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Recent Ed.D. Graduates

Jack Phillips, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy, '13

Jack PhillipsJack Phillips is the High School Principal at the American School in London, a private K-12 international school. Before this post, Jack served as the Upper School Head at Phoenix Country Day School, as an advisory board member for the Rodel Foundation of Arizona, and as a classroom teacher at both the high school and middle school levels.

In 2004, Jack was part of the physics department at the Commonwealth School in Boston, MA, that was recognized by the College Board as having the best small-school physics curriculum in the country. "My experience and education at Peabody have given me the confidence, flexibility, and skills to follow my many education-related passions."


Nancy Gimbel, Ed.D. in HIgher Education Leadership
and Policy, '12

Nancy Gimbel Nancy serves as the Assistant Dean of Executive Education for the Scheller College of Business at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia. In this role she oversees operations for two executive MBA programs and a portfolio of company-specific educational programs for clients including Coca-Cola, NCR and Lockheed Martin. Prior to this role she served as the Director of Undergraduate Programs for the Scheller College of Business, overseeing undergraduate career development, academic advising, freshman recruiting, and program marketing and development. She is the recipient of the 2011 Georgia Tech Outstanding Staff Performance Award and the 2009 Scheller College of Business Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Award for Staff Excellence. Her Vanderbilt doctoral capstone research focused on student persistence in higher education.

“The Ed.D. program was a challenging intellectual experience that filled in the gaps of my knowledge of higher education leadership, policy and strategy. The merging of the Higher Education and P-12 cohorts for some of the core courses was critical to furthering my understanding of how the challenges that exist in the P-12 pipeline become the challenges of higher education institutions. These combined courses also helped expand my thinking on possible solutions to address these challenges. The capstone project provided an incredible opportunity to conduct academic research and serve as a consultant to an institution struggling with a persistence challenge. The project allowed me to work with a client to analyze a problem affecting their college, design and implement an intervention to address the problem and present solutions to the client that could help them improve the student experience on their campus. The cohort model was incredibly beneficial to helping me complete my doctorate. Our cohort members became very close as we completed the same classes in the same sequence and focused on meeting the same research deadlines. This created a strong support network that kept us motivated throughout this rigorous program.”

Ayinde Rudolph, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy, ‘12

Ayinde Rudolph Ayindé “Rudy” Rudolph, is the Associate Director of School Transformation for the Buffalo Promise Neighborhood (BPN). Selected as one of five promise neighborhoods nationwide and funded by a grant from the United States Department of Education and M&T Bank, the BPN provides cradle to career opportunities to the families within the census track zone of 14215. Prior to assuming this role, Rudy worked as a teacher, school administrator, and most recently served as a principal in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“I was fortunate to have some wonderful experiences over the course of my career. However none were comparable to the experiences that I received at Peabody. I truly believe that my current position is due in large part to the ideas and the research that I was exposed to during my time at Vanderbilt. To me, Peabody wasn’t just about learning the information; it was about starting a journey to becoming an expert for my craft. It was about working with experts who not only pushed my thinking, but also challenged me in such a way that helped me to understand the fundamentals of research, the social underpinnings of education, the historical and organizational context of schools, and the engine that drives school reform. I could not effectively manage my current job, or leverage the network of like-minded professionals, without the help of my cohort members and the esteemed professors with whom I was fortunate to work.”