Two staff members add "Dr" to their name

By Matt MacDonald
September 20, 2019

Two Staff members, Lindsey Conrad and Erin Sikes-Thurston completed their dissertations recently, and accomplished the most advanced academic degree you can earn.  

For Lindsey Conrad, her dissertation was titled:  English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Teacher Experiences with Newcomer Students at the Secondary Level: A Phenomenological Study

Short description: Framed in Stephen Krashen's Theory of Second Language Acquisition, this study examines newcomer ESOL teacher experiences at the secondary level.  Participants volunteered from two school districts in Northern Virginia for an in-person interview, physical classroom observation, and a writing prompt response.  Results showed that support, resources, the learning environment, and understanding student backgrounds are important factors that shape newcomer teacher experiences at the secondary level in Northern Virginia.

For Erin Sikes Thurston, her dissertation was titled:  How does taking Algebra 1 by 8th grade effect students’ high school science course taking patterns?

Short description: The objective of this study was to examine the impact of students accessing Algebra 1 in the 8th grade on their science course taking patterns in high school in a large district in the Mid Atlantic of the United States.  This is an important question because many studies have shown that Algebra 1 is a “gatekeeper” course (Adelman, 1999, 2006) but there has not been much research around the impact of who has taken Algebra 1 by 8th grade and what science courses they took as a result of having access to that particular course (Xin Ma, 2009).  The major findings were that more White and Asian students, and higher SES students accessed Algebra 1 by 8th grade and were enrolled in more rigorous science classes in their high school career than their Black, Hispanic, low SES, Special Education or English Language peers.  The results of this study could inform large school districts about the impact of Algebra 1 by 8th grade on students’ science course taking patterns and promote conversations about their policies they create about access to critical courses. 

Lancer Nation couldn't be prouder for our two new doctorate staff members:  Dr. Lindsay Conrad and Dr. Erin Sikes Thurston!!