University of Texas at AustinDivision of Diversity and Community Engagement

2014 Activist Research Grant Initiative Awardees Announced

By Leslie Blair

The Social Justice Institute, based in the DDCE’s Community Engagement Center, recently announced six awards through the 2014 Activist Research Grant Initiative. Awards were made to the following graduate students:

Elissa Underwood, American Studies – Underwood’s project focuses on access to affordable and health foods and on advocating for healthy food options in prisons.

Lakota Pochedley, Curriculum and Instruction – Pochedley will investigate how Oklahoma Native American students collectively construct different understandings of tribal sovereignty and definitions of Native membership and citizenship in the space of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Mentorship Program.

Lorna Hermosura, Educational Administration – Hermosura’s project seeks to capture the voices of incarcerated youth for the purposes of information educational policies and practices that can prevent incarceration of youth from similar backgrounds.

Hallie Boas, Anthropology – Boas will collect ethnographic data on the Navajo (Dineh) Reservation to gain knowledge about the intricacies of daily life and struggle of the Black Mesa community. She is searching for insights about Dineh land-based cosmology and spirituality.

Dori Wall, Curriculum and Instruction – Wall’s study explores the process of a district-wide implementation of dual language in the Austin Independent School District by gathering perspectives from stakeholders at the district, school and community levels.

Blanca Caldas, Curriculum and Instruction – Caldas’ research explores how critical drama-based pedagogical methods in the formation of bilingual teachers can prepare for future bilingual teachers to respond to the need for advocacy inside and outside the classroom. She will examine issues of xenophobia, immigration, racism, classicism and linguicism through the oral narratives of seasoned bilingual teachers.

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