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COE names research symposium award recipients

Georgia Southern University College of Education (COE) recently named award recipients for best presentations during the University’s 2018 Research Symposium held during the spring semester.

Awards were given for best graduate oral presentation and poster presentation as well as a best undergraduate presentation award.

“I am very proud of the work that these students presented at the symposium, as it involves creative, original work that will make an impact on the lives of others,” said Tracy Linderholm, Ph.D., associate dean of graduate education and research. “And, as you can see from the research topics, the impact will range from how we operate on campus, to educational policy, to improving how children with disabilities are educated.”

Jennifer Syno, Ed.D. Educational Leadership candidate, received the best graduate poster presentation award. Her poster, titled “Faculty and Staff Perceptions and Collaborations,” included pilot research Syno completed on collaboration between academic affairs and student affairs to improve student success. Focusing her research specifically on Georgia Southern University, Syno surveyed specific faculty and staff within the University for the pilot and hopes to expand her research to the general University population in the future. Her results are planned to be used to encourage and facilitate more active collaborations between faculty and staff for the betterment of the Georgia Southern student population. Syno’s faculty mentors have included Juli McBrayer-Sergi, Ed.D. and Dan Calhoun, Ph.D.

M.Ed. Counselor Education student Shaqueena Moore (pictured left) was the recipient of the best graduate oral presentation. Moore’s presentation, titled “Forming Critical Race Hermeneutics,” centered on research completed with faculty mentor and research partner Peggy Shannon-Baker, Ph.D., assistant professor of educational research in the COE. Together, Moore and Shannon-Baker have been working to combine Critical Race Theory, the study of systemic racism as represented through policy and legislation, and hermeneutics, or methodology of interpretation, into a “Theory of Critical Race Hermeneutics.” They plan to establish a method of interpretation for text and language that highlights the way power, privilege, racism, and oppression are represented in society.

The undergraduate presentation recognition was awarded to Rebecca Hinrichs and Kylie Brady (pictured on right) for their presentation, “Differing Methods of Behavior Management in Inclusive Classrooms.”  During a seven-week observation of partnering K-12 schools, Brady and Hinrichs conducted research examining behavior management systems and their effectiveness. Specifically, their interests where in the reactions students had to positive and negative behavior management techniques within an inclusion classroom, a setting where students with disabilities are taught in general education courses with their peers, often by two certified teachers to assist in differentiation of learning. Both students are special educations majors under the faculty mentorship or Kymberly Harris, Ph.D.

The Georgia Southern University Research Symposium is held annually as a conference style showcase of student undergraduate and graduate research across all disciplines. For more information about the symposium visit


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