Skip to main content

Doctoral Student Jodie Roberson Receives North Carolina Association for Research in Education Marvin Wyne Outstanding Paper Award

Jodie Roberson, a doctoral student in the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development educational evaluation and policy analysis concentration, has been selected to receive the North Carolina Association for Research in Education (NCARE) Marvin Wyne Outstanding Paper Award.

Named for a former professor of special education at the UNC School of Education, the Marvin Wyne Outstanding Paper Award is awarded based on criteria that include significance, presentation of findings, discussion of implications and quality of writing. 

Roberson received the award for a paper entitled “Pathway to Resilience: Teachers’ Perspectives of Trauma,” which examines how childhood trauma impacts teacher decision making and the experiences of teachers who have a history of childhood trauma.

“I am very excited to receive this award. This was the first paper I wrote as a Ph.D. student at NC State in [former Assistant Teaching Professor] Peter Hessling’s Qualitative Research class. I was so proud to highlight two teachers from my hometown because I felt it would bring awareness to the struggles that teachers face inside and outside the classroom. This award brings awareness to teachers doing great things in their classrooms despite the personal battles they face,” Roberson said. 

Roberson’s interest in studying trauma in education was triggered by her own near-death experience in 2016, when her appendix ruptured, leading to a months-long recovery period. She now combines her interest in mental and physical health with an interest in studying rural teachers and their resiliency when meeting the needs of the students and families they serve. 

Her dissertation is focusing on the phenomenon of “boomerang teachers,” or teachers who come from rural areas, move to urban settings and ultimately return to rural regions. 

“I am interested in why these teachers return to their rural roots. I hope that my findings will lead to some understanding of why teachers chose rural places to live and work and what school systems can do to recruit and encourage these teachers to return to rural areas,” she said. 

A teacher in eastern North Carolina for 23 years herself, Roberson enrolled in the NC State College of Education – the only Ph.D. program she applied to because of her respect for the research she saw from faculty and alumni – to make a difference in her rural community, which she felt was often overlooked. 

“I felt that I could do more for my community with a higher degree and some expert knowledge on education policy. I chose NC State’s College of Education because they are well known for their research in education and their alumni are doing great things to bring change for our teachers,” she said. “My dream is to continue to make an impact through encouraging and instructing preservice teachers and to continue advocating for our teachers in rural settings.”