Although the Lynch School of Education comprises a relatively small part of Boston College’s overall makeup, with its 600 students only representing around 6 percent of the undergraduate population, Lynch students have shown a high success rate on the national scholarship and fellowship front this year.
Each year, BC may nominate up to four members of the student body to advance to the national level of the competition for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a highly competitive federal scholarship for students who demonstrate passion for public service. This year, three of the four BC nominees, who include Bryan Paula-Gonzalez, Natalee Deaette, and Katherine Hendrickson, all LSOE ’19, come from Lynch.
Paula-Gonzalez is also one of the five finalists announced this week for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship, which recognizes a BC junior who has demonstrated superior extracurricular leadership, academic achievement, and community service, along with on- and off-campus involvement with the African American community and African American issues.
In addition to the Truman Scholarship finalists, BC also currently houses 30 McNair Scholars. The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, also known as the McNair Scholars Program, is funded by the United States Department of Education and helps undergraduate students from underrepresented groups to pursue and attain doctoral degrees. With eight of the 30 McNair Scholars being majors or minors in Lynch, the school has the highest number in proportion to its size.
On Jan. 19, it was also announced that Nicole Rodriguez-Rowe, LSOE ’19, was awarded the Frontier Fellowship, four of which were awarded across BC. Rodriguez-Rowe will use the fellowship to fund a photographic ethnography addressing income and wealth inequality in Boston. It will be a bound, printed book complete with 40 to 50 photos, short essays, and interviews with Boston residents. The photographs and writings will focus both on the residents themselves and on Boston’s changing infrastructures.
“There’s just a tremendous amount of incredibly strong undergraduate level scholarly work going on [in the Lynch School],” said Julia DeVoy, the school’s associate dean of undergraduate students.
This year, Lynch has added more academic rigor to its first-year program, and it is currently redesigning its undergraduate research assistantship program to include more opportunities for students to have their own presentations when doing research with faculty members.
According to DeVoy, the decision to add more academic rigor to Lynch’s first-year program was a strategic move made in collaboration with Dean of Lynch Stanton Wortham to include more of the elements they knew were working with their scholars.
“It’s developmentally salient for our first-year students to also have these kinds of experiences and exposure, because it not only opens up a wider set of opportunities, but also elicits greater social justice-oriented scholarly and practical endeavors as they move through life, whether here in the BC Lynch School or otherwise,” she said.
Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Photo Editor