Petrosino’s Former Doctoral Students Win Top Education Fellowship

July 11, 2014

Two of science education specialist Anthony Petrosino’s recent doctoral students – Vanessa Svihla and Candace Walkington – have been awarded National Academy of Education Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowships. The NAEd Spencer Fellowship is one of the highest honors given to graduates who recently obtained a Ph.D. in education, and it’s designed to promote scholarship that improves the field of education.

Walkington is an assistant professor of math education in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Her research focuses on how abstract math concepts can best be understood when they’re grounded in students’ interests, experiences, and everyday reasoning practices. At SMU she teaches preservice and inservice STEM courses and is chair of the math, science and technology programs.

Svihla is an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico and director of the Interaction and Disciplinary Design in Educational Activity Lab. Her area of study is how learning occurs in authentic, real-world conditions. This includes a two-strand research program that includes: 1) authentic assessment, aided by interactive technology, and 2) design learning, in which she studies engineers designing devices, scientists designing investigations, teachers designing learning experiences and students designing to learn.

Both Fellows are continuing to pursue research that was launched under Petrosino’s mentorship in the College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction.

To learn more about Petrosino’s work, visit his blog, “Dr. Petrosino’s Education Project.”

- Kay Randall,

Last updated on August 11, 2014