Student news for the Fall 2016 edition of Learning Connections


Minero featured in Madison Magazine’s ‘Out of the Shadows’ report

Madison Magazine cover photoLaura P. Minero
was featured in the cover story of the August issue of Madison Magazine.

The report is headlined, “Out of the shadows: Laura P. Minero is one of many undocumented Latino immigrants who’ve had a long journey to a better life in America — and the journey is not over.”

Minero is a Ph.D. student with the School of Education’s Department of Counseling Psychology.

The fascinating and in-depth report by Maggie Ginsberg begins: “They risked everything they had for a chance at a better life. But for many undocumented Latino immigrants, entering the U.S. was just the beginning of a journey fraught with roadblocks greater than any border wall. Still, many in the Madison area have thrived, building homes, businesses and families despite the ever-present fear of deportation…. And amid the wake of rising political rhetoric against them, they’re starting to speak out.”

This past spring Minero was selected as an awardee in the Ford Foundation’s 2016 Predoctoral Fellowship Competition. She plans to use this award, which provides support for three years, to develop a mixed-method study that assesses the role and influence of U.S. detention centers on undocumented transgender individuals’ mental health and wellness.

Ventura among university’s 2016 Outstanding Women of Color

UW–Madison’s Outstanding Women of Color Selection Committee announced in September its six Outstanding Women of Color for 2016, and the School of Education’s Julissa Ventura is among the people being recognized.

Ventura is a Ph.D. candidate with the Department of Educational Policy Studies and is a Fellow of the Morgridge Center for Public Service Community-University Exchange-South Madison. Ventura has played a leading role in the university’s South Madison Partnership

Fuller selected for new national leadership program

How do we create better, more equitable health for all?

FullerThat’s the question that 40 doctoral students from across the country will explore as part of the new Health Policy Research Scholars program being led by Johns Hopkins University, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

And one of those being selected in September to join the program is UW–Madison’s Regina Y. Fuller, a doctoral student with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Policy Studies. Fuller works with Lesley Bartlett, a professor with the Department of Educational Policy Studies.

As part of the inaugural cohort of scholars with the program, Fuller plans to build research on how African-born adolescents, in the United States and West Africa, interact with community-based spaces around issues of reproductive health and pregnancy prevention.

“Too often high rates of teenage pregnancy persist in underserved communities, and teen mothers are unable to continue secondary or collegiate education,” says Fuller. “In my research, I will examine how community based programs provide sexual education to African-born youth and support to young mothers using culturally responsive, asset-based models. This comparative study aims to build evidence and contribute to better policies on sexual education programs for African youth both here in Madison and abroad.”

As part of the Health Policy Research Scholars program, Fuller also will be developing high-level leadership skills through professional coaching, mentoring, networking and an advanced health policy curriculum. Fuller says she will spend the first two years of the fellowship completing her doctoral coursework at UW–Madison while taking an online course in health policy at Johns Hopkins and participating in summer health policy institutes in Washington, D.C. Fuller will also conduct her comparative study and write her dissertation during the last two years of the fellowship.

Around the School ...

● posted a news article in July about the Xicanx Institute for Education and Self Determination, which is the brainchild of Jorge F. Rodriguez, a doctoral candidate with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Rodriguez, who also holds a master’s degree from the School of Education’s Department of Counseling Psychology, is the instructor and author of the curriculum that was used within the two-week institute held in August at Madison East High School. It embraces a Freirian framework based in horizontal learning where students are experts in their own experiences and realities, and where both the student and the teacher may enter into a learning environment where they both may learn from each other’s context and contribution. UW–Madison School of Education Dean Diana Hess was among the people who visited the institute this summer.

Felice Amato delivered the keynote talk at Kutztown University’s 78th annual Art Education Conference on Nov. 18. Amato is a Ph.D. candidate with the School of Education’s Art Department. This year’s conference theme was “Performing Stories,” and focused on using narrative pedagogy while learning and teaching art. Artists, performers and educators appeared alongside Amato at the conference to discuss how individual, societal and cultural stories affect classroom dialogue. Amato works with puppets in her art to explore many different narrative themes such as motherhood, desire, love and loss. Amato and other groups that specialize in object performance, like puppetry, led a workshop at the conference.

● Members of UW–Madison’s Athletic Training Students for Brain Safety (ATSBS) group were in Baltimore in June to promote the expansion of their grass roots organization at the annual meeting of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). ATSBS is an education and advocacy group that promotes brain safety on the campus and greater Madison community. Its members have used funds from a Baldwin Wisconsin Idea mini-grant to pursue chapter organizations at the state and regional levels. UW–Madison’s athletic training (AT) program is housed within the School of Education’s Department of Kinesiology.

HammanLaura Hamman in October received a 2016 Doctoral Dissertation Grant from The International Research Foundation (TIRF) for English Language Education to help fund her dissertation research. Hamman is a Ph.D. candidate with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Her dissertation is titled: “Language and Identity in Dual Language Immersion: A Comparative Study of Being and Becoming Bilingual.” As part of the study Hamman is collaborating with classroom teachers to design a bilingual book project to see how the process of creating a bilingual text shapes student learning, second language acquisition and investment in becoming bilingual. The grant money will be used to print individual copies of the books for all students and teachers.

Mauriell H. Amechi in September was awarded an ACPA Foundation Grant for his research project, “Straight out of Foster Care: A Qualitative Antideficit Study of Student Achievers.” Amechi’s research focuses on the experiences of underserved populations in higher education, with a particular emphasis on foster care youth and their college transitions. Amechi is an Advanced Opportunity Research Fellow and doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.

● The Association for the Study of Higher Education announced that Valerie Crespin-Trujillo is joining the ASHE Board of Directors as the organization’s graduate student representative. She was elected to serve a two-year term. Crespin-Trujillo is a Ph.D. student with the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis.
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