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Jingjing Liu, Ph.D. ’23, named Holmes Scholar of the Month

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    Jingjing Liu, Ph.D. '23  is named Holmes Scholar of the Month  
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Jingjing Liu, Ph.D. ’23 has been a Holmes Scholar since her first year at William & Mary as a doctoral student in the Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership in Higher Education Administration degree program and was recently named the Holmes Scholar of the Month by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). The Holmes Scholars program provides mentorship, professional development opportunities, and networking for doctoral students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. “I was passionate about becoming a Holmes Scholar when I came to William & Mary. I wanted to join the Holmes Scholar program to promote my professional skills, network with scholars, and further my academic and professional journey” shares Liu.

Liu describes the many benefits of the Holmes Scholar program including the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues, communicate with peers in other fields, participate in professional development activities, and receive financial support to attend the annual AACTE conference. At William & Mary, the Holmes Scholars meet monthly with program director and associate professor of higher education, Stephanie Blackmon. Liu comments, “Dr. Blackmon has provided great mentorship. Our monthly meetings are a safe space to share experiences and ask questions. Dr. Blackmon also shares resources for grants, job opportunities, conferences, and scholarships.”

As a Holmes Scholar, Liu was offered an opportunity to teach an English language course at the William & Mary Law School for first semester international law students in the Master of Laws Degree (LL.M.) program. Liu developed the course syllabus and improved her students’ language skills while also providing them with campus and Williamsburg community resources. This teaching experience has been influential for Liu as she now hopes to research how faculty members can build an inclusive classroom with social justice embedded into the curriculum.

Liu has also participated in the annual AACTE Conference as a presenter. “I have benefited from sharing my research, gaining new perspectives, and communicating with scholars nationwide” shares Liu. In 2021, Liu collaborated with Danielle Giscombe, another doctoral student and Holmes Scholar alumna, in a roundtable session entitled “Experiential Learning Concepts: In the Time of COVID-19,” where they shared research on improving student learning in higher education spaces through experiential learning in online courses.

Liu continues to conduct research on supporting students in higher education with a focus on transfer student success and college transition for international students. Her current dissertation research, “Faculty Involvement in Vertical Transfer: A Case Study of a Rural Community College” explores the high rate of students transferring to a four-year university from a rural Virginia community college. Liu is using surveys, interviews, document analysis, and observations to better understand the school’s success in transitioning students to a four-year university. “The findings of the study will offer insights into faculty’s voices in the vertical transfer process and strategies for engaging faculty in supporting transfer students” shares Liu.

Overall, being a Holmes Scholar has provided Liu with many unique opportunities and experiences. “To be named the Holmes Scholar of the Month by AACTE is such an honor and pride. I am very grateful for the opportunities that the William & Mary Holmes Scholars program has provided, which nourish my professional growth, help me obtain a sense of belonging through networking and collaborating with peer scholars, and strengthen my commitment to a more equitable and inclusive higher education” shares Liu.

Blackmon shares, “It is such an honor to have one of our William & Mary students selected as a Holmes Scholar of the Month. Jingjing is an excellent student and an excellent instructor who is doing very meaningful work in the areas of social justice and community colleges.”