Education Researchers Selected as Presidential Early Career Awardees

February 2017

In January, then-President Barack Obama announced the 2017 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The PECASE awards are provided to federally funded researchers who have excelled in their work and have shown the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions.

Two researchers with funding from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Daphna Bassok, associate professor at the University of Virginia, and Shayne Piasta, associate professor at Ohio State University, received the award.

Bassok’s IES-supported research is examining the Louisiana Kindergarten Readiness System to inform research on Quality Rating and Improvement Systems in early childhood education. Piasta’s research involves evaluating literacy interventions for teachers and children in early learning programs in Ohio.

Early career researchers funded by the National Science Foundation included three scientists with CAREER grants that focused on facets of education.

Alicia Alonzo, associate professor at Michigan State University, is developing a physics curriculum and teachers’ formative assessment practices in her research. Shawn Jordan, assistant professor at Arizona State University, is studying how Navajo students engage in engineering within cultural context. Makeba Wilbourn, assistant professor and director of the Wilbourn Infant Lab at Duke University, is examining the relationship between gesture and language across racial and socioeconomic status groups from infancy through first grade.

“We congratulate the education researchers and all of the early career scientists who have been bestowed with this award,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “These early career scholars are involved in programs of research that are not only advancing knowledge, but they are also having an impact on the publics and communities that our science serves.  AERA wishes them every success in their careers moving forward.”

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