Inaugural forum highlights nationally recognized research in Clemson’s College of Education
A diverse group of researchers assembled at the Clemson University College of Education’s inaugural research forum on April 12 at the Hendrix Student Center. College leadership designed the forum to highlight important and nationally recognized research conducted in the college that aligns with the vision of the College of Education and the research priorities of Clemson’s strategic plan, ClemsonForward.
Dave Barrett, associate dean of academic affairs and research in the College of Education, said the research forum included both new and seasoned researchers from the college. Founding Dean George J. Petersen, Provost Robert H. Jones and Vice President for Research Tanju Karanfil spoke at the event, and Barrett said he was proud to see so much impactful research on display for a large audience.
“Forums like this are exciting because they allow researchers to step outside of their own work and view other exciting research and approaches to research,” Barrett said. “In this way, we are forging new collaborations both within our college and across the university.”
The forum’s research posters were divided into three different tracks. The first track was concerned with empirical studies, the second focused on development, such as the start up or scale up of an educational methodology or technology. The final track was concerned with educational programs, including educational curricula, interventions or service.
The featured research touched on numerous topics, from STEAM instruction to studies of residential services for at-risk youth. Collaboration was not only encouraged but on display; a study exploring adolescent girls’ perspectives of childhood obesity saw College of Education faculty member Corrine Sackett collaborating not only across colleges with Professor of Sociology and Associate Provost Ellen Granberg, but outside of the university with Alyssa Jenkins from Greenville Mental Health.
Barrett said the national-level research collaborations on hand were impressive. College of Education faculty member Alison Leonard’s National Science Foundation-funded research on virtual environment interactions featured collaborations with colleagues from the University of Florida, as well as colleagues from Clemson’s School of Computing.
“It’s wonderful to see so much collaboration between the College of Education, other colleges at Clemson and outside organizations,” Petersen said. “The entire event was a demonstration of the robust amount of research conducted in our college.”
Karanfil encouraged the graduate students and researchers in attendance to have passion and a broad vision for research, and Jones echoed his statements while remarking how the research is making a measureable, large impact in the state and at Clemson University. Barrett hopes the impressive display will be just the start to repeat events from the College of Education.
“We couldn’t have been happier with the turnout and enthusiasm from leadership and faculty from across our college and university,” Barrett said. “I think the event is a great first step for our college and we look forward to only growing it in the future.”
The college also honored graduate students with awards of excellence at the event. Karen Rebecca Clark and Jennifer Counts were each awarded with Excellence in Research awards. Chelsea Waugaman was recognized with the Excellence in Teaching – College Level Award for her work assisting with the Higher Education/Student Affairs program.
Arthur Cam Robinson received the Excellence in Teaching – K-12 Award for his work at Gable Middle School in Spartanburg District 6. Suzanne Gruber was recognized with the Excellence in Service – Outreach award for her work with Greenville County’s Community in Schools program that provides after-school tutoring and enrichment activities for at-risk middle school students.