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.
Babak Barghchi, a native of Mashhad, Iran, is a PhD student in the language education and multilingualism program. He received both his bachelor’s degree in English literature and master’s degree in TESOL from the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad. Barghchi has worked as an English foreign language teacher, TESOL trainer, translator and educational advisor, and chose GSE because of its vibrant environment with world-class scholars. He aspires to be a researcher in educational linguistics and believes that multiculturalism and multilingualism are potent forces that enrich our lives and foster peace.
A native of St. Louis, Mo., Emil Beckford is a student in the combined doctoral program in counseling psychology and school psychology. He received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University in psychology. He recently served as a research assistant for the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, where he interviewed 11-15-year-old children about their physical and mental health, cultural and environmental factors and technology use, and assisted with their MRI scans. Beckford chose GSE because of its strong integration of research and applied skills. He hopes to have a career focused on helping queer people of color through practicing and community-based participatory research.
Bingwan Tian, a native of Shanxi, China, is a doctoral student in the educational culture, policy and society program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Chinese as a second language from Zhejiang University and a master’s degree in comparative literature and world literature from Nanjing University. She chose to complete her PhD at GSE because the school makes her feel like she can make a difference in the world, and she wants to learn in an academic community with great diversity. She hopes to explore the dynamics of education from the perspective of sociology and anthropology, while making a difference in the education field.
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.
Mary DiCioccio, a Buffalo native, is a PhD student in the curriculum, instruction and the science of learning program. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from SUNY Fredonia and her master of education from Boston College. DiCioccio was a researcher at Boston College, where she studied how Catholic schools instill meaning and purpose in students’ lives. After finishing her PhD, DiCioccio wants to become a published researcher and professor of math education.
Samantha Didrichsen, a native of Miller Place, N.Y., is a doctoral student in the curriculum, instruction and the science of learning program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at SUNY Fredonia and her master’s degree in special education early childhood intervention at Hofstra University. Didrichsen had her ABA research published in Hofstra University’s sixth volume of their online journal “Special Education Research, Policy & Practice.” Her goal is to help build and prepare a new preservice teacher preparation program for those interested in early childhood special education in Western New York.
Dawnavyn James is a doctoral student in the curriculum, instruction and the science of learning program. A native of Kansas City, Mo., she is an early childhood and Black history educator whose professional goal is to research Black history education in elementary classrooms, curriculum development and instruction. James chose to complete her PhD at GSE because of LaGarrett King and the Center for K-12 Black History and Racial Literacy Education.
A native of Orlando, Fla., Haseeb Memon is a student in the combined doctoral program in counseling psychology and school psychology. He graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology specializing in behavioral analysis. At UF, Memon worked in various organizations to improve access to mental health resources, such as serving as an ambassador for the counseling center and volunteering at local crisis hotline centers. His academic and professional goals are to create more research about South Asians and Muslims and the stigma associated with their mental health.
Margaret Youngs is a student in the combined doctoral program in counseling psychology and school psychology. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hilbert College. She recently assumed the duties of the chief psychometrician at Erie County Medical Center, where she completes neuropsychology consults on a broad spectrum of patients on the psychiatric emergency floor. Youngs’ professional goal is to provide equal and representative access to assessments in the field of neuropsychology.