Monday, July 15, 2019

CSHPE and ES doctoral students selected as 2019 Ma Scholars

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SOE doctoral students Yiran Chen and Naivedya Parakkal have been recognized by Rackham Graduate School as 2019 Ma Scholars. This award, made possible by a generous gift from U-M alumnus Karl Ma, supports students from Asia who wish to pursue careers in public service, particularly those attending the Schools of Social Work, Education, and Nursing.

A student in CSHPE, Yiran Chen’s current research focuses on college choice. Specifically, he is developing a model to use behavioral economics to understand a phenomenon called “academic undermatching,” referring to high-achieving students attending relatively less selective colleges. Attending a less selective college is often associated with a lower probability of graduating and a lower income level after graduation, which can negatively affect one’s career prospects. Further, students from low-income families are more likely to undermatch. By providing a deeper understanding of how students make college decisions, Chen hopes to help policymakers and higher education institutions implement more effective efforts to address the undermatching problem.

“The Ma Scholarship frees me from the obligation to be a Graduate Student Instructor or Graduate Student Research Assistant, effectively providing me with an additional 20 hours per week for my own research,” Chen said. “I have several working papers on my research agenda, but have not been able to find enough time to fully develop them. These additional hours will vastly accelerate my research progress.”

Naivedya Parakkal is an Educational Studies student who is interested in issues of international development, empire and education, and exploring decolonial alternatives to dominant educational paradigms. In her research, Parakkal examines how youth from historically marginalized communities in the global south (focusing on South Asia), navigate the process of (un)learning local/indigenous epistemologies in order to accommodate, resist, and transform hegemonic discourses around globalization, development, and modernity. Parakkal plans to write and defend her dissertation proposal next term.

“With the Karl C.K. Ma Endowed Graduate Scholarship, I will be able to concentrate exclusively on writing my proposal, thereby allowing me to leave for my year-long research in Kerala, India much sooner than I anticipated,” Parakkal said.

SOE doctoral students Yiran Chen and Naivedya Parakkal have been recognized by Rackham Graduate School as 2019 Ma Scholars. This award, made possible by a generous gift from U-M alumnus Karl Ma, supports students from Asia who wish to pursue careers in public service, particularly those attending the Schools of Social Work, Education, and Nursing.
A student in CSHPE, Yiran Chen’s current research focuses on college choice. Specifically, he is developing a model to use behavioral economics to understand a phenomenon called “academic undermatching,” referring to high-achieving students attending relatively less selective colleges. Attending a less selective college is often associated with a lower probability of graduating and a lower income level after graduation, which can negatively affect one’s career prospects. Further, students from low-income families are more likely to undermatch. By providing a deeper understanding of how students make college decisions, Chen hopes to help policymakers and higher education institutions implement more effective efforts to address the undermatching problem.
“The Ma Scholarship frees me from the obligation to be a Graduate Student Instructor or Graduate Student Research Assistant, effectively providing me with an additional 20 hours per week for my own research,” Chen said. “I have several working papers on my research agenda, but have not been able to find enough time to fully develop them. These additional hours will vastly accelerate my research progress.”
Naivedya Parakkal is an Educational Studies student who is interested in issues of international development, empire and education, and exploring decolonial alternatives to dominant educational paradigms. In her research, Parakkal examines how youth from historically marginalized communities in the global south (focusing on South Asia), navigate the process of (un)learning local/indigenous epistemologies in order to accommodate, resist, and transform hegemonic discourses around globalization, development, and modernity. Parakkal plans to write and defend her dissertation proposal next term.
“With the Karl C.K. Ma Endowed Graduate Scholarship, I will be able to concentrate exclusively on writing my proposal, thereby allowing me to leave for my year-long research in Kerala, India much sooner than I anticipated,” Parakkal said.

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