• Eliot Lyman Meeting
  • EdLD students conversing
  • EdLD Convening at the Charles
  • NYCLA Four

Alumni Features

Dilara Sayeed, Ed.L.D.'15, making mentoring accessible for all

Dilara Sayeed, Founder vPeer

by Alexis K. Morgan, Ed.L.D. candidate
September 6, 2017

Dilara SayeedHaving a mentor yields significant returns for individuals in the workforce, particularly in overcoming barriers of race, gender, and language.

While most organizations focus on training as a lever to advanced careers, Dilara Sayeed, Ed.L.D.’15, has found mentoring to be a key factor in helping others achieve their professional growth and career aspirations.

Sayeed recalls the impact of being mentored through the executive coaching model throughout her time at Harvard as a doctoral candidate. “It helped me to develop my strengths in order to lead more effectively. It changed my trajectory - I wouldn’t be [where I am today] without that support.”

Sayeed decided to leave her position as Chief Education Officer of Golden Apple Foundation in 2017 to scale vPeer, a virtual mentoring program she launched on a smaller scale while a student at Harvard. Even though it won’t officially launch until late September, Sayeed is anticipating a multigenerational, international cadre of mentors, peers, and mentees that will experience higher promotion rates, greater compensation, and higher levels of satisfaction in their fields.... Read more about Dilara Sayeed, Ed.L.D.'15, making mentoring accessible for all

Dean Blase, Ed.L.D.'13, provides a container for hopes and dreams at Clark Montessori High School in Ohio

Dean Blase, Principal of Clark Montessori High School, Cincinnati, Ohio

by Alexis K. Morgan, Ed.L.D. candidate
August 16, 2017

Dean BlaseFor 7 years, Dean Blase, Ed.L.D.’13, taught English at Clark High School, the nation’s first public Montessori secondary school in Cincinnati, Ohio. She left Clark to pursue her Doctor of Education Leadership from Harvard Graduate School of Education and went on to become Assistant Superintendent for Wellesley Public Schools in Massachusetts. She returned to Clark High School where she was appointed principal in 2015. Blase is the author of several books including, Trust Me, I Can Read, a series of reflections for transforming high school students into passionate readers.

Alexis Morgan: What led you to return to Clark?

Dean Blase: Working in Wellesley was fascinating. We were implementing foreign language for all of the elementary schools and revamped the science curriculum, but frankly, it wasn’t a fit and I was hoping to make a change. When the position became available at Clark, it wasn’t clear to me that I would get it because I had never been a principal. But I was drawn to Clark because of my experiences from Massachusetts where I observed education reformers making various attempts [to improve the system] in a piecemeal fashion.... Read more about Dean Blase, Ed.L.D.'13, provides a container for hopes and dreams at Clark Montessori High School in Ohio

Susan Cheng, Ed.L.D.'13 fosters a sense of belonging to promote student success

Susan Cheng, Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, School of Medicine, Georgetown University

by Alexis K. Morgan, Ed.L.D. candidate
July 26, 2017

Susan ChengA child of first-generation college students, Susan Cheng learned about the struggles her father experienced when he emigrated from Hong Kong to attend college in North Carolina. Even though he would eventually graduate from college, Cheng notes that he “felt the pressures to make it in a community where he didn’t have the tools to navigate the college landscape successfully.”


The trials faced by her father gave impetus to Cheng’s commitment to the education sector. Her parents believed in the power of education to transform their lives and those of others around them, advocating that more education signifies a greater ability to serve communities and empower others. Throughout her career, she has fought to open doors for students from underserved communities. Her background encompasses an extensive range of experiences, including her role as a member of Washington, DC’s mayoral transition team, manager of recruitment and talent for DC Public Schools, associate partner for NewSchools Venture Fund, and a founding team member for Braven, a nonprofit that “empowers promising young people on their path to college graduation and strong first jobs.” (https://bebraven.org/).... Read more about Susan Cheng, Ed.L.D.'13 fosters a sense of belonging to promote student success

In the News

Annice Fisher, Ed.L.D.'17: Meet Ed.L.D Marshal Annice Fisher

May 31, 2017
Annice Fisher knows that when it comes to education, most parents want what’s best for their kids. She experienced it growing up after her mother moved their family from Englewood, a deeply troubled neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, to the North Side so that Annice and her brother could go to better schools.

David Hay, Ed.L.D.'17: Meet Ed.L.D. Marshal David Hay

May 31, 2017
David Hay, Ed.L.D.’17, has come a long way from Antigo, Wisconsin, his hometown of 8,000 people from which he had to drive 40 miles to get to a mall. His new adopted city of New York, where he has taken a position as director of organizational effectiveness for the New York City Department of Education under Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, is just a bit larger.

Paola Peacock Friedrich, Ed.L.D.'14: Harvard Alumni Association Elected Director

May 19, 2017

Paola Peacock Friedrich, Ed.L.D.'14 is one of six HAA Elected Directors. The Elected Directors were each elected for three-year terms. They were chosen from a slate of nine candidates, who were nominated by a Harvard Alumni Association committee as prescribed by the election rules. Harvard degree holders cast 28,541 ballots in the election.

Read more about Paola Peacock Friedrich, Ed.L.D.'14: Harvard Alumni Association Elected Director

Social Media