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2017 Social Justice & Diversity Graduate Research Fellows named

  • 2017 Fellows:
    2017 Fellows:  From left, Dane Pascoe, Clayton Martin, Hannah Mawyer, Hannah Franz, Laura Pignato, Asia Randolph, and Kirstin Byrd. (Not pictured: Yi Hao)  
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The inaugural cohort of Social Justice & Diversity Graduate Research Fellows has been selected for the 2017-2018 academic year. The fellowship offers eight students from various fields within education the opportunity to form a community to support and promote research in the areas of social justice and diversity.

The fellowship aims to facilitate networking and interdisciplinary collaborations, provide a platform for feedback and mentoring, and create a space where new projects can be discussed and promoted. 

Clayton Martin, a doctoral student in counselor education and one of the newly selected fellows, particularly appreciates the interdisciplinary nature of the program. “I see this fellowship as an opportunity to expand my understanding of mental health advocacy by working with those with similar goals in other fields. I greatly hope to learn more about the intersection of mental health advocacy and issues in education, planning and curriculum, and public policy.”

The fellowship is designed to support students as they learn practical, rigorous research skills, bolster their writing, and gain exposure to the submission and editorial processes essential to being productive researchers. Funding will also be available to help students attend conferences to present their research.

For Asia Randolph, a doctoral student in higher education administration, the fellowship offers an exciting opportunity to network, share best practices, and be mentored by experienced scholars. “The ability to meet regularly with these scholars will ensure our mutual success because we will have each other to lean on for support and motivation.”

Natoya Haskins, assistant professor of counselor education, developed the fellowship to provide students an opportunity to develop their emerging scholar identity and gain essential knowledge and confidence in their roles as researchers. “My hope is that fellows will learn the methodological rigor and research integrity necessary to create new knowledge — knowledge that has the potential to uplift marginalized identities and challenge oppression.”

2017 Social Justice and Diversity Graduate Research Fellows:

Kirstin Byrd
Ed.D. Higher Education Administration
My research explores the experiences of LGBTQ students at HBCUs, hoping to find themes across institutions that would shed light on ways to alleviate the pervasive climate of homophobia on these campuses. My research experience has been very eclectic. I was trained in biomedical research, worked in a child pathology lab, and interned in social epidemiology. Though I also like the world of research in the hard sciences, during my undergraduate years I fell in love with activism and social justice, deciding then to switch my research interests to the social sciences. My research interests as of now are very closely tied to Black feminism, bringing living culture to theory, and bridging paths to empowerment and self-determination for marginalized individuals and groups at the myriad social intersections that make up the human experience.

Hannah Franz 
Ph.D. Curriculum Leadership 
My current research aims to inform and develop K-12 and college curriculum for social justice and diversity. I am especially focused on equity in the transition from K-12 to college. I have co-authored a book for first- and second-year college students, The Indispensable Guide to Undergraduate Research: Success in and Beyond College, based on the curriculum of the William and Mary Scholars Undergraduate Research Experience (WMSURE). WMSURE draws on quantitative and qualitative community-based research to expand access to undergraduate research for high-achieving students from backgrounds underrepresented in higher education. My dissertation analyzes and compares the approaches to writing in college preparatory and general high school curriculum so that college writing educators can mitigate inequities in college preparation in their classrooms. 

Yi Hao
Ph.D. Higher Education Administration
My research interests are mainly focused on faculty development, research methods, gender issues, and leadership.  I have research experiences and am involved in topic areas including creativity (literature review), teacher education (literature review), community colleges (NSF supported empirical study), faculty development (qualitative study), intelligence test (measurement), and STEM education (empirical study) with a number of presentations at several conferences. 

Clayton Martin 
Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision 
The bulk of my research experience is in strengths-based approaches to counseling, philosophical and scientific issues in counseling, creative approaches to counseling, and advocacy issues in counseling. I have presented multiple times at the American Counseling Association's annual conference, and I have co-authored nine articles for refereed publications.

Hannah Mawyer 
M.Ed. Secondary Biology 
As an undergraduate biology major, I worked at the Institute for Integrative Bird Behavior Studies at William & Mary where I helped with field work, data collection, and data entry and analysis. I also designed, implemented, and did the analysis for a small public health research project in Andahuaylas, Peru, in which I used the Health Beliefs Model to examine the communities' knowledge and self-efficacy of basic first aid. Currently, I’m interested in the lack of rural and low-income students being recruited, admitted to, and supported at institutions of higher education. I would like to conduct research that relates to high school administrators and teachers in order to find out the best programs, attitudes, and procedures for supporting these populations while they're in secondary school, exposing and encouraging them to attend colleges, and supporting them while they're in college so they can earn their degree and continue into adulthood. 

Dane Pascoe 
Ph.D. Higher Education Administration 
My work and research have dealt primarily with understanding how college students navigate friendships. An unexpected finding of a study I did in the fall of 2016 was how important the role of friendship is to the development of one's sexual identity. As a result, I'm interested in queer theory and LGBT student development in higher education. Specifically, I'm interested in exposing the ways in which harmful social expectations hinder the social development of LGBT college students.

Laura Pignato
Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision
My research interests include: social justice experiences of students of color in counselor education programs; experiences of young, single mothers following natural disasters and equity of resources; advocacy competencies and social justice pedagogy of counselors-in-training at predominantly white institutions; feminist post-structural pedagogy for young, single mother families; feminist post-structural pedagogy for intimate partner violence training. 

Asia Randolph 
Ph.D. Higher Education Administration 
My research interests focus on the role mentoring plays in the lives of underserved or underresourced students (typically depicted as students of color). As I zoom into the concept of mentoring, several related subtopics emerge to include: peer mentoring, cross-cultural mentoring, intergroup dialogue, leadership development, developing trust, and African American women. As someone who owes her success to the help of mentors, many of whom do not share my identity as a Black woman, I want to contribute to the body of knowledge surrounding this topic. I also want to use this knowledge to better serve the needs of the diverse undergraduates served by the SPAN Peer Mentoring Program that I oversee as part of my graduate assistantship. My goal is to use mentoring to understand how students navigate the college experience and connect to the valuable resources needed to further their education.