SRD: 2011-2012 Awards

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The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs

The Vice President's Grant for Student Research In Diversity (SRD)

SRD: 2011-2012 Awards

The Vice President's Student Research in Diversity Grant GRANT AWARDS for 2011-2012

The Committee for Community and Diversity is Pleased to Announce the 2011 - 2012 Recipients of the Vice President's Grant for Student Research in Diversity.

These grant awards provide support for outstanding student research projects related to diversity in research, teaching, learning, or community building. Diversity, in the context of this award program, is broadly defined and includes the exploration of multiple perspectives involving culture(s), language(s), gender, sexual orientation, race-ethnicity, health status, and disabilities, among others.

The SRD Grant Subcommittee of the CCD was extremely impressed with the important questions and relevant topics proposed as well as the high-quality and innovativeness of the proposals submitted. Spanning a broad spectrum of diversity, the proposals truly attest to the varied and meaningful scholarship on the part of students at Teachers College. Ultimately, two applicants were selected as Grant recipients each receiving an award for $3,000 and two other applicants received Honorable Mention Awards for $1,500.

Thank you very much to the SRD Grant Selection Committee: Professor Monisha Bajaj, Professor Margaret Crocco, Krista Dunbar, Jolene Lane, Janice Robinson, and Professor John Saxman. Thank you also to Molly Hamm, Adrianna Maldonado, and Kody Melançon, Graduate Assistants in the Vice President’s Office for Diversity and Community Affairs, for their administration of the details of the grants.


Felicidad Garcia, M.S. candidate, Speech-Language Pathology

Proposal Title:Neural Correlates of African American English Processing.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Karen Froud, Associate Professor, Programs in Speech-Language Pathology and Neuroscience & Education

Department: Biobehavioral Sciences

Standardized speech and language assessments often misdiagnose users of non-standard dialects as having language disorders, leading children to receive inappropriate labels in educational contexts or unnecessary SLP services, and resulting in diminished resources for others in need of treatment. This study seeks to understand whether speakers of nonstandard varieties of English use multiple language systems or if they switch “registers” within a unitary language system. The research will examine brain responses of speakers of African American English (AAE) and Standard American English (SAE) while they process sentences spoken in the two language varieties. This study has the potential to enhance clinical and educational services for speakers of AAE (and eventually other non-standard varieties) by enhancing understanding of how multiple language varieties interact with one another, helping professionals better understand language differences as separate from language disorders.

Amerigo Rossuello, Ed.D. Candidate, Applied Exercise Physiology

Proposal Title: The Efficacy of a Comprehensive Exercise Intervention on Urban Endometrial Cancer Survivors: A Feasibility Study.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Carol Ewing Garber, Associate Professor, Movement Sciences and Education

Department: Biobehavioral Sciences

While structured exercise programs have been shown to improve the quality of life safely for breast cancer survivors, little is known about how to implement and sustain exercise behavior modification in underserved populations. This research will be the first interventional exercise study for endometrial cancer survivors and will investigate the efficacy of a 12-week exercise intervention with a diverse urban sample of this population. Study results will build on current knowledge regarding the facilitators of and barriers to exercise adherence among underserved urban cancer survivors. The methodology will be relevant to urban community health centers in their efforts to enhance long-term exercise adherence among underserved populations, leading to improved quality of life and reduced rates of debilitating and deadly diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


Milagros Castillo, Ed.D. Candidate, Higher and Postsecondary Education

Proposal Title: Liberally Educating Students: The Development of Black and Latino Students’ Sociopolitical Consciousness as They Learn Subject Matter in College.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Anna Neumann, Professor of Higher Education

Department: Organization and Leadership

The aim of liberal education is to provide students with a breadth of knowledge to cultivate their capacity to think, act, and partake in the co-construction of a democratic society. Liberal education helps students develop an awareness and understanding of sociopolitical forces that shape our society and the lives within it, thus developing their sociopolitical consciousness (SPC). Yet little empirical research exists on how students develop SPC, particularly African American and Latino college students – a growing population in the United States and on college campuses. This study will use a sociological approach to understand the extent to which a liberal education may contribute to developing the sociopolitical consciousness (SPC) of African American and Latino college students.

Ching-Fu Lan, Ph.D. Candidate, Teaching of Social Studies

Proposal Title:Democratic Education in the Era of New Media: Bridging the Digital and Civic Learning Opportunity Divide.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. William Gaudelli, Associate Professor of Social Studies and Education

Department: Arts and Humanities

Digital media has become a fixture in the daily lives of young people. While many studies illustrate the potential of digital media to prepare future democratic citizens, few investigate the implications of new media for low socioeconomic status (SES) students and students of color. This study will explore the following research question: In new media civic programs, do low SES students learn democratic media literacy – a set of skills that help them use new technologies and media as a means for democratic participation? A case study research design will be used to examine two digital media civic education programs and the accompanied student learning in each program. The results from this research project will provide the groundwork for broader educational efforts to engage digital protégés and devotees in democratic life, especially those from low SES backgrounds.