Lucinda (Cindi) Spaulding has a Ph.D. in Special Education and Educational
Psychology, a M.Ed. in Special Education, and a B.S. in Elementary Education. Dr.
Spaulding is an Associate Professor in Liberty’s School of Education and teaches research
courses, chairs dissertations, and serves as a qualitative research consultant in the
doctoral program. 

Dr. Spaulding was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada and has taught in general education,
special education, and inclusion settings at the elementary level in Title 1 schools in
New York and Virginia and English as a second language at the high school level in Japan.
She has permanent teacher certification in New York State in Elementary Education and
Special Education (Pre-K -12) and is licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia in
Elementary Education, Specific Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disabilities, and
Intellectual Disabilities. 

Dr. Spaulding has published and presented nationally on topics relating to resilience in
children and youth, specific learning disabilities and methods of best practice, the
history of special education, and factors associated with doctoral attrition and

A book Dr. Spaulding co-edited was recognized by the American Educational Research
Association as a finalist for the 2015 Outstanding Publication Award in the special
interest group Doctoral Education Across Disciplines. In 2012 Dr. Spaulding was a first
place recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching at Liberty

Dr. Spaulding and her husband reside in Forest, Virginia with their three children. They
feel blessed to live in such a beautiful part of the country and enjoy hiking in the Blue
Ridge Mountains as well as gardening, cooking, running, and camping. 



A review and analysis of the history of special education and disability advocacy in the United States (with Sharon M. Pratt), American Educational History Journal (2015)

Historical perspectives in the field of special education are often overlooked or minimally surveyed. This...



Protecting the marriage relationship during the doctoral journey: Strategies for students and partners based on the Strong Marital House concept (with Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkw and Anita Knight), Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families (2015)

With doctoral programs across disciplines experiencing perennially high attrition rates, in-depth examination of factors associated...



Completion of Educational Doctorates: How universities can foster persistence (with Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw and Bob Bade), International Journal of Doctoral Studies (2014)

With high attrition and long time-to-degree completion rates in education doctorate programs, it is important...



Connecting at a distance: The relationship between Facebook use and doctoral connectedness (with Lorene Heuvelman-Hutchinson), Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice (2014)

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of online doctoral students’ interactions...



Poverty and Persistence: A Model for Understanding Individuals' Pursuit and Persistence in a Doctor of Education Program (with Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw, James A. Swezey, and Carolyn J. Wicks), Faculty Publications and Presentations (2014)

The purpose of this systematic grounded theory study was to extend the theoretical foundations of...




Navigating the Doctoral Journey: A Handbook of Strategies for Success (with Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw) (2014)

This co-edited book provides doctoral candidates with a practical, cross-discipline handbook for successfully navigating the...


Contributions to Books


An examination of the intersecting identities of Female Ed.D. Students and their Journey to Persistence (with Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw), The Education Doctorate (Ed.D.): Issues of Access, Diversity, Social Justice, and Community Leadership (2015)

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss challenges specific to female Ed.D. students given...


Learning Challenges for Adults with Learning Disabilities (with Mark P. Mostert), The Oxford Handbook of Lifelong Learning (2011)

The Efficacy of Special Education (with Kenneth A. Kavale), The Oxford Handbook of School Psychology (2011)



Understanding the 21st Century Practitioner-Scholar Identity and Its Development for Persistence (with Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw), Second 21st Century Academic Forum Conference at Harvard (2015)


A Grounded Theory Study Explaining how Female Doctoral Candidates Negotiate Their Identities as Mothers and Scholars and Persist Unto Degree Completion (with Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw), Annual Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference (2015)

The purpose of this grounded theory study was to generate a model that explains how...



A Conversation on the Need for Women to Successfully Manage their Multiple Identity Dimensions in Order to Persist in the Doctoral Process (with Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw and Maria T. Spaulding), Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy (2015)

This conversation focuses on challenges specific to female doctoral students given their multiple dimensions of...



How can I get my scholarship published? (with David J. Baggett, Fernando L. Garzon, and Gary D. Isaacs), Jerry Falwell Library Events (2014)


On the Front Lines: The Role of Teachers in the Prevention of Child Trafficking Through Education and Awareness of Online Recruitment Tactics (with Timothy R. Spaulding), Virginia Educational Research Association (VERA) Annual Meeting (2014)

Generating an estimated 32 billion US dollars annually (International Labor Organization [ILO] 2009), sex trafficking...


Conference Proceedings


Strategies for Fostering Doctoral Student Persistence (with Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw), Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy: Proceedings (2012)

The purpose of this session is to present research-based strategies for improving doctoral candidate retention...