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Friday Institute Selects 2022 Graduate Student Fellows

A group of four people stand in a line. From left to right: a woman in a red blazer and black dress, a man in a blue-green shirt and jeans, a woman in a black dress, and a woman with a blue print blouse
Friday Institute Graduate Student Fellows David Stokes and Kat Bordewieck with their advisers, Hollylynne Lee and Gail Jones. The fellows were announced during the Nov. 14 Friday Medal Ceremony.

Each year, the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation selects graduate students to become Friday Institute Graduate Student Fellows. Fellows are nominated by Friday Institute faculty fellows or directors and are selected for their strong record of academic achievement and service to students and educators. This year’s Friday Institute Graduate Student Fellows are researching topics that focus on increasing equity in STEM education and educating students and families about wildlife science. 

Fellows must be an advanced graduate student at NC State University who is beginning their dissertation and has been actively engaged in the Friday Institute’s work. They receive $2,000 to support their research.

Learn more about each of the 2022 Friday Institute Graduate Student Fellows below.

Kathleen (Kat) Bordewieck is a doctoral student in science education in the NC State College of Education with extensive work in science education and a focus on environmental education. She has experience working and teaching in educational organizations that include the Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences, the Boston Museum of Science and the Audubon Society. At the Friday Institute, Bordewieck has worked on research with the Innovations in STEM Education Research team that includes a study of middle and high school teachers’ cognitive processes used in planning science lessons, research on educational problems identified by scientists and informal science educators, graphical representations used in climate change education and a study of virus/vaccine education among K-12 students. 

This funding will allow Bordewieck to continue her work on wildlife science education by recruiting and incentivizing participants for a national survey of natural science educator professionals about their education work with students, teachers, families and the public.

“I have always been fascinated with human-wildlife interactions and want to focus on educating students and their families about wildlife sciences,” said Bordewieck. “We need to increase people’s interest in the natural world they live in, and my goal is to conduct research that connects an individual’s sense of place with their local ecology. I am truly honored and excited about receiving this award. I joined the Friday Institute last September and have been inspired by its many passionate education researchers. This award has bolstered my confidence.”

Bordewieck’s adviser, Gail Jones, nominated her for this award. Jones is an Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor of Science Education in the College of Education and a senior faculty fellow at the Friday Institute.

“Kat is one of our outstanding students who conducts research and outreach at the Friday Institute,” said Jones. “She is a dedicated, curious and highly motivated researcher. Her background is in wildlife biology and her study will shed light on this fragile area of human-wildlife interactions. This research will inform new directions in wildlife education.”

David Stokes is a doctoral candidate in the Learning and Teaching in STEM mathematics and statistics education concentration in the College of Education. He is in the final phase of his dissertation study and is a teaching coordinator in the new Data Science Academy at NC State. For the last two and a half years, Stokes was a graduate research assistant for Hollylynne Lee and the Hub for Innovation and Research in Statistics Education (HI-RiSE) team at the Friday Institute. During his time at the Friday Institute, David worked on the Writing Data Stories project. 

David’s work is focused on equity in STEM. Currently, he is designing and validating a survey to assess college students’ recollections of K-12 STEM education experiences that align with a sociocritical perspective in education and whether there is any relationship between their perceptions of their experiences, STEM persistence and demographics. The purpose of this research is to characterize these student experiences and understand their potential in changing patterns in STEM underrepresentation.

This funding will allow Stokes to cover the cost of providing participation incentives in his research protocol.

“The STEM underrepresentation problem is paramount in STEM education and my research contributes to potential solutions,” said Stokes. “When I received this award I felt supported and like my topic and research is valued and important. It’s great motivation to keep moving in the right direction and I’m honored.”  

Stokes’ adviser, Lee, nominated him for this award. Lee is the interim associate dean and a senior faculty fellow at the Friday Institute and a Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Statistics Education in the College of Education.

“David is well-deserving of this award,” said Lee. “His research aligns well with the Friday Institute’s commitment to equity and STEM education. He is taking on a difficult study in his dissertation, but the outcomes have the potential to impact future researchers and to provide insights into potential high impact educational practices that may be connected to underrepresented students’ pursuit of STEM-related career pathways.” 

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.