FSC Brings Home Another Award at Annual FERA Meeting

Dec 2, 2022

by FSC Staff

For the third consecutive year, a student from Florida Southern College’s Doctor of Education programs won the Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Award at the Annual meeting of the Florida Educational Research Association (FERA).

Sarah Zeinemann ’27
Sarah Zeinemann ’27 won the Outstanding Graduate Student
Poster Award for her poster titled The Gender Divide in
Higher Education: More Women in Higher Education, Yet
the Wage Gap Continues

This year the award went to Sarah Zeinemann ’27 for her poster titled The Gender Divide in Higher Education: More Women in Higher Education, Yet the Wage Gap Continues. Past winners of the award were Florida Southern College Doctoral students Clair Harris (2021), George Matisz ’23 (2019), and Mary Ann Murdoch (2019). There was no competition in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a new doctoral student attending the FERA conference, I was humbled, inspired, and motivated by the high energy and passionate people in the education field all working towards a common goal,” Zeinemann said. “Listening to the presenters in the different sessions provided me the opportunity to hear the research language being used and applied. It gave me further insight and ideas for potential research areas for myself to do in the future. I would highly recommend this conference to anyone who has a passion for education.”

The Outstanding Graduate Student Poster Award recognizes the best poster and presentation at the graduate student poster session of the annual FERA meeting. Attendants of the poster session evaluate each participant during the presentations based on various criteria listed in the poster evaluation rubric. Graduate student representatives analyze the rubric scores for each poster; the poster earning the highest score is recognized as the best poster.

Five students enrolled in the Doctor of Education program or Doctor of Education-Educational Leadership program at FSC attended the 66th annual FERA conference along with the Dean of the School of Education Dr. Victoria Giordano, and Coordinator of Doctor of Education Programs, Dr. Melanie Fowler.

The poster session included students from the University of Central Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, University of South Florida, Florida State University, and Florida Atlantic University.

“Participating in a research conference is an important part of the full doctoral study experience,” Dr. Giordano said. “It pleases me to see such interest from so many talented individuals in our doctoral programs who want to take advantage of the opportunity to attend and present at FERA.”

Guilianna McGinniss
Guilianna McGinniss '27 presenting a poster at the Annual meeting of the Florida Educational Research Association (FERA)

Guilianna McGinniss ’27 also presented a poster at the conference and found the experience very valuable.

“It was an excellent opportunity for connecting with other scholars interested in the topic,” McGinniss said. “In addition, I received critical and constructive feedback for future research.”

AmyLee Pritchard ’25 echoed this sentiment.

“I was able to converse with others at the conference about ways to improve my literature review,” she said. “I also enjoyed being able to share my research with others.”

Christy Taylor, a second-year doctoral student, attended the conference for the first time this year.

“Having the opportunity to discuss research ideas with other professionals was personally motivating and provided direction on how to move forward,” Taylor said. “The discussions during round tables, breaks and the social connections helps you realize you are part of a community who supports and motivates each other.”

Matisz, a student currently developing his dissertation proposal, chose to present at the Round-Table session, a new format for FERA in 2022.

“I am grateful for Dean Giordano’s continual support, financially and experientially, of our doctoral students,” Dr. Fowler said. “I am proud of the academic community our students are building within our programs and beyond.”