Educational Research and Policy Analysis Students Receive Dissertation of the Year Awards
Current and former Ph.D. students in NC State’s Educational Research and Policy Analysis-Higher Education Policy program have had a big year earning awards, specifically awards recognizing the excellence of their dissertations. These Dissertation of the Year awards recognize innovative methodology, advancement of knowledge, integration of research and theory, insightful implications for policy and practice, and generating or extending theory in the higher education field.
According to Dr. Audrey Jaeger, Associate Professor in Educational Research and Policy Analysis – Higher Education Policy at NC State, Dissertation of the Year awards are “the highest recognition for a student in [her] academic discipline.” Having had three of her advisees receive this highly distinguished award during the last year, she says “brings great visibility to NC State. “Personally,” Dr. Jaeger reports, “having three of my advisees win national awards for their dissertation research means I work with the best students in the country. I believe effective mentoring and guidance in the research process is extremely important to the disposition of early career researchers. I take immense pride in their accomplishments!"
During her nearly 30 years of working in student affairs at colleges and universities in the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast, Barr has “experienced firsthand the diversification and globalization of higher education in this country,” and she continues to be “intrigued by observing student culture and how it changes over time.” Since graduating from NC State in May 2013, Barr has continued to serve in her position of 14 years as dean of students at Salem College, a liberal arts college in Winston-Salem that is the oldest college for women in the country by founding date.
Since receiving her Ph.D., Dunstan has stayed loyal to the Wolfpack as Assistant Director of the Office of Assessment at NC State and in continuing research to execute the implications for practice from her dissertation. “When we think about diversity in higher education,” she explains, “we don’t often think specifically about language or dialect, and unfortunately, there are a lot of stereotypes about language use and misinformation that can negatively impact our experiences.” Accordingly, Dunstan is currently working with Dr. Jaeger and Dr. Walt Wolfram on a project “Educating the Educated: A University Wide Linguistic Diversity Initiative” to raise awareness of and celebrate language diversity on campus. In hopes of spreading understanding of dialect diversity, the group has created a dialect diversity vignette, which includes an appearance from the Chancellor, that they hope will be viewed by every member of the campus community.
The Graduate School extends warm congratulations to these three outstanding students for their award-winning dissertations and applauds them their continued contributions to the field of higher education!
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