FAMU students complete research fellowship with PURPOSE

Pictured in photo are Tiyana Herring & Orlin St. Surin both PURPOSE Fellows
Photo submitted by Kendall Harris.

Orlin St. Surin and Tiyana Herring are both students at Florida A&M University’s College of Education (COE) and just completed a research fellowship with the FAMU-FSU PURPOSE Training Program.

PURPOSE, (Partners United for Research Pathways Oriented to Social Justice in Education) is a program that seeks to train a diverse cohort of fellows in research with a focus on social justice in education.

Herring is a senior elementary education student, while St. Surin is a master’s student in the COE.

The two finished out their year-long PURPOSE Fellowship at the PURPOSE Research Conference where they, along with nine additional fellows, presented their research on various topics related to education and the North Florida Freedoms Schools.

Students who are selected to become fellows receive a stipend, funding for travel and research materials, as well as one-on-one relationships with PURPOSE faculty mentors.

St. Surin, also a FAMU Graduate, did his research on cyber bullying. His topic was “The Perception of Cyber Bullying Roles Among Middle School Students.”

“As an educator, with this research opportunity, it has opened my eyes and informed me on the importance of dealing with bullying and cyber bullying,” said St. Surin. “And the long-term effects that it has on its students.”

Herring did her research on the topic “Mastery Experiences in North Florida Freedom Schools’ Level 1 Scholars’ Phonological Awareness and Motivation.”

“The PURPOSE Training Program Fellowship solidified the importance of education and research for me, especially having a mother who is also an educator of more than 2 decades,” explained Herring. “I remember constantly hearing about the changes and advances in education due to research and I’m proud to say I was a part of that research.”

Herring gave a brief overview of her research concluding’s.

“I concluded that one student, scholar 1, did show gains of phonological awareness based on her pseudo word test,” explained Herring. “While scholar 2 didn’t show gains of reading at any point, but she did show gains in motivation and self-efficacy.”

Dr. Alysia Roehig, the Principle Investigator for the PURPOSE Training Program was ecstatic and very proud of all the research fellows.

Roehig was pleased to see so many students who were excited about research and education science.

“The fellows went into their research exploring all possibilities, just trying to learn something,” expressed Roehig. “But when it came down to the reality of the program they enjoyed and learned even more than what we imagined that they would get out of this opportunity.”

The long-term goal for the research fellows of PURPOSE is to increase the diversity of the doctorate in education science.  

With hopes to prepare student for a constantly changing learning environment, the research fellows from PURPOSE hoped that they could make their mark in the advancement of modern-day education.