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4 graduate students chosen as 2016 Bouchet Honor Society scholars

March 25, 2016

Doctoral students, from left, Anna Erwin, Jamie Sanchez, and Michele Deramo.
Virginia Tech doctoral students, from left, Anna Erwin, Jamie Sanchez, and Michele Deramo are the 2016 Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society scholars.

Michele Deramo, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a Ph.D. student in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Science’s Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) program. Currently the Director of Diversity Education and Initiatives, she worked in higher education service learning and civic engagement for more than 20 years. Her dissertation research examines performative identities in diaspora. Other research interests include forced migration, post-colonial feminism, refugee voice, autoethnography, and arts-based methodologies. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Seton Hill University and her master’s degrees from Duquesne University and Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado.

Anna Erwin, of Wilmington, North Carolina, is a doctoral student in the School of Public and International AffairsPlanning, Governance and Globalization program. Her research explores questions of labor, justice, participation, and the alternative agri-food movement. She is a graduate assistant in the School of Public and International Affairs and assists with distance learning curriculum development. She also is a participant in Community Voices, a graduate student group that engages leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and shares stories and insights about creative leadership initiatives and innovative approaches to problem-solving. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University.

Homero Murzi, of San Cristobal, Venezuala, is a doctoral student in Engineering Education in the College of Engineering. His research focuses on understanding patterns of disciplinary culture in engineering to improve engineering classrooms. His goal is to make engineering education more diverse and inclusive. Muzri is a Fulbright scholar and has been recognized by Virginia Tech for his service as a diversity scholar, department ambassador, graduate student representative, and his current work on the graduate curriculum committee and the university council. Murzi plans to work as a faculty member in the intersection of education, engineering, and business and continue his research to improve engineering classrooms. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tachira State in Venezuela and earned a master in business administration degree from Temple University.

Jamie Sanchez, of Farmington, New Mexico, is a Ph.D. student in the ASPECT program. Her research examines Mongol resistance to cultural identity anxiety in the midst of rapid urbanization in Inner Mongolia. She has earned a Future Professoriate Graduate Certificate from Virginia Tech and has been a teaching assistant in the philosophy and political science departments, as well as the instructor of several religion and culture courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.  She has been a Featured Graduate Student and a Diversity Scholar and has served on the Board of Visitors Think Tank, a faculty search committee, and two conference planning committees. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, she worked in China in both the business and education sectors.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University, a master’s degree from Union University, and a master’s degree from Golden Gate Theological Seminary. She plans to teach in a private university where she can facilitate classroom instruction to intersect with real life experiences to benefit both students and the surrounding community.

Virginia Tech has named four new members of the university’s chapter of the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. Doctoral students Michele Deramo, Anna Erwin, Homero Murzi, and Jamie Sanchez will be inducted into the society at Yale University in April. They also will be recognized during the Graduate School awards dinner on March 24.

“These four individuals, like Virginia Tech's first class of inductees in 2015, exemplify the characteristics of the Bouchet Society,” said Vice President and Dean for Graduate Education Karen P. DePauw.  

Established in 2005 by Yale and Howard universities, the society is named for the first African American to earn a doctoral degree in the United States. Bouchet graduated from Yale College in 1874 and earned his doctoral degree in physics from Yale University in 1876. 

In 2015, Virginia Tech became one of 13 university partners with Bouchet Society chapters. The society’s goal is to create a network of strong scholars and professionals who “serve as examples of scholarship, leadership, character, service, and advocacy for students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the academy,” according to its webpage.

"This cohort of scholars, like the first in 2015, is committed to scholarship and service in the spirit of advocacy toward social justice," said Dannette Gomez Beane, director of the Graduate School Office of Recruitment and Diversity Initiatives. “They will join a network of scholars who share their interest in improving the academy and the world.”

 

Virginia Tech doctoral student Homero Murzi was one of four students named 2016 Edward A. Bouchet Honor Society scholars.

Homero Murzi, at right, is one of four doctoral students named 2016 Virginia Tech Bouchet Honor Society scholars
Virginia Tech doctoral student Homero Murzi, at right, is one of four students named 2016 Edward A. Bouchet Honor Society scholars.

Michele Deramo, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a Ph.D. student in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Science’s Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) program. Currently the Director of Diversity Education and Initiatives, she worked in higher education service learning and civic engagement for more than 20 years. Her dissertation research examines performative identities in diaspora. Other research interests include forced migration, post-colonial feminism, refugee voice, autoethnography, and arts-based methodologies. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Seton Hill University and her master’s degrees from Duquesne University and Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado.

Anna Erwin, of Wilmington, North Carolina, is a doctoral student in the School of Public and International AffairsPlanning, Governance and Globalization program. Her research explores questions of labor, justice, participation, and the alternative agri-food movement. She is a graduate assistant in the School of Public and International Affairs and assists with distance learning curriculum development. She also is a participant in Community Voices, a graduate student group that engages leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and shares stories and insights about creative leadership initiatives and innovative approaches to problem-solving. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University.

Homero Murzi, of San Cristobal, Venezuala, is a doctoral student in Engineering Education in the College of Engineering. His research focuses on understanding patterns of disciplinary culture in engineering to improve engineering classrooms. His goal is to make engineering education more diverse and inclusive. Homero is a Fulbright scholar and has been recognized by Virginia Tech for his service as a diversity scholar, department ambassador, graduate student representative, and his current work on the graduate curriculum committee and the university council. Murzi plans to work as a faculty member in the intersection of education, engineering, and business and continue his research to improve engineering classrooms. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tachira State in Venezuela and earned a master in business administration degree from Temple University.

Jamie Sanchez, of Farmington, New Mexico, is a Ph.D. student in the ASPECT program. Her research examines Mongol resistance to cultural identity anxiety in the midst of rapid urbanization in Inner Mongolia. She has earned a Future Professoriate Graduate Certificate from Virginia Tech and has been a teaching assistant in the philosophy and political science departments, as well as the instructor of several religion and culture courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.  She has been a Featured Graduate Student and a Diversity Scholar and has served on the Board of Visitors Think Tank, a faculty search committee, and two conference planning committees. Prior to pursuing her doctoral degree, she worked in China in both the business and education sectors.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University, a master’s degree from Union University, and a master’s degree from Golden Gate Theological Seminary. She plans to teach in a private university where she can facilitate classroom instruction to intersect with real life experiences to benefit both students and the surrounding community.

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