Graduate Scholar Recipients

Iqbal Abdul Qadir Al Balushi Kelly McFall
John Branstetter McClees Stephens
Nadia A. Charania Renalyn J. Valdez
Jane Crayton

Graduate Scholar Winners

Iqbal Abdul Qadir Al Balushi
Al-Balushi-Iqbal-Photo.jpgHe is a second year SLAT student in fall 2011. He holds an M.A in TESOL from The Ohio State University. He has been an English language teacher for seven years. He served as an English Language Inspector (supervisor) for public and private schools for a decade. He also worked as a senior lecturer in a College of Education and Applied Sciences prior to joining the PhD program in SLAT. His research interests include teacher training, critical discourse studies, language pedagogy and use, linguistic landscaping and using technology to teach other languages.

John Branstetter
Branstetter-John-Picture.jpgJohn Branstetter is a political theorist and PhD student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He holds a Master’s degree from the University of Edinburgh, and spent the 2010-11 academic year at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Bordeaux studying the political theory of Empire. More recently, his research has focused on the relationship between technology, rationality, and democracy as expressed in the work of the Frankfurt school. He is interested in bringing together empirical data about the contemporary practice of politics on the internet with some of the major theories of democratic legitimacy.

Nadia A. Charania
Charania-Nadia-Picture.jpgAfter graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Life Sciences and Respiratory Therapy from Queen’s University, Ms. Charania pursued a Masters of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo. Her thesis focused on pandemic planning in remote and isolated First Nation communities of sub-arctic Ontario, Canada. As a PhD Candidate and Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar, her research will focus on developing a collaborative health informatics system to improve the level of inter-agency collaborative practice and health information sharing during public health emergencies. In general, she is interested in emergency disease management, communicable disease control, and inhalational toxicology.

Jane Crayton
jdapsm2.jpgArt and science have collided in an awesome array of sights, sounds and interactive collaboration that has inspired my approach to education in innovation for the 21st Century. Instruction is articulated from an art educational point of view, incorporating my love of STEM as a focus for creative expression. I believe that the ability to innovate is the most prized human dexterity, and teaching STEM subjects through Art stimulates creative behavior, critical thinking, empathy, and ultimately, innovation.

Currently I am seeking a master’s degree in education at the University of New Mexico, in Art Education, where I also serve as an educational researcher and technology developer at the ARTSLab, an advanced immersive digital media lab. I also serve as faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder for Science Discovery, where I teach STEM classes for youth summer and after-school programs. In 2009 I founded STEM-A, a program where I document the creation of my work in STEM Arts program and curriculum development. I have a great interest in technology ethics and etiquette, as I believe these issues are of great importance to true innovative development, and can be incorporated through the inquiry of arts within STEM focused issues catalyzing an integrated educational approach.

I have been an active volunteer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) since 2003 and I have been working with experimental fulldome technologies in the Gates Planetarium at DMNS since 2005. I currently am the coordinator for the Immersive Media Education Research, Science and Arts (IMERSA) Summit at DMNS. I am the Colorado Overlord for the dorkbot303 chapter of “people doing strange things with electricity” featuring Colorado electronic artists and inventors. Annually, I host a fundraiser for Urban Peak, the Spot in Colorado called Glitch Givin’ which features electronic artists. In addition, I regularly perform, and show works as Jane daPain at galleries, museums, festivals and private events.

Kelly McFall
Riley-McFall-Kelly-Photo.jpgKelly McFall is a PhD student in the College of Technology at Purdue University. She is currently in her third year of studies, and is focusing her research on Alternative Energy. She is the 2010 recipient of the Epsilon Pi Tau Scholarship award at ATMAE, and has presented a Poster and Research presentation at the 2009 and 2010 ATMAE conventions. She has also presented posters at The China-US Symposium on Biofuels in September 2011 and the Frontiers in Bioenergy Symposium in May 2011 at Purdue University. She is the Instructor of Record for Engineering Analysis for Industrial Decisions at Purdue University where she works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. She also works as Adjunct Faculty for Ivy Tech Community College in Lafayette, IN, where she was nominated for Adjunct Faculty of the Year for 2008, 209, and 2010. She is co-author along with Dr. Chad Laux and Dr. Kathy Newton on Creating Authentic Laboratory Experiences for Lean Manufacturing, which was presented at the ASEE convention in February, 2011. She also co-authored a National Science Foundation TUES proposal which is currently under consideration.

McClees Stephens
Stephens-McClees-Photo-2.jpgMcClees is a current MS student in Information and Communication Technologies for Development at the University of Colorado.

She has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Design and has taken courses in Copenhagen, Buenos Aires, Boston & Los Angeles. She has also worked extensively on development projects (EWB, NapoNET) in South America.

Currently, McClees is also working with Iota Partners, LLC a new venture by the creators of Sapient Corp.’s E-lab (now Experience Modeling group), which challenges the perception of small-data, big-data and sensor technology to produce drivers of society.

Renalyn J. Valdez
Valdez-Renalyn-Picture.jpgRenalyn J. Valdez is the Chair of the Mass Communication, Journalism, and Multimedia Arts Department of Lyceum of the Philippines University in Intramuros, Manila. She is presently enrolled in Ph.D. in Communication at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City; completed her Master’s Degree in Communication Arts from Ateneo de Manila University; and graduated Cum Laude from Far Eastern University with an AB Mass Communication degree in 1998.

She was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE) from 2008- 2010. She is at present a member of the Board of Trustees of Asian Congress for Media and Communication (ACMC). Ms. Valdez has presented papers in a number of local and international conferences. Some of her research interests are in information communication technology, civic journalism, Filipino culture, cross- cultural communication, and social development. She has taught in De La Salle- College of Saint Benilde, Far Eastern University, FEU- East Asia College of Information Technology, and Pamantasan Lungsod ng Maynila.

Some of her published works include, “A Television Portrait of Overseas Filipino Worker”, “Case Analysis of August 23 Hostage Crisis”, “The Use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in Open and Distance Learning”, “Cultivation Analysis and the Issue of Television Violence”, and “A Study on the Uses and Gratifications of Cellular Phone Among Young Filipinos and Its Potential Links to Socio- Economic Demographics. ”