Doctoral students honored for leadership

March 2, 2017

Three doctoral students in the Michigan State University College of Education received a 2016-17 COGS Disciplinary Leadership Award on Feb. 15, 2017. COGS—the Council of Graduate Students at MSU—presents the awards to students in the Graduate School who have demonstrated leadership in their fields on a local, state, regional, national and/or international level while enrolled as a student.

The College of Education recipients were among eight who received the award, which comes with $2,000 to further their development as leaders.

Cassie J. Brownell

Ph.D. candidate in the Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education (CITE) program

Brownell’s research centers the diverse language and literacy experiences of children in urban elementary classrooms. Specifically, her dissertation research interrogates how writing with a variety of communicative resources (e.g., visuals, audio, material items) facilitates new spaces for human diversities.

Along with her colleague Jon M. Wargo—a 2016 graduate of the CITE program—Brownell facilitates #hearmyhome, a collaborative, open-networked research project (highlighted in a recent New Educator article). Brownell and Wargo encourage youth, teachers and community participants to “attune toward the sonic experiences of cultures, communities and youth writing across difference” by contributing the ambient sounds of their everyday via platforms such as Twitter.

Her work with the greater community expands to several academic organizations, including the Literacy Research Association, the American Educational Research Association and the National Association for Multicultural Education. She has served on several graduate student committees, planned mentoring events and currently blogs for a special interest group of the International Literacy Association.

“I feel privileged to have worked with and learned from leaders in my field, including my doctoral student colleagues, faculty within and beyond my discipline and the many teachers and children I have encountered in my research,” Brownell said. Associate Professor Amy Parks serves as her academic advisor. “This award will help to facilitate my continued engagement in research, teaching and service that centers the voices and experiences of young children.”

Brownell plans to use the funds from the award to attend several national and international conferences during the 2017-18 academic year.

Tayo Moss

Third-year Ph.D. student in the Kinesiology program

Moss is no stranger to leadership: He has taught more than 30 different courses in the Department of Kinesiology at MSU. His leadership roles extend beyond the classroom as well, through his involvement with the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA), where he serves as a graduate student representative to the executive board. In addition, he is working on a committee with NASPSPA to plan a “historical program,” including scientific symposia, student events, photo collections and more.

“Leadership is important because positive leaders can inspire and drive individuals to be successful,” said Moss. University Distinguished Professor Deborah Feltz is his academic advisor.

Previous work includes participating in the Summer Research Opportunities Program, which helps prepare undergraduate students for a research-intensive graduate career, and mentoring student athletes through Student-Athlete Support Services.

Moss plans to use the monetary award to attend conferences, seek out books and attend workshops aimed toward developing his leadership skills.

“[This award] has given me the chance to reflect on what I have accomplished,” Moss said. “It means so much to me to win this award, and I’m honored to receive it.”

Moss’s research examines how motivational implications of diversity in group contexts can affect performance.

Joshua Rosenberg

Ph.D. candidate in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology (EPET) program

Rosenberg currently serves as the chair for the TPACK Special Interest Group in the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE), a position he has held for the last three years. In this role, Rosenberg helps promote research for TPACK—Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge—a collaborative research effort between Professor Matthew Koehler in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education, and former MSU Professor Punya Mishra. Additionally in the role with SITE, Rosenberg has helped organize various symposia and co-created an award to honor those whose TPACK research has made an impact on teachers. Koehler serves as Rosenberg’s academic advisor.

Rosenberg’s other leadership roles include serving as a member on the American Psychological Association Membership Committee and as an editorial board member for the Journal of Research on Technology in Education.

With the funds from the award, Rosenberg plans to attend the SITE Conference and the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference (CSCLC). He was recently invited to serve on a committee for the CSCLC conference, in which he will be able to intersect his leadership skills with educational psychology and educational technology.

“I am grateful to be recognized alongside other graduate students from across campus, as well as from the College of Education at MSU,” Rosenberg said. “Receiving this award, especially when I learn about all of the work others receiving the award have done, is humbling and an honor to me.”

Read more about the research and leadership roles of Brownell, Moss and Rosenberg on the COGS website