College of Education > News and Publications > News: January - March 2013 > Showing Their Work: College of Ed Graduate Students Participate in the Graduate Exhibition

Showing Their Work: College of Ed Graduate Students Participate in the Graduate Exhibition

Four graduate students from the College of Education shared their work in the poster portion of the Annual Graduate Exhibition on March 24 in the HUB-Robeson Center at University Park.

Four graduate students from the College of Education took part in the Annual Graduate Exhibition on March 24 in the HUB-Robeson Center at University Park. Gregory C. Boyd, Ana Patty Aguilera, Talia Carroll, and Perdeta Bush were among the record-setting number of students who participated in this year’s event.

Gregory C. Boyd

Gregory C Boyd speaks with exhibit attendeeBoyd’s work was titled “’Tweeting’ in the Sanctuary, ‘Poking’ at Coffee Hour: A Qualitative Study of Social Media Use for Religious Education Ministry,” and it focused on how Unitarian Universalist religious educators are learning to use social media for religious education ministry.

“What happens if church happens on Facebook?” said Boyd. “What changes, and what stays the same?”

Boyd, who is pursuing his doctorate in Adult Education, said he hopes that this helps people have a better understanding of social media technologies in relation to religion, as well as how it can impact ministry overall.

Ana Patricia Aguilera

Aguilera’s work was titled “For an international student's successful transition to Penn State Harrisburg,” and it illustrated the difficulties that international students face during the transition process to an institution of higher education.

Aguilera, who developed a mentor program for transitioning students at Penn State Harrisburg, said that her exhibition shares her experiences as an international student and the challenges that she faced during her transition to Penn State Harrisburg. She hopes that her work can help raise awareness so that more students can have a successful transition into higher education. Aguilera is pursuing her doctorate in Adult Education.

Talia Carroll

Talia CarrollCarroll’s work was titled “Is Quitting an Option?: The Pursuit of the Doctorate and Challenges of Success.” It explored the experiences, persistence, and success of racially and ethnically underrepresented doctoral students attending large public institutions. Her poster explored individual experiences of racially and ethnically diverse doctoral students and highlighted struggles experienced during their pursuit of the doctorate.

Citing a decline in the number of African Americans who receive doctoral degrees, Carroll, who is working on her Ph.D. in Higher Education, hopes her work might shed light on how to reverse this recent trend.

“My hope is that those who see my poster consider the importance of success of students of color as a means to diversify the workforce, especially academia where the percentage of faculty of color is low,” said Carroll.

Perdeta Bush

Perdeta BushBush’s exhibit was titled “The Human and the Divine: Factors that Mediate Forgiveness Through Sacred Relationships,” and it focused on how spiritual practice and the process of forgiveness affect learning.

“How adults learn to forgive, make meaning of transgressions, as well as the actual process of forgiveness is an area of research worth further consideration within the field of adult education,” said Bush, who believes that education is a holistic experience that is meant to transform the learner.

Bush, who is pursuing her doctorate in Adult Education, said her work was an effort to understand the learning process of forgiveness and the role of spirituality informed by the theory of transformative learning, an adult learning theory that reframes how adults make meaning of their life experiences to create new paradigms of thinking and being.

Established in 1986, this judged exhibition celebrates research in all its aspects as an essential and exciting part of graduate education at Penn State. Students whose presentations are judged best in each of the seven categories of arts and humanities, engineering, health and life sciences, performance, physical sciences and mathematics, social and behavioral sciences, and visual arts receive monetary awards of $100 to $500.

--by Kevin Sliman (March 2013)