Three from School of Education are awarded prestigious NAEd/Spencer fellowships

Three individuals from the UW–Madison School of Education have been awarded prestigious fellowships from the National Academy of Education (NAEd) and the Spencer Foundation.

Diana Rodríguez-Gómez

Diana Rodríguez-Gómez, an assistant professor in the School of Education’s Department of Educational Policy Studies, has been named a 2021 NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow.

Rodríguez-Gómez’s scholarship examines trans-local processes of state-building and education policymaking in contexts shaped by high levels of violence, armed conflict, forced migration, and/or states of emergency. Her proposed study, “Schooling in (Il)legal Economies: A Comparative Study of Educational Experiences in the Midst of the Drug Wars,” will examine the interfaces between legal and illegal coca markets, and the lived schooling experiences of educators and students, in Columbia, analyzing the effects of illicit and licit coca markets on school management procedures, curricular decisions, and educators and students.

The fellowship provides $70,000 to early-career scholars to focus on their research and attend professional development retreats. This year, 25 postdoctoral fellows were selected from a pool of 249 applicants.

Elizabeth Hauck and Rachel A. Johnson
Hauck (left) and Johnson

Also from the School of Education, Elizabeth Hauck and Rachel A. Johnson have been named as 2021 NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellows. They are among 35 fellows — selected from a pool of 413 applicants — who will receive $27,500 for a period of up to two years to complete their dissertations and also attend professional development retreats.

Hauck is a doctoral student in educational policy studies and history. Her dissertation, titled “Mrs. Batson and Mrs. Hicks: Race, Rights, and the Mothers’ Fight for Boston Public Schools (1953-2003),” is a dual biography of Ruth Batson, the Black chairwoman of Boston’s NAACP Public School Committee, and Louise Day Hicks, a white lawyer and Boston politician, and traces five decades of mother-activism by Batson and Hicks and their fellow Black and white mother-activists.

Johnson is a doctoral candidate in educational policy studies. Her dissertation, titled “Homeschooling: Fugitive Education for Black Families,” examines the learning experiences of Black homeschooling families in the Midwest, including why they homeschool, how they understand their homeschooling, and how, if at all, Blackness and anti-blackness shape their homeschooling motivations and experiences.