Starr’s Mill has a new doctor in the house

English teacher Lela Crowder earns Ph.D. for work with young adult literature


Shelby Foster

Dr. Leila Crowder opens her copy of “Young Adult Literature.” “It’s a book I used for part of my research, I learned about the history of young adult literature,” Crowder said. Crowder spent three years at Mercer University to become a doctor in Curriculum and Instruction and awaits the graduation ceremony in May of 2017.

Kate Chasey, Staff Writer

Another Starr’s Mill teacher has joined the academic elite. English teacher Lela Crowder recently completed three years of school to obtain her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.  She joins Dr. Sue Hutton and Dr. John Odom as doctors at the Mill.

“I’ve been wanting this for many years,” Crowder said. “I wrote my dissertation on young adult literature, which allowed me to continue my research.”

Crowder’s ambition to achieve her goal flourished while obtaining her Education Specialist degree in Teacher Leadership.  “I had to complete a big research paper for my specialist degree,” Crowder said, which “sparked a professional interest that I wanted to pursue further.”

Moving forward in her research on young adult literature, Crowder made the bold decision to apply to Mercer University in hopes of earning her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.

Crowder claims three main reasons for wanting to earn this achievement. “I decided to take this step in my career because I love school, I wanted to give myself career opportunities, and I wanted to find out more about my research topic, young adult literature,” Crowder said. “I was interested in the literature itself, the history behind it, and the way people think about it.”

Mercer University will formally recognize Crowder’s achievement during their graduation ceremonies in May 2017.