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School of Education scholar receives NAE/Spencer Fellowship
School of Education scholar receives NAE/Spencer FellowshipMay 11, 2005Patrick Farrellpmfarrel@syr.edu
Stephanie J. Waterman, Onondaga, turtle clan, has been named a 2005-2006 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. The fellowships are administered by the National Academy of Education, an honorary educational society, and are funded by a grant to the Academy from the Spencer Foundation. The fellowship award of $55,000 will help underwrite Waterman’s research expenses for the fellowship period.
According to Professor Vincent Tinto, chair of the School of Education’s Higher Education Department, Waterman’s dissertation, “The Haudenosaunee College Experience: A Complex Path to Degree Completion,” opened important new ground in the study of the complex paths Native Americans follow to college completion. Employing qualitative methodologies, she demonstrated the important role of family, nation, and culture in the ability of Native American students to persevere in White institutions. In doing so, she showed how existing theories of student persistence in higher education had to be revised to account for the experience of Native American students.
“In this way, her dissertation makes an important contribution to the literature on student persistence and to theories that have sought to account for the persistence of non-Anglo students,” says Tinto, who was Waterman’s dissertation advisor. “At the same time, it has helped me better understand how my own work needs to be modified to include the experiences of non-Anglo students. The student becomes the teacher.”
Waterman’s research is unique in that she demonstrates an ability to provide a powerful portrait of student lives while carefully negotiating the interface between herself as a Haudenosaunee and her role as researcher. Her voice as a Haudenosaunee never waivers, nor does her willingness to “stand aside” in her role as researcher.
Waterman is among twenty fellows who were selected from a competitive pool of nearly two hundred applications from scholars of education. During spring semester 2005, Waterman taught two graduate level courses for the School of Education: “Race & Gender in 20th Century Higher Education” (CFE/HED/WSP 700) and “U.S. Policy & Indigenous Education” (CFE/EDU 600), which she developed.
About the School of EducationSyracuse University’s School of Education, a national leader in improving and informing educational practice for diverse communities, is committed to the principle that diverse learning communities create the conditions that both enrich the educational experience and provide opportunities for all to realize their full potential. The School of Education pioneered the inclusion movement in the United States, making way for all learners to participate fully in mainstream classrooms and other inclusive learning environments.