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Cathy Kaufman

Principal Certification Program

Contact Information:

Office: 126 Davis
Phone: 724-357-3928

Academic Qualifications:

  • BS, Elementary Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • MS, Education, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • PhD, Administration and Leadership, University of Pittsburgh

Academic Interests:

The focus of my academic interest is educational reform. My work examines the policies and practices associated with effective educational change in American schools and university settings in the areas of: 1) micro/macro analysis, 2) qualitative inquiry, 3) policy analysis and evaluation, and 4) organizational/systems theories.

Course Specialties:

  • Leadership, A Case Study Approach
  • Analysis of Qualitative Research
  • Leadership, An Applied Approach
  • School and Community
  • School Administration

Personal Narrative:

I experience an affirmation that I chose the right profession each semester in knowing my level of anticipation on the first day of class. I began my teaching career with a decade of public school work after which I took a five-year leave to enjoy being a full time mom. I returned to the classroom at IUP, where I have taught undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students and where I coordinate the Principal Certification Program. These roles reflect responsibilities to different audiences. I work with undergraduates who are learning to be effective teachers and with experienced educators who aspire to administrative positions in public and private schools and in higher education. A rewarding aspect of this position is connecting these different populations with their unique blend of skills and challenges to course work and to resources that secure and enhance their professional paths. Currently, my most fulfilling role is assisting students with their doctoral research projects. Although I was schooled in the age of Newtonian physics, predictable outcomes, experimental design, and cause-effect relationships, I am today more intrigued by the ways in which concepts from the social sciences can serve as analytical filters through which to examine sociological transitions in organizations and psychological transitions in the beliefs and actions of individuals working within those organizations.

Much of my early career as a scholar addressed educational change in post-Soviet environments of East Central Europe, where I observed teachers, administrators, and policy makers struggling with what they called the “tunnel at the end of the light.” In this frequently used metaphor, the light symbolized internal struggles to sustain new initiatives and to incorporate new accessibility to vast amounts of information. Although the geography of my attention has shifted over the decades, the task of translating a myriad of available information into useful knowledge remains a surprising similar challenge.

My life outside the university is full of home projects, travel, bicycling with my husband, and enjoying time with children living in San Francisco, Providence, and New York City. Our eating adventures in these three great destinations serve to inspire more cycling. Our most recent pedaling was in the Dolomite region of Italy.

  • Professional Studies in Education Department
  • Davis Hall, Room 303
    570 South Eleventh Street
    Indiana, PA 15705-1080
  • Phone: 724-357-2400
  • Fax: 724-357-2961
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.