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 while also serving as a qualitative research consultant in the doctoral program.
In 2012 Dr. Spaulding was a first place recipient of the Chancellor's Award for
Excellence in Teaching. 

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's research interests include resilience in children and youth,
specific learning disabilities and methods of best practice, the history of special
education, and factors related to doctoral attrition and persistence. 

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



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...



The Relationships among Graduate Students’ Sense of Community, their Perceived Learning, and Actual Learning (with Mervyn Wighting and Deanna Nisbet), The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation (2014)

This article reports findings from a quantitative study which investigated sense of community, perceived learning,...




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

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)



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...



Understanding the Role of Childhood Poverty in Doctoral Motivation and Persistence (with Amanda J. Rockinson-Szapkiw, James A. Swezey, and Carolyn Wicks), Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy (2014)

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...