Eileen Hegel, Distinguished Faculty award winner in 2014 for the School of Liberal Arts, has been awarded an EdD in Educational Leadership at Liberty University. Her dissertation, which she completed in May 2015, is entitled A Phenomenological Study of Facebook Messages from Female Friends to Middle School Girls and the Multi-Dimensional Effect on Self-Esteem.
Hegel says she wanted this degree in order to further her academic career and to be a role model to her students. Academia is a second career for Hegel, with her first being in radio/TV. Her radio/TV and workshops have revolved around building the self-esteem of girls and women. She has a passion to empower girls and women for overall health and well-being, particularly as it is related to the media. Her dissertation speaks to this end and fills a need for qualitative research to hear the voices of girls as related to social media.