2019 Recipients

Orla McGurk

Orla McGurk

Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom

Orla began studying at Queen’s University Belfast in 2012 and graduated from BA Irish and Celtic studies with a first class honours degree. She went on to spend a few years working as an Irish language teaching assistant at secondary level as well as working for Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta (Council for Irish-medium Schools in Northern Ireland) before returning to Queen’s to complete a master’s of education degree with distinction in special educational needs and inclusion in 2017. Orla is now coming to the end of her first year of PhD study. Her research looks at the reproduction of inequality in the Irish-medium education sector in Northern Ireland. Orla’s main interests include education, immersion education for minority languages, additional needs provision, and Bourdieusian theory.

​Fariha Asif

​Fariha Asif

King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

Fariha Asif is a teacher trainer, certified mentor, researcher, international presenter, and is coordinator of the mentoring program and an ESL lecturer at English Language Institute, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. She was awarded the Emerging Scholar Award for the 25th International Conference on Learning in Athens, Greece in June 2018. She presented her research paper at the University of Oxford, Oxford, UK on 21-23 March 2018, and at the Applied Linguistics & Language Teaching Conference at Zayed University, Dubai, U.A.E. on 8-10 March 2018. She has honored with a prestigious award of one-year Leadership Mentoring Program by TESOL Arabia 2017. She also has been selected as a Conference Ambassador for TACON2017.

Furthermore, Fariha has attended China-Europe Dialogue at Media Communication Studies Summer School, Switzerland in July 2016 and presented her research paper there. She received the Graduate Scholar Award in 2015 for presenting her research paper at the 13th International Conference on New Directions in Humanities at the University of British Columbia, Canada. In March 2014, she presented her research paper at Harvard University and Nevada University, USA. In July 2013, she attended the 19th International Congress of Linguists, Geneva, Switzerland and met Father of Linguistics, Mr. Noam Chomsky.

Naziema Jappie

Naziema Jappie

University of Cape Town, South Africa

Naziema Jappie works at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She has a distinguished and varied background, and she has great strengths and an impressive track record in the fields of educational management, leadership, and conflict resolution. She holds a master’s degree, a Higher Education Diploma, and is pursuing a PhD in social justice leadership in higher education. She has received many awards, including a Fellowship at the University of Iowa, USA. She worked as a teacher, and she was a national education officer and held executive management positions at Durban University of Technology and the University of the Witwatersrand. She currently holds membership in the following associations: Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), American Education Research Association (AERA), Global Access for Postsecondary Education (GAPS), and South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA).

​Yeisil Peña

​Yeisil Peña

Universidad Central de Chile, Chile

Yeisil Peña is the coordinator of cultural studies in the English pedagogy program at Universidad Central de Chile. She also teaches Integrated English Language at Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Chile. Previously, she taught at Universidad de Chile. She has presented her research on literature, vocabulary acquisition, and cultural studies at conferences in Chile, Costa Rica, Spain, and the United Kingdom. She holds a BA in English literature and linguistics from Universidad de Chile and an MA in modern and contemporary literature and culture from the University of York, UK.

Naaz Kirmani

Naaz Kirmani

University of Bath, United Kingdom

Naaz’s portfolio contains a diverse range of experience in the field of international education in various roles and leadership positions. She has extensive knowledge and vast experience of working with several prestigious International Baccalaureate schools. She is an IB consultant, IB workshop leader and authorization/evaluation team leader. Naaz has been responsible for several key initiatives related to advancement of schools, such as student outreach to international arenas and integration of e-learning modules in the school curriculum. Her research interests center around educational technology, curriculum development, and educational assessment. She is a research scholar at the University of Bath; her research project is on exploring the impact of new technologies (artificial intelligence & machine learning) on assessment and learning outcomes of IBDP students.

Judith Bruce-Golding

Judith Bruce-Golding

Bangor University, United Kingdom

Dr. Judith Bruce-Golding has worked in special education for over 11 years. In 2018 she was awarded her doctorate in education and leadership from the University of Birmingham. Judith currently works with young adults who have special educational needs and disabilities. She is a registered Mental Health First Aid Trainer and SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator). Judith has a master's of science in information technology, and a degree in Media, communication, and Spanish studies. She has interests in special education, psychology, dyslexia, educational leadership, and urban studies. In her spare time, Judith enjoys working with creative community programmes.

Haida Umiera

Haida Umiera

National University of Malaysia, Malaysia

Haida Umiera is a researcher at the Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Malaya in the field of education (teaching English as secondary language). She is currently pursuing her master’s degree at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in the same area. Her field of research includes technology, massive open online courses, open learning resources, and teaching innovation.

Suzanne Fillis

Suzanne Fillis

Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom

Suzanne is a final year PhD student undertaking a mixed methods study on the developmental needs of two year olds and the implications for service provision in Northern Ireland through the School of Social Science, Education and Social Work at Queen's University, Belfast. Prior to undertaking her doctorate, Suzanne worked with the Centre for Effective Services (CES) and completed her undergraduate and master's degrees in early childhood studies at Stranmillis University College.

​Amy Crouch

​Amy Crouch

Ball State University, United States

Amy Crouch is currently a PhD student at Ball State University. Her research interests include the development and implementation of an inclusive and democratic curriculum with a specific focus on LGBTQ material. Amy holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from Ball State, as well as a MBA from Rockhurst University. Her view is that the classroom should be an interaction between the students and the information providers. Her intent is to create an open dialogue between educator and student resulting in a true democratic classroom.

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Ashairi Suliman

Ashairi Suliman

The National University of Malaysia, Malaysia

Ashairi Suliman is a postgraduate student in the Faculty of Education, The National University of Malaysia. Majoring in teaching English as a second language (TESL), he obtained his bachelor's and master's in education from the same institution. His research interests include educational policy and programme development, teaching English as second language, literature teaching and learning, and ICT. He has attended fourteen conferences on the national, Asian, and international level. In addition, he has also published twenty articles indexed in Scopus, WOS-ESCI, ERA, DOAJ as well as five proceedings. He has also received Junior Scholar Award, honouring him a scholarship and travel grant to present at GloCALL Conference in Suzhou, China last year. His current doctoral research is on the implementation of dual language (DL) programme in Malaysian secondary schools.

Xuezi Han

Xuezi Han

Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom

After pursuing a BA in education and an MA international education degrees at University of Hull and University of Brighton respectively, Xuezi is now a third year PhD student at Queen's University Belfast, School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, researching learners and teachers' transitions and perceptions of English learning and teaching throughout different learning stages and contexts. Having taught secondary school students and adult learners, the communication between learners and teachers' ideas continuously fascinates Xuezi, and she will continue with this lifelong exploration.

Gillian O’Hagan

Gillian O’Hagan

Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom

Gillian has worked in the field of special education for over 20 years. She is the special educational needs coordinator, head of psychology, and specialist ASD teacher in a post-primary school in Belfast. Gillian is an educational doctoral candidate at Queens University Belfast, has a master's degree in educational psychology and a bachelor of science in social psychology. She is also a committee member of the British Psychological Society, Northern Ireland.

Gillian’s research has been in the field of autism with a focus on exposing the true voice of female ASD through participatory research. The ‘Missing Voices’ photographic exhibition has been held in Queens University Belfast and also in Stormont, the governmental seat in Northern Ireland, in June 2019. The exhibition has also been signed to the Belfast International Arts festival in October 2019 and will enjoy a 3 week residency in the University of the Atypical, Belfast which is the gallery for the Arts and Disability Research Forum. Gillian has presented her research at the All Ireland Doctoral Conference 2018, has received a Postgraduate Led Initiative Award from Queens University Belfast, and will continue to lead discussion forums around female ASD at the International Arts Festival later this year.

​Charlotte Sannier-Bérusseau

​Charlotte Sannier-Bérusseau

Laval University, Canada

Charlotte Sannier-Bérusseau is a PhD candidate at Laval University in Quebec City (Quebec, Canada). Her background being in theatrical training, she taught drama for several years in France, Guatemala, and England, before joining educational sciences. This curriculum led her to question the connection between theatrical practice, learner identity, and learning preferences. Her doctoral research focuses on the effect of the introduction of drama in the school curriculum of adolescents on how they define themselves as learners and how they learn, according to a systemic vision. She has also been teaching the learning process to future teachers at Laval University since 2015.

​Charity Okeke

​Charity Okeke

University of South Africa, South Africa

Charity Okeke is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology of Education at the University of South Africa. She is currently a part-time lecturer in the Institute of Distance Education, University of Swaziland. She holds Master of Education degree in the Department of Educational Psychology, University of Johannesburg. She is a German (DAAD) and South African (NRF) scholarship holder. She is equally a University of Johannesburg master’s merit bursary recipient. Her research interests include classroom discipline, classroom learning, and professional conversation. She is a member of the South African Education Research Association (SAERA) and the Education Association of South Africa (EASA). She has attended both local and international conferences and has a number of academic publications.

Astrid Kendrick

Astrid Kendrick

University of Calgary, Canada

Astrid Helene Kendrick completed her doctor of education degree from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada in July of 2018. She is currently a contract instructor in the undergraduate program for the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. For the past nineteen years, she has been a physical education and English/language arts teacher at the Calgary Board of Education. Her research interest is using school-wide health promotion to improve student and educator well-being in kindergarten to grade 12 schools. She is currently the co-chair of the Health Promoting Schools Collaborative with Alberta Health Services and the editor of the Runner, the annual journal for the Health and Physical Education Council (a specialist council of the Alberta Teachers Association).

Holly Arnold

Holly Arnold

Kennesaw State University, United States

Dr. Holly W. Arnold is an assistant professor of TESOL and teaches undergraduate and graduate teacher education courses in the field of TESOL at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, United States. Most recently she was selected by the U.S. State Department to work with the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine as an English language specialist. During that special assignment, she served as the plenary speaker for TESOL-Ukraine and trained teacher-trainers from all over the country. Dr. Arnold has worked in teacher training and professional development in both the public school system and at the college level. Her academic interests and publications address: teacher education, support, and preparedness in culturally responsive pedagogy for linguistically and culturally diverse students; the achievement and experiences of English learners in the online learning environment; and English learners in innovative delivery models and classrooms. Dr. Arnold resides in Blairsville, Georgia, U.S. with her husband, two kids, and their family dogs.

Patricia Nicholl

Patricia Nicholl

Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom

Patricia is a third year doctoral student in childhood studies at Queen’s University Belfast, undertaking research on the educational attainment of children in care from a children’s rights based perspective. She is the current chair of the Child Care in Practice journal and has been a peer reviewer for the journal for twelve years.

Daniel Eyisi

Daniel Eyisi

Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom

Daniel is a doctoral student in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen's University Belfast. He completed his master's degree in education specialising in curriculum studies with almost two decades of teaching experiences in both secondary and higher education. His research explores student-teachers’ perception and experiences of microteaching elements that relate to pupils’ behaviour and teachers’ instruction in Nigeria. His research interests are in the research paradigms, teaching, and pedagogy. He is interested in research which seeks to promote teaching and learning. He is particularly interested in teacher education. He authored Grass to Grace.

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Mary Grace Quigley

Mary Grace Quigley

University of Adelaide

Mary Grace Quigley is a PhD candidate and German language teacher. She holds a master of arts in teaching German as a foreign language (DaF) from the Technical University of Berlin, and a bachelor of arts (with honors) from the University of Adelaide. She began learning German at the University of Adelaide and went on to live in Germany for 6 years, studying linguistics, German language teaching, and teaching German to refugee learners.

Mary’s current and previous research spans across the fields of German studies and applied linguistics, with a focus on language learning and identity. Her PhD research is titled Learning German in English-Speaking Tertiary Contexts: Identity, Social Strategies and Language Use. It looks at the connections between language learning and identity construction, as well as the ways in which language learning strategies can be incorporated into teaching methodology to promote learner autonomy and to improve learning outcomes.

Mehmet Filiz

Mehmet Filiz

Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom

Mehmet Filiz is currently a final year PhD student in School of Social Science, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University Belfast, working under the supervision of Professor Allen Thurston and Dr. Sarah Miller. Mehmet Filiz's doctoral work focuses on developing university students’ statistics proficiency through computer-assisted feedback, and his PhD studies are sponsored by the Turkish Ministry of National Education.

​Aishwarya Patil

​Aishwarya Patil

Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom

Aishwarya Patil is a PhD candidate in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen's University Belfast. Her research interests are gender equality and career progression of Indian women employed in the information and technology sector. Aishwarya has a bachelor of technology in electronics and telecommunication (Gold Medal), a master's in English literature (Gold Medal), a diploma in journalism, and a post-graduate diploma in foreign trade. Previously, she was a project delivery manager at IBM and an assistant professor at Pune University, India. She received the Best Employee Award in 2006 from IBM and Best Teacher Award by Maharashtra Girls' Education Society Pune. She published Business Communication Skills in 2010 and is a member of the Business Ethics Committee of Pune University MBA.

In Their Words

Being a Graduate Scholar allowed me to attend a variety of interesting presentations. Experiencing this role made me evaluate myself within the lines that I evaluated the others' presentations, which allowed myself to become a greater presenter."

Maria Espinet Alegre, 2016 Awardee

From this Graduate Scholar experience I now feel confident to cope in a true leader role. This will help me in my aspirations of being a teacher."

Julien Ekiaka-Oblazamengo, 2014 Awardee

Attending an international conference has made me more aware that educational research is being conducted worldwide and that we have colleagues from many different countries and universities with whom we can confer and collaborate."

Rosemary Carolan, 2014 Awardee