Congratulations to the 2022 GSC Essay Contest Winners!
Graduate Prize: London Williams, University of California Department of Education
For the essay:
Finding Alternatives for Western Imperialism in Higher Education: Unlocking the “door to a far larger view of the world than white America has ever known.”
London Williams is a rising second-year PhD student in the UCLA Department of Education, focusing on Higher Education and Organizational Change. Outside of classes, London serves as the Program Coordinator for the UCLA-HHMI Pathways to Success Program, a four-year academic support program for diverse groups of students majoring in STEM. This past year, London was also a Graduate Student Researcher for the UCLA Higher Education Research Institute (HERI). This Fall, London will be an instructor for a University Studies course that was created to support first-year students as they transition to college.
London has previously received a BA in Psychology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a MA in Applied Developmental Psychology from Claremont Graduate University, and a MA in Education from UCLA. London has a passion for working in higher education spaces to determine how to best support and advocate for historically excluded students, particularly those majoring in STEM. London is a mixed-methods researcher, but is excited about incorporating more qualitative inquiry, as well as, Black Feminism in STEM education research.
Undergraduate Prize: Julia Sebastien, Harvard Graduate School of Education
For the essay:
Mitig’s WigWam of Spiritual Needs: Re-envisioning Abraham Maslow’s legacy to Humanistic Psychology had he been born an Ojibwe male in the L’Anse Michigan reserve
Julia Sebastien received her Honors Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and Advanced Arts and Humanities from Western University, alongside Western's Double Major Gold Medal Award, in 2019. Afterwards (funded by the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation’s Graduate Award), she pursued a second Honors BA at York University, specializing in Psychology to understand the cognitive, social and behavioral forces underlying people's interactions with media, cultural objects, and each other. Outside of class, Julia managed Dr. Jennifer Steele's Interpersonal Perception and Social Cognition lab and ran several media-psychological studies on the side, including a study of physically-distanced couples' virtual communications and satisfaction during COVID, and another on culturally diverse populations' experiences using e-mental health apps. Before graduating from this second BA this past summer, Julia was fortunate to present her prosocial research projects at multiple conferences, including APA, Life Improvement Science, and SPSSI. Julia is now pursuing her Master’s in Learning Design, Innovation and Technology at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, where she hopes to hone her knowledge of media psychology to improve the prosocial and educational impact of our media landscape. Her favorite pastimes include fitness, cooking, and theatrical plays with important social-emotional messages.