Dorris receives 'Dissertation of the Year' award

Dorris Dissertation of the Yr Award

Tarleton State University

Thursday, February 2, 2012

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Dr. Denae Dorris was awarded the inaugural Dissertation of the Year Award from the Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration (TCPEA) for her doctoral dissertation, entitled A Validation of the Effective Learning Environments Assessment.

The award was announced Jan. 30 during the TCPEA’s mid-winter meeting in Austin. Dr. Mark Littleton, professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Tarleton, presented Dorris with the award, as he served as chairperson of her TSU dissertation committee.

“This award is further recognition of Dr. Dorris’ outstanding work,” said Littleton. “She is very deserving. I congratulate her on receiving this award, and I am not surprised that she has been honored. Those who work with Dr. Dorris have come to expect the best.”

Dr. Russ Higham, associate professor at Tarleton and current president of TCPEA, also congratulated Dorris on her achievement. “We are duly impressed regarding the pertinent content and complexity of Dr. Dorris’ work, as well as the professionalism in which she presented the information, regarding the presentation of her dissertation topic and key findings and implications at the 2012 mid-winter meeting,” said Higham. “I congratulate Dr. Dorris on these outstanding accomplishments by completing a quality dissertation involving a professionally pertinent topic in the field, and then having her work being honored as an outstanding product by a quality review team of EDAD professors throughout Texas.”

Dorris is an adjunct faculty member at Tarleton State University where she also serves as project manager for the American Clearinghouse on Educational Facilities (ACEF) and manages the Texas Center for Educational Facilities.

“I would like to thank TCPEA for honoring me and my research with this prestigious award,” Dorris said. “Words can’t really express how it feels to have your research recognized by others. However, while I spent many hours on this research, so did my committee members who guided me through this process. Their hard work and guidance should be recognized as well.”

Dorris has worked in the public education sector for 13 years and formerly served as a public school teacher. One of her research interests is the physical environment in which students learn.

The purpose of Dorris’ dissertation was to investigate the validity of the Effective Learning Environments Assessment (ELEA), an educational facilities assessment instrument designed to assess educators’ perceptions of educational facility condition. In order to examine the validity of the ELEA, practicing K-12 school administrators from Texas public school districts were selected to participate.

Results confirmed that the ELEA possesses adequate validity for assessing educational facility condition. As long as the ELEA is administered within the parameters of this study, Dorris said, educators and educational facility planners can have confidence in the ELEA as a measure of educators’ perceptions of educational facility condition.


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Kurt Mogonye

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Dorris receives 'Dissertation of the Year' award - Media Relations - Tarleton State University