University of Vermont

CESS Presence Felt at Annual NEERO Meeting

UVM Faculty and Student Presenters at NEERO

Whatever one’s definition of “critical mass” might be, the large group from CESS who trekked down the interstate in mid-April to attend the recent New England Educational Research Organization (NEERO) annual meeting in Portsmouth, NH, certainly qualifies.  The group, consisting of undergraduate and graduate students, a couple of newly minted Ph.D’s and Ed.D’s, and CESS faculty, was among the largest contingent of any from the many other New England and New York member institutions attending the three-day conference.

Holly Busier, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Leadership and Developmental Sciences, and regional NEERO Representative, was pleased to see so many CESS undergraduates presenting their research at the conference.  She said their presence was a testimony to the efforts of many CESS faculty who stress the importance of research in their classes.  “It is so rewarding,” she said, “to see these students grow in their confidence to where when they present at conferences like NEERO they come across as not only prepared but professional.”  She continued, saying, “Many at the conference thought CESS undergraduates were doing doctoral work.”  High praise indeed! 

Among the undergraduates presenting were Stephanie Parenti, in Social Work, whose research on support services of returning war vets is both timely and important, given the growing number of returning vets and the need for services.  And Maura Satti, also in Social Work, whose research on children with disabilities, focuses as well on the support systems in place for this particular group.  Amanda Auger has focused her research attention on an examination of the core curriculum in VMI, the Vermont Math Initiative.  Brian Vedder, Abagail Papinchek, Melanie Schweb and Laura Gaudette presented their research, “Making the Private Public: Examining and Analyzing College Students’ PostSecrets,” at a round table. 

Among the graduate student presenters were Jeff Bukowski, Erin Donovan, Susan Hayes, Goma Mahika, Ellen Montgomery, Meredith Swallow, and Kelly Swindlehurst.  

Of special note, Kelly Swindleburst, a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, received the 2013 New England Educational Research Organization’s John Schmitt Award for outstanding research at the graduate level for her research paper entitled, “The Promise of Response to Instruction: Lessons from one New England State.”  Congratulations to Kelly. 

Two recent graduates were also among the presenters.  Maureen Fitzgerald Riker, Ed.D, now at Marist College, presented her paper, “Perception and Reality: Covert Factors Influencing Emerging Woman’s Leadership in the University.”  And Laurie Gelles, Ph.D., CESS Director of Technology, presented her paper, “What Video Games Teach Us About Engagement: Using Research on Multisensory Interactions to Inform Instructional Design Practices.” 

Rounding out the list, the faculty presenters were Penny Bishop, Jennifer Hurley, Colby Kervick, George Salembier, Katherine Shepard and Carmen Petrick Smith.   

The New England Educational Research Organization (NEERO) is a regional affiliate of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) with approximately 200 members from New England and New York-area colleges and universities, public and private schools, state and local educational agencies, health and social service agencies, and private education firms.  NEERO’s objectives are to improve educational programs and supervisory practices; to provide a stimulating, supportive, and friendly forum for scholarly presentations; to identify and disseminate successful educational practices; and to foster skill development in research and evaluation methodologies.