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DDCE Announces Fall 2019 Travel Grant Recipients

image of airplane

image of airplane
Every spring and fall semester, the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement awards a talented group of graduate students with a $250 travel grant so they can share their research with colleagues and scholars at conferences across the globe.

Listed below are the fall 2019 recipients:

image of travel granteeMarta Ascherio
Sociology, College of Liberal Arts

Research focus: Immigration policy and the criminal justice system 

Travel destination: New York City, New York

“I find that sanctuary policies, which limit police collaboration with ICE, are associated with decreasing crime rates over time. This is part of a dissertation project in which I investigate the causes and consequences of immigrant surveillance programs.”

image of awardeeLuis Fernandez
 of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education

Research focus: Exploring instructional programs and providing professional development opportunities that increase the quality of mathematics education for emergent bilingual students

Travel destination: Honolulu, Hawaii

 “Even though I worked with incredible teachers throughout my K-12 school experience, there was always a disconnect between my identity as a Latino EB and a student of mathematics. Therefore, my research interest is heavily influenced by these personal experiences with hopes of creating more robust learning models for other diverse groups of students across the United States.”

Signe Peterson Fourmy
Department of History, College of Liberal Arts

Research focus: Arguing for the acts of maternal resistance due to the enslavement of women prosecuted for infanticide in the Antebellum South

Travel destination: Jamestown Settlement, Virginia

 “I think it is an integral part of our history to understand the full spectrum of enslaved people’s (women in particular) experiences and how they resisted oppression.”

image of awardeeJia Guo
Operations Research and Industrial Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering

Research focus: Investigating and analyzing logistic regressions to improve transportation service for patients at the Family Health Center within the UT Medical School in San Antonio

Travel destination: Seattle, Washington

“The reason I am passionate about this area is I can practically apply my academic knowledge and skills to real-world problems. I can use statistics and math models to figure out the weaknesses of current situations and to find a good approach to optimize decisions. What I am doing in this area can greatly improve healthcare services and make people’s lives a lot easier.”

image of awardeeLakeya Omogun
Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education

Research focus:My study, which focuses on Nigerian immigrant youth, explores how their language and literacy practices influence their identity constructions and negotiations in the United States.

Travel destination: Tampa, Florida

“As the daughter of a Nigerian immigrant father and an African American mother, I grew up between two distinct cultures. Despite my background, the multiplicity and diversity of my identity was often negated. This was particularly true in school spaces. Living between both cultures, coupled with frequent movement across multiple cities, drew my attention to the nuances in Black identities. It was this awareness that cultivated my passion and sensitivity toward Black immigrant youth identities and language and literacy practices.”

image of awardeeJesse O’Rear
Department of Theatre and Dance, College of Fine Arts

Research focus: The live performance work and ways in which transgender-identified individuals use autobiographical material and personal narrative in their work

Travel destination: St. Louis, Missouri

 “As an artist and scholar of performance who is also a transgender man, this work is deeply personal to me. The first time that I saw a performance by a trans artist, the experience filled me with immeasurable hope and joy. I saw a place for myself in the world, and it is an honor to be able to devote academic space and attention to the work that inspired me.”

Gia English Tills
Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education

Research focus: Contextualizing the urban HBCU community: Implications of the anti-Black urban plan to displace the historically Black neighborhood

Travel Destination: Charleston, South Carolina

image of awardeeTabias Oljuawon Wilson
Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, College of Liberal Arts

Research focus: Analyzing the fugitive slave clause, Black codes, the 4th and 13th amendments and current cases of racialized and gendered policing to develop an analytic to fourth amendment law, criminal procedure and policing

Travel Destination: Honolulu, Hawaii

“My research has the ability to both educate society on the implications of our constitution and also on what is missing, what is incomplete, what needs to be changed. It presents an opportunity to look at, and look beyond, the intentions and ideological commitments of the founding ‘fathers.’ It challenges the basic precepts of law and wonders who is ‘a reasonable person’ and what does ‘reasonable suspicion’ look like, for whom.”

 Established in fall 2017, the grant supports doctoral students in schools and colleges across the university who are studying areas that promote diversity and social justice. Visit this website to apply!

Photo credit: Airplane by Sean MacEntee, Flickr Creative Commons