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COEHD doctoral students selected for national data fellowship

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Pesha Mabrie and Alyse Gray Parker, doctoral students in the College of Education and Human Development’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, were selected as 2019 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Data Institute Fellows. Mabrie and Parker were two of only 30 applicants selected for the national award.


“I am very excited to have been chosen for the NCES Data Institute Fellowship,” said Parker. “I am looking forward to joining and learning from scholars across the country who are passionate about using data to further research on higher education.”


As part of the fellowship, Mabrie and Parker will take part in a six-week online mentor course with their respective research group. After completing the course, the research groups will have 15 weeks to complete a capstone project.


“My group assignment is retention, which is an area of interest of mine,” said Mabrie. “In post-secondary education, we need to get past deficit thinking and look deeper on how we can retain students once they enroll in college.”


In June, the groups will present their research and findings in Washington, D.C., and hear from other NCES fellows and policy makers in higher education.


“The research group I am part of will focus on characteristics of institutes of higher education,” said Parker. “This aligns to my research interests related to higher education policy and Minority Serving Institutions, specifically those designated as Minority Serving Institutions due to the enrollment of certain students, such as Hispanic-Serving Institutions and Predominantly Black Institutions.”


Through the fellowship, they will also further develop their skills as quantitative scholars.


“This fellowship means that I am going to the next level with my quantitative journey,” said Mabrie. “I was always afraid of statistics and thought it was a hard methodology to understand. However, taking courses with Dr. Vanessa Sansone in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Dr. Guan Saw in the Department of Educational Psychology gave me the opportunity to learn about the impact that quantitative research can have on higher education.”


Both Mabrie and Parker will begin their work as NCES Fellows in January. 


“Both Pesha and Alyse are scholars who are using quantitative methods to explore areas of higher education and advance research in new ways,” said Dr. Vanessa Sansone, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. “Participating in this fellowship will allow them to gain more knowledge about national education data and methods that will further enhance their investigations. We are proud to have Pesha and Alyse attend this fellowship and continue to represent the scholarly excellence in quantitative work that is present in the College, ELPS Department and Higher Education program. Their work represents our commitment to developing critical quantitative scholars.”


Learn more about the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.


Learn more about the National Center for Education Statistics.


Learn more about the 2019 NCES Data Institute.



Courtesy photos (Left: Pesha Mabrie; Right: Alyse Gray Parker)





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