-Sixsmith, Nicole Baker, and Jesse Fidelio Garza: Identifying Effective Elementary Teacher Preparation for Integrating STEM

Louise Underdahl, Myrene Magabo, and Maureen Marzano: Solving Employers’ Dilemma Through Academe-STEM Industry Partnerships

Patricia Finch Guthrie and Jamie Buchanan: Student and Faculty Perspectives on Barriers, Challenges, Facilitators, Strategies, Determinants, and Connections for Progression and Completion of the DNP Degree

Pamayla Darbyshire and Mar Navarro: Thriving in a Brave New World: IoT (Internet of Things) and Adult Online Learning

Linnea Axman: Implementation of a Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Clinical Practice Guideline in a Free Clinic Setting

Day 3 Mainstage events

Day 3 provided another exceptional conference day led by Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi who kicked off the main-stage events and moderated alongside Dr. Eylers for the 2023 Dissertation of the Year Awards.

Dissertation of the Year Winners

This year's awards were exciting, with some great dissertations recognized. Awards were presented to Daniel Collins, Elif Kalemdaroglu-Wheeler], and Eric Johansen.

We also were able to hear from each of these recipients about their dissertation in a formal summary that was insightful and riveting. You can learn more about them here. Day 3 followed with sessions 16-19 and again, some awesome presentations this year.

Knowledge without boundaries Research Summit Day 3 video

Juana Lang, Karen Johnson, and Lucinda Hines: Teachers' Experiences with Physical or Verbal Aggression After the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Robert Rencher: Successful Digital Transformation Leadership Constructs in Commercial Aviation

Nicole Masters and Karen Johnson: Educators’ Perceptions of Social Media as a Professional Development Tool: An Exploratory Case Study

José Vargas-Hernández and Omar Vargas-González: Institutionalized Organizational Internal, Environmental, and Interacting Variables and Perspectives

Jaime Davis: Workplace Spirituality for Online Educators: Inherent or Cultivated?

Paul White: Effective Leadership

Renata Walton: Exploring Reverse Mentoring to Prepare Millennials for Leadership within Janssen Scientific Affairs

Shahir Mohammed: The Effects of Employee Motivation on Employee Engagement: An Exploratory Grounded Theory Study

Pam England and Joann Kovacich: Organizational Communication Through the Lens of Support Staff at Post-Secondary Institutions: Phenomenological Study

Louise Underdahl: Beyond Optimism: Roadmaps for Career Progression

Roxanne Williams and Josh Valk: How Can I Speed Up My Doctoral Journey?

MacDonald Chaava and Pamayla E. Darbyshire : A Literature Review on the Effectiveness of Case Management Approaches for Addressing the Needs of Chronically Mentally Ill Homeless Individuals


"I would like to thank you all for organizing this event and praise your leadership in this immense task. Thank you all for leading the way and embracing all of us: new and experienced researchers. The diversity of knowledge of the event was humbling.  I have learned so much, and some of these studies have sparked new inquiries that are worth exploring in future research"

"What an experience as a moderator! There is no doubt in my heart that Academia is the place to be!"

"Fantastic conference!"

"Excited to everyone and more next year!!"

From all of us at the College of Doctoral Studies and the Centers for Research, Thank you to our moderators, our presenters, and guests.