Dawn graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut, USA, publishing her undergraduate thesis on “Gender Role Portrayals and the Disney Princesses” which remains her most cited work to date. She went on to study an MSc and PhD in the same field at Arizona State University, USA, under the supervision of Dr. Carol Martin, studying the influence of gender development on the lives of children in school. Her PhD thesis examined the effects of gender on the primary school graduation rates in a rural community in Guatemala that received significant educational intervention support, aiming to understand the efficacy of such interventions. This led her to pursue an MBA at Hult International Business School in London to further understand how to manage and evaluate large scale international interventions, with a focus on those involving sustainability and corporate social responsibility. From there, she served as the Academic Lead on the Student Attainment Project at the University of West London, an OfS funded intervention to improve BAME attainment across UK higher education. She then moved to Dubai to study the influence of gender on education and to establish high quality educational leadership training programmes in the region.
Dawn maintains professional memberships with local organizations including the Gulf Comparative Education Society as well as international bodies including the Comparative and International Education Society, the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development, and the Society for Research in Child Development.