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Outstanding doctoral student honored in president's State of the U address

1Candance Doerr-Stevens and President Kaler.jpgCandance Doerr-Stevens, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, was featured in President Kaler's first State of the University address on March 1. Doerr-Stevens is studying collaboration and conflict during digital media composition among students in an urban English high school class as they create documentary films and radio broadcasts. She was one of 150 University Ph.D. students to receive doctoral dissertation fellowships last year, a 40 percent increase over previous years.

"These fellowships are competitively awarded to allow our best students to finish their graduate work in a timely way," said Kaler. "It allowed [Doerr-Stevens] to devote herself full-time to an innovative project analyzing how high school students use digital media to make arguments, to work together in teams and, ultimately, to assist their teachers in making the educational experience better for today's learners."

If not for her $22,000 fellowship—and tuition and health care benefits—Doerr-Stevens, a mother of two, would have needed at least another year to complete the analysis of her research and write her dissertation.

She said the fellowship allowed her to be "in the trenches" with teachers to study the students. It allowed her "to walk through an intellectual garden," unencumbered with other teaching or work responsibilities.

"Such a fellowship supports our students and our scholars, and it effectively invests in people who will mold the future," said Kaler.

Read the president's State of the University address here.

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