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Si Chen Receives 2024 International Student Achievement Award

  • Si Chen Ph.D. '25
    Si Chen Ph.D. '25    
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The Reves Center for International Studies at William & Mary has announced that Si Chen Ph.D. '25, a graduate student in Educational Policy, Planning & Leadership with a concentration in Curriculum & Learning Design at the W&M School of Education, has received a 2024 International Student Achievement Award. Chen, who is a student from China, is one of only two graduate and four undergraduate students at the university to be so honored. In his nomination of Chen for the award, Professor Christopher R. Gareis described Chen as “among the top doctoral students, domestic or international, with whom I have worked.”

Eva Wong, Director of International Students, Scholars and Programs (ISSP) at the Reves Center, presented the awards at the Evening of Excellence: William & Mary Celebrates Student Achievement event on Thursday, April 18.

“Every year, we receive nominations from faculty and staff across the campus and I’m always amazed by the accomplishments of our international students,” said Wong. “It’s wonderful to see the students demonstrating William & Mary’s core values of excellence, flourishing, and service both in and outside the classroom.”

International Student Achievement Awards of $700 each are given each spring to W&M and Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) international students who have been nominated by faculty or staff as having distinguished themselves as exemplary in their academics, leadership and service to the community. All faculty and staff are eligible to nominate a student.

Professor Gareis’s endorsement was enthusiastic:  

"Si is a conscientious, diligent contributor, who also exhibits peer leadership. He willingly supports his classmates by offering support through peer-review of their writing, and he is an excellent presenter in class, having served on occasion as a co-teacher and as a guest lecturer.

Si has published two peer-reviewed journal articles as a co-author, with another three first-author papers under review, and two papers in progress. He has presented at five refereed academic conferences as a solo or first presenter and presented two research studies at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Conference. This is an exceptional level of scholarly productivity for a doctoral student. Si served as the managing editor for the William & Mary Educational Review in the 2022-2023 academic year, and he also served as a peer-reviewer for the AERA Annual Conference.

Recognizing that attending academic conferences is essential but costly Si proposed and then organized the CLD & K-12 Post-AERA 2023 Panel in which professors and doctoral students who attended the AERA conference in 2023 shared experiences with students who did not attend. This was an extraordinary learning opportunity for the panel presenters and participants alike, and it was one more step in our efforts to build a community of scholars among our doctoral students across areas of concentration.

As a voluntary graduate intern at the W&M Studio for Teaching & Learning Innovation (STLI), Si has contributed to campus-wide teaching and learning at W&M through multiple projects, such as being the single author of “A Policy Brief of Regular and Substantive Interaction,” which relates to federal regulations for online teaching; leading a program evaluation of the summer session courses offered at the W&M Washington Center from 2018 to 2023; and engaging graduate students with STLI events and offerings. He also recently led a STLI workshop titled “Getting Started with Performance-Based Assessment” for W&M faculty members.

Si has enthusiastically and expertly served as a volunteer fitness instructor at the W&M Student Recreation Center since fall 2022 and has been recognized as the Fitness Instructor of the Year in 2023. As a first-generation university student himself, Si has been a mentor for First Generation Limited Income (FGLI) Students at W&M since October 2023.

Si is one of the strongest international students with whom I have worked in my 20+ years at W&M. In sum, he is intelligent, diligent, committed, open to feedback, self-directed, genuinely kind, honest, humble yet strong, principled yet forgiving ... Si’s future in academia, research and teaching is very bright."

A complete list of awardees is on the Reves Center website.

Reves Center for International Studies
2024 International Student Achievement Awardees

The Office of International Students, Scholars & Programs supports W&M's growing international community through: Immigration Services; Programming, Education and Advocacy; and Scholarships. More than 800 international students, scholars and their families from more than 60 places of origin call W&M home.

The Reves Center for International Studies is the home of the Global Education Office, the Office of International Students, Scholars & Programs and the Global Engagement Team at William & Mary. Global education, support for international students and scholars and the promotion of global perspectives throughout the university are at the heart of the Reves Center's work.