A springtime full of honors for Penn GSE’s faculty and students

May 14, 2020
Penn GSE's Ed Brockenbrough

Professor Ed Brockenbrough  was one of many Penn GSE students and faculty to be honored for their work this spring.

Whether we are near or far, Penn GSE is proud to celebrate the accomplishments and honors of our faculty and students. Please join us in raising a virtual glass to all of the esteemed members of the Penn GSE community. In this time of uncertainty, it is wonderful to share some uplifting news. Here are some highlights, in alphabetical order, as the school year comes to a close:

Student awards

Chi Chan, master’s student in Higher Education, is the 2020 recipient of the Graduate Student Leadership award from the James Brister Society. The award recognizes a University of Pennsylvania graduate student who has strong, positive leadership qualities and who has demonstrated a commitment to advancing diversity at Penn through community service or student activities.

Kim Fernandes, doctoral student in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Development with a joint degree in Anthropology, received a Social Science Research Council Grant to fund her dissertation field research in India. Kim is in India now and will be able to conduct a modified dissertation project there in the coming year.

Marissa Friedman, master’s student in Education, Culture, and Society, has been appointed a 2020 History Education Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Her studies center on the history of education, with a focus on the history of American history textbooks and competing narratives about the Civil War.

Nora Gross, doctoral candidate in Education, Culture, and Society with a joint degree in Sociology, has a postdoctoral fellowship next year with Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences at Boston College.  

Serrano Legrand, Ed.D. candidate, and Jenny Zapf, Director of the Education Entrepreneurship program, presented to school leaders across India on "Education Innovation & Entrepreneurship" at the EdTech Summit in Delhi this February.

Carlos Martínez-Cano was awarded the 2020 Jolley Bruce Christman and Steven S. Goldberg Annual Award for Best Dissertation in Urban Education for his dissertation, “From Disengaged to Digital: Latino Boys as Emergent Technology Experts,” which addresses issues of social justice in education.

Taylor Odle, Ph.D. student in Higher Education, was awarded the Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students, by the Vice Provost for Education. This award recognizes the profound impact of graduate students on education at Penn.

Rachael Stephens, doctoral student in Education, Culture, and Society with a joint degree in Anthropology, received the Society for Economic Anthropology Annual Halperin Memorial Award to support preliminary dissertation research. 

Jennifer Stimpson, student in the Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, is one of 15 STEM teachers from across the country to be named an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, and will serve as an expert adviser on STEM education to the Department of Energy over the next year.

Faculty awards 

Ed Brockenbrough, Associate Professor and Calvin Bland Fellow, received a Body of Work Award from the American Educational Research Association's Queer Studies Special Interest Group. This group periodically awards a scholar who has contributed a significant body of work that produces important scholarship in the area of LGBTQ studies and/or Queer Theory in education and has shaped the field of LGBTQ studies in education and/or Queer Studies in education. 

Charlotte Jacobs, Co-director of the Independent School Teaching Residency program, was awarded a fellowship by the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women and the National Coalition of Girls' Schools to conduct a pilot study exploring the experiences of adolescent girls of color in all-girls schools.

Michelle Neuman, Lecturer in the International Educational Development program, was a guest co-editor of Early Years: An International Research Journal, Volume 39, Issue 3, a special issue about early childhood policy in low- and middle-income countries.

Sharon M. Ravitch, Professor of Practice, has been named a Fulbright Specialist to work with BMN College of Home Science in Mumbai, India, on creating the conditions for protective pluralism for scheduled tribe and scheduled caste first-generation female college students. Dr. Ravitch also recently served as a scholar-in-residence at St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies, where she was asked to be the board chair for the University's Center for Research on Storytelling in Education. 

Marsha Richardson, Senior Lecturer, was selected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in collaboration with Bloomsburg University's McDowell Institute, to become trained as a Youth Mental Health First Aid Trainer. The organization is aiming to certify early career educators and pre-service students in YMHFA, in response to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s mandates to include trauma-informed pedagogy in training curricula.

Howard C. Stevenson, Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education, was named the 2020 Gittler Prize recipient by Brandeis University. “Not only has Howard Stevenson brought a better understanding of the detrimental effects caused by racial stress and trauma through his scholarship, he actively leads the way in improving the lives of people affected by these issues,” Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz said. The Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize was created in 2007 to recognize outstanding and lasting scholarly contributions to racial, ethnic and/or religious relations. 

Sharon Wolf, Assistant Professor, is the recipient of the Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness best article award for her article, “Experimental Impacts of the 'Quality Preschool for Ghana' Interventions on Teacher Professional Well-Being, Classroom Quality, and Children’s School Readiness.” The paper reports on the results of a randomized controlled trial of a teacher professional development program for public and private kindergartens in Ghana, examining impacts on teacher professional well-being, classroom quality, and children’s readiness during one school year. 

Jenny Zapf, Senior Fellow, served as a panelist and a finalist judge for the Reimagine Higher Education Global Innovation Awards in London in December. Reimagine Education rewards innovative approaches to enhance student learning and employability, offering $50,000 in funding and 16 “Oscars” of Education. Zapf also delivered a keynote address on "Education Entrepreneurship: 3.0" at the European EdTech Network in Finland in February. 


Thanks to all staff and faculty members who notified us of these awards. If we have missed any awards, our apologies! Please email gse-comm@gse.upenn.edu to notify us of a new or missed award, and we will be happy to add it to this page.

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