AERA Announces 2022–23 Minority Dissertation Fellows and Travel Awardees
AERA Announces 2022–23 Minority Dissertation Fellows and Travel Awardees

June 2022

AERA has announced its 2022–2023 Minority Dissertation Fellows and Travel Awardees. In a highly selective process, AERA’s Minority Dissertation Fellowship Program awards fellowships or travel funding to members of racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in education research and offers mentoring and guidance toward the completion of their doctoral studies. An important aim of the fellowship is to enhance the racial and ethnic diversity of faculty, scholars, and researchers across the education research field.

The 11 new awardees are in the final stages of their dissertation studies across a broad range of education research topics, such as students’ school experiences in K–12 and higher education, pathways to teacher education programs, STEM learning, and intergenerational school outcomes. Many of these studies focus on racial and ethnic minority students, schools, or communities. The awardees are from a range of disciplines across education research fields, including higher education, history, psychology, and sociology.

2022-23 Minority Dissertation Fellows and Travel Awardees

Dissertation Fellows




Dissertation Title

Leana Cabral

Teachers College, Columbia University

The Legacy of Antiblackness: Intergenerational Narratives of Black Students in Philadelphia’s Public Schools

Andres Pinedo

University of Michigan

Cultivating Critical Consciousness and Ethnic-Racial Identity: Ethnic Studies and Youth Development

Melissa Quesada

University of California, Merced

Pushed into or Pulled Away from Teaching: An Intersectional Life Course Analysis of Latinx Educational Pathways

Khadejah Ray

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Paradox of Education: Black doctoral Students’ Socialization into the Discipline of Sociology

Zyrashae Smith

Johns Hopkins University

Selective High School Admissions and Effects: How Schools Shape Students’ High School and Postsecondary Destinations

Travel Awardees

Alexis Briggs

North Carolina State University

Black Emerging Adults Activism Engagement: A Qualitative Inquiry

Gabriela Corona Valencia

University of California, Los Angeles

Miss Behave: Latina/x Sexual Citizenship in K–16 Educational Ecosystems Dissertation Prospectus

Cassandra Gonzales

Texas State University

Racializing Latina/o/x Students’ Academic Help-Seeking: Exploring the Role of Community Cultural Wealth, Sense of Belonging, and Campus Climate

Helen Min

University of Virginia

When Traumas Intersect: Teachers' Adverse Childhood Experiences and Their Professional Quality of Life in the Era of COVID-19

Taylor Payne

University of Texas at Austin

It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint: A Quantitative Study of Burnout and Mental Health among Ethnic Minority Doctoral Students

R. Mishael Sedas

University of California, Irvine

Finding Everyday Ingenuity in Connected Learning Spaces:
Transforming Engineering Learning and Participation of Hispanic and Latina/o Youth

The program awards dissertation fellows a $25,000 stipend to complete their dissertation research and training. Travel awardees receive funds to attend the AERA Annual Meeting. All awardees will present their work in an invited poster session during the 2023 Annual Meeting in Chicago, where they will meet with the Minority Dissertation Fellowship Selection Committee and other senior scholars as part of a mentoring and career development workshop.

Recent fellows have gone on to faculty, postdoctoral, and research positions at leading teaching and research institutions, including Beloit College, Brown University, RAND, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Minnesota. As early career scholars and researchers, they are developing new and innovative studies and publishing their work in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes.

AERA Council established the Minority Dissertation Fellowship Program in Education Research in 1991 to support outstanding graduate students as they develop their research and begin their careers. AERA and its leadership are committed to providing a program of capacity-building and training opportunities for scholars from racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in education research.

“We are pleased to support these exceptional graduate students as they complete their dissertation research” said George L. Wimberly, AERA director of professional development and diversity officer.  “The fellows and travel awardees are poised to produce significant research that will expand knowledge and the education research field. We are excited about this work.”

This is a highly competitive program that funds the strongest research on topics across education, school and schooling processes, and student experiences. The selection committee seeks proposals with the potential to bring grounded, insightful, and informed perspectives to the field. AERA will begin accepting the next cycle of proposals for the program later this summer, with a December 1, 2022, application deadline. For further details about the program, please email the AERA Fellowships Program at