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Student Receives Spencer Foundation Award

Doctoral candidate Malia Villegas, Ed.M.'05, recently received the Spencer Dissertation Fellowship. The Spencer Foundation describes these awards as intending to "support individuals whose dissertations show potential for bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the history, theory, or practice of formal or informal education anywhere in the world."

Villegas spent last year in Aotearoa, New Zealand, as a Fulbright Scholar studying recent efforts to graduate Indigenous people there with doctorate degrees. Her dissertation will explore this initiative and use her findings to inform similar efforts in her native Alaska and other Indigenous communities. Associate Professor Mark Warren is her advisor.

"It is truly a blessing to have the opportunity to access these relationships and to leverage the resources of this world-renowned organization in support of Indigenous peoples and higher education," Villegas says. "I will do my best to make use of these resources in bearing out my responsibilities as a representative of Alutiiq/Sugpiaq and Alaska Native peoples, of Indigenous peoples, and of the HGSE community of scholars."

To learn more about Malia Villegas, read the related story, Doctoral Student Follows Fulbright to New Zealand.