2023-2024 Catalyst Grant Winners Announced
The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation and the NC State College of Education have awarded three Catalyst Grants that are designed to increase research collaborations between faculty and staff at both entities and seed collaborative, high-impact research that will lead to further inquiry and support.
“The Catalyst Grants showcase the collaborative spirit and innovation within the College of Education, bringing together researchers from the Friday Institute and academic departments,” said Karen Hollebrands, associate dean for research and innovation in the College of Education and interim associate dean at the Friday Institute. “It is inspiring to see how these projects unite researchers to collectively address the pressing challenges we encounter in the field of education. They tackle important issues in education with a focus on empowering different groups of individuals and represent a dedication to transformative education and fostering positive change.”
The grant review team included Hollebrands; Jessica Hunt, associate professor of mathematics education and special education in the College of Education and faculty fellow at the Friday Institute; Braska Williams, director of the NC-MSEN Pre-College Program at the Friday Institute; and Meghan Manfra, associate professor of social studies education in the College of Education.
See below for a list of winning proposals and researchers.
Graduate Students’ Academic Identity and Self Efficacy for Interdisciplinary Graduate Education
The composition of research teams is rapidly evolving and researchers from different fields often work together to understand and address problems from multiple perspectives. Students on these research teams must have both disciplinary depth as well as interdisciplinary skills to work with a wide range of researchers and stakeholders. In this study, the project team will identify essential constructs related to graduate students’ academic identity, self-efficacy and sense of imposterism for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and convergent graduate research. The project team hopes that this study can help educators and researchers better support graduate students in developing the skills and mindset needed to tackle complex, real-world problems through interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches, which are essential for fostering innovation.
Awarded to: Alicia Fischer, research associate at the Friday Institute; Shiyan Jiang, associate professor of learning design and technology in the College of Education; and Gail Jones, Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor in the College of Education and senior faculty fellow at the Friday Institute.
Early Elementary-Grade Teachers’ Equitable Implementation of Science of Reading
The Science of Reading (SoR) movement is a nationwide endeavor aimed at promoting evidence-based reading instruction rooted in scientific research on how children learn to read. North Carolina has been at the forefront of the SoR movement, prioritizing the improvement of students’ reading outcomes and fostering equitable and effective literacy instruction among teachers. The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which first- through third-grade teachers in North Carolina engage in equitable implementation of the SoR in their literacy instruction, identifying barriers and facilitators in the pursuit of equitable implementation of the SoR and exploring the impact of professional development experiences on teachers’ equitable implementation of the SoR in their English language arts (ELA) and reading instruction.
Awarded to: Jackie Relyea, assistant professor of literacy education in the College of Education; Dennis Davis, associate professor of literacy education in the College of Education; Jill Grifenhagen, associate professor of literacy education in the College of Education; and Marie Himes, research scholar and director of the New Literacies Collaborative at the Friday Institute.
Creating Hopeful Futures: Trauma-Informed Approaches to Art-Based Literacy Practices with Refugee Youth
This project will examine and implement an art therapy and writing program among refugee youth. Through the Literacy and Community Initiative (LCI), a university community literacy partnership led by co-principal investigators Crystal Chen Lee and Jose Picart, the project would incorporate art therapy and writing activities that amplify the voices and arts of refugee youth in Refugee Hope Partners, a holistic nonprofit for resettled refugee students and families.
Awarded to: Angela Wiseman, associate professor of literacy education in the College of Education; Crystal Chen Lee, assistant professor of English language arts education in the College of Education and faculty fellow at the Friday Institute; and Jose Picart, a professor of counselor education in the College of Education and deputy director at the Friday Institute.
About the Friday Institute
The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation advances K-12 education through innovation in teaching, learning and leadership by bringing together students, teachers, researchers, policymakers and educational professionals to foster collaborations that improve education for all learners. The Friday Institute for Educational Innovation is part of NC State’s College of Education, one of the leading land-grant colleges of education in the nation.