2023 Dissertation in Practice of the Year Award Winner

CPED Dissertation in practice award of the year 2023 logo

2023 Dissertation in Practice of the Year Award Winner

CPED is pleased to announce the winner of the 2023 Dissertation in Practice Award is Dr. Francesca Smith, graduate of American University's EdD program. Congratulations Dr. Smith! We received over 40 high-quality nominations for the 2023 award. The purpose of this award is to honor scholarly practitioner work that adheres to the CPED definition of Dissertation in Practice (DiP): “scholarly endeavor that impacts a complex problem of practice”.   

Our DiP Committee lead by Kimberlee Everson, Western Kentucky University and Robert Crowe, Western Carolina University, and comprised of several faculty members, representing a variety of CPED member institutions, utilized a set of CPED-defined criteria that distinguish the dissertations of scholarly practitioners as work grounded in high-quality research with the potential to impact educational practice to judge submissions.

The title of Dr. Smith's dissertation is Asset-Based Biliteracy: Recentering Emergent Bilingual Students in Dual Language English Reading Instruction. The dissertation committee was comprised of Alida Anderson, Ph.D, Katarino Brito, and Amelia Tseng, Ph.D. Dr. Smith will receive her award and present a short overview of her work at the #CPED23 convening in Pensacola, FL October 4-6th.

francesca smith headshot
An exerpt from Dr. Smith's dissertation:
As gentrifying dual language (DL) schools in the United States increasingly attract students with linguistic, racial, and socioeconomic privilege, a key consideration is whether these schools are intentionally supporting the specific needs and assets of emergent bilingual (EB) students from Latinx families. This dissertation of practice examined how an asset-based early literacy intervention in a first grade English DL classroom could recenter EB students through both structured literacy instruction and parent partnership, using a funds of knowledge framework. The 11-week Student Intervention explored how a teacher could actively build upon EB students’ Spanish language and literacy competencies within small-group English reading instruction at the beginning of their formal bilingual education.

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