Graduate Students Honored with Awards, Fellowships

Graduate Students Honored with Awards, Fellowships

Stephanie DemosStephanie Demos, who received her masters of science in higher education administration and policy, was named the graduate winner of the SESP Alumni Leadership Award for bringing the community together during the pandemic.

Demos, a teaching assistant for SESP Dean David Figlio, was a graduate intern with both Northwestern’s internal consulting unit, the Office of Organizational Strategy & Change and McCormick’s Undergraduate Engineering Office, where she supported minoritized students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her master’s research focused on first-generation student retention at highly selective private colleges and universities.

“From the moment classes began virtually last June, she has been a thoughtful, open, and vibrant leader within our student community,” said Mark Hoffman, senior academic adviser and enrollment manager for the Masters of Higher Education Administration and Policy program. “She has a very calming and approachable manner whether she’s at information sessions, at socials, and even in class. She is a grounded and focused student leader, who I also believe will continue to be a leader as an MSHE graduate within our alumni community, and a leader in higher education.”

Demos worked in corporate retail before coming to Northwestern and made the career change after realizing she loved working with new hires. She will be relocating to Brownsville, Texas to work in higher education for Huron Consulting.

Demos was just one of several graduate students who were honored for their work during 2020-21. Read more about their efforts:

Sheridan fullerSheridan Fuller, a graduate student in the Human Development and Social Policy (HDSP) program, received the prestigious Presidential Fellowship at Northwestern University for his work investigating the benefits and pitfalls of the social safety net, which is designed to protect Americans from poverty and hardship. Fuller is the fourth School of Education and Social Policy graduate student to win the award in the last six years. Previous winners include Heather McCambly (2019), Mollie McQuillan (2017), and the late Cynthia (C.C.) DuBois (2016), all HDSP graduates.

Jessica Marshall, a graduate student in the learning sciences doctoral program, received a two-year pre-doctoral research fellowship with the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) to further her work creating more equitable learning environments across civic education.

Sebastián Kiguel and Nikki McDaid-Morgan received the 2021 National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. SESP has had 12 winners in the last eight years. Kiguel’s research focuses on bullying, peer relations, and the social experience of schooling more broadly. McDaid-Morgan’s research interests are broadly focused on informal and formal learning environments at the intersection of land-based education and Indigenous resurgence.

Nikki McDaid-Morgan received honorable mention for the McBride Student Award.

Emily Salzman who received her master’s in education, received a five-year fellowship from the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation. It’s the sixth year in a row SESP has had a student receive the prestigious award. The Knowles Teaching Fellows Program network is designed to support early-career, high school math and science teachers who aspire to become leaders in the classroom and beyond.

Michael Spikes, a learning sciences doctoral student, served as a national advisor for the American Library Association’s new initiative to help library staffers respond to misinformation and other media literacy issues.

Faculty member Eva Lam and learning sciences graduate student Addie Shrodes both received the Literacy Research Association Area Chair Award for conference papers. Shrodes also won an AAUW American Fellowship.

Julissa Muñiz created a scholarship to give back to her community. It’s called the San Ysidro Rising Scholar Award destined for other San Ysidro High graduates, and she has raised nearly $10,000. She also landed a job at the University of Austin – they are allowing her to work on her PhD in the fall.

Shanté Elliott, a learning sciences graduate student, received the Echoing Green Fellowship and the  L'Oréal Paris Women of Worth.

Welcome to SESP’s Newest post doctoral fellows -- all former SESP graduate students: Sugat Dabholkar, Ruben Echevarria, Chris Leatherwood, Ava Jackson, and Kay Ramey.

Doctor of Philosophy graduates include:

  • Allena Berry, Learning Sciences
    "Haunting as Historical Thinking: Learning to Construct Whiteness in High School History Classrooms”
    Advisers: Eva Lam and Jolie Matthews
  • Sugat Dabholkar, Learning Sciences
    “Restructurating Science Learning with Emergent Systems Microworlds”
    Advisor: Uri Wilensky
  • Olivia Healy, Human Development and Social Policy
    “Child and Family Policy in the 21st Century: A Focus on Early Childhood Education and Parental Work”
    Advisers: Jon Guryan and Terri Sabol
  • Courtenay Kessler, Human Development and Social Policy
    “Social-Ecological Implications of Early Life Adversity for Health and Academic Performance Social-Ecological Implications of Early Life Adversity for Health and Academic Performance”
    Advisers: Terri Sabol and Emma Adam
  • Spencer Carlson, Learning Sciences
    “Communitarian Learning: Fostering Interdependence to Teach Design Skills in Collective Action”
    Adviser: Matt Easterday

Connor Bain, who is on track to be receive Northwestern's first joint learning sciences computer sciences doctorate, will begin working at Northwestern in the fall as assistant professor of instruction in the computer science department at the McCormick School of Engineering. 

Moving on. While we hate to see them go, several newly minted PhDs have accepted new positions including:

  • Heather McCambly is assistant professor of Critical Higher Education Policy at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Educational Foundation, Organizations, and Policy.
  • Andrea Busby accepted an assistant professor position in the Department of Family Life at Brigham Young University.
  • Kit Martin starts as assistant professor of computer science at Penn State on Sept. 1.
  • Eleanor Anderson is assistant professor of research practice partnerships at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Gabby Anton has received a post doctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University.

For more information on fellowships, visit Northwestern's Office of Fellowships.

To be added to this list, email Julie Deardorff, SESP's director of communications.

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 6/16/21