CEDER Yearbook Highlights Emerging Research, Features Six Islander Students

Editing team for the 2021 CEDER Yearbook

The CEDER Yearbook 2021 editing team consisted of Dr. Bethanie Pletcher (bottom row, left), Dr. Rosa M. Banda (bottom row, right), and Dr. Faye Bruun (top row, right) as well as two Islander doctoral students: Krystal Watson ’23 (top row, left) and Angela Perez ’04, ‘06 (bottom row, center). Dr. Alissa Mejia served as associate editor.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – For the 11th edition of the Consortium for Educational Development, Evaluation and Research (CEDER) Yearbook, which is produced by the College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, the 2021 editorial team opted to break a long-standing tradition of focusing on one particular topic and instead focused on article submissions featuring student researchers as the lead author.

CEDER, which serves as the research and development arm of COEHD at the Island University, published its 2021 yearbook edition – a peer-reviewed book of educational research featuring 21 articles by 44 authors – under the title “Empowering student researchers: Critical contributions by emerging 21st Century scholars.” The editing team consisted of Dr. Bethanie Pletcher, TAMU-CC Associate Professor of Reading Education, as lead editor; Dr. Rosa M. Banda, TAMU-CC Associate Professor of Educational Leadership; Dr. Faye Bruun, TAMU-CC Professor of Education; as well as two Islander doctoral students: Krystal Watson ’23 and Angela Perez ’04, ‘06. Dr. Alissa Mejia, COEHD Communications Specialist, served as associate editor. 

“The CEDER Yearbook was initiated years ago under the leadership of Dr. Jack Cassidy, Professor Emeritus of Reading,” Pletcher said. “I have published articles of my own in two previous editions of the yearbook. In February 2020, I expressed interest in serving as lead editor of the next edition of the yearbook and began working on the idea of creating a yearbook focused solely on student research.”

The call for proposals asked for empirical, conceptual, and theoretical contributions to the area of research conducted by students. What was submitted was a wide variety of personal perspectives and research in the following categories: culture; international students; men of color; teaching; doctoral students; Latino/a culture; science, technology, engineering and mathematics; LGBTQ, policy and administration; student faculty; and curriculum.

The journal received proposals from 217 authors around North America, and the proposals went through a blind peer-review process before an editorial advisory panel that consisted of 25 members.

“Five chapters representing 10 different authors from A&M-Corpus Christi ended up being selected. TAMU-CC students constituted 15% of the proposals but 24% of the acceptances, so they really stood out amid an international field of peers,” said Mejia, who has worked on eight editions of CEDER. “It speaks to the quality of educational research happening here, strong faculty support, and the ability of our students to communicate strongly.”

The five accepted Islander submissions are:

  • “Latinas rising and growing together through mentorship” by Angela Perez and Dr. Rosa Banda
  • “Identidad invisible: Hispanic-Serving Institutions operating as predominantly white institutions” by Drs. Jocelyn A. Gutierrez, Nikola “Nikki” Grafnetterova ’19, and Rosa Banda
  • “Equitable input or policy lip service? Stakeholder engagement in equity policy purpose/rationale” by Marilyn B. Keller Nicol ’08, ’19, ’24 and Dr. Lynn Hemmer
  • “Student resilience and the resident assistant perspective” by Jasmine Harris ’23 and Dr. Gerri Maxwell
  • “Examining the impact of physical activity time on academic achievement among third graders” by George Woods III ’10, ’12, ’14, ’15, ’20, and Drs. Lynn Hemmer and Kamiar Kouzekanani

The intended audience of the yearbook includes educators, policymakers, and leaders within faculty and student development programs.

“Dr. Pletcher’s idea to turn the spotlight on student authors really encompassed what we’re about – empowering students to become thinkers and leaders in their fields,” Mejia said. “It’s also fitting that although Drs. Pletcher and Cassidy did not overlap in their time working here, Pletcher received the Jack Cassidy Award for a Scholarly Contribution as well as a literacy service award in Dr. Cassidy’s name, and she’s carrying on his legacy through this publication as well as in her own research. It’s a full-circle moment.”

The journal is freely available at this link and it will also be indexed by the Library of Congress, EBSCO Information Services, a leading provider of research databases, e-journals, and ebooks to name a few, and the TAMU-CC research repository, which is widely available to university libraries and the general public. A physical copy will also be available at TAMU-CC’s Mary and Jeff Bell Library; it can also be purchased online via the COEHD Marketplace.

A Scholar Achievement in Graduate Education (SAGE) fellow in the department of Curriculum and Instruction, Nicol focused her research on decoloniality with a spotlight on the exclusion of marginalized populations from meaningful input as stakeholders due to the current equity policies. Nicol’s other works were also published in the previous CEDER Yearbook,

“My experiences publishing with CEDER have shaped me as a scholar,” said Nicol. “Having my professors believe in me as a writer and feeling that support and validation for my ideas has molded me into the scholar I am today. I love knowing that my first publications were with TAMU-CC.”

Dr. George Woods contributes second article to the CEDER Yearbook

Dr. George Woods III ’10, ’12, ’14, ’15, ’20 contributed his dissertation "Examining the impact of physical activity time on academic achievement among third graders" to the 2021 CEDER Yearbook. His dissertation committee included Dr. Lynn Hemmer, TAMU-CC Associate Professor of Educational Administration, Dr. Kamiar Kouzekanani, retired TAMU-CC Professor of Quantitative Methods, and Dr. Don Melrose, TAMU-CC Professor of Kinesiology and Chair.

Dr. George Woods ’20 is an adjunct instructor in the TAMU-CC kinesiology department as well as a health and physical education specialist with Corpus Christi ISD. His first successful submission to the CEDER Yearbook was in 2015 when he was a graduate student. Six years later, Woods continues to expand his relationship with the Island University with his recent research contribution that examines the impact of physical activity on the academic achievement of third graders.

“It is a great honor to be published by my alma mater. I have worked very hard and received every degree I have earned from this wonderful institution: a bachelor’s degree, three master’s degrees, and a doctorate,” said Woods. “It feels good knowing that a part of my educational work will always live here at TAMU-CC.”