Request Info
Doctoral Research Forum 2023-24 Doctoral Research Forum 2023-24

Accordion Group

Open All Tabs
  • Group Photos

    2022-2023 Forum 2022-23
    2021-2022 Forum 2021-22
    2019-2020 Frost Forum 2019-2020
    2018-2019Forum 2019
    2017-2018 Group Photo 2017
    2016-2017 Group Photo 2017
    2015-2016 Group Photo 2016

Current Fellows

Open All Tabs
  • Livia De Moraes

    Livia De Moraes

    Lívia Hlena De Moraes is a Brazilian music education researcher. She specializes in general music education and flute. Her research interests include preservice music teacher development, cultural diversity, social justice, and Brazilian folklore music. Some awards that Lívia has received include the University of Miami’s Teaching Academy Program (2021), University of Miami’s Racial Justice Pilot Grant Program (2021), and the University of Cincinnati’s Graduate Student Expo winner Poster Forum for Arts & Humanities (2019) and Jane Young Scholarship recipient (2018, 2019). In 2014, she was awarded a competitive scholarship from the PIBIC program (one of Brazil’s federal government research initiatives), which supported her research on the performance, harmonization, and editing of "Lourinha", work previously unpublished of an important Brazilian flautist: Patápio Silva (1880-1907). One of her research works about Patápio Silva was accepted for publication in Música Hodie, an important peer-reviewed journal in Brazil.

    Lívia holds an M.A. in music education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, a B.A. in Music Education, and a B.A. in Instrument Performance (flute), both from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil. She is also certified in Orff-Schulwerk level 1, Orff-Schulwerk Curriculum training, and Suzuki Philosophy.

  • Cameron Elliott

    Cameron Elliott is a first-year Ph.D. student in music education at the Frost School of Music. Prior to coming to Frost, Cameron was a music educator for five years at the middle and high school levels in North Carolina and Utah. His experience includes courses in band, choir, guitar, and ukulele. Additionally, he has held previous positions as the assistant director of the Charlotte Pride Band in Charlotte, NC, and director of the Lesbian Gay Band Association’s World Pride Band at the 2019 World Pride Festival in New York City. Cameron has studied privately with Scott Carter and Jorge Richter, and in workshops with Jack Stamp, Michael Haithcock, Jerald Schwiebert, Eugene Corporon, Travis Cross, Frank Batisti, Craig Kirchhoff and Mallory Thompson. His interests as a researcher include mentor relationships in the student teaching experience, access and equity in music higher education, music education philosophy, and music teacher education best practice. Cameron has presented at state music education conferences in Iowa, New Mexico, and Utah. He holds a Bachelor of Music in music education from East Carolina University in North Carolina, and a Masters of Music Education with an emphasis in pedagogy from The Hartt School Conservatory at the University of Hartford in Connecticut, as well as a certification in Smithsonian Folkways World Music Pedagogy.

  • Nerissa Manela

    Nerissa Manela

    Nerissa Manela is a doctoral student in Music Education at the Frost School of Music. She has experience teaching chorus, strings, and modern band instruments to students of all abilities in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. She conducts the Young Mozarts orchestra and serves as Education Coordinator for the Greater Miami Youth Symphony. She runs Miami Jam Sessions, a free music therapy socialization group and mentoring program for neurodiverse teens and young adults. Nerissa’s research interests include neurodiversity, creativity, and music teacher training.

    A life-long learner, Nerissa is a Kodály certified teacher. She was recognized by the Florida Music Educators Association as a 2020 Emerging Leader and was the 2021 Miami-Dade County Public Schools Rookie Teacher of the Year. Nerissa holds a Bachelor of Music in music education and music therapy from the University of Miami and a Master of Philosophy in Arts, Creativity, Education and Culture from the University of Cambridge (UK).

  • Edward Ercilla

    Nerissa Manela

    Edward J. Ercilla is currently a first-year Ph.D. student in music education at the Frost School of Music. Prior to his Ph.D. studies, Mr. Ercilla has served as an instrumental music educator in the K-12 setting for twenty years in Miami Dade County. During the span of his career, he has taught Band, Orchestra, Marching Band, Indoor Winds, Jazz Ensemble, Music Theory, and General Music. He is highly regarded for his expertise in supporting special learners with hearing loss and has presented at many state and national conferences, including the National NAfME Conference, the Midwest Clinic, Texas Music Educators Conference (TMEA), and the Florida Music Educators Conference (FMEA). Mr. Ercilla earned B.M.E and M.M.E from Florida State University.

Former Fellows

Open All Tabs
  • Johanna Abril

    Johanna Abril

    Johanna Abril, an Ecuadorian pianist and music educator, is an Assistant Professor at the Universidad de las Américas (UDLA) in Quito, Ecuador. and holds a B.A. in Piano Performance and an M.M. in Music Research and Pedagogy from the University of Cuenca. In 2013 she was awarded the “Senescyt” Scholarship from the Ecuadorian government, which sponsored her Ph.D. studies in Music Education at the University of Miami. She was a Teaching Assistant at Shalala MusicReach, and taught modern band, and mentored student instructors at the Leadership Learning Center and Centro Mater school in Little Havana. Prior to her studies at the University of Miami, Johanna was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Cuenca and led the elective music history course at an exchange program offered through the University of Taylor at Indiana (U.S.) in Cuenca. Her research is mainly focused on sociocultural issues in music education and she was recently published in the Argentinian Journal Enseñar Música and the Ecuadorian Journal Tsansa. She is married to former Forum Fellow Nicolas Coffman.

  • Sheerin Berte

    Sheerin Berte

    Sheerin Berte is a music educator living in Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a Master of Arts degree in music education from Boston University. Sheerin taught band and general music at the elementary and secondary levels in Massachusetts. The French horn is her primary instrument, and she was is the instructor of record for the undergraduate Brass Techniques course while at the University of Miami. She is currently a Music Education Professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.




  • Tina Beveridge

    Tina Beveridge

    Tina Beveridge is a veteran music educator, with fifteen years of experience in Seattle, Portland OR, and Chicago metropolitan areas, as well as Cowlitz County, WA. Primarily a secondary choral specialist, Tina also has multiple years of experience teaching elementary general music, secondary band classes, and community college. Her early experience working with inner-city students in Seattle and Chicago has directed her philosophy and interest in educational policy issues. Tina holds a B.A.from Seattle Pacific University and an M.M. from Northwestern University, both in Music Education. Her article "No Child Left Behind and Fine Arts Classes" was published in Arts Education Policy Review in 2010. She is currently an assistant professor of choral music education at George Mason University.

  • Vïctor Rubio Carríllo

    Victor Rubio

    Ecuadorian Contemporary Musician and Educator, Víctor works developing programs with the Outreach Department at the Frost School of Music. His works in the musical arts have challenged traditional political and cultural significances through the development of hybrid cultural identities. His educational practice revolves around the creation of environments where collectives can develop cohesively and cooperate with their ecosystems. His pedagogical practice is based on Anarchocratic principles and empowering solidarity. His research efforts have proposed a model of Musical Breathing for human flourishing. Currently, he is exploring the existential and spiritual properties of Music and Breathing. Additionally, his musical, educational and research practices have fused by creating action designs capable of transformative innovation. Víctor is currently undergoing Ph.D. studies at the University of Miami. He received an M.M. in Music Education from the Frost School of Music, and a B.A. in Contemporary Music from the College of Music at USFQ (Berklee International Network) with a Certification in Education Sciences from the College of Social Sciences and Humanities.

  • Nicolas Coffman

    Nicolas Coffman

    Nicolas Coffman is a music educator and technologist teaching at the Universidad de las Américas in Quito, Ecuador. His work focuses on the use of technology to create engaging musical experiences for performers of all skill levels. A classically trained string bassist with extensive experience in jazz, Nicolas has combined his expertise as an improvisor and performer with a passion for computers and wires into creating new paradigms for the creation, performance, and education of music. Recent projects include performances for Women's Choir and Digital Quartet and "Connected Instruments for Community Musicians and Music Educators" which was presented at the Community Music Activity Seminar at the International Society for Music Education World Conference in Edinburgh July 2016. His research interests are centered around the creation of engaging and adaptable physical interfaces and the mining of performance data for machine learning and artificial intelligence. Nicolas has degrees in Music Performance and Music Education from the University of Iowa and the University of Miami. He is married to former Forum Fellow Johanna Abril.

  • Candice Davenport

    Candice Davenport

    Candice Davenport Mattio an assistant professor of music education in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern Californio where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in music education. She holds degrees from the University of South Alabama (B.M.) and Northwestern University (M.M.) and earned her Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Miami in 2016 for her dissertation, A Model of Classroom Environment and Social-Psychological Factors Influencing Computer-Based Compositional Creativity. Her research interests include musical creativity, technology integration, blended and online teaching, and learning, social issues, and project-based learning in music education. Candice has presented her work at regional, national, and international conferences including the International Society for Music Education World Conference, the NAfME Music Research and Teacher Education National Conference, and the International Association for K-12 Blended and Online Learning Symposium. During her doctoral studies at UM, she interned with the Music Technology Leadership Academy, sponsored by TI:ME and NAMM, and earned certification from the Smithsonian Folkways World Music Pedagogy. Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, Candice was Chair of Fine Arts and taught secondary general music, electronic music and studio production, and contemporary instrumental and vocal ensembles in Chicago Public Schools and outreach programs throughout the area. She was also the co-recipient of the 2012 Next Generation Learning Challenges Grant, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Her earlier teaching positions include high school band and WGI indoor percussion ensembles throughout the Gulf Coast.

  • Margaret Flood

    Margaret Flood

    Margaret Flood is an assistant professor at Florida Southern College. While at Frost, she was an instructor of various instrumental and general music education methods classes, Frost New Horizons Band, and student-teacher supervisor. Margaret is also a 2019 Theodore Presser Graduate Award Recipient and founder of the 2020 Frost Young Women Conductors’ Symposium. She is also a clarinetist with an active performance schedule in the Frost Wind Ensemble and various ensembles throughout South and Southwest Florida. Prior to returning to her studies, Margaret taught instrumental music for eleven years in Florida and New York. She is an avid woodwind clinician, studio instructor, and adjudicator throughout the state of Florida. She is also a recipient of the Florida Music Educators Association Enrollment Award. Margaret holds degrees from Syracuse University (B.M. 04) and The Florida State University (M.M.E 07). She also holds a Graduate Certificate of World Music from FSU, where she was awarded the Ada Belle Winthrop-King Scholarship for studies in Portuguese language and culture, and for her dedication to research on Brazilian music. Her research focuses on documenting the lives of women conductors, clarinet pedagogy, and social projects for women musicians in Brazil.

  • Wendy Gunther

    Wendy Gunther

    Wendy Chen Gunther is a doctoral student in Music Education at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami, where she is a graduate teaching assistant, research fellow, and university student teaching supervisor. She holds degrees from the University of Miami (Master of Music) and Wheaton College, Illinois (Bachelor of Music Education). She was the recipient of the Frost School of Music's Outstanding Graduate Student award in 2020.

    An experienced music educator with over twenty-five years of teaching experience, Wendy previously taught K-5 elementary general music in Aurora, Illinois. During that time, she earned National Board Certification and completed three levels of Orff-Schulwerk certification. In 2021, she co-founded the Miami Community Music Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring comprehensive intergenerational music education and experiences from birth through adulthood to southwest Miami-Dade County, and serves as the Director of Educational Programming.

    Wendy's research focuses on cultural identity, race, gender and sexuality, and their intersection with music education. Her dissertation will study the effectiveness of prejudice reduction through musical storytelling. She has presented her research regionally and nationally at the Florida Music Educators Conference and the National Association for Music Education's biannual conference. Her article, The Unicorns of Elementary Schools: Male Elementary General Music Teachers, is forthcoming in Music Education Research.

  • Donna Hewitt

    Donna Hewitt

    Donna Hewitt currently serves as Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Music Education at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Before her time at the Frost School, she served in the New Jersey public school system as an elementary music specialist for 13 years. As someone always fascinated by different approaches to learning, she has incorporated concepts of Music Learning Theory and Orff-Schulwerk in her classroom, as well as delved into research involving parent attitudes and child aptitudes. Fueled by a passion of music for all, she continues to explore how we can improve upon our classroom practices through her interests in well-being, popular music education, curriculum, and informal music-making.

  • Stephanie Jones

    Stephanie Jones, a native of Miami has been a Music Educator for the last 7 years. In this time, she has taught in an elementary general music classroom where she cultivated a school atmosphere where music is given importance in the lives of the students as well as the community. Stephanie also sponsored after-school choir and drumline; these performance groups focused on bringing music to residents at assisted living facilities and performing for various community functions. During the 2015-2016 school year she was awarded Teacher of the Year from The Charter School at Waterstone. Stephanie has a B.M. in music education from The University of Miami and an M.S. in music education from Florida International University.

  • Marilia Kamil

    Marilia Kamil

    Originally from Brazil, Marilia Kamil started her music career in São Paulo, where she studied a wide range of musical forms and styles, including early music, classical, jazz, Bossa Nova, and folk. She worked as a performer in orchestras and choirs, and especially, as a music teacher. During her undergraduate years, she was awarded a grant to conduct her own research. Living in the USA since 2012, she taught early childhood and instrumental instruction in New York City, general music in public and private schools in the Bay Area (CA), along with higher education courses. Her main research interests are early childhood, how music can affect and influence people, music cognition and psychology. She holds a BA in music education from the University of São Paulo, and a MA in music and music education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Kamil presented her work at different conferences in Brazil, Portugal, and the USA. She defended her dissertation in spring 2024.

  • Vimari Colón León

    Vimari Colón León

    Vimari Colón-León is an Assistant Professor of Music at Bridgewater College in Virginia. Her teaching experiences include being a choral conductor, general music and early childhood specialist, and a woodwind instruments teacher. Her main instrument is the flute, with much experience in voice, piano, and oboe as well. For 7 years she served as the director of several choirs at the San Juan Children's Choir in Puerto Rico. Vimari received her Master in Music Education, May of 2014, her Graduate Artist Diploma in Flute Performance, May of 2012, and her Bachelor in Music Education, May 2010 from the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. Her teaching and research interests are teaching music to special populations, parental involvement, and body awareness in vocal performers. She completed her first two levels of the Kodaly Methodology Certification with the use of Latin American music. She has also participated in Orff and Dalcroze courses.

  • Marina McLerran

    Marina McLerran

    Marina McLerran is originally from Austin, Texas and has five years of public school teaching experience in East Texas. She earned her B.M. in Music Education from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2014 and her M.M. in Music Education from the University of Miami in 2021. In addition to teaching, Marina is a founding member and current administrator of the East Texas Chamber Winds. She has published articles in the Music Educators Journal the state journals for the Texas Bandmasters Association, the Florida Music Educators Association, and the Kansas Music Educators Association. Marina has presented at the annual Florida Music Educators Association convention (2020, 2021, 2023), performed in a musical showcase at the Texas Music Educators Association convention (2018), and participated in the University of Miami Graduate Research Symposium (2021, 2023, 2024). She defended her dissertation in spring 2024.

  • Kat Reinhert

    Kat Reinhert

    An educator, scholar, songwriter and singer, Kat Reinhert specializes in CCM vocal pedagogy and popular music curriculum and education in higher ed. Her sophomore album, Spark, was released to critical acclaim in August 2015, and a third album, Home Movie, was released in 2017. Kat has taught general music and contemporary styles to students in grades K – 12, as well as conducted and taught private lessons, ensembles, and classes in both the jazz and popular music genres as an adjunct professor at several universities. She has presented at both national and international conferences, including the International Jazz Vocal Conference, The Symposium for Music Education, and The Association for Popular Music Education Conference. Kat holds a B.M. in Jazz/Commercial Voice, an M.M. in Jazz Pedagogy, and a Ph.D. in Music Education, specializing in Popular Music Performance and Pedagogy in Higher Education. After finishing her Ph.D. she became Head of Contemporary Voice at the University of Miami. She is currently a Professor at the Berklee School of Music.

  • Giulia Ripani

    Giulia Ripani

    After earning a master’s degree in viola at the Conservatory Santa Cecilia in Rome and a bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University La Sapienza, Giulia Ripani continued her musical training with Bruno Giuranna at the Stauffer Academy of Cremona and Chigiana Academy. Her musical experiences included both chamber music performances and orchestral collaborations. In Rome, Giulia also worked as the assistant of Marco Fiorentini. To improve as a musician, she moved to Switzerland where she attained a master’s in performance at the Hochschule der Künste Bern with Patrick Jüdt and took master classes with Thomas Riebl, Veronica Hagen, and Hartmut Rohde. In Bern, she continued her pedagogical training to deepen her understanding of European strings teaching tradition. After working in Münster Symphony Orchestra, she enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Miami where she obtained a master’s degree in music education. In the last two years, she has been working as a teaching assistant in the strings Outreach programs of the university. She has also co-founded a project for educational pedagogy development and community music promotion that received a grant from the Citizen’s Board (CB). Giulia is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in music education at the University of Miami. Her research interests include socio-psychological analyses of musical representations and the development of strings methods. Giulia has been invited to present at Research Intersections Spring Graduate Research Symposium (Miami, 2018), FMEA (Tampa, 2019), and XII Symposium of Philosophy of Music Education (London, Canada, 2019). She is currently a Research Postdoctoral Fellow at Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University.

  • Melissa Ryan

    Melissa Ryan

    Melissa Ryan is an Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire. While at Frost, Melissa Ryan served as a research and teaching assistant, as well as a general music specialist. She worked alongside faculty and community members to advance the musical engagement, pedagogical learning, and social awareness of undergraduate music education students. Melissa also facilitated learning through community outreach, teaching for inclusive afterschool and weekend music programs for underserved students in Miami. She has also taught in Hawaii, China, and Tennessee in elementary and secondary general music settings. Melissa earned an M.M. in Music Education from the University of Miami, completing a thesis on mentoring practices within a studio teaching context. She continued her research at the Frost School, with interests such as power dynamics in the music teacher education process, creating inclusive classroom environments, and mentoring preservice teachers. She has presented her research at state, national, and international conferences, and continues to share her practical experiences with local classroom teachers through professional development workshops.

  • Rob Saunders

    Rob Saunders

    Robert Saunders is an Assistant Professor at Augusta University. He is a strings specialist interested in informal music-making, music cognition, and secondary and collegiate curriculum. In addition to teaching primary and secondary level strings classes, he received his Bachelor of Science degree at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a Master of the Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. While in the Ph.D. program in Music Education at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, Robert presented posters and sessions at several state and national conferences on a wide variety of topics. Growing up in a family of highly skilled musicians and educators, he developed his passion for music performance within American Vernacular and classical music and his interest in discovering musical development. Robert continues to maintain an active career playing country, bluegrass, modern western art, and classical music and teaching studio cello and violin. While pursuing his Ph.D., Robert also helped with evaluating and subsequently restructuring the musical curriculum at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind to better address the needs of their clients. He is nearing the completion of his dissertation while serving the Miami Music Project as their Music Education Director.

  • Cat Bennett Walling

    Cat Bennett Walling

    Cat Bennett Walling is an Assistant Professor at the Oakland University. Her research interests revolve around multicultural, transcultural, and intercultural methods and philosophies in the choral classroom. Cat is passionate about promoting cultural awareness in music programs worldwide and helping educators be authentic, innovative, and global in their approaches. Over the past 10 years, Cat has taught and studied music in many countries around the world. She has taught K – 12 general and choral music in Japan and Thailand and has worked as a volunteer music teacher in Honduras and South Africa. She has studied Hindustani Classical voice in India, Shona choral music in South Africa, Tembang in Indonesia, and Ewe music in Ghana. Cat has a B.M. in music education from Ithaca College and an M.M. in music education from Indiana University, where she assistant directed the International Vocal Ensemble for two years. She has presented workshops at SEASAC and ISTA festivals in Thailand and her research was recently published in the International Journal of Music Education.