The Presidential Fellowship Program, inaugurated in the fall of 1984, is awarded to new PhD applicants, who have a record of excellence. Students must be appointed as a full teaching, graduate or research assistant.
Leah Bartlo, BA ‘96, a Western New York native, began her doctoral studies in the curriculum, instruction and the science of learning program this fall. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from UB and a master’s degree in counselor education from St. Bonaventure University. For more than 20 years, she has worked in human services and with individuals with disabilities, in direct care, social work, and quality assurance.
Most recently, she worked with the Learning Disabilities Association of Western New York and was program director of LEAD716, as an innovative initiative providing early educational and social-emotional support for preschool children with elevated blood lead levels. The CISL program and the Presidential Fellowship will help Bartlo explore strategies for improving and expanding services for children affected by lead poisoning.
Jean A. Barrett, EdD ‘65, EdM ‘56, established the Louise Annie Gillespie Scholarship in honor of her mother, who immigrated to the United States and encouraged her three daughters to pursue their higher education aspirations. The scholarship is awarded to a female GSE student who is the daughter of a woman who immigrated to the U.S.
Educational psychology and quantitative methods doctoral student Chantal Tan, BA ’19, a native of Singapore, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at UB. She chose GSE because of its focus on research and its dedication to student diversity. To move to Buffalo to study, Tan made great sacrifices. The Gillespie Scholarship will assist her with some of the challenges she faces while allowing her to pursue a PhD with confidence. Tan’s ambition is to improve cultural diversity within educational practices, close achievement gaps and help schools promote student learning with personalized interventions.
Kavitha Muralidhar, EdM ’16, a native of India, is working on her doctorate in higher education. She earned a master’s degree in human development and education from the University of Madras, India, before coming to UB to earn a master’s degree in higher education. She chose GSE for its focus on equity, diversity and educational policies. She is aiming for a career teaching and contributing to research.
UB’s Arthur A. Schomburg Fellowship Program provides financial support for master’s and doctoral students who contribute to the diversity of the student body, and have overcome a disadvantage or other barrier to success in higher education.
Brittany Derr, a native of South Lyon, Michigan, is working on her doctorate in counseling and school psychology. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Detroit Mercy, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Kentucky. She is aiming for a career as a clinician and researcher with a focus on social justice, women of color and the LGBTQ+ community.
Bijan Kashani, MS ’21, who is working on his doctorate in counseling psychology, first moved from Montreal to the U.S. to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology and English at SUNY Binghamton. Kashani earned his master’s in mental health counseling at UB. He plans to continue developing his interests in LGBTQ+ issues, social justice and trauma through research, clinical work and teaching.
Jay’ana King, a native of Philadelphia, is working on her counseling and school psychology doctorate and aims to help increase the availability and representation of Black psychologists for Black adolescents. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Temple University and wrote her honors thesis about cross-race peer relationships. She chose GSE because of her interest in research and practice and learning to care for adolescents from all racial groups in and outside of school.
Toniqua Lawrence, BA ’21, grew up in Buffalo and is working her counseling and school psychology doctorate. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from UB and chose GSE for its focus on diversity and multicultural competence. After she finishes her PhD, Lawrence plans to work for a nonprofit and, eventually, open a private practice.
Kellyann Ramdath is a curriculum, instruction and the science of learning doctoral student who was born in Trinidad and raised in the Bronx. She earned a bachelor’s degree in health science and biology from Mercy College and a master’s degree in secondary education from Grand Canyon University. She enrolled at GSE to research science education and urban education. Ramdath wants to help educators do their best work in diverse classrooms without compromising content, curiosity or fun. Her goal is to improve science education and student experiences with it.