By Meghan Chua
Three doctoral students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have been named recipients of the 2019 Peer Mentor Awards. The awards, sponsored by Graduate School Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Funding, recognize stellar mentorship qualities on- and off-campus.
This year’s recipients are:
- Caroline Hardin, Computer Sciences and Education
- Mary Dueñas, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
- Allison Murrow, Curriculum and Instruction
They will receive their awards at Bucky’s Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 7, 2019.
Caroline D. Hardin is a PhD candidate studying Computer Science Education at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where she teaches introductory CS courses. Her research interests are centered around broadening participation through non-traditional CS education, such as hackathons, e-textiles, hackerspaces, and informal infosec education. Before joining the UW’s Complex Play Lab, she spent 3 years in the Peace Corps in Ghana teaching computer literacy and mentoring other volunteers in educational technology tools. She volunteers with a number of campus and community organizations around increasing diversity in tech, including MadHacks, the Bodgery Makerspace, DaneNet, and Microsoft TEALS.
Mary Dueñas is originally from Pasadena, California. She is a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis. Mary’s research agenda is concerned with equity issues in higher education specifically focused on access and success for Latinx first-generation college students attending predominately white institutions. Using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, she explores the various factors impacting access to and persistence for first-generation college students and students of color. As a critical scholar, her focuses on retention strategies of Latinx students in college, educational and psychological processes have Latinx and critical qualitative methodology. Mary is very intentional at centering student experiences in her work. Mary’s previous roles include being an Academic Enrichment Seminar (AES) instructor and Chican@ and Latin@ program coordinator. She is currently a Posse Mentor. Mary has also trained students to conduct and complete research projects as part of the summer education research program. Mary believes that while there are shared experiences between Latinx and minoritized students, each student provides an in-depth and unique perspective to the university. She wants each student encounter to make students feel that they belong and matter on campus and that being present in challenging spaces is a form of resistance. Mary is thoughtful, purposeful and intentional when she engages in her teaching, professional, and research practices.
Allison Murrow is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction with a literacy focus in the School of Education. Her research interests are in the mitigation of invisible disabilities, including classroom anxiety for teachers and students. Her dissertation focuses on giving pre-service teachers a voice to communicate how they feel as they progress through the fieldwork requirements. Each semester, she facilitates courses in Curriculum and Instruction for the professional teacher education preparation programs. She instructs classes in teaching methods, literary theory, and utilizing literacy to better meet the needs of students, clients, and others her learners strive to work with professionally. She is dedicated to the process of learning, and not just the products that come from it. She finds it helpful to stop and think about not only what a person knows, but what they want to know, and how they feel about what they’re learning. She aspires to support inquisitive learning communities of care where everyone feels valued and welcome, recognizes their agency, and has opportunities to exercise it.