Andres Serna Lopez

Andres Serna Lopez

  • Hometown: Lawrenceville, GA
  • Research Project: Cultural Competency in Education
  • Why did you choose your degree program? I have a true passion for teaching and learning. The Ed.D. Program will allow me to augment my professional knowledge to provide my students with a robust learning experience utilizing advanced pedagogy and research based best practices.
  • What words of wisdom have you learned from one of your professors? In the interpersonal leadership course, Dr. Jason Holt continuously shared his wisdom with me as well as the rest of the cohort. One of the greatest lessons from Dr. Holt is to consistently strive to find balance and to pursue research topics that are relevant to my interests.
  • What have you found most beneficial about your program at AU? The cohort model has allowed me to expand my horizons through the development of authentic relationships with people who work in diverse fields within education. As a result, I have gained access to a variety of perspectives and a strong network of fellow education professionals.  In addition, the authenticity of the professors has been quite an amazing experience. They have provided me with support not only as a future scholar practitioner but also as a person. The holistic approach of the program makes it uniquely special.
  • Please share words of advice for someone considering this program at AU? Ed.D. program at AU is a life-changing experience. You will experience professional growth while expanding your perspective on a variety of current and relevant topics in education. Moreover, you will be empowered to use research in a way that enhances your teaching practices. If you are passionate about teaching, learning, and growing, AU is the place for you.
  • Have you been involved in any AU activities? I have been participating in the author series and scholar series. Meeting the authors and scholars that I have read in current and previous courses has been an amazing experience. In these sessions, I have had the opportunity to ask questions as well as learn new strategies that have enhanced my instructional tools.
  • What have been some of your most rewarding moments while in your program? Being aware of the growth that I have experienced since I started the program has been quite rewarding. Not only have I grown as a professional educator but also as a person.
  • What courses in your program's curriculum stand out as most helpful for your specific career goals? As an educator, I have always been interested in utilizing research-based strategies in my teaching to support student learning and growth. Because of my interest, the research courses (EDEI 8020, EDEI 8021, and EDEI 8022) have been instrumental in helping me locate, evaluate, and understand qualitative and quantitative data, as well as the practical implications of various instructional interventions.
  • What AU resources have been most helpful? In addition to the support that I have received from my professors, the Center for Writing Excellence has been instrumental in helping me use my creative writing skills to enhance my scholar voice and to adequately write in this genre.
  • What is your favorite AU memory? I have quite a few memorable moments at AU. One that I vividly remember was doing a Yoga warm-up on day one of the introductory research course. Dr. Rhia Moreno came in the lecture room radiating with positive energy and asked us to stand and follow her lead in doing Yoga prior to starting class. We all looked at each other confused but complied. Afterwards, we felt recharged, energized, and ready to actively learn and enjoy our Saturday research seminar.
  • What do you do for fun (hobbies etc)? I truly enjoy traveling, learning languages, trying diverse cuisines as well as reading about the latest on language acquisition theories.

Former Student

Benton Cunningham

“My mentor, Dr. Megan Buning, has been supportive as a mentor and professor. I value her advice and wisdom in regard to being a reflective practitioner. Dr. Buning encourages goal setting and, as a former college coach, she values mental performance training. Through conversations in and out of class, Dr. Buning, has taught me to constantly reflect on my progress toward the goal and to take stresses day to day. This has been sage advice and I have carried it into my life as a mother, educator, and doctoral student. In fact, her suggested visual reminder of my goals helped me to maintain focus for the first year’s life adjustment."

Benton Cunningham >>