Students Win Prestigious Awards and Fellowships

Students Win Prestigious Awards and Fellowships

Outstanding School of Education and Social Policy students have been honored with awards that recognize their work and support their studies.

Graduating senior Zhen Cheng won the Asian American Psychological Association’s Undergraduate Award. She was also selected to present her SESP senior honors thesis research at the conference of the American Psychological Association in Washington, D.C., in August. The topic of her research is “The Benefits of Neurobiology over Genetic and Social Essentialism in Lowering Mental Illness Stigma.” This fall she will be enrolling in the doctoral program at the University of Oregon to work with Dr. Gordon Hall, the current president of the Asian American Psychological Association

Julie Kornfeld
Julie Kornfeld won a Princeton in Africa Fellowship for work in Uganda next year with the Lutheran World Federation. She will be serving as the organization’s Ugandan program assistant, with responsibility for managing grants, coordinating reporting and helping to build relationships with partners. Kornfeld applied for the Princeton in Africa Fellowship because she wanted to spend about a year in East Africa doing work or research related to international human rights and conflict and post-conflict zone resolution and response.

Megan Luczak, a senior in social policy, received a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to study in Spain. She will enroll in the Master's of Public Policy and Social Services program at Universidad de Salamanca. She intends to focus on education policy and implementing an education-related service project in a school district in Salamanca in conjunction with the local Rotary Club of Salamanca. “I applied for the Rotary Scholarship because of my passion for the Spanish language and my desire to study education policy from an international perspective,” she notes.

Meixi Ng won a Princeton in Latin America Fellowship to do research and work with teachers in rural communities of Mexico. Starting in September, she will be affiliated with Conviviencia Educativa, possibly working on education initiatives and policy, and also working with the Ministry of Education in Mexico. Ng is interested in researching transformative education in marginalized communities, seeking to find best practices and guiding principles that can then be shared in a broader context. Anticipating her experience in Mexico, she says, “I think it'll give me a grounding I need to understand international and comparative education and how we take ground-up movements and make them into policy,” she says.

Michelle Sauber won the Student Employee of the Year Award for her work with the Center for Student Involvement. “Michelle has proven to be a valuable resource to the Center for Student Involvement as well as the Northwestern University community,” Tracey Gibson-Jackson of the Center for Student Involvement wrote in her letter recommending Sauber for the award. Gibson-Jackson describes Sauber as organized, self-motivated and dependable. Sauber’s responsibilities at the Center for Student Involvement focus on supporting student organizations across campus, such as through retreats, workshops and grant programs, and she has played a key role in implementing a new web-based system that allows students to explore student organizations online.

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

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.

Dyer’s fellowship will support her research investigating mathematics teacher education. She is particularly interested in how professional development for current mathematics teachers results in changed instruction in their classrooms. “I hope that my research will help us understand the process by which professional development experiences for teachers lead to changes in teaching,” says Dyer, who received her award in STEM education and learning research.

April Bowman and William Wong, students in the Master of Science in Learning and Organizational Change program, were awarded Education Pioneers Fellowships to work on projects in education entrepreneurship over the summer. Education Pioneers, a nonprofit organization focused on developing talented leaders capable of transforming K-12 urban education, selects top graduate students to support partners across the nation. 

Bowman will work in Dallas with Uplift Education, a nonprofit charter management organization that runs 17 charters in Texas. She will be designing a college support system for charter school alumni and a college tour program for grades 6 to 11. “My primary interest is education, especially how to make college accessible for low-income students and students of color,” says Bowman.

Wong will work with Chicago Public Schools to help implement a transition plan for the consolidation of four high schools. The work includes creating a marketing strategy to engage the new school’s community stakeholders, implementing a freshman connection initiative and creating a process for auditing student transcripts. Wong, who was looking for the opportunity to work in education, says, “I felt that Education Pioneers could help me leverage my business/consulting skills and apply them in the education sector.”

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 11/7/11