Elizabeth Douvan Fellows advance her legacy
Elizabeth—Libby—Douvan was a beloved HOD faculty member for nineteen years. A feminist scholar, she served on 131 dissertation committees, co-facilitated the Michigan cluster of HOD/PSY students and was a source of inspiration to faculty and students alike. The Elizabeth Douvan Post-Doctoral Fellowship was created by a handful of alumni In her memory and to preserve her legacy. The annual donor-funded scholarship is awarded to an HOD graduate who is engaged in post-doctoral work that reflects original thinking and is in keeping with the spirit of Libby Douvan’s scholarship which emphasized fun, alternate ways of knowing, and how our view of the world makes a difference.
The latest recipients of the Elizabeth Douvan Post-Doctoral Fellowship include:
Jeff Leinaweaver, PhD
Dialogues on Sustainability & Self: Embracing the Other as Kin
I am interested in researching the unexamined assumptions of our origin and creation stories to better understand why we frame “the other” as being the stranger instead of kin and why Western society views the Earth in a similar detached way. How can society develop new narratives and mythologies that support sustainability initiatives which embrace all life on this planet? How do we reframe Earth as other into Earth as mother?
Project: Dialogic research via a series of World Cafes as action research events to explore this archetypal theme of “the orphan and the other” in a series of dialogues on sustainability and self. I believe this work will impact individual and community change by increasing the capacity for conversational leadership toward creating a globally sustainable civil society and healing the schisms which keep people feeling isolated and disconnected in an era of great change.
Jaque Goulbourne, PhD
Acculturation to Avert Failure of Medical Students
In my work with university medical students (in Jamaica) I have watched the numbers of intake increase over the past three years, from 100 to nearly 300 students. As the numbers increased, so did the failures. The increase in numbers represents an increase in international students. The school attracts students from Botswana, United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), and the other Caribbean territories. The failure is widespread to include all students but mostly foreign or non-Jamaican students.
To my mind, the failures were not due to academic abilities but more so to the lack of proper orientation and definitely to the absence of a deliberate acculturation process.
Acculturation here means the process of anticipatory socialization for the smooth transitioning into a new or different culture. I realized it was not sufficient to teach these students personal and professional development (PPD) communication skills, they needed a program of orientation and acculturation, which I developed.
Project: I am creating a booklet that will aid students to study smartly and with less stress for greater success. The book which is also a part of the acculturation process is titled “Learn Most with Least Effort: A Practical Guide to Academic Excellence”. This work in PPD is directly related to my Fielding work. It is an innovation in that no program existed in this form for medical students at my present job. My post doctoral work will honor the memory of, and is in keeping with, the spirit of Libby Douvan because this work not only emphasizes human and organizational development but provides less stressful and fun ways of transitioning. Personally, it brings satisfaction as it underscores how Fielding University has empowered me to make a difference to medical education at UWI Mona. Medical studies have also become fun and achievable as highlighted by many of the students I have helped.
Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD
Fostering Citizenship in Young People: Family-School-Community Conversations That Matter
A 2010 graduate of HOD, my dissertation focused on how young people become participatory and justice-oriented citizens. No longer can we view citizenship through the single lens of social psychology, political science, or human development. Neither can we cling to positivist worldviews that limit our understanding of how meaning is derived from transformative civic and life experiences. Like Libby Douvan, I am passionate about understanding the shifting roles of families in America, particularly how they partner with schools and communities to develop engaged young citizens. I believe Libby would agree that adults have a responsibility to foster citizenship during the formative adolescent years. Through story-telling and dialogue, we have the capacity to connect to the meaning of citizenship in new and compelling ways. And we have the power to influence a new generation of engaged youth.
Project: Using the stories of engaged young citizens from my dissertation research to spark dialogue, I plan to design and conduct 1 ½ to 2 hour public workshops where adult learners focus on one important question: How do families, schools, and communities foster participatory and justice-oriented young citizens? Combining an inspiring presentation that includes photos and video of active young citizens with a World Café discussion to expand and apply learning, these workshops will help generate ideas and knowledge that can meaningfully impact the actions of families, schools, and communities. Small group discussions will be recorded for content, then transcribed and analyzed with qualitative analysis software to glean common themes. If successful, Phase II of the project will include the production of a short, documentary video and Leader Guide that will enable the workshops to be led by facilitators in school communities nationwide.