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College of Education > News and Publications > News: July-September 2014 > Eight Students Named as Recipients of Dean’s Graduate Assistantships

Eight Students Named as Recipients of Dean’s Graduate Assistantships

The College of Education announced the 2014–15 cohort for the Dean's Graduate Assistantships.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The College of Education named eight Penn State graduate students as the 2014–15 recipients of the Dean’s Graduate Assistantships for Engaged Scholarship and Research in Education. The recipients are Chrysta Ghent, Azalea Hulbert, HyoJung Jang, Hyungyung Joo, John Katunich, Ismael Munoz, Kendra Taylor and Qiong Zhu.

The College of Education partnered with Penn State’s Graduate School to fund the Dean’s Graduate Assistantships. The program was created to support doctoral students in the field of education and designed to support the highest quality students applying for admission to the College’s doctoral programs.

Each Dean’s Graduate Assistant will receive two years of funding with the opportunity to secure a third and fourth year of funding from externally funded research projects.

Biographies of this year’s recipients are below.

Chrysta Ghent is a first-year doctoral student in the Curriculum and Instruction graduate program for Science Education. She received a bachelor's degree in earth and space science secondary education from Towson University, while completing astronomy research with a Starlab planetarium and nearby city schools. She taught science for two years in Baltimore City Public Schools, during which she realized her wish for continuing her science education and research. She is now working on research dealing with astronomy teachers and their students' beliefs about how astronomers know what they know.

Azalea Hulbert is a first-year doctoral student in higher education. Her research interests center around ethics in higher education, at the intersection of student development and organizational theory/culture. Her current research projects relate to ethical and legal issues in higher education. Outside of her work at Penn State, she is also co-authoring a book on the ethics of ghostwriting.

HyoJung Jang is pursuing her doctorate in educational theory and policy. She received an M.A. in East Asian Studies with a disciplinary focus on sociology at Stanford University. She worked as an education consultant with the World Bank in Laos, where she conducted research on the state of basic education. Her research interests include sociology of education, global norms on gender equity, cross-national and comparative analysis of gender equity in education and the effect of teacher professional development on the quality of classroom teaching.

Hyungyung Joo is pursuing her doctorate in counselor education. She received her master’s degree in elementary counseling education from Seoul National University of Education, South Korea. She has spent past four years teaching elementary school students in Seoul. She has conducted research on academic motivation, self-directed learning and developed emotional regulation interventions for the children and youth, which were offered to every school in Seoul. Her current research interests include bullying, cyberbullying, wellness, school climate and multicultural counseling.

John Katunich is starting the language, culture and society doctoral program in curriculum and instruction where he plans to investigate ways to prepare teachers to work as ESL teachers for a student population that is increasingly diverse in their linguistic and cultural backgrounds. His research includes exploring how short-term immersive experiences can help develop intercultural and global competency. Prior to this work, he taught in various international settings, including teaching English abroad and teaching international students in the U.S.

Ismael G. Muñoz is a doctoral student in the educational theory and policy program. He received his master’s degree at the Economics School of Louvain at Namur University. He was a research assistant of the Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE), which is a think tank developing applied research to stimulate the debate, design and implementation of public policy in Peru. His research interests include economics of education, impact evaluation, early childhood development, education policy and human development, particularly within a poverty context.

Kendra Taylor is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Education Policy Studies. Her research focuses on peace education with particular attention to peace education in varying sociopolitical contexts and the evaluation of peace education programs. She has worked on peace education projects in Morocco and Sri Lanka while completing her B.A. in international politics and her M.Ed. in applied youth, family and community education. While in the program she plans to focus on original scholarship on trends within peace education, including conflict resolution education, restorative justice programs and intergroup contact experiences.

Qiong Zhu is a first-year doctoral student in the higher education program. She received her master’s degree in school of education at Peking University. She was a research assistant of China Institute of Educational Finance Research, which is an academic think-tank for governmental policy decision. Her research interests include economics of education and educational finance.

--by (September 2014)