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Undergraduate students present at NYAR Conference

Megan Fromme

Abigail Slattery

Amy Rustine

Three undergraduate College of Education students presented at the 29th Annual National Youth-At-Risk Conference held in Savannah, March 4-6. Megan Fromme, Abigail Slattery and Amy Rustine participated in the poster presentations featuring research conducted for their honors thesis projects. All three students are enrolled in the Georgia Southern University Honors Program.

Professor Meca Williams-Johnson, Ph.D. serves as the faculty mentor for the honors students in the COE, guiding their research interests and assisting with research methodologies.

Fromme, a senior special education major, presented on the regularly debated issue of Common Core. Her research examines how Common Core has influenced special education teachers’ efforts to meet the needs of their students and the teachers’ perceptions of these standards. Fromme’s study also explores possible benefits Common Core has for teachers and students, how the teachers have adjusted, and if there are any noticeable differences in student achievement.

Slattery conducted a case study that examined English Language Learners (ELLs) in rural counties and the negative perceptions that correlate with ELLs due to lack of resources to assist their learning process. A junior early childhood education major, Slattery explored strategies used by teachers when working with ELL students in one rural, southeastern Georgia elementary school. She reviewed district policy, school administration supports, individual teacher practices and what does this looks like in the life of a student who is learning to speak, read, and write in English in within this environment.

Rustine, a senior early childhood education major, presented research on Third Culture Kids (TCKs), referring to children raised in a culture other than their parents’, to better understand dilemmas with transitions, and how this impacts their identity or sense of belonging. She examined the identity development of TCKs who are currently college aged and how they navigated through schools as a TCK.

The National Youth-At-Risk Conference is the longest running conference hosted by Georgia Southern University. Over a thousand professionals gather annually at this conference to discuss ways to create safe, healthy, caring and intellectually empowering educational environments for children and adolescents. For more information about the National Youth-At-Risk Conference, email


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