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FAMU Students Selected for Santa Barbara Research Scholars Program
July 16, 2013

The 2013 FAMU College of Education UCSB-FAMU Educational Evaluation Research Scholars, (l-r): Thaddeus Stegall, Kiara DeCoursey, Charles Wiliams and Kaylin Polite.

Santa Barbara, Calif. – Four students from Florida A&M University (FAMU) have been selected to participate in the 2013 UC Santa Barbara–FAMU Educational Evaluation Research Scholars Program: Kiara DeCoursey, Kaylin Polite, Thaddeus Stegall, and Charles Williams. This group is the second cohort of students from FAMU admitted into the program that consists of academic and co-curricular research activities designed to train participants in educational evaluation and prepare them for doctoral work at the University of California. The program is held on UCSB’s campus from June 24 to August 9, 2013.

The Scholars Program is one of the key elements of “Connecting Networks: UCSB and FAMU,” an initiative funded in 2011 by the UC Office of the President's University of California–Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative (UC–HBCU). Dr. John T. Yun and Dr. Patricia Marin serve as the co-Principal Investigators for this program.

“The students have the opportunity to network with graduate students and faculty, participate in academic workshops and professional development seminars, and design their own research study,” said Marin.

FAMU student Thaddeus Stegall is honored to represent the University in this capacity and finds that his time in the program has been worthwhile.

“It’s an enlightening and exciting experience. Challenging at times but it’s a great program,” said Stegall.

Over the past 2 years the program has proven itself to be a rewarding experience for FAMU students and has attracted their matriculation into graduate studies programs.

“The FAMU Scholars who have participated in this program have been amazing. One of the students in our first cohort, Lois Harmon, is a graduateand is doing extremely well,” said Marin.
A rigorous student selection process identified these FAMU students for the 7-week summer program. Each student will have an individualized research plan as well as a team of mentors to address his/her specific academic and professional interests. Three of these students will return to FAMU after the summer program to continue their studies. DeCoursey is studying early childhood education, Polite is a mathematics education student, and Stegall is a music education student. Williams has already earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from FAMU.

“My research this summer will explore using music to increase the time-on-task for students in the classroom and looking at students with ADD/ADHD as a sub population,” said Stegall. “It is really rewarding to see all of my training and education at FAMU paying off. We are taking a seminar in evaluation that is really opening my eyes to the structure of education and the evaluation thereof. I am extremely excited about what the rest of the seven weeks has in store!” 

The University of California continues to seek ways to attract and enroll scholars from historically excluded populations. At the graduate level, African Americans/Blacks are the most underrepresented group in relation to their U.S. population. The five-year average (2007-2011) for enrollment of African Americans in UC academic doctoral programs is 2.5 percent. In an effort to improve the representation of African Americans/Blacks in its graduate programs, particularly its Ph.D. programs, the UC will invest in cultivating relationships and establishing programs with institutions like FAMU that produce African American graduates from high schools, undergraduate colleges, and universities as well as institutions producing graduates with master’s degrees. The goal of the UC–HBCU Initiative is to increase the number of scholars from HBCUs enrolling in UC academic doctoral programs.

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Rasheeta D. Turner contibuted to this article.

Photo caption: The 2013 UCSB-FAMU Educational Evaluation Research Scholars, (l-r): Thaddeus Stegall, Kiara DeCoursey, Charles Wiliams, and Kaylin Polite.

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