Doctoral student Manly receives Distinguished Paper Award from NERA

Cathy Manly, College of Education doctoral student in the higher education concentration, andRyan Wells, assistant professor in the Department of Educational Policy, Research and Administration, were awarded the 2009 Woollatt Distinguished Paper Award by Northeastern Educational Research Association (NERA) for their paper “Financial Planning for College: What Parents Do to Prepare.” This study explores reported parental financial college preparations and the amount parents have saved for college, with a goal of determining strategies used by different parents based on parental college aspirations and expectations for their child, as well as the highest reported parental and grandparental educational levels.

The Lorne H. Woollatt Distinguished Paper Award is presented annually in recognition of the paper deemed exemplary by the Award Committee. The award is automatically accepted for presentation at the subsequent American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting as part of the special session sponsored by the AERA/SIG State and Regional Educational Research Associations (SRERA).

Manly’s research interests involve the transition from PK-12 to college, the increased relevance of postsecondary education to all citizens, and the role of online learning in reshaping the education landscape. Her professional experience has revolved around the intersection of technology, teaching, and learning in liberal arts, community college, and online settings. Most recently, she directed the Educational Technology and Distance Learning Department at Manchester Community College in Connecticut. She received her MBA in Technology Management from the University of Phoenix Online in 2000, and her BA from Amherst College in 1994. The award winning paper evolved from research begun in a Finance of Higher Education class she took with Dr. Wells.