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K-State News
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College of Education honors three graduate students for excellence

Tuesday, May 10, 2022




Three May 2022 doctoral candidates from Kansas State University College of Education's graduate programs are receiving awards from the college for excellence, social justice advocacy and exceptional graduate teaching assistance.

The awards include the Outstanding Graduate Student in College of Education Award for excellence in leadership and scholarship, the Social Justice Advocacy Award and the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award.

The recipients:

Bernard F. Harris Jr., Doctor of Philosophy candidate in adult learning and leadership, Leavenworth, Outstanding Graduate Student in College of Education Award — Doctoral. Harris, formerly of Long Island, New York, is a lifelong learner. His areas of interest include adult education and historical research. His dissertation reflects both interests by focusing on the education and training of seven African American U.S. Army officers during the First World War and its aftermath. Additional examples of his work can be found in the "Ethnic and Racial Minorities in the U.S. Military: An Encyclopedia"; a co-authored book titled "Savannah 1779"; and in the Annals of Iowa Journal, published by the State Historical Society of Iowa.

Kayln Hoppe, Doctor of Philosophy candidate in curriculum and instruction, Manhattan, Social Justice Advocacy Award. Hoppe, formerly of Sabetha, is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society and International Literacy Association. She received the 2021 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award from the College of Education and was a fall 2021 nominee for the K-State Graduate School Award for Graduate Teaching Excellence. Hoppe's research and service represent her social justice journey and advocacy in receiving this award. Her dissertation, "Our Brokenness Kind of Connects Us: Exploring Social Justice Topics Through Read-Alouds in a Ninth Grade Classroom," was conducted with a diverse group of ninth grade students. Her findings indicated shifts in views to a more understanding and compassionate stance by participants. Hoppe excels by modeling these ideals with her students and through curricula integration. Hoppe earned a master's in curriculum and instruction in 2013 and a bachelor's in elementary education in 2011 from K-State. She is a 2007 graduate of Sabetha High School.

Yifan Liao, Doctor of Philosophy candidate in curriculum and instruction, Liaoning Province, China, Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant in Education Award. Liao has provided not only exceptional teaching assistance to graduate students but also has been available to work directly with faculty on improving on-line course delivery. She also has been responsive in answering and clarifying information on coursework to students.

News tip

Leavenworth, Manhattan and Sabetha, Kansas; and Long Island, New York.


College of Education