Center for International Education
Skip local navigation

International Education

Now Accepting Applications!

PhD Specialization

Develop the skills to be an effective educator in a global society

Learn More

PhD students specializing in International Education work side by side with CIE faculty to explore the nature of international education, advance international and intercultural understanding, and promote equity worldwide. Read more about our students’ research interests below.

Tami F. Carsillo

Her research currently explores history and civics curriculum development, with emphasis in post-conflict societies as well as developing education policies, plans and programs in conflict affected and fragile contexts. She is the Information and Education Specialist for the Virginia House of Delegates Clerk’s Office Information & Communications Services and develops, implements, and reviews civics education programs and materials.

Kelley E. Webb

Kelley E. Webb is a doctoral candidate with a primary specialization in International Education. Her research currently explores intercultural competence and its development and integration in world language instruction. She is a former Spanish teacher outside of Richmond, Virginia and international teacher in Medellín, Colombia. She is a current graduate research assistant in the College of Education and Human Development. Outside of her research, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, traveling, sailing, and visiting vineyards.

Woomee L. Kim

Woomee L. Kim is a doctoral candidate with a primary specialization in International Education. Her current research interests are in understanding the influence of a global online professional development experience within the participating educators' various local contexts, facilitating and participating in MOOCs and MOOC Camps, intercultural competence in K-12 educators of English Learners, and teaching global competence and media literacy as 21st century skills.

Lilly (Vilma) LePelch

Lilly (Vilma) LePelch is a doctoral candidate with a primary specialization in Literacy and Reading and a secondary specialization in International Education. She is a World Language educator, serving learners in 9th-12th grades. Her doctoral research focuses on exemplary teachers’ decision-making, skillsets, and perspectives of their pedagogical practices. Her research interests center around the intersection of teacher implementation of intercultural competence, social justice, and student-centered approaches. She has been a recipient of the OpenGATE Fellowship at Oslo Metropolitan University in Norway. Outside of her research, she enjoys traveling and exploring indigenous communities and languages.

Melissa DeLury

Melissa DeLury is a Ph.D. student with a primary specialization in International Education. Her research currently explores how the past is remembered in history education, specifically national narratives and identity formations in history textbooks, with an emphasis in postcolonial and post conflict societies.  She is a Business Development Consultant at Management Systems International, an international development firm specializing in monitoring and evaluation USAID-funded projects, and a current Graduate Research Assistant. Outside of her research, she enjoys traveling, yoga, going to live shows, and adventuring in and around D.C.

Betsy M. Scotto-Lavino

Betsy M. Scotto-Lavino is a Ph.D. student with a primary specialization in International Education and a certificate in Women and Gender Studies. Her research interests focus on the ways in which nonformal education programs can utilize critical aesthetic practices to strengthen the empowerment of immigrant women and how the integration of art in public spaces shapes community life. She was a 2019 Open GATE Fellow, served as a vice-president of the university’s Graduate and Professional Student Association and as a member of the Student Advisory Committee to the university president.

For more information on the specialization in International Education, PhD in Education and Human Development Program please visit