University of South Carolina

Researcher awarded Fidler grant by NRC

By Megan Sexton,, 803-777-1421

The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition named Jacob Okumu, a doctoral candidate in Higher Education and Student Affairs at Ohio University, the recipient of the 2012 – 2013 Paul P. Fidler Research Grant.

The center, based at the University of South Carolina, will recognize Okuma at its 19th National Conference on Students in Transition, Oct. 13-15, in Philadelphia.

The Fidler grant encourages and enables scholarly research on issues related to college student transitions and includes a financial stipend and travel to two national conferences. Research completed as a result of the Fidler grant is featured in the Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Okumu’s study is titled “Developmental meaning-making dynamics of emancipated foster care youth transitioning into higher education: A Constructivist-Grounded Theory.”

Dallin George Young, assistant director of research, grants and assessment at the NRC, led the Fidler grant selection process. He anticipates Okumu's research will significantly contribute to the national discussion on understanding the needs of emancipated foster youth who are making the transition into higher education.

“Jacob’s study will make a significant contribution to the literature about developmental theory related to students who have experiences in foster care,” Young said. “Further, it will provide a practical framework for faculty and staff who work to support these students as they develop the meaning-making abilities that will make them successful in higher education and beyond.”

In its eighth year, the Fidler research grant has become a well-respected and highly competitive grant program. The center received many strong proposals from researchers and practitioners throughout the United States. The application window for the 2013-2014 Fidler research grant will open April 1, 2013, and close July 1, 2013.

The four research projects selected as 2012-13 finalists were:

--Barbara Hong of Penn State University for her study titled “A Ten-Year Exploratory Analysis of the Transition, Persistence and Graduation Outcome of College Students with Disabilities.”

--Sean Hogan of California State University, Fullerton for his study titled “Foster Youth in Higher Education: The Role of Social Capital in Successfully Transitioning to Adulthood.”

--Erin Wheeler of Louisiana State University for her study titled “Making the Case for 1st- and 2nd-year Academic Interventions: Evaluating Freshman Academic Boot Camp Participants' and Non-Participants' Metacognitive Development and Deficits in the 2nd year.”

--Heather Harris of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for her study titled “Establishing an academic support structure: An investigation of underrepresented students transition, identity negotiation, and persistence through their first year of undergraduate education.”

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Posted: 10/10/12 @ 5:00 PM | Updated: 10/10/12 @ 5:35 PM | Permalink



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