The Department of Educational Studies, within the College of Education and Human Development, held its first annual Research Forum on April 6, 2023. At the forum, doctoral students showcased their research to a committee of graduate students and faculty.
The five students presenting their work included Adriana Marín-Herrera, Darcy Clark, Monika Bharti, Patricia J'nean Arnold and Tyler Earl Wicks with Cristina Lash, Ph.D. Their research spans from language use in classroom environments and teacher preparedness to politics and student experiences.
The students' research has implications for both K-12 and higher education, specifically in teacher education programs, leadership development programs and services for historically minoritized students.
Faculty members from the Equity, Diversity, & Language Education program created this event as a professional development opportunity to build community among doctoral students. Fares Karam, Ph.D. and Rose Ann Gutierrez, Ph.D., co-organized this event along with a graduate student committee comprised of Rachel F. Knecht, Sergey Mogilnyy and Gökçe Unlu.
Gutierrez spoke about the goals of this event, "the Ph.D. process can be an isolating one, but it doesn't have to be that way. We wanted our Ph.D. students to learn with and from one another. We have heard from some of our graduate students that they want to meet other students and connect with them." She continued. "Due to COVID-19, we're still transitioning from a space that has been fully virtual back to a physical space with more in-person activities. Our Ph.D. students are yearning for those connections in the program, and this is only the beginning."
This space also allowed doctoral students to practice their public speaking skills in front of an understanding audience in preparation for national conferences. Students also learned about each other's work and various techniques used to disseminate their research.
In the future, they plan to expand this event to include other departments in the College for graduate students to share and learn across disciplines. Gutierrez also said she hopes faculty can take more of a mentorship role for this event, so graduate students can take more ownership in organizing this annual event.
The Ph.D. in Education: Equity, Diversity, & Language Education program prepares students with increased knowledge of equity and diversity issues in the field of education and skills in conducting empirical research. This program allows educators and those in related areas to enhance their knowledge, skills, and dispositions to work more effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds.