Student Spotlight March 2011
"As my Graduate Assistant, Brandy is energetic, forward thinking, and efficient. She has been highly effective in helping with program work as well as my research. Often, I ask her about something that we need, and she has already anticipated it, prepared it, and enhanced it - what a great support she has been for me! She is passionate about her own research and learning and I admire the energy she devotes to her work, her studies, and her family."
Dr. Jennifer Bay-Williams, Department of Teaching and Learning
Brandy Jones earned a BA in 2000 from Berea College in Business Administration. In 2004, she began to work as an Instructor in an adult continuing education program. Ms. Jones then went on to obtain a MA in Higher Education Administration from the University of Louisville’s College of Education & Human Development (CEHD). She immediately enrolled in the Ph.D. program in ELFH at the CEHD in spring 2009 and will be graduating with her doctoral degree this May.
Specific areas of research (how you chose this research, why it interested you):
I have a goal to increase the number of at-risk and disadvantaged youth pursuing higher education all the way to the earning of a graduate degree. I have focused on informal education, technology integration, and increasing motivation and achievement of these populations in the fields of math and science. I have conducted longitudinal comparative analysis of Title I and Non-Title I Kindergarten through 12th grade populations engaging in informal education. I have also performed research through the Hands-on Minds-on Summer Science Camp for gifted at-risk populations for two years. The future will include more research on linkages between K-12 and higher education as well as technology integration in various educational contexts. I will continue to review literature and seek research projects that promote science and mathematics for disadvantaged and at-risk populations.
Awards, honors, publications:
In 2005, I was nominated for both Who's Who Among Teachers and for Teacher of the Year at Decker College. I was awarded with the Lilialyce Akers Scholarship from the River City Business & Professional Women's Foundation, Inc in 2008 and will present a paper titled, "Using SEM to move from theory to practice with the TPACK framework" at the Society for Instructional Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) Conference in Nashville, TN in March of 2011.
Long term goals/ aspirations:
My goal is to do three things: 1) become a professor at a university college of education, 2) become a dean at a college or university, and 3) begin a multifaceted corporation that includes a restaurant, an Educational Research, Resource, and Technology Center (ERRTC) for at-risk and disadvantaged populations, and a housing corporation that caters to single parents and international students enrolled in higher education. My aspiration is to lead those with a ghetto mentality or lack of hope to the understanding that circumstances change when people change their environment. You can always rise above your circumstances and become who you were destined to be.
How do you think this degree will change your role in society?
I am graduating for my daughter, my mother, my grandmothers, my cousins, my friends, and my community. My mother began the idea of going to college and Aunt (Dr. Earnestine White) paved the way by earning the first graduate degree. I want to leave a legacy that they can be proud of and that can be followed by generations to come.
What do you feel is the greatest challenge that graduate students face and how have you dealt with this challenge?
Administrative woes will deter a student from continuing graduate school especially if they have to do with financial aid, course enrollment, and support services. Often, a strong support system within the administration as well as within your personal circle of family and friends can help you deal with these challenges. There are other times when you must rely on a higher power to handle situations that are out of your control.
I have a son that is 9 and a daughter that is 14. I live with my boyfriend of six years. I have 6 sisters and one brother.
Favorite book: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Role Model: Oprah Winfrey; Dr. Cornell West
Pet Peeve: Hair of any kind any where