Jessica Andrews, Elizabeth Dyer Receive NSF Fellowships

Jessica Andrews, Elizabeth Dyer Receive NSF Fellowships

Jessica Andrews
Learning Sciences doctoral students Jessica Andrews and Elizabeth Dyer were awarded prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships to support their dissertation research for three years.

According to the National Science Foundation, its Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S institutions. The program helps ensure the vitality and diversity of the human resource base for people entering science and engineering in the United States.

Andrews’s fellowship is supporting her research concerning the cognitive processing that occurs during collaboration. In particular, she will be investigating how different sources of diversity, such as race, sex, values and knowledge, influence the memory processes of individuals in groups and dyads.

“I think an investigation of this sort is important given the growing recognition that group diversity has complex effects on group functioning and performance outcomes,” says Andrews, who received the award in the area of cognitive psychology. “A more informed understanding of the psychological effects of diversity on group and individual behavior may allow educational practitioners to more effectively capitalize and rely on effective group activities.”

Elizabeth Dyer
Dyer was awarded her NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in the area of STEM Education and Learning Research - Mathematics Education. This is the first year that GRFP grants were awarded specially in STEM education, and Dyer was one of only 20 recipients nationwide in the STEM area.

The fellowship will support her research for the next three years investigating mathematics teacher education, or teacher training for both current and future mathematics teachers. She is particularly interested in how professional development for current mathematics teachers results in changed instruction in their classrooms. 

“While the education community is starting to agree that teachers have a huge impact on student learning, we still don't know the most successful ways of supporting our teachers and helping them improve their instruction. I hope that my research will help us understand the process by which professional development experiences for teachers lead to changes in teaching. Ideally, this research would provide valuable information about how to provide high-quality professional development,” says Dyer.

Both Andrews and Dyer will receive tuition stipends for three years of graduate study. Specifically, their awards provide three years of support with a $30,000 annual stipend, $10,500 cost-of-education allowance, international research and professional development opportunities, and supercomputer access. 

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 4/11/11