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Paul P. Fidler Research Grant


National Resource Center announces 2012-2013 Fidler Grant Recipient

September 7, 2012

Columbia, SC - The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition named Jacob Okumu, a doctoral candidate in Higher Education and Student Affairs at Ohio University, the recipient of the 2012 - 2013 Paul P. Fidler Research Grant. The Center will publicly acknowledge Okumu during its 19th National Conference on Students in Transition, which will be held October 13-15, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The grant, designed to encourage and enable scholarly research on issues related to college student transitions, includes a financial stipend and travel to two national conferences. Completed research funded by the Paul P. Fidler Research Grant is featured in the Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Okumu's study is entitled Developmental meaning-making dynamics of emancipated foster care youth transitioning into higher education: A Constructivist-Grounded Theory. The abstract appears below:

The purpose of this study is to investigate developmental meaning-making dynamics of emancipated foster youth transitioning into higher education. The study seeks to postulate alternative ways of conceptualizing college student transitional experiences and promote student developmental outcomes in ways that acknowledge a student's individual needs, goals and values. Additionally, using a constructivist student development theoretical lens informed by grounded theory methodology, the study advances substantive theories and offers insights into how student affairs professionals and mentors can empower emancipated youth to formulate systems of meanings that creatively help inform the student's quest for an integral sense of identity and purpose.

In its eighth year, the Paul P. Fidler Research Grant has become a well-respected and highly competitive grant program. The Center received many strong proposals from researchers and practitioners throughout the United States. The four other outstanding research projects selected as finalists were:

  • Barbara Hong of Penn State University for her study entitled A Ten-Year Exploratory Analysis of the Transition, Persistence and Graduation Outcome of College Students with Disabilities.
  • Sean Hogan of California State University, Fullerton for his study entitled Foster Youth in Higher Education: The Role of Social Capital in Successfully Transitioning to Adulthood.
  • Erin Wheeler of Louisiana State University for her study entitled Making the Case for 1st and 2nd-year Academic Interventions: Evaluating Freshman Academic Boot Camp Participants' and Non-Participants Metacognitive Development and Deficits in the 2nd-year.
  • Heather Harris of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for her study entitled Establishing an academic support structure: An investigation of underrepresented students transition, identity negotiation, and persistence through their first year of undergraduate education

Dallin George Young, Assistant Director of Research, Grants, and Assessment at the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, led the Paul P. Fidler Research Grant selection process.  He anticipates Jacob Okumu's research will significantly contribute to the national discussion on understanding the needs of emancipated foster youth who are making the transition into higher education.

"Jacob's study will make a significant contribution to the literature about developmental theory related to students who have experiences in foster care. Further, it will provide a practical framework for faculty and staff who work to support these students as they develop the meaning-making abilities that will make them successful in higher education and beyond."

Past recipients of the grant include:

  • 2011-2012 - Kristin Moser, Redefining Transfer Student Success: Transfer Capital and the Laanan-Transfer Students' Questionnaire (L-TSQ) Revisited
  • 2010-2011 - Paul J. McLoughlin II, High-Achieving Low-Income Students: How Low-Income Students on Full Financial Aid are Navigating an Elite College Environment

  • 2009-2010 - Rachel Smith of Syracuse University, Connected in Learning: A Mixed Methods Study of First-year Students' Academic and Social Networks
  • 2008-2009 - Maryellen Mills of the University of Texas at Austin, Student Success Course Participation and Engagement among Part-time and Full-Time Community College Students

  • 2007-2008 - Dr. Eunyoung Kim of Seton Hall University, Acculturation Experiences and College Transitions of Minority Immigrant Students

  • 2006-2007 - Dr. Barbara Hofer of Middlebury College, The Electronic Tether: Parental Regulation, Self-Regulation, and the Role of Technology in College Transitions

  • 2005-2006 - Christine and Michael Kirk-Kuwaye of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, A Study of Engagement Patterns of Lateral and Vertical Transfer Students During their First Semester at a Public Research University

 

 
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