Rice University Faculty
Leadership Partners provides its participants with the best professors from the top ten in the nation (#8) Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. School leaders are running complex organizations, and we know from our experience that giving school and district leaders a CEO mindset helps them lead more effectively.
Dr. Brent Smith Senior Associate Dean for Executive Education, Associate Professor of Management and Psychology (Organizational Behavior)Prior to his current academic appointments, he was a member of the faculty at London Business School and Cornell University where he taught in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Johnson Graduate School of Management. Dr. Smith has twice received the Scholarly Achievement Award from the Academy of Management (1998, 2004) and the Outstanding Publication in Organizational Behavior Award (2004) for his research on personality, organizational culture, and employee attitudes.
Dr. Steve Klineberg Professor, Department of Sociology and Founding co-Director, the Kinder Institute for Urban Research A graduate of Haverford College, Stephen Klineberg received an M.A. in Psychopathology from the University of Paris and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Harvard. After teaching at Princeton, he joined Rice University’s Sociology Department in 1972. The recipient of twelve major teaching awards, including the George R. Brown Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Piper Professor Award, he is a faculty associate and divisional advisor at Lovett College, where he twice served as Interim Master. In March 1982, he and his students initiated the annual “Kinder Institute Houston Area Survey,” now in its 33rd year of tracking the remarkable changes in the demographic patterns, economic outlooks, experiences, and beliefs of Harris County residents. No other metropolitan region in America has been the focus of a long-term longitudinal research program of this scope.
Dr. Eduardo Salas is the Allyn R. & Gladys M. Cline Chair Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Rice University. Previously, he was a trustee chair and Pegasus Professor of Psychology at the University of Central Florida where he also held an appointment as program director for the Human Systems Integration Research Department at the Institute for Simulation and Training (IST). Before joining IST, Eduardo was a senior research psychologist and Head of the Training Technology Development Branch of NAWC-TSD for 15 years. During this period, he served as a principal investigator for numerous R&D programs, including TADMUS, that focused on teamwork, team training, decision-making under stress and performance assessment. Eduardo has co-authored over 450 journal articles & book chapters and has co-edited 27 books. His expertise includes assisting organizations in how to foster teamwork, design and implement team training strategies, facilitate training effectiveness, manage decision making under stress, and develop performance measurement tools.
Dr. Vikas Mital J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Management (Marketing) Prior to joining Jones, he was the Thomas Marshall Professor of Marketing at the Katz Graduate School of Management. Dr. Mittal holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Management from Temple University. Before joining Katz, he was on the faculty at Kellogg Graduate School at Northwestern University. His courses are highly sought after in the MBA as well as the executive education program. He won the excellence in teaching award at the Katz Graduate School three years running, and was voted the best professor by the executives in the 2003- IEMBA program in Brazil. At the Jones School he won the teaching excellence award in 2013 for his teaching in the professional MBA program.
Dr. David Tobin Senior Lecturer in Communication Dr. Tobin joined the full-time faculty of the Jones Graduate School in 2007 after 25 years in the advertising business. Prior to advertising, he taught English at Colorado State University and Emory University after earning a Ph.D. at Princeton. As a copywriter and creative director, first with Ogilvy & Mather for 18 years and then Richards/Carlberg, he worked on multimedia advertising campaigns for clients such as Shell Oil, the Shell MasterCard, IBM, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Houston Chronicle, H-E-B, Central Market, METRO, Child Advocates, the Houston Texans, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. He handled everything from writing and co-producing national TV commercials to managing speechwriting duties for C-level executives. He has been a guest speaker at a number of college campuses, from Duke to Texas Tech, on behalf of the New York-based Advertising Educational Foundation.
Dr. Balaji Koka Assistant Professor of Strategic Management He joined the Jones School in 2008 from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He teaches in the Executive MBA and Full-time MBA programs and received the Teaching Excellence Award from the EMBA program in 2014. Professor Koka received his BE from Madurai Kamaraj University in India, his MBA from Indian Institute of Management in India and his Ph.D. in strategic management from the University of Pittsburgh.
We also utilize an all-star cast of national faculty for our Leadership Summit and for our other programming, again providing school and district leaders with tools and mindsets that help them improve their schools.
Dr. Rick Hess Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute, where he works on K-12 and higher education issues. He is also the author of the popular Education Week blog “Rick Hess Straight Up” and has served as executive editor of Education Next since 2001. Before joining AEI, Dr. Hess was a high school social studies teacher. He has also taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown, Rice, and Harvard University. His books include the forthcoming Letters to a Young Education Reformer (Harvard Education Press, 2017), The Cage-Busting Teacher (Harvard Education Press, 2015), Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age (Corwin, 2014),_ Cage-Busting Leadership_ (Harvard Education Press, 2013), and The Same Thing Over and Over (Harvard University Press, 2010).
Dr. Jason G. Irizarry is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and faculty associate in El Instituto: Institute for Latina/a, Caribbean and Latin American Studies. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in multicultural education, culturally responsive curriculum development, participatory action research, and urban education. A central focus of his work involves promoting the academic achievement of youth in urban schools by addressing issues associated with educator preparation. His first book, The Latinization of U.S. Schools: Successful Teaching and Learning in Shifting Cultural Contexts, was awarded the Phillip C. Chin Book Award from the National Association for Multicultural Education. He is also the co-editor of Diaspora Studies in Education: Toward a Framework for Understanding the Experiences of Transnational Communities. Irizarry has an Ed.D. from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
How did he go from juvenile detention to two doctorates, with training at Harvard Medical School and Oxford University? Dr. Adam Sáenz will tell you: it was the power of community. Whether you’re searching for a reason to believe or you just need a hope-filled reminder, the bottom line is that you do have tremendous power to make a difference in your world, and Dr. Sáenz’ message will compel you to engage your calling with passion, with purpose, and with vision. Now, as a licensed psychologist and theologian, Dr. Sáenz conducts workshops across the country in the areas of stress management, self-care, and the dynamics of effective relationship and team-building. Dr. Sáenz earned his Ph.D. in School Psychology from Texas A&M University with clinical training at Harvard Medical School. He completed his post doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He also earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Counseling from the Graduate Theological Foundation with residency at Christ Church College of Oxford University.
Dr. Anthony Muhammad One of the most sought after educational consultants in North America. He
currently serves as the CEO of New Frontier 21 Consulting and is recognized as one of the field’s leading experts in the areas of school culture and organizational climate. Dr. Muhammad is a best-selling author. He is the author of the books _The Will to Lead and the Skill to Teach; Transforming Schools at Every Level _(2011);_ Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division _(2009); and a contributing author to the book _The Collaborative Administrator: Working Together as a Professional Learning Community _(2008). He has published 26 articles in education journals and publications in seven different countries.
Dr. Marguerite Roza Director of the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University and Senior Research Affiliate at the Center on Reinventing Public Education. Her calculations of dollar implications and cost equivalent tradeoffs have prompted changes in education finance policy at all levels in the education system. She’s led projects including the Finance and Productivity Initiative at CRPE and the Schools in Crisis Rapid response Paper Series. More recently she served as Senior Economic Advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Roza is author of the highly regarded education finance book, Educational Economics: Where Do School Funds Go?
A highly-regarded urban educator in New Jersey for over twenty years, Principal Baruti Kafele distinguished himself as a master teacher and a transformational school leader. As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, NJ, in addition to his selection as the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, Principal Kafele was a New Jersey State Teacher of the Year finalist and a recipient of the New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence. As a middle and high school principal, Principal Kafele led the transformation of four different New Jersey urban schools, including “The Mighty” Newark Tech, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national recognition, which included U.S. News and World Report Magazine recognizing it three times as one of America’s best high schools. He has delivered more than one thousand conference keynotes and professional development workshops over the past seven years since leaving his principalship in 2011.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” —Helen Keller
We appreciate and value all of our partners and our alumni network, from school districts to non-profits and other organizations with whom we work and learn.
Leadership Partners collaborates with national and international consultants to support our work with school leaders.
Dr. Kenneth Leithwood is a Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership and Policy at OISE/University of Toronto. He has long time research interests in leadership, policy and school improvement. These interests have been pursued through more focused inquiries about alternative conceptions of leadership, the cognitive and emotional processes of leaders, leadership development, organizational learning and leadership for both local and large-scale school reform. his most recent studies concern leadership in both highly accountable policy contexts and in schools with diverse student populations. Through several large-scale, longitudinal studies underway, he is presently trying to better understand the complex practices and processes through which successful leaders improve teaching and learning in their schools. Dr. Leithwood has published more than 75 referred journal articles, and authored or edited more than thirty books.
Erika Medrado is a champion and connector of people, recognizes potential and knows how to cultivate it. She puts your talent to work for you. An intuitive observer, accomplished mentor, and creative and passionate coach, Erika Medrado brings the accumulation of her skills and personality to talent acquisition (with expertise in behavioral-based interviewing and recruiting), executive coaching, leadership development and career services. Erika helps her clients believe in what is possible and pursue their dreams with a strategic plan in hand. As associate director of recruiting and marketing at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business in Houston, Texas, Erika managed recruiting, interviewing and selection of students admitted into the prestigious Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Program (REEP) MBA, Business Fellowship and Summer Institute. She also initiated and launched REEP’s global marketing strategy, social media platforms and education blog. A dual citizen of Brazil and the U.S., Erika is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish. She earned a Bachelor of Communications from the School of Advertising at University Catolica do Salvador, Brazil, and a Master of Science in Hospitality Management from the Conrad Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at University of Houston, Texas. Erika is a Certified Coach Practitioner by the Certified Coaches Federation (CCF) and is currently pursing a CPC Certification with World Coach Institute (WCI), an ACC Certification from the International Coach Federation (ICF) and the Board Certified Coach credential . She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Institute of Coaching at Harvard University and the Association for Transpersonal Psychology. Additionally, she is also a member of Prospanica/National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) and MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance.
Dr. Jing Ping Sun is an assistant professor in education leadership at the University of Alabama. She is committed to understanding educational leaders: what they do, why they do what they do, and how they use it to promote teaching and learning at school, district and state levels. Her areas of interest in research, instruction, and dissertation advising include leadership model development, leader development, leadership for teaching and learning, school organization design, data-informed decision and policy making, policy evaluation, research synthesis, and the international comparative study of leadership. Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Alabama, she worked on and reported the evaluation results of the comprehensive Ontario Leadership Strategy as well as its 13 initiatives as a policy lead. She also developed an evaluation framework to guide and support the Ontario Ministry of Education staff to conduct policy evaluation internally and/or externally. Her work may be found in refereed journals and book chapters, including a recent article co-authored with Professor Kenneth Leithwood, an international leading scholar, published in Educational Administration Quarterly 2012, the premier journal in the field of educational leadership, as a lead article, on transformational school leadership. Dr. Sun has won awards for her research and research manuscripts and promotes dialogue on leadership studies between countries and between the West and the East.