Home Milwaukee Marquette University education professor Dr. Julissa Ventura receives prestigious National Academy of...

Marquette University education professor Dr. Julissa Ventura receives prestigious National Academy of Education fellowship

Dr. Julissa Ventura (Photo supplied.)

Dr. Julissa Ventura, assistant professor of educational policy and leadership in Marquette University’s College of Education, has received a Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship from the National Academy of Education.

Founded in 1965, the National Academy of Education advances high-quality research to improve education policy and practice and consists of U.S. members and international associates who are elected based on scholarship related to education. Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowships are awarded to early-career scholars to focus on their research and attend professional development retreats. Ventura is one of only 25 recipients nationwide; she will use the award to work on her research project, “Moving Towards Transformative Student Voice in Community Schools.”

“As the community school model is adopted by more school districts questions arise about how community schools are enacting their mission to be a more democratic and community-centered education reform,” Ventura said in a press release. “One of the key community school strategies is shared leadership, which researchers have found is an important structure that contributes to improved academic outcomes in community schools. There has been limited research into identifying spaces for students to participate in the shared leadership process, so this study will look at creating spaces for students to make important contributions to community school structures and practices that work against inequalities in our schools.”

Ventura will conduct an ethnographic case study with schools in Milwaukee and will explore shared leadership in relation to student voice and leadership, according to a press release from Marquette University. Specifically, the project examines how community schools can support youth in meaningfully contributing to the decision-making and transformational change in their schools.

“This is an exciting research opportunity for Dr. Ventura and a well-deserved honor,” said Dr. Heidi Bostic, dean of the College of Education. “The heart of her research is in line with Marquette’s Catholic, Jesuit mission to address inequality and support social justice. She will be working to address inequities in schools by giving students a voice in the shared governance process and empowering them in their learning process.”