Scholarship Support Program Projects: January Presentations

This past summer, the Reich College of Education (RCOE) funded ten projects to support faculty and staff on research and creative projects through the Summer Scholarship Support Program. The purpose of the program is to provide support for the development of projects that implement elements of the RCOE Strategic Plan. Projects focused on the refinement of existing research or the creation of new research projects, development and refinement of instructional practices and strategies, engagement in policy development, and/or development of innovative professional development opportunities for faculty, staff or students. The awards were limited to $1000.00 per project.

For the October, December, and January RCOE Faculty and Staff meetings, recipients of the funds will present their projects. On January 22, 2021, the following projects will be featured:

Social Class Supports: Programs and Practices to Serve and Sustain Poor and Working Class Students through Higher Education

Sonja Ardoin

Dr. Sonja Ardoin, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling, will present her project titled, “Social Class Supports: Programs and Practices to Serve and Sustain Poor and Working Class Students through Higher Education.”  

Her project is tied to her forthcoming co-edited book, which is scheduled for release in March 2021. The 29-chapter book highlights support efforts to enhance the college experience for poor and working class students in higher education.

“This book explores social class supports enacted by a variety of higher education constituents and offers practical, applied ideas for college educators, professionals, and administrators to engage their poor and working class student populations in meaningful and additive ways,” she noted.

Ardoin’s project aligns with the RCOE strategic plans, specifically directions one, two, and four. “The social class supports explained in the book can be scaled for use in the RCOE to increase recruitment, retention, and support of poor and working class students to and through RCOE programs,” said Ardoin.

“This project is part of my research agenda to advance knowledge and address the call from the UNC System to increase college-going of poor and working class students,” she added. 

“The book centers diversity and equity work and provides examples of how to embrace social class diversity on college campuses,” she continued. 

Ardoin has submitted program proposals for two national conferences - ACPA-College Student Educators International and NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education - this spring to highlight the content of the book.

Ardoin’s research interests include: 

  • Social Class Identity in Higher Education, 
  • College Access and Success for First-Generation College Students and Students from Rural Areas, 
  • Career Preparation and Pathways in Higher Education and Student Affairs, and 
  • Student and Women's Leadership in Higher Education.

She has received several grants including four ACPA research grants, National Orientation Directors Association (NODA) Catalyst Grant, and the Appalachian State University Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Research Grant.

Ardoin has also received many awards: ACPA Emerging Scholars-Designee, The Chronicle of Higher Education Bookshelf Feature, the Center for First-generation Student Success CatalystFIRST Speaker designation, NASPA Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education Knowledge Community’s Outstanding Service to NASPA Award, NASPA Emerging Faculty Leader Academy, The Chronicle of Higher Education Profile Feature.

Thinking With Theory in Qualitative Research

Alecia Jackson

Dr. Alecia Jackson, a professor of the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies, will present her project titled, “Thinking With Theory in Qualitative Research.” 

The project is linked with the tenth anniversary of her book by the same name and second edition publication, which is scheduled for release in January 2021. The second edition will include a revised introduction, an additional analytic chapter using a new concept, and a completely rewritten conclusion.

“The impact of the second edition will bolster the already upward-trend of Thinking With Theory into the next generation of scholars and will continue to inform my teaching and scholarship,” said Jackson.

Jackson's book aligns with the RCOE’s strategic direction two: Advancing Knowledge.

“My project is aligned with the efforts of the college to support faculty in producing knowledge for the field of educational research,” noted Jackson. 

Jackson's research interests bring feminist, poststructural, and posthuman theories of power/knowledge, language, materiality, and subjectivity to bear on a range of overlapping topics: deconstructions of voice and method; conceptual analyses of resistance, freedom, and agency in girls’ and women’s lives; and qualitative analysis in the “posts.” Her work seeks to animate philosophical frameworks in the production of the new, and her current projects are focused on the ontological turn, qualitative inquiry, and thought. 

This past fall Jackson was awarded the Provost's Award for Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity. She has also received numerous other awards such as the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies 100 Scholars Research Award (2019) and the RCOE Outstanding Scholarship Award (2016 & 2008). 

Dispositions in Action and Teacher Success on the edTPA

Holly Thornton

Dr. Holly Thornton, a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, will present her project titled, “Dispositions in Action and Teacher Success on the edTPA.” 

According to Thornton, the disposition of teachers can have an impact on student learning: “Dispositions in action may be thought of as a link between practice and perception and are evidenced within classroom dialogue and teacher interactions with students.”

“Teachers who exhibit more responsive dispositions emphasize student learning that is focused on deep understanding, where students are encouraged to ask questions, examine assumptions, and construct new meanings,” she continued. 

She added, “Teachers who exhibit technical dispositions have classrooms where students are encouraged to seek correct answers in an efficient, straightforward manner.”

Thornton’s project aligns with the RCOE strategic plans direction one: Creating the Transformational Educational Experience.

“An examination of a practice/based model of dispositions that have been found to correlate with depth of student learning may better inform how we actually develop desired dispositions within our programs and become a transformational, embedded and student earning based part of our teacher preparation practices,” she noted.

The next steps for her project are to continue data collection and analysis. The results will be used to help strengthen the current dispositions behavioral tool used by the RCOE. The findings will be complete in summer or fall 2021.

Thornton's research interests include 

  • Educator Dispositions, 
  • Teacher Quality, and
  • Partnerships and Teacher Leadership. 
Published: Jan 12, 2021 9:50am