Eight School of Education graduate students participate in 2016 Graduate Showcase

Colorado State University held its third Graduate Student Showcase on Tuesday, Nov. 15, in the Lory Student Center Ballroom. The GradShow is a one-day event, during which graduate students from all eight CSU colleges present their works of research, scholarship and talents to their peers, their mentors,and an official judging panel. With over 350 participants and almost $17,000 in cash prizes awarded to 60 winners, the 2016 GradShow was the largest to date.

This year, eight graduate students represented the School of Education in the GradShow. Presenting unique and diverse research topics, these eight students characterized the excellence in research and creativity endorsed by the School in all of its programs.

Alyson Welker, a doctoral student in the Education and Human Resource Studies – Education Sciences program, received the Excellence in Creativity award from the College of Health and Human Sciences for her work using art and painting to reflect the many complexities that education exhibits. By diving headfirst into the world of painting with no prior experience, Welker hopes to be able to better understand the learning process and the collective power of every aspect within that process. Welker’s project aims to discern the intricacy of connections that both students and teachers make when they attempt to educate and understand.

Visit our Flickr album for photos of these students at GradShow.

School of Education Graduate Showcase presenters:

Alyson Welker: “Making Sense”
Ph.D., Education and Human Resource Studies – Education Sciences
Teaching, learning and research can become a complex constellation of knowledge, people, artifacts and reality. Education often attempts to separate parts of the whole artificially yet also struggles to find the power in the collective. The systematic relations within this piece represent the artifacts that have agency in our lives and research, especially within the classrooms where we teach, learn and study. Attempted replications do not respond the same to each medium, canvas, brush or day; students, similarly, cannot always be generalized. This continual process of becoming can at once be exhausting and freeing.

Alistair Cook: “Globally Competent Engineers: Do International Experiences Matter?”
Ph.D., Education and Human Resource Studies – Education Sciences
In a world of increasingly complex and trans-national issues, engineers have to become global citizens to manage and understand the multiplicity of complications they face in their professional careers. Engineering design project classes are where engineering students gain the professional skills they require for their careers, and introducing global perspectives is a recognized method to help students understand these skills in other contexts/cultures. Through comparing local and international design projects in classrooms, alongside international experiences through design-based study abroad programs and extracurricular projects we seek to understand the level and role of international experience in engineering students’ global competence.

Elise Eppard: “Students with Independent Backgrounds: Developing Autonomy to Increase Graduation Rates”
M.Ed., Education and Human Resource Studies – Counseling and Career Development
The Fostering Success Program (FSP) at Colorado State University provides the resources students from independent backgrounds need to succeed in college. Research demonstrates that graduation rates for Independent Students are between 2 percent and 9 percent. Using an emerging grounded theory, the project seeks to identify how autonomy can be developed as a pathway to graduation. By providing students and FSP staff the ability to work together and create a peer-mentoring program, students will have the ability to build individual autonomy and take ownership of their college experience. This sense of purpose is predicted to lead to higher graduation rates for Independent Students.

Amy Haggard: “College Student-Athletes: Substance Use or Abuse”
M.S., Student Affairs in Higher Education
Student-athletes today find themselves participating in recreational substance use. Whether it is to fit into a social norm in a campus climate, added stress and additional pressure from school and athletics, or just for fun on the weekends, there is an increase in substance use within athletics. There is ample research on binge drinking and the rates that student-athletes are engaging in this behavior, but the research on other substances such as marijuana and performance-enhancing drugs are minimal. This quantitative study will thoroughly examine substance-use among collegiate student-athletes at Coastal Carolina University, through the implementation of an anonymous survey.

Amy Huff: “Maintaining Eligibility Versus Career Development: Exploring Coaches’ Impact on Student-Athletes”
M.Ed., Education and Human Resource Studies – Counseling and Career Development
As Division 1 collegiate sports become more publicized, the desire for prestige drives faculty and administration to focus on maintaining a winning athletic program. Maintaining eligibility is the focus of all and the needs of the student-athlete become secondary (Croissant, 2001). By interviewing collegiate coaches, their student athletes and athletic advisors, this question will be addressed. How does a coach’s views impact career and identity development for student-athletes on a Division 1 athletic team? The investigator expects to reveal the need for coaches to put their student-athletes’ academics and identity development first for the sake of their future pursuits. Read more about Amy’s GradShow experience.

Jeanne Mackenzie: “Artwork in the Workplace: A Positive Effect?”
M.Ed., Education and Human Resource Studies – Adult Education and Training
Being exposed to art has been said to be inspiring, enlightening and beneficial. So why is it that so many people shy away from the thought of engaging in an art experience? To find out how those surrounded by art in their workplace interact with their environment, I embarked on a qualitative research project that delved into the observations and reactions of those that were exposed to varied artwork in varied contexts. The outcomes found that the companies that educated their workforce on the whys, whats and hows of their aesthetic surroundings brought a greater enhancement to the work environment.

Kodi Phelps: “Holding Tension Between Shame and Pride: Fat Identity Theory”
M.S., Student Affairs in Higher Education
While much scientific literature focuses on the ideas of stigma, health effects and social beauty standards, there is little research that attempts to develop a social identity model for those who identify as bigger-bodied. As body-positive movements continue to gain momentum and the conversation becomes more mainstream, it is time for this gap in academia to be remedied. This paper uses disability theory, sexual identity theory and queer theory to create a fat identity theory while synthesizing information from existing literature on how fat-phobic culture contributes to this identity development.

Michelle Trueblood: “Campus Values: Mission Statements, Admission Tours, and Autonomous Assessment Nexus”
M.S., Student Affairs in Higher Education
Given what is known about the importance of admissions tours and campus environment on student perceptions of universities, researchers sought to explore alignment of those critical components with university mission statements throughout various institutes in the United States. Data collected through publicly accessible information, researcher participation in official tours, and independent campus assessments was separated by collection method, admission tours or independent research — and categorized into themes. This data was then compared to each school’s mission statement. Results suggest general alignment with mission; however, many values communicated via admissions tours and campus ecology were not represented in the mission statement.