Distinguished Professor Jacquelynne Eccles, PhD Program Director and Associate Dean, presented the Keith Curry PhD Scholarship to Jennifer Sun during the PhD Recognition Ceremony on May 23.
Text of Professor Eccles Presentation of the Keith Curry PhD Scholarship
The Keith Curry Scholarship was established by School of Education alumnus Dr. Curry to honor a PhD student who has demonstrated significant growth in academic achievement and unusual perseverance – qualities that Dr. Curry believes characterized his journey toward his doctorate. This year’s recipient of the Keith Curry scholarship award, Jennifer Sun, exemplifies these characteristics.
Jennifer earned this award by demonstrating her persistence in advancing through the PhD program, despite numerous setbacks. For her dissertation, Jennifer proposed an ambitious study to investigate elementary mathematics teachers’ identity in the context of a three-pronged, year-long professional development program. She is to be commended for spending countless hours in a school setting for a full school year, collecting hours of data collection in the form of interviews and observations of classroom teaching and professional development meetings, and finishing her dissertation just a year later. Collecting and analyzing data in this timeframe is highly unusual and she deserves to be acknowledged for her focus and persistence in completing this major milestone. Finally, Jennifer encountered serious health issues last summer just after completing her data collection - what could have set her back many months. Despite this major setback, she returned in the fall quarter with a plan to narrow her analysis based on a strong theoretical framing, successfully completing the work despite taking on additional family responsibilities related to hospice care for her grandmother. We commend you for your focus and determination despite these major challenges.
Pictured below: Jennifer Sun and Dr. Keith Curry, President of Compton Community College