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CSSE students and faculty receive awards

Congratulations to Critical and Sociocultural Studies in Education students Spirit Dine’tah Brooks, Matthew Graham and Nadia Raza, graduates Courtney Rath and Leilani Sabzalian, and Director Lisa Mazzei, all of whom recently received notification of awards for their accomplishments.

We are pleased to share that Spirit Dine’tah Brooks has been awarded the College of Education Dissertation Research Fellowship for 2016-2017. Spirit's scholarly work focuses on access and equity issues in higher education for traditionally underrepresented students. Her dissertation research, entitled "Gender, Cultural Competence, and the Myth of Meritocracy: Portraits of Teaching in High School College Access Programs" has been praised for its compelling research topic and innovative methods. The selection was highly competitive and the applicants were among the best and most promising graduate students. Spirit's proposal and dissertation research were judged by the faculty to represent a significant and original contribution to her discipline. 

In addition, Matthew Graham has been honored with the Gary E. Smith Summer Professional Development Award by a faculty review panel in a juried competition, for his research examining tensions among ethics, equity, and social justice in teacher education and teacher candidate assessment. Matthew's proposal and dissertation research were judged by the faculty committee to represent a highly original contribution to his discipline. Matthew has been accepted to participate in the 2016 Deleuze Camp and Conference in Rome, Italy, held in conjunction with the Deleuze Studies Conference. The camp, in its 10th year, is highly competitive and accepts new and emerging scholars from around the globe.

Nadia Raza has been accepted to participate in the Critical Muslim Studies Institute in Carmen de la Victoria of the University of Granada, Spain. The summer school, now in its fifth year, has established itself as the primary center in the world for Critical Muslim Studies, with topics such as Introduction to Critical Muslim Studies, Islamic Theology of Liberation, Islamic Decolonial Pedagogy, Inter-Faith Dialogues, Women and Islam, and Islamic Spirituality.

Courtney Rath, CSSE Postdoctoral Fellow, has been named recipient of the 2016 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Outstanding Qualitative Dissertation Award. This is a very prestigious and highly competitive award. Courtney will be presented with a plaque and monetary award at the 2016 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. and will be offered first refusal for an article in The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education.

Leilani Sabzalian, CSSE Postdoctoral Fellow, will also receive recognition at the 2016 AERA Annual Meeting, as a finalist for the 2016 AERA Outstanding Qualitative Dissertation Award, and recipient of the AERA Division B Outstanding Dissertation Award, another highly competitive award in the division of AERA that supports some of the most ambitious philosophical and theoretical reconceptualizations of educational objectives in the organization.

CSSE Director Lisa Mazzei recently received the Graduate School’s Excellence Award for Outstanding Faculty Mentorships in Graduate Studies. In nominating Dr. Mazzei for this award, her students noted, "Dr. Mazzei mentors all incoming doctoral students…Whether she is modeling her commitment to social justice in education with the content of her research and teaching practice or her commitment to sharing resources and opportunities for scholarly growth and development, Dr. Mazzei always embodies an ethic of care with students. She is the rare faculty member who can gently prod students to push ourselves further in our scholarly and academic pursuits, while simultaneously caring for us as people."

Please join us in honoring all of our award recipients for their dedication and achievements!