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The University of Alabama

Graduate Students to Showcase Research at Education Symposium

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – More than 100 graduate students will present research papers and posters at the eighth annual Educational Studies in Psychology, Research Methodology and Counseling Graduate Research Symposium on Thursday, March 31, at The University of Alabama.

UA graduate students will present 25 research papers and 40 posters this year and will represent UA’s College of Education, Culverhouse College of Commerce, College of Human Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences and School of Social Work. Opening Remarks begin at 2:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Woodis-McDonald Auditorium in Graves Hall.

Posters and papers accepted for presentation will be judged by a faculty committee for Annual Symposium Awards. Each award winner will receive $600 in travel funding from the UA Graduate School and a Supe Store gift card. Between four and six awards are given each year.

“We are so excited to see such a diverse group of research projects to be presented at the symposium this year,” said Dr. Stacy Hughey Surman, chair of the Symposium Committee. “From pharmaceuticals in groundwater sediment and the impact of ADHD on school motivation, to investment banking and the life of actors, the symposium showcases the breadth and depth of research conducted by our students across the University.”

Jean Swindle, a doctoral student in the UA College of Education, will present research tied to her dissertation, which focuses on the language beliefs pre-service teachers have about child migrants. She’s formed testing scenarios of second- and third-culture children — children of diplomats or employees of foreign corporations who work in the United States — to gauge how the students are perceived by pre-service teachers. The goal is to see if perceptions of socioeconomic status or the types of languages children speak align with their true academic potential.

“What’s interesting is that some pre-service teachers, unfortunately, are very aware that because of what’s believed about certain ethnic groups, some children have marks against them going into the classroom even though they may have a rich language capital,” said Swindle, who earned a master’s at UA while working with pre-service and in-service teachers in Paraguay. “Not being able to have language acquisition courses – some colleges of education do not require them – may influence erroneous ideas about what we think about the knowledge of a child.”

Dr. Bonnie Cramond, professor of educational psychology and director of the Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development at the University of Georgia, will deliver the keynote address, “Creativity: Past, Present, and Future” at 6 p.m. in the Woodis-McDonald Auditorium. Awards will follow at 7:15 p.m.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: David Miller, UA Media Relations, 205/348-0825,
  • SOURCE: Dr. Stacy Hughey-Surman, clinical assistant professor, Educational Research, 205/348-7729,