Getting the (Pencil) Lead Out: Writer’s Retreat Motivates Graduate Students

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The first College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) Writer’s Retreat was held on Saturday, February 25 at George’s in the Johnson Center. More than 20 graduate students gathered for an all-day retreat where they publicly committed to a day of high productivity. The retreat was open to CEHD graduate students only and provided an opportunity for students to make significant progress on conference proposals, theses, class assignments, portfolios, and dissertations as well as to form bonds with other graduate students currently “in the struggle.” The Writer’s Retreat started with a warm-up activity where students were encouraged to set realistic, achievable goals for the day. For example, one master’s student was determined to complete a literature review for a counseling and development class assignment, while another table of doctoral students were all determined to craft polished essays for their portfolio assignment. 

Students also had the opportunity to participate in two, hour-length workshops during the retreat. The first workshop, “Conquering the Writing Process”, was facilitated by Dr. Ivory Berry, Director of Student Success for the College of Education and Human Development. During this workshop, Dr. Berry shared 10 tips he learned as a graduate student that could help current students better understand and conquer the academic writing process. Dr. Berry encouraged students to “find the passion in their purpose,” “know their audience,” and “find the writing groove and ride it out.” The second workshop was led by Dr. Erin Peters-Burton, the Donna R. and David E. Sterling Endowed Professor in Science Education and Director of the Educational Psychology, Research Methods, and Education Policy Division. Her workshop was titled “Strategies for Becoming a Productive Academic Writer,” and students were provided with a variety of strategies to help them convert their research idea into a publication.

Consultants from the Writing Center were also on hand for the retreat. Students were able to schedule 30-minute one-on-one sessions with a consultant to get feedback on their writing as well as brainstorm projects.

Are you a CEHD graduate student seeking group accountability among peers when it comes to your writing? Stay tuned! Planning for the next CEHD Writer’s Retreat is currently underway.


CEHD Student Research Shines at Second Annual Symposium

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Over 60 students shared their research at the 2017 College of Education and Human Development Student Research Symposium held on April 25 in Dewberry Hall in the Johnson Center.   The symposium included seven Oral Presentations, four Roundtable Panels, and 29 Poster Presentations reflecting scholarship at all levels, from undergraduate through doctoral study, and disciplines within the School of Education and the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism. 

Now in its second year, the annual symposium saw a dramatic increase in submissions, presenters, and guests.   According to Brandon Quiles, Student Engagement Coordinator for the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), the increased interest in the symposium reflects George Mason University’s strong commitment to valuing research.  “Students who engage in research are better equipped with critical skills that make them engaged citizens and well-rounded scholars and practitioners.”

The entirety of the Student Research Symposium (SRS) was intended to introduce students to the process of conducting, submitting, and presenting their research at a professional conference.  The CEHD Office of Student and Academic Affairs put out the call for submissions in the fall and early spring.  Interested students submitted an abstract and chose a format for their presentations which were then reviewed by a faculty committee.  The presentation sessions were styled after what students might experience at a professional conference, albeit in a smaller and less intimidating setting.  Presenters even received written feedback forms from the audience to help hone their research and presentation skills.

Faculty support for the 2017 SRS played a pivotal role in its success.  By mentoring students through the process, and with some faculty even integrating the submission process into their courses, students reaped the benefits of their professors’ experience as research professionals.  Faculty attendance at the event was high, and many encouraged their classes to attend as well.

Congratulations to the following student researchers on their participation in this year’s event:

Oral Presenters

Sarah Prigmore – MEd, Curriculum and Instruction

Tameka Parker – MSW, Social Work

Samantha Hacherl – BS, Athletic Training

Michelle Gnoleba – PhD, Education

Patricia Kelshaw – PhD, Education

Sara Birkhead – PhD, Education

Ricardo Sanchez – PhD, Education

Sarah Bogdewiecz – PhD, Education

Megan Sims-Fujita – MEd, Special Education

Round Table Presenters

Beth Dalbec – PhD, Education

Letty Guzman – PhD, Education

Tami Carsillo – PhD, Education

Heather Andrews – PhD, Education

Ahmed Atef – PhD, Education

Kudirat Giwa-Lawal – PhD, Education

Melissa Hauber – PhD, Education

Lily Lopez-McGee – PhD, Education

Anthony Ray – PhD, Education

Jessica Pope – PhD, Education

Stuart McCrory – PhD, Education

Mariel Crawford – PhD, Education

Terrie Galantie – PhD, Education

Monique Apollon Williams, PhD, Education

Daria Gerasimova, PhD, Education

Poster Presenters

Karen Wrightsman – PhD, Education

Amanda Estep – PhD, Education

Gisselle Brown – PhD, Education

Lauren Field – BS, Athletic Training

Christie Byers – PhD, Education

Jennifer Fields – PhD, Education

Elisabeth Chan – PhD, Education

Laura Tokarczyk – PhD, Education

Diana Delfin – PhD, Education

Thuy Thi-Minh Tu – PhD, Education

Amanda Garrett – MS, Sport and Recreation Studies

Sungshim Choi – PhD, Education

Michele Colandene – PhD, Education

Janelle Companion – BS, Athletic Training

Doaa Dashash – PhD, Education

Victoria Fauntroy – BS, Athletic Training

Massa Gongbay – MEd, Counseling and Development

Rachel Hammer – PhD, Education

Melissa Hauber – PhD, Education

Boshra Zawawi – PhD, Education

Cassandra Hynus – MS, Exercise, Fitness, and Health Promotion

Talisa Jackson – PhD, Education

Christina Lee – PhD, Education

Bryndan Lindsey – MS, Exercise, Fitness, and Health Promotion

Greer Mancuso – PhD, Education

Sean Martin – BS, Athletic Training

Kathleen Matson – PhD, Education

Daria Gerasimova – PhD, Education

Hannah Park – MEd, Curriculum and Instruction

Mirella Saldaña – MEd, Counseling and Development

Matt Prebble – PhD, Education

Burnette Scarboro – MEd, Education Leadership

Jordan Goffena – PhD, Education

Nicole Van Oort – BA, Mathematics, Kinesiology Minor


Welcome to the Student Success Blog!

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Welcome to the Student Success Blog!  The CEHD Office of Student and Academic Affairs believes that students who are engaged are successful students. That’s why we offer so many ways for you to get connected, get involved, and stay informed.  Of course, you’re already hearing from us via your MasonLive email account, and we hope you remember to check it every day for official communications from CEHD and university administration.  This year we’ve added a Twitter and Instagram presence to compliment the college’s existing Facebook connection.  We also publish The 2300, a weekly digest in two versions, tailored for our undergraduate and graduate communities.  This month, we launch a revamped version of our quarterly newsletter, ENGAGE, highlighting all that you, our current students, have achieved in partnership with CEHD faculty and staff.

With so many existing ways to connect with students, you may ask, “Why a blog, too?”.  Let’s think of it as a home base.  If it’s news, new policy, or just celebration, you’ll see it here.  If we can’t say it in 140 characters, or a single photo, or even a Facebook post, we’ll link it back to here.  If you missed a newsletter or a digest in your inbox, you can find it here.  Hopefully, you’ll stop by this page often.  We know every student has their own favorite way to stay connected, and we hope you’ll pick your favorites and follow us on them.  And no matter what else you do, READ THAT MASON EMAIL EVERY DAY!