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Nicci T. Dowd, EdD

Nicci T. Dowd, EdD

Dr. Nicci T. Dowd received her EdD in K-12 Administration and Leadership from Regent University, VA and is currently an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Marymount University (MU), Arlington, VA.  Through her work with the fully online Special Education Certificate program, she focuses on creating opportunities for teachers to advance their careers and knowledge about Special Education. Additionally, she supervises the research of doctoral students. She enjoys raising awareness about community resources for students with disabilities and their families. She is committed to exploring barriers to diversity, equity, inclusion and belongingness in education and the community. Through her work as a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Division for International Special Education and Services (DISES), she collaborates with stakeholders to support innovative educational programs and initiatives that positively impact students, teachers, and communities. 

Mrs. Jennifer Thompson, Dr. Ana Lado, Ms. Keri Mignano, Dr. Nicci T. Dowd, and Dr. Clara Hauth-Colegio Brader Visit, Panama 2023

Through a project facilitated by Dr. Elizabeth Langran (MU), Dr. Dowd was able to work with stakeholders in Uganda to provide professional development to teachers of students with special needs. Additionally, with her research in Panama and Colombia, she seeks to explore culturally responsive sustaining practices that promote inclusive learning environments.  

Dr. Dowd is an enthusiastic collaborator and true believer in teamwork!  With her work in Panama, she actively collaborates with her colleagues, Dr. Clara Hauth, Dr. Ana Lado, Dr. Hannah Ehrli, Ms. Keri Mignano, and Mrs. Jennifer Thompson, to evaluate the lived experiences of Panamanian Parents of Students with Special Needs as they navigate special education services in a Catholic School. With her research in Colombia, she collaborates with Dr. Clara Hauth and Dr. Paula Azevedo to evaluate the impact of professional development on interculturalism for PK-12 Catholic school teachers working in an urban community.  

Based on her research endeavors, particularly in Panama and Colombia, Dr. Dowd has had the privilege of exploring culturally responsive practices and evaluating the experiences of parents and teachers in navigating special education services. These experiences have allowed her to gain valuable insights into the challenges and successes of individuals within these communities. By shedding light on these lived experiences, she hopes to contribute to developing more equitable and inclusive educational systems.

Dr. Dowd aims to continue this important work and expand its reach to other regions and communities. She is passionate about promoting interculturalism and fostering inclusive practices. By evaluating the impact of professional development and researching effective strategies, Dr. Dowd aims to facilitate meaningful change in educational settings. Through collaboration with stakeholders, she aspires to create a network of support and advocacy that empowers all students, regardless of their background or abilities, to thrive and succeed.

Dr. Dowd has served as a board member for the Autism Society of Northern Virginia and co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion subcommittee for the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities. She is also the co-chair of DISES Family Engagement Committee.  For further information about Dr. Dowds exciting work, feel free to connect with her at 

Nicci T. Dowd, EdD

Dr. Nicci T. Dowd and Mrs. Jennifer Thompson during a teacher professional development workshop, Panama 2023


Nicci T. Dowd, EdD

Dr. Nicci T. Dowd taking notes during a 1:1 literacy session with a student with exceptional needs, Panama 2023.

Posted:  12 July, 2023

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