Campus News

Five UGA doctoral students in education administration receive scholarships

Athens, Ga. — Five graduate students in the University of Georgia College of Education’s educational administration and policy program recently received academic scholarships.

Lauren Moret and Muhammad Akram both received Ray E. Bruce Academic Support Awards, a $2,500 annual scholarship for practitioners-scholars studying the theory and application of supervision in schools and school systems.

Moret, a third-year Ph.D. student, is originally from Freeport, Bahamas and received her bachelor’s degree from UGA. After working briefly in the marketing field, she relocated to San Francisco and taught high school in the San Francisco Unified School District for six years. During this time, Moret earned the equivalent of a fifth-year master’s degree in cross-cultural language and academic development at Stanford University and later completed a second master’s degree at San Francisco State University in secondary education with a focus on the support needed for the middle school to high school transition in an inner-city system.

Moret’s current research focuses on K-12 school leadership preparation and cultural competency practices used by school principals in their process of teacher supervision. She serves as an ally and advocate for the Graduate Student Association, the Lambda Alliance, the UGA National Coalition Building Institute team and the COE Dean’s Council on Diversity. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a position in higher education as a member of a teacher and leader preparation program faculty and continue her involvement in education at the K-12 school level.

Akram, also a third-year doctoral student in the program, received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan in 1995 and earned a scholarship for his scholastic work. In 1998, he earned a master’s degree in education from the same university and became a secondary school teacher.

He was named Best Teacher of his school district in 2002. Besides performing school duties, Akram established an Educational and Vocational Information Center that allowed students to access resources. During 10 years of teaching and administrative experience in a public high school, Akram realized that teacher evaluation and supervision was the most neglected area of Pakistan’s educational system and required immediate attention of researchers and policymakers.

In 2008, he was selected lecturer at the University of Education in Pakistan and was awarded a foreign scholarship for doctoral work, which brought him to UGA in 2009. His focus has been concentrated on developing a teacher evaluation and supervision instrument and measuring the relationship between teacher evaluation and student achievement. After graduation, Akram intends to develop a valid and reliableperformance evaluation report for Pakistani primary and secondary school teachers.

Christy Epps and Adam Kurtz received David J. Mullen Memorial Scholarships, which provide a $2,500 award for a doctoral candidate preparing for a public school position. Epps, of Commerce, a second-year doctoral student, is a family and consumer sciences teacher at Commerce High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences education and a master’s degree in educational administration and policy from UGA.Her research focus is on the school food environment. Epps plans on becoming an assistant principal in the short-term, but her long-term goals include working for the State Department of Education in the division of school nutrition.

Kurtz, of Athens, is a second-year doctoral student. He grew up attending Clarke County Schools and worked as a police officer in the Athens community for several years while completing his bachelor’s degree in technological studies at UGA. He earned a master’s degree in education while teaching drafting, computer repair and maintenance, computer networking, and introduction to technology in the Oglethorpe County School District. In this school system, Kurtz assumed administrative roles in state reporting of student data and served as the director of Career, Technical and Agricultural Education. He later became the assistant principal at Chase Street Elementary School and now serves as principal of the school. He plans to apply the knowledge of how theory informs and improves practice in his career as an educational leader.

James Barrett Bowen Jr. of Athens, a second-year doctoral student, received the Carroll Wade McGuffey Scholarship. The $2,500 scholarship is awarded to a doctoral student whose studies include research into the impact of the school’s environment on teacher behavior, pupil behavior, and/or pupil learning.

Bowen has served as assistant principal at Haymon-Morris Middle School in Barrow County since the school opened in 2005.He previously taught science and special education at his alma mater, Oglethorpe County High School, for seven years. Bowen earned a master’s degree in educational leadership, a specialist degree in educational administration and policy and a bachelor’s degree in education, all from UGA. Bowen’s research interests focus on school leadership teams, school principalship and charter school systems.He plans to pursue a principal position in the Athens area upon completion of his degree.

For more information about the UGA College of Education’s educational administration and policy program, see www.coe.uga.edu/leap/academic-programs/educational-administration-and-policy/.