Graduate Students Awarded Summer Research Fellowships

Summer Dissertation Fellowships. The Graduate School at UMass Amherst, supports greater diversity and inclusion in non-STEM fields by providing funding for a summer fellowship for graduate students working toward their doctoral dissertation.  The goal of this fellowship is to support doctoral candidates from underrepresented groups who are currently working towards the completion of their dissertations. Students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences bring fresh perspectives and insights to their departments, disciplines, and the UMass campus


Mei Lan Frame has been awarded a Summer 2017 Dissertation Fellowship that will enable her to devote her summer to doing research and writing her dissertation.


Mei Lan's research focuses on legitimating norms, beliefs, and cultural values associated with China’s National College Entrance Exam (NCEE) and the impact these have on the enactment of policy reforms surrounding the NCEE. For her summer fellowship, Mei Lan will start writing the first three chapters of her dissertation.


Mahboob Morshed also received a Summer 2017 Dissertation Fellowship from the Graduate School. He will spend the summer doing data analysis and writing his dissertation.


Mahboob’s research investigates the lived experiences of immigrant Bangladeshi parents in Western Massachusetts and how parenting serves as an important site for cultural and identity shifts for them in home, community and educational spaces in an era of globalization. While there is some research on Bangladeshi immigrant families located in large cities where they mainly live in their own ethnic enclave, there are apparently no studies of parents living in non-major immigration destinations such as Western Massachusetts where Bangladeshi immigrants are few in number, dispersed and live in predominantly white neighborhoods.


Stephanie Pirroni received a Fieldwork Dissertation Grant. This grant will support her efforts to collect data for her research during the 2017 year.


Stephanie’s research compares the more traditional competency-based TVET approaches with the human-capability approach that shifts the emphasis from a focus on skills acquisition to a more holistic youth development approach. She will explore whether the human-capability approach encourages a broad range of outcomes such as social, cultural and economic wellbeing in the context of rural Colombia.



Pre-dissertation Research Grants. The Graduate School offers Pre-dissertation Grants to UMass graduate students. These competitive grants offer early career graduate students the opportunity to evaluate the feasibility of planned dissertation research, generate pilot data, or establish the necessary networks to carry out planned dissertation research.


Shamo Thar was awarded a summer 2017 Pre-dissertation Fellowship by the Graduate School at UMass Amherst. Her interests focus on Tibetan youth and children who are from remote and unrepresented regions in western China struggling with access to basic schooling and receiving a quality education.


Shamo TharDuring the summer, Shamo will work on polishing several draft papers she has written for submission for publication.  The papers focus on applying cultural capital theory to investigate college access for Tibetan students in Western China, exploring factors that influence Asian students in STEM majors in the U.S., and examining the expansion of Chinese Higher Education. 


She will also work on developing both her conceptual and her practical comprehensive papers, including designing questions for a survey that she will use for a pilot study in China.