A A Email Print Share

Scholars & Small Grants Program

The Dr. Barbara A. Sizemore Fellows Program supports Duquesne University faculty research activities on issues of urban education.  Small seed grants are given to faculty who do not have access to other funds to cover the costs of their research that focuses on issues of urban education.

The goals of the Dr. Barbara A. Sizemore Fellows Program include:

  • Enhancing research on urban education by providing money to directly support the research activities,
  • Providing faculty with experience in grant writing with committee review,
  • Enhancing quality of proposal writing so that proposals might be submitted for other funding,
  • Providing additional mentoring through work with the Duquesne University Dr. Barbara A. Sizemore Distinguished Professor of Urban Education.

School of Education faculty members are encouraged to consult with and/or collaborate with other outstanding researchers on the Duquesne University campus who are also conducting research on urban issues.  This will enable the Sizemore Scholars to establish interdisciplinary programs of research.

Congratulations to the 2013-2015 Sizemore Scholars!

Dr. Laura Crothers, Professor, Dr. Jered B. Kolbert, Professor and Dr. Ara Schmitt, Associate Professor are faculty members in the Department of Counseling, Psychology and Special Education in the School of Education at Duquesne University.  The title of their reseach project is  "Cognitive Correlates of Relational and Social Aggression in an Urban University Female Sample". Although the perpetration of relational and social aggression is common throughout adolescence, including in urban females, little is known regarding the cognitive processes that are related to these forms of bullying. This research project will investigate whether certain cognitive skills are related to the use of relational and/or social aggression.

Dr. Sandra Quinones, Assistant Professor and Dr. Elizabeth Hughes, Assistant Professor who are both faculty members of Duquesne University School of Education.  Dr. Quinones works in the Department of Instruction and Leadership.   Dr. Quinones' qualitative scholarship focuses on how Puerto Rican teachers in an urban school conceptualize and enact ser bien educado/being well educated. Dr. Quinones is collaborating with her colleague, Dr. Elizabeth M. Hughes, Assistant Professor, Department of Counseling, Psychology and Special Education, in a mixed-methods study exploring text-based discussions between 5th graders in an urban school and online adult pen pals.

Dr. Gulnoza Yakubova, Assistant Professor in Special Education in Duquesne University Department of Counseling, Psychology and Special Education. Her Sizemore research topic is Improving Post-Secondary Experience of Urban Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders Using Video-based Problem-Solving Instruction. This project focuses on examining the effectiveness of a video-based problem-solving intervention to address issues facing youth with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Youth with ASD will be taught to overcome challenges in urban post-secondary settings through engaging in problem solving using age and culturally appropriate intervention via portable electronic technology.

Congratulations to the 2011-2013 Sizemore Scholars!

Scott Graves, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling, Psychology and Special Education in the School of Education at Duquesne University.  His research interest include utilizing strengths of children to develop interventions and understanding how African American youth who are successful in their academic and social development differ from their less successful peers.  As part of the Sizemore Research Initiative, his research is examining how administrator beliefs, teacher beliefs and contextual factors impact the achievement of successful African American children in high achieving (i.e. being proficient and advanced in math and reading) urban schools.

 Elizabeth Hughes, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling, Psychology and Special Education in the School of Education at Duquesne University.  Her scholarship interests include improving the academic achievement of diverse learners in inclusive settings.  Dr. Hughes' research explores the motivation and performance of students engaged in a peer mentoring writing activity.  Dr. Hughes and her colleague, Dr. Ara Schmitt, compared the writing performance and motivation of fifth grade students who tutored third grade students in writing to those who received opportunities for traditional writing practice.

Darius Prier, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership in the School of Education at Duquesne University.  His core teaching areas include multicultural education, social justice in educational settings, school and community relations, sociocultural studies in education and ethics, education and the teaching profession.  Dr. Prier's research provides educational leaders in the academy and public schools with new cultural contexts that connect teaching and learning with music and popular culture in relation to race, class, gender, culture and community.

Davi Reis, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Instruction and Leadership in the School of Education in Duquesne University.  Dr. David Reis is currently examining the impact of critical praxis on pre-service teachers' knowledge, skills and dispositions regarding the teaching of English Language Learners (ELLs) in diverse school settings.  Based on Vygotsky's sociocultural theory, this research aims at preparing prospective mainstream teachers to support and appreciate cultural and linguistic diversity in thier classrooms and beyond.

Rachel Robertson, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling, Psychology and Special Education in the School of Education at Duquesne University.  She specializes in students with challenging behavior as well as teacher-and-parent implemented positive behavior support strategies.  Her research involves implementing behavior supports with students and families of socioeconomic and culturally diverse backgrounds.  Functional behavior assessment and positive behavior supports are considered evidence-based strategies required by IDEA for students with behavioral challenges; however, little is known about the effects of socioeconomic and cultural context on the acceptability of these strategies.


The 2010-2011 Sizemore Scholars:

Dr. Terri Rodriguez and Dr. Nihat Polat are currently researching equity for English language learners in urban contexts. There are increasing numbers of linguisticallyand culturally diverse K-12 students in classrooms with teachers whose backgrounds and life experiences differ from their teachers. They will study diverse pre-service teachers’ beliefs and identities and whether or not (and how) such teachers’ beliefs actually differ from those of white teachers, especially if they are also middle or upper class.

Dr. Gretchen Generett's research will document the impact of culturally relevant teaching practices on teachers’ professional lives and students’ success. Success in this research will center on improving the professional experiences of teachers by integrating professional development experiences that support teachers’ everyday teaching lives as they work with students of color.

Dr. Alexandra Santau and Dr. Jason Ritter are investigating elementary teachers’ views on teaching inquiry-based, interdisciplinary science and social studies in urban settings. Current predominant teaching practices within the science and social studies disciplines involve memorization of terms, formulas, theories. Inquiry-based teaching methods offer another way of developing knowledge and understanding of science and social studies content conducive to learning.

Dr. Julia Williams and Dr. Rosemary Mautino are studying effective literacy practices for early childhood teachers in urban centers. They are researching preschool and pre-kindergarten contexts for African American children. Through this project, they work closely with the Hill House Association (Hill District) and with other early childhood programs.

Dr. Jinhee Kim's research investigates teacher perceptions concerning homeless children. Rather than blaming homeless children and their families for living in poverty, Dr. Kim’s research encourages teachers to deeply examine the realities of homelessness in the lives of young children and to reflect on their own perceptions about those children.

Dr. Temple Lovelace and Dr. Kara McGoey will examine the effects of culturally responsive practice in urban Early Childhood Education programs using RTI with preschoolers in at risk situations. Although students of color are disproportionately represented in many categories of special education, two of the most immediate concerns are the number of students that are being referred for emotional and/or behavior disorders, as well as mild intellectual disabilities.


*The next call for proposals will occur in 2013-2015 and are currently only available to faculty at Duquesne University.