Both National UCEA Fellows Choose Summer Program at Duquesne University

Two doctoral students selected nationwide by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) to participate in a prestigious summer fellowship both chose Duquesne University-from among nine UCEA centers across the United States-as their fellowship location.

Lilliana Castrellon, a doctoral student at the University of Utah's Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, and Sung Tae Jang, a doctoral candidate in Education Policy and Leadership at the University of Minnesota, both selected to do their fellowships at the UCEA Center for Educational Leadership and Social Justice (CELSJ) in the School of Education at Duquesne University.

Castrellon and Jang chose Duquesne's program because their respective research goals and the center's goals are so closely aligned. The two share an interest in research that will help improve educational opportunities and experiences for historically marginalized students in their respective communities.

"Nationally, only two students are chosen each year to take part in the fellowship program," said Dr. Fran Serenka, associate professor in the School of Education and interim director of the CELSJ. "We're very excited that both students decided to expand their knowledge here at the CELSJ this year." 

According to Castrellon, her experiences as a first-generation Chicana college student have inspired her to remove barriers that often impede students of color, immigrant and refugee students, emergent bilingual students and students from lower socioeconomic communities. She is researching the intersection of immigration and education policies. "While at Duquesne, I'll be learning about the recently introduced Pennsylvania DREAM Act S.B. 760, which would allow for qualified undocumented students in Pennsylvania to receive in-state tuition at public colleges and universities," she said.

Jang said he hopes to gain practical knowledge about vulnerable students in American schools, which would be valuable for completing his doctoral dissertation on the intersectionality of marginalized students' identities. "I hope that my diverse research experiences at Duquesne will contribute to the discussion of critical issues in educational leadership practices for social justice," Jang added.

Jang, whose awareness in his field began when he worked as an elementary school teacher in South Korea, has developed a special interest in how educational leadership and policies can support marginalized students.

During their six weeks at Duquesne, Castrellon and Jang will each present their research agenda to master's and doctoral-level students, collaborate with Duquesne faculty on research projects and visit local organizations that support their research agendas.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.