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Sonya D. Hayes

Sonya D. Hayes

Associate Professor


Dr. Sonya Hayes is an Associate Professor in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Tennessee. She earned her PhD from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Prior to entering the professoriate, she served as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal at the secondary level for 23 years. Her research primarily focuses on leadership development and support for both pre- and in-service school principals, specifically concentrating on professional learning paradigms for principals such as mentoring, coaching, and networking. She is currently studying both international and rural principal networks as well as developing character and virtue in principal leadership programming. Dr. Hayes serves in numerous capacities for UCEA, AERA, and the University of Tennessee.

Sonya Hayes CV

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Hayes has publications in several peer-reviewed journals. She serves on the Editorial Review Board for Mentoring and Tutoring Journal, and she is a reviewer for the Journal of Research on Leadership Education, Journal of Higher Education, International Journal of Leadership in Education, and Education Leadership Review. Additionally, she has published book chapters and feature articles in practitioner magazines.


  1. Derrington, M.L. & Hayes, S.D. (2020). Crisis leadership: Principals’ resilience under extraordinary pressure, In J. Glanz (Ed.), Crisis and Pandemic Leadership: Implications for Meeting the Needs of Students, Teachers, and Parents. Emerald.
  2. Hayes, S.D. & Angelle, P.A. (2020). Relational mentoring for supporting school principals in social justice leadership. In C. Mullen (Ed.), Handbook of Social Justice Interventions in Education. Springer.
  3. Hayes, S.D. & Burkett, J.R. (2020). Almost a principal: Coaching and training assistant principals for the next level of leadership. Journal of School Leadership. Available first online at
  4. Hayes, S.D., & Mahfouz, J. (2020, in press). Principals and mentorship: An international review of empirical research from 1999-2019. Research in Educational Administration & Leadership.
  5. Locke, L.A. & Hayes, S.D. (2020, in press). Navigating the gendered labyrinths within the academy: A dialogue between two women assistant professors. The Sojo Journal: Educational Foundations and Social Justice Education.
  6. Stone-Johnson, C. & Hayes, S.D. (2020). Using improvement science to (Re)design leadershippreparation: Exploring curriculum change across five university programs. Journal of Research in Leadership Education. Available first online at
Sonya D. Hayes

Contact Information

  • 1122 Volunteer Boulevard 313 Bailey Education Complex, Knoxville, TN 37996-3430
  • Phone: 865.974.7696
  • E-mail: