mahfouz, julia

Julia Mahfouz

Assistant Professor
  • School of Education & Human Development

Julia Mahfouz is an assistant professor in the Leadership for Educational Organizations program, School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado-Denver. She has a Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in Educational Leadership with minors in Comparative International education and Curriculum & Instruction. Her research agenda has been shaped by her educational work as an international educator in the capacity of high school teacher, department chair, principal (K-12), and curriculum director. Her research explores the social, emotional, and cultural dynamics of urban and rural educational settings and their effects on school climate and school improvement utilizing qualitative and mixed methodologies. Her work seeks to deepen our understanding of social emotional learning (SEL) through lenses of intervention implementation, school improvement efforts, and preparation of school leaders to create spaces equitable for all where all could flourish utilizing policy as a lever for change and as a powerful context that shapes education at multiple levels of the system.

Areas of Expertise

  • Social Emotional Learning
  • School Improvement
  • Principal Preparation programs
  • Leadership Development
  • Qualitative & Mixed Methods

Education, Licensure & Certifications

  • Ph.D., Educational Leadership The Pennsylvania State University
    • Minors: Curriculum & Supervision
    • Comparative & International Education
  • M.A., English Literature, American university of Beirut
  • Post B.A. Teaching Diploma, American university of Beirut
  • B.A., English Literature, American University of Beirut



  • Donald J. Willower Award of Excellence in Educational Administration, The Consortium for the Study of Leadership and Ethics in Education (2019)
  • Dissertation of the Year Finalist of Leadership in School Improvement SIG (2018)
  • Donald J. Willower Dissertation Award in Educational Leadership (2017)
  • Recipient of Dissertation Research Initiation (2016 - 2017)
  • David L. Clark Scholar (2016)
  • Barbara Jackson Scholar, UCEA (2015 – 2017)
  • Recipient of Robert Mitstifer Memorial Award (2016)
  • Recipient of Robert F. Nicely, Jr. & Donna C. Nicely Doctoral Student Research Fund in Education (2016)


  • University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Comparative and International Education Society (CIES)
  • American Mindfulness Research Association (AMRA)
  • Consortium for the Study of Leadership and Ethics in Education (CSLEE)
  • American Educational Studies Association (AESA)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • The Maxine Greene Center for Aesthetic Education and Social Imagination