College of Education graduate student Shawn Wooden named Holmes Scholar

Shawn Wooden, a graduate student in the College of Education, has been named the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) 2021 Holmes Scholar at Purdue University. Wooden will begin the three-year appointment in August 2021.

“Being recognized as a Holmes Scholar is a significant honor,” said Wooden. “I am humbled by the opportunity to learn alongside other scholars at Purdue and across all of academia. I believe that this scholarship will have a significant impact on my development as a researcher and on my work as an educator.”

Established in 1991, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Holmes Scholars Program supports students enrolled in doctoral programs in education with a demonstrated commitment to improving the representation and supporting the development of historically underrepresented communities in the education professoriate or in leadership positions in education and education research fields.

Wooden’s primary research interest is the personal and professional experiences of African-American Educators.

“Specifically, I would like to collect the pre-service and vocational successes and difficulties of Black and Brown teachers in Indiana,” said Wooden. “My focus will be to conduct a Qualitative Narrative Inquiry of their journey through the preparation as well as the execution of their careers. The research questions of this study will focus on the motivation and support that encouraged these professionals to become teachers. Queries will also put attention on the systemic hurdles they overcame to reach their professional objectives.”

Wooden’s objective is that this research will be used by universities and school corporations as they work to recruit, support, and retain Black and Brown educators.

The goal of the Holmes Scholar program is to offer mentorship, peer support, professional development, and rich scholarly experiences to Scholars, who in turn, become an outstanding pool of candidates for future faculty and leadership positions. Since 2008, Purdue University’s College of Education has sponsored the Holmes Scholars Program to support the retention and graduation of doctoral students committed to improving the representation and development of historically underrepresented communities.

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Source: Shawn Wooden,