1064 PROVIDENCE – Ruth López, a research associate at Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR), was awarded the 2014-15 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Minority Fellowship in Education Research, it was announced today. 

The one-year, $19,000 Minority Fellowship is awarded for doctoral dissertation research by members of racial and ethnic groups historically underrepresented in higher education, and conducted under faculty sponsorship in accredited U.S. universities. 

“The Selection Committee is very impressed with your scholarly achievements, the quality of your proposed research, and your potential to contribute to education research,” stated the award letter. “AERA is pleased to support your work through this fellowship and the completion of your doctoral degree.”

López is a doctoral candidate in the Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice program in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder.  Her dissertation examines the rise of one of the most controversial and publicized immigration policy issues of the last decade: The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which, if passed, would create a path to legal residency and higher education for young, undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. 

In particular, she investigates how the DREAM Act was framed and how “DREAMers” have been represented both in official policy documents and in national television news coverage of the proposed legislation. Through this research she hopes to demonstrate the role the news media play in communicating education policy issues to the public.  She will present her work during an invited poster session at AERA’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Chicago in April. 

López, a Dallas native who joined AISR in October 2013, earned bachelors degrees in both Ethnic Studies and Spanish at The University of Texas at Austin.  She works with AISR’s More and Better Learning Time project, funded by the Ford Foundation, which aims to adapt the school day and year to the learning needs of students and the lives of working families. She also contributed to the evaluation of We Are a Village, a U.S. Department of Education–funded grant to improve family engagement in Central Falls, Rhode Island.

In 1991, AERA established the Minority Dissertation Fellowship in Education Research to advance education research by outstanding minority graduate students and to improve the quality and diversity of university faculties.