SRD: 2012-2013 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: 2012-2013 Awards

GRANT AWARDS for 2012-2013

The Committee for Community and Diversity is Pleased to Announce the 2012 - 2013 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 one other applicant received an Honorable Mention Award for $1,500.

Thank you very much to the SRD Grant Selection Committee: Professor Monisha Bajaj, Yvonne Destin, Krista Dunbar, Professor Jill Hill, Jolene Lane, and Janice Robinson. Thank you also to Randolph Scott-McLaughlin II, Graduate Assistant in the Vice President’s Office for Diversity and Community Affairs, for his administration of the details of the grants.


Laura Vega, Ed.D. candidate, International Education Development, Peace Education Concentration

Proposal Title: Circulos de Prendizaje: Challenges and Possibilities of Flexible Educational Models for Marginalized Populations in Columbia

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Monisha Bajaj, Assistant Professor of Education, International and Transcultural Studies

Department: International Education Development

The purpose of this study is to explore how the Círculos de Aprendizaje Program responds to marginalized students’ needs in Colombia. The Círculos de Aprendizaje Program is an adaptation of Escuela Nueva, a successful and well known program in Colombia and overseas. Círculos has been designed to reach marginalized populations but has had only one formal evaluation in 2005; questions about the performance of the program in different socio-cultural contexts remain unanswered. The study will conduct a primarily qualitative vertical case study (Vavrus & Bartlett, 2006) over a 12-month period, in which the macro level will focus on the policy level, the meso level on the program's structure, and the micro level on the classroom/students' experience. The study will include 5 regions in Colombia in order to explore different socio-cultural contexts.

Claudio Ferre, Ph.D. Candidate, Kinesiology

Proposal Title: Feasibility of a Homeā€Based Intensive Therapy for Young Children with Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Andrew Gordon, Professor of Movement Sciences, Biobehavioral Sciences

Department: Biobehavioral Sciences

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a collective term for a group of developmental disorders of movement and posture that cause activity limitations and can be attributed to non-progressive disturbances in the developing infant and fetal brain. Hemiplegia is among the most common forms, accounting for 30-40% of new cases of CP, and is characterized by motor impairments predominantly affecting one side of the body. Children with hemiplegic CP experience weakness, sensory loss, deficits in the control of grasping, and difficulty coordinating and executing movements involving the two hands. Impairments in hand function lead to difficulties in performing important functional activities (i.e. dressing and eating) and result in reductions of school participation and performance. Strong associations have been observed between socioeconomic status (SES) and the prevalence of CP. A disproportionate number of children from low SES are at increased risk for CP and therefore require access to effective therapeutic programs to improve the prospect of long-term neurologic outcome. The purpose of this study is to examine the feasibility of a low-cost, bimanual training intervention that can be administered at home, by a caregiver, for children with hemiplegic CP between the ages of 1.5 to 4 years of age. An intensive home-based intervention would be an economically and logistically feasible program that would permit intervention at young ages when the developing nervous system exhibits considerable ability to recuperate hand-function (i.e., plasticity).


Huma Kidwai, Ed.D. Candidate, International Education Development

Proposal Title: The Policy and Practice of Madrassa Education Reform in India

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Monisha Bajaj, Assistant Professor of Education, International and Transcultural Studies

Department: International Education Development

Madrassas are Islamic institutions of learning, traditionally offering education to Muslims, with religion as its mainstay. Within the context of madrassa education reform, this research explores factors that affect (a) engagement of the state with the non-state providers (in this case madrassas) of education, and (b) appropriation of the state-suggested madrassa education reform policy by various agents associated with the functioning of a madrassa. They will be using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection and analysis.