College of Education > News and Publications > News: April-June 2013 > College of Ed Doctoral Student Selected for Fellowship

College of Ed Doctoral Student Selected for Fellowship

Natasha Wilson, a special education doctoral student in Penn State’s College of Education, was selected to participate in the New York University (NYU) Postdoctoral and Transition program for Academic Diversity Fellowship.

Natasha Wilson, a special education doctoral student in Penn State’s College of Education, was selected to participate in the New York University (NYU) Postdoctoral and Transition program for Academic Diversity Fellowship. She was one of the five individuals accepted into the 2013-15 cohort.

As a fellow, Wilson will continue her research examining the experiences of minority parents and will be working on a funded research project examining gestational factors associated with teen birth rates. She will also teach courses at the Wagner School of Public Service at NYU as part of the fellowship.

Wilson said her professional focus has always been with low-income families and children. Prior to coming to the College of Education, Wilson was an attorney who practiced public interest law where she worked with low-income families and children, many of whom had disabilities.

“At a certain point, I felt like I could do more good in the world if I could help foster change in the lives of families and children more directly,” said Wilson. “This work really inspired me to return back to school to focus solely on special education.”

Wilson said she is interested in making a difference in her field through research and teaching.

“I think the intersection between special education, law, and race is not only an interesting area to study, but it is also where more research is needed,” said Wilson.

Wilson said she would also like to become a university professor in the areas of special education, law, and policy with the goal of answering some of the questions that remain unanswered in the field.

--by Kevin Sliman (May 2013)