Trio will join group to study rural education in Mississippi
Three University of Mississippi representatives will learn about the state’s educational needs and issues through the Mississippi Education Policy Fellowship Program.
Managed by the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University, the group will focus on rural education. This includes looking at how schools support their communities and prepare them for the workforce. The fellows will also examine the particular needs and policy issues affecting rural schools.
Representing Ole Miss are:
- Roger Davis Jr., inclusive excellence and engagement director for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement
- Ashleen Williams, instructional assistant professor in the Office of the Provost
- Amanda Winburn, associate professor of counselor education
The three were selected for the positions after applying in a statewide competition.
“I hope to gain more knowledge through the (program) on how to link my research to educational policies, how to put policies into practice and how to influence policymakers’ decisions,” Davis said. “This is significant since students, faculty and staff in higher education generally confront a variety of challenges.”
Williams said she applied to the program so she can help improve education for the state’s residents.
“I wanted to participate in the Mississippi education policy fellowship to enhance my understanding of education policy in Mississippi, particularly how K-12 and higher education institutions can develop meaningful goals and work together to improve educational outcomes,” she said.
The fellows will travel to Washington, D.C., next spring to meet with elected representatives and leaders of the Institute for Educational Leadership.
Winburn said she looks forward to being part of a network of diverse professionals to advance the work of education advocacy.
“I’m seeking to develop a deeper understanding of current local, state and national education policies and implementation with a focus on mental health services for students,” she said.
This year’s cohorts include representatives from higher education, K-12 and nonprofits. Organizations and agencies involved include:
- Mississippi Community College Board
- Woodward Hines Education Foundation
- National Rural Education Association
- Mississippi Department of Education
By Edwin B. Smith