Graduate Scholar Awards

For each conference, a small number of Graduate Scholar Awards are given to outstanding graduate students who have an active academic interest in the conference area. Graduate Scholars perform a critical role in the conference by chairing the parallel sessions, providing technical assistance in the sessions, participating in Talking Circles, and presenting their own research papers. The Award with its accompanying responsibilities provides a strong professional development opportunity for graduate students at this stage in their academic careers. Meeting experts in the field, interacting with colleagues from other parts of the world, and creating networks and friendships are all additional benefits of this Award.

Graduate Scholars are entitled to free registration and are given special recognition during the conference proceedings. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate studies program. Awardees must be available on-site the day prior to the conference (for orientation and training) and throughout the conference.

The deadline for graduate scholar applications has passed.

Rosemary Carolan

Rosemary Carolan has a BS in elementary education from Chestnut Hill College and an Ed M in urban education from Temple University. She began her career teaching elementary school, but after several years left the field of education to work in the cosmetics industry as a sales director, with duties that included motivational speaking and instructing adults in business skills. Several years ago, she began to teach reading and writing to students who test into remedial courses at a community college. She found her developmental students to be bright and interesting, although generally lacking in academic literacy and self-efficacy regarding scholarly work. This led her to enroll as a Ph D student at Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Education, focusing on literacy education, with the goal of developing more effective, research-based pedagogical methods to enable underprepared college students to reach their goals of graduation and career success. In addition to her studies, she now teaches as a part time lecturer at Rutgers. She has conducted research into the motivational and educational value of literature circles for developmental college students. Her dissertation will focus on a study of the literacy practices of developmental college students, in school and out of school, with a conceptual framework based on the New Literacy Studies.

Umran Betul Cebesoy

Umran completed her BSc (Hons.) in 2007 and MSc in 2009 at Elementary Science Education Department of Istanbul University and Marmara University, Turkey. She has been pursuing her doctoral research in Elementary Education Department of Middle East Technical University on the behalf of Usak University since 2010. She has been a research assistant since 2009 and has been assisting various courses (General Biology laboratory I and II, General Chemistry Laboratory I and II, General Physics Laboratory I and II, School Experience and Methods of Teaching Science I at undergraduate level; Quantitative Data Analysis in Education and Analysis of Research in Elementary Mathematics and Science Education at graduate level). She has been awarded the Scholarship of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey for her Master and Phd degree's. SheI also has been a researcher in various projects such as “Investigating Pre-Service Science Teachers’ Genetic Literacy Levels and their attitudes towards Genetics Literacy” and “Investigating In-Service Science Teachers’ Genetic Literacy Levels, attitudes towards genetics literacy issues and their perceptions of teaching genetics literacy”. She has been a member of European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) since 2010.  She has attended workshops and winter schools with oral and poster presentations in Germany and the Netherlands. She also has participated in national and international conferences with oral and poster presentations and has been published in proceedings and has articles published in national and international journals. Her research interests consist of genetics literacy, in-service and pre-service teachers, attitude, perceptions, teaching.

Zoyah Kinkead-Clark

From Kingston, Jamaica, Zoyah Kinkead-Clark is a lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the University of the West Indies, Mona. She received her teaching diploma from Shortwood Teachers’ College, her B.Sc. in Early Childhood Education from Temple University, her M.A from Northern Caribbean University and her Ed.D from The University of Sheffield. With a specialised research focus in early childhood studies, her doctoral dissertation examined the development of literacy in children at the early childhood level. Currently, she is engaged in a number of research initiatives in the areas of early childhood teacher education, emergent literacy development and student transitions from pre-primary to primary school. Chiefly  she is keenly interested in exploring how early childhood children, particularly those from low resources regions, can be provided with greater opportunities to successfully meander the crucial first five years of life, especially in light of the significant challenges many of them may face. Prior to her lecturing at the tertiary level, she taught kindergarten for many years, both in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. Admittedly, though she really misses the children, she is equally committed to contributing to the output of culturally relevant research that can be readily applied within the Caribbean context to further support their early learning experiences.

Christopher Coley

Christopher Coley is a PhD candidate and research associate with AMMACHI Labs at Amrita University in Kerala, India. Originally from Austin, TX, he moved to Seattle, WA to pursue his undergraduate studies in Psychology, and to swim on scholarship with the NCAA team at Seattle University. After graduating, he undertook a year of service with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Portland, OR as a curriculum developer and outreach coordinator for the Northwest Earth Institute, an environmental NGO working in adult education. Over the subsequent two years, Christopher completed his MA in Philosophy at Colorado State University, specializing in Applied and Environmental Ethics, with a thesis entitled “Holding Agriculture Accountable: Moral Obligations in the Dairy Industry,” under the guidance of renowned ethicist Dr. Bernard Rollin. Currently, he is pursuing his graduate studies in Sociology at Amrita University in Kerala, India. His main work, however, is with AMMACHI Labs, a research lab at Amrita University that is a center of technological innovation, breaking new ground in the field of computer-human interaction, developing applications designed to improve quality of life for those struggling with poverty or are otherwise marginalized. His work is specifically in deployment research: assessing the field impact of the vocational training courses and deployment strategy created by the lab. His team has recently completed their first large-scale deployment, The Women Empowerment Project, successfully training over 3,000 women from Kerala and Tamil Nadu in a combined vocational skill and life-skills curriculum, funded in part by the United Nations Democracy Fund. His doctoral work will center around the data collected from this project, and in future projects, on the effect this kind of anti-poverty intervention has on women struggling with poverty in India, with an emphasis on understanding the Multidimensional Poverty Index, and in defining “risk” and “vulnerability” for this population.

Julien Ekiaka-Oblazamengo

Julien Ekiaka-Oblazamengo is currently a multicultural and multilingual Ed.D student of Bilingual education at Texas A&M University – campus Kingsville (TAMUK). Originally from Democratic Republic of Congo (in the center of Africa), he holds a Bachelor degree in Philosophy from Philosophat Saint Augustin – in Kalonda (D.R.C.) with an interest on social justice. He moved to Mexico City where he worked as a French Instructor, lecturer, and teacher while completing his MA in Business Administration at the private Universidad Organismo Mundial de Investigación. He holds another Master’s degree in French literature from University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). In Nebraska, he was granted a French Teaching Assistance position, as well a Spanish lecturer spot.  One year after his graduation from UNL, he was admitted in the doctoral program at of the department of Teacher and Bilingual Education at TAMUK. This is his second year in the Bilingual education program. In Kingsville, besides his Teaching Assistance tasks, he volunteers to instruct foreign languages through Voice of Internet Protocols and Virtual World Application. In addition, he is an Editorial Board member of the Virtual Multilingual Journal, a student journal in his department as well a reviewer at the US-China Education Review (A&B). He is also involved in several research projects and has several conferences presentations at state and national level. His research interests focus on E-teaching/learning through digital technologies, multi and bilingual education, biliteracy development in children, heritage Language learning, and social and educational rights for local communities.

Edobor Michael Erhabor

Edobor Michael Erhabor has a Nigeria Certificate in Education in political Science &Religious Studies, a bachelor’s degree (Hons) in Social Studies Education from the University of Ado-Ekiti and a Master’s degree from the University of Benin, all in Nigeria. He has worked for more than a decade in the field of education, teaching at Tai Solarin University of Education in Nigeria as a lecturer. Michael is currently a PhD student of the School of Education at The University of Queensland in Australia. His areas of research interest include curriculum implementation, teacher education, social justice, and nation building. He has several publications in reputable journals his many years of teaching also include teaching pre-service teachers at Tai Solarin College of education between 2005 to 2009. He is married and blessed with three lovely kids.

Rochelle Franklin

Rochelle Franklin is a recent graduate of Liberty University's doctoral program in Teaching and Learning. Her dissertation was a quantitative study grounded on Moore's Theory of Transactional Distance and  focused on the impact of online instructor actions on graduate, education students' satisfaction. She holds a Specialist degree in Teaching and Learning from Liberty University, a Master's degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida, and an Associate's degree in Information Technology from Kaplan University. She has experience working in Title 1 schools as a public school teacher in Central Florida, professional development trainer, university professor and curriculum designer. Her primary research interests are faculty training, adult education, and distance learning.  She is an active volunteer in her local community, promoting literacy and emphasizing the importance of education through various non-profit organizations.

Heidi Fraser

Heidi Fraser is a Ph.D. candidate in the East-West Psychology (EWP) department at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. She currently is conducting a mixed method study which explores the value of an integral education in EWP, in both a personal and professional context, through engaging with those who graduated from the program. She also teaches and tutors at the Center for Writing and Scholarship at the Institute, where she works with students on their critical reading, research, and writing skills in one-one and group settings. With a passion for discovering the heights and depths of human potential, and renewing the heart of higher education, she aspires to continue to teach and conduct research where she is most needed in the global community upon graduating in the fall.


Shaohua Hong

Shaohua is originally from China. She did her master in Hospitality and Business management at the University of Birmingham. After graduating, she had been working at an educational group and was assigned to be a teacher and then promoted to be program manager. In 2010, she started her PhD in Education at the University of Manchester, UK, specifying at Chinese Parental Choice of Early Years Education. She is interested in how parents experience with their choice of ECE and what influences are involved in their choice making process. The main method used to do her research is narrative. After conducting a series of interviews and analyzing the data chronologically, she is aware that narrative is naturally significant to people when making choices regard to ECE as a life experience.

Andrew Pratt

Andrew Pratt is presently a graduate student at the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio (USA). He is pursuing a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Bilingual Education. He received a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and English from Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio (USA). During his undergraduate studies he did extensive research in Cambodia designing English language manuals for women’s shelter and teaching Survival English for women in the hospitality industry. He has also performed research in Central Europe about the prevalence of English language in advertising. In addition to research, he served and lived two years in the Netherlands as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Through these experiences, his interest in mixed marriage and bilingual education grew. Currently, Andrew works as Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Findlay in the department of Language and Culture. He has also facilitated at Ohio TESOL Conference two years in a row and has participated in various panel discussions relating to culture diversity and understanding. His current research interests include bilingual education, sociolinguistics, English language learning and identity formation. He speaks Chinese (Mandarin), Dutch, English, Japanese and Spanish. In the near future he plans to pursue a Ph.D in international education and research.


Sabina is Indian by nationality and a final year Business Management student at American College of Dubai, UAE. She comes from a teaching background and started teaching small groups on a social level from a young age. She gained her professional experience in teaching from International School of Creative Science, which is one of the leading schools in UAE. At ISCS, in the year 2012 she was awarded for her innovation and enthusiastic teaching at Kindergarten department. She plans to get a diploma in teaching and appear for CPA exams after completion of her Business degree. Her interest areas are teaching, philosophy and writing. She has written for and been the editor in chief of her college journal. She has also assisted couple of her Professors in Research papers for various conferences.



Mehmet Şen graduated from Middle East Technical University Elementary Science Education Department in 2011 and he enrolled in a elementary science and math education master degree program in same year and is currently still a master's student. His thesis topic is based on in-service teachers' pedagogical content knowledge and its relationship with teachers' content knowledge. He is a research assisstant at Middle East Technical University in Turkey/ Ankara. The courses that he assists on are mostly method courses in science teaching I-II, lab applications in science education, and practice teaching in science education since 2013. He has also worked on a scientific research project about evolutionary attitude and literacy of pre-service science teachers in 2013. Finally, last year, he made a poster presentation about "University students' paranormal beliefs in Turkey" at CICE 2013.

Srividya Sheshadri

Srividya Sheshadri is a PhD candidate at Amrita University, and the Research Lead (of the Deployment Team) at Ammachi Labs, a research department at Amrita University. Prior to joining Ammachi Labs, she received a Masters of Social Work, with an emphasis on International Social Policy at Columbia University, and a Bachelors in Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her aim to study, participate and evaluate international social programs motivated her move to India, where she currently resides. Since joining Ammachi Labs, she has helped lead the study design and research methodology in the testing and implementation of computerized vocational education and training (cVET) models in India. Her current areas of research are exploring the interaction between cVET and life enrichment education, with empowerment and poverty reduction strategies.

Stanislav Štěpáník

Stanislav Štěpáník is a PhD candidate at the Czech Language Department at the Faculty of Education at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. He studied at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, currently he is serving as the Czech Research Assistant at the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. In his research he focuses on Czech language teaching and learning and innovations in this area with a special focus on implementing features of constructivism. He is also interested in concepts of mother tongue teaching abroad. He graduated from the Faculty of Education at Charles University in Prague with a degree in teaching Czech and English in lower- and higher-secondary schools. He has worked as a teacher and university tutor.

Juan Whiston

Juan Whiston (Juan Chen) has been working in higher educational settings teaching EFL for more than 20 years and during that time has been an Associate Professor of English at Xi’an International Studies University China an academic tutor of the MATESOL team of the University of Sunderland, UK. She received her BA degree in English Education and then gained further qualifications of MA TESOL in the University of Sunderland as well as a Master degree in International Law. She is now studying for a PhD in TESOL in the University of Sunderland, focusing on reading strategies employed by Chinese university students in the examination settings. Her main research interests are language teaching methodology, L2 writing, Language Learner Strategies, and the teaching of spoken English. At present, she is also involved in research of teaching English writing to adult learners and IELTS training for speaking test.

Francisco Vergara

Francisco Vergara holds a BA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and is an English Licentiate candidate at UTN, the National Technological University in Córdoba, Argentina. During the last decade, he has worked in inclusive education projects mostly serving underprivileged urban and rural youth. He is currently employed at a number of state institutions offering secondary and tertiary level education including teacher training. His research interests include Education for Development, Social Justice Education, and Critical English Language Teaching.