University of Wisconsin–Madison Doctoral Candidates Receive $10,000 Dissertation Fellowships

Two doctoral candidates from the University of Wisconsin-Madison — Laura Hamman and Will Porter— have received Dissertation Fellowships from the Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines.

Established in 2014, the Dissertation Fellowship program allocates $100,000 annually to support ten active Phi Kappa Phi members.  The fellowship is awarded to students who are in the writing stage of their doctoral study.

Recipients were selected by meeting a number of criteria including:

  • how the fellowship will contribute to the completion of the dissertation;
  • the significance of the candidates’ original research;
  • and endorsement by the dissertation chair.

Hamman is very grateful to have this support going into the writing phase of her doctoral program:

“Receiving the Phi Kappa Phi fellowship enables me to focus solely on dissertation writing for an entire year, providing me with the necessary time to delve deeper into the multilayered ideologies, policies, and practices that shape student experiences in dual language classrooms,” Hamman says.

Porter will be able to continue to write and teach in southern Africa with the funds:

“This support allows me to stay at my research site in Mozambique to write my thesis, meaning I can continue teaching students and playing with ensembles in the communities I have been working with, thus ensuring that my students continue to receive all the tuition and support that they need,” Porter says.

Meet this year’s UW-Madison recipients of the 2017 Phi Kappa Phi dissertation fellowship:

Laura Hamman, doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction

Hamman’s research explores how students in large dual language classrooms discursively negotiate bilingual identities across an academic year, and how their (trans) languaging practices shape their learning and emerging bilingualism. Hamman hopes her study will contribute to more equitable dual language immersion (DLI) programs, practices, and pedagogies by providing insight into the multiple, interrelated factors that shape outcomes in bilingual programs and by proposing a pathway for re-envisioning language use and acquisition in DLI.


Will Porter, doctoral candidate in Music: Performance

Porter’s research examines the relationship between classical-music education and social development. It focuses on the Xiquitsi (“Shi-keet-see”) project in Mozambique. Xiquitsi is an emergent classical music education and outreach project started in 2013 and based in the country’s capital, Maputo. His methodology incorporates observation, interviews, and active participation as a trombone performer and brass pedagogue. Porter explores whether classical-music education can be effectively used to contribute to social change.

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