Faculty Spotlight: John Avella

Faculty Spotlight: John Avella

This spotlight focuses on Dr. John “Jack” Avella.  He is a member of the Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research and – as you will see in this article – works actively with Research Chair Dr. Mansureh Kebritchi on various research projects.

Dr. Avella was recently accepted for publication on three separate projects. These include: “Does Moral Leadership Conflict With Organizational Innovation?” accepted to the Journal of Leadership Studies; “How Moral Identity Influences Leadership Ethics: An Historical Case Study” accepted to the Journal of Psychological Issues in Organizational Culture; and “Impact of Delivery Modality, Student GPA, and Time-Lapse Since High School on Successful Completion of College-Level Math after Taking Developmental Math,” accepted to the Current Issues in Education journal. 

For a complete list of his publications and book chapters, visit his user profile >>

His current focus is on three projects, titled: “Why and How Social Media Tools Influence Cultural Competency of Learners,” “Black Male Educators’ Perceptions and Experiences with Young Black Male Students: A Phenomenological Study,” “Critical Thinking and Mindfulness Research,” and “Approaches to strengthen critical thinking in higher education.” His project inspiration is heavily influenced by 30 years as an educator and administrator and a passion for research that provides educators with programs that offer practical implementation.

He is planning to present to the Florida Education Technology Conference (FETC) in January 2016. The presentation is titled “Implementing a Successful Blended Education Program,” and focuses on a Blended Instruction Program or hybrid online/live program for secondary school administrators.  In addition to an ambitious scholarship workload, he works with the New Jersey Virtual School and consulting company eduInnovations, both of which he co-founded in recent years.

Dr. Avella is an excellent example of what it means to bring something “new to the table” within your area of research. While some researchers opt to dive more and more deeply into a specific topic or social problem, Dr. Avella has opted to choose variety: “My biggest lesson during my research projects/tenure has been defining projects/studies that have the potential to be unique, add to the literature, and provide alternative and practical solutions for leadership and educational problems and areas of need to help students and educators.”

Additionally, he notes, “[Research] has allowed me to put to practical use my leadership skills and scholarly writing skills, serve as a role model to the students I mentor through SAS, network with a renowned group of SAS and other school-affiliated faculty, and to critically approach research problems with a unique and practical approach.  Personally and professionally the research work has expanded my perceptions, beliefs, and horizons on the educational and research fronts.”

When asked what advice he would give to faculty or students who are thinking about beginning to research, he said, “I would strongly recommend that they engage their center’s leadership and be active participants in networking, joining research projects, and exhibit a willingness to learn and to grow professionally.  The centers are a great resource – use them to their full potential!”

Thank you to Dr. Avella for all your efforts so far within the Center, SAS, and beyond. Good luck with your current and upcoming projects, we’re excited to see the outcome!