Kelly Womack Adams ‘24, a doctoral student in the NC State College of Education’s Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences’ elementary education in mathematics and science program area of study, has been awarded a prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.
Adams received the fellowship for her research proposal entitled “Speakin’ What We Know: The Influence of Dialect on Math Explanations and Perceptions.”
The project will investigate whether or not different dialect groups throughout North Carolina affect the ways in which students make sense of different mathematical concepts. The research will focus specifically on younger students, who don’t yet understand formal mathematical language, and the ways in which they draw on words and phrases from their dialect to understand concepts like fractions and multiplication.
“I am honored to have been selected as one of the winners of this grant and I am extremely excited to see what opportunities this presents for me,” Adams said. “It is also great to have the validation that the National Science Foundation finds my research interests and goals beneficial to the greater society and that they are willing to provide funding. This is a topic I have been contemplating for a while and I’m excited that the NSF finds it equally as important.”
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) recognizes outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees.
Fellows receive an annual stipend of $34,000 for three years, a $12,000 allowance for tuition and fees, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research.