Pair of Doctoral Students Receive Dissertation Fellowships

A pair of University of Pittsburgh School of Education doctoral students are among the 35 recipients of dissertation fellowships from the National Academy of Education for the 2018-19 academic year. Jamie Amemiya, a doctoral candidate in the Applied Developmental Psychology program, and Oscar E. Patrón, a PhD candidate in Administrative and Policy Studies, will each receive a $27,500 fellowship while working on their respective research and dissertations.

Amemiya’s research investigates how school contexts can support healthy psychosocial and academic development during adolescence. She integrates developmental, educational, and social psychology perspectives in her work and has had research published in Journal of School Psychology, Child Development Perspectives, and Journal of Research on Adolescence.

Her current research focuses on how adolescents reason about and respond to academic and disciplinary feedback from teachers. She is especially interested in understanding these processes among adolescents from groups that have been historically stigmatized in school settings, such as racial and ethnic minority adolescents. Ultimately, she hopes that her research will inform how schools can better serve an increasingly diverse student population.

As an aspiring faculty member, Patrón has worked in a variety of roles while at Pitt––from being a teaching assistant to serving on the SOE’s academic and student affairs committees. Upon his arrival at Pitt, the research team of SOE assistant professor Gina Garcia, PhD, where they conducted a mixed-methods multi-site investigation examining the leadership development of Latinos in college. They are now working on the Midwest Hispanic-Serving Institutions Study.

Currently, Patrón is a visiting pre-doctoral scholar and research associate in the Race and Equity Center at the University of Southern California (USC), where he has served as a teaching assistant for Dr. Shaun Harper’s Race in Education course. While at USC, he is completing his dissertation, which investigates the resilience processes that queer Latino collegians undergo in relation to their social identities and surrounding contexts.

For more about their current research and dissertation topics, read the NAed/Spencer Dissertation release.

The Dissertation Fellowship Program seeks to encourage a new generation of scholars from a wide range of disciplines and professional fields to undertake research relevant to the improvement of education. These $27,500 fellowships support individuals whose dissertations show potential for bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the history, theory, analysis, or practice of formal or informal education anywhere in the world.