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Student Spotlight: Kaitlyn Marie Gardner

Posted: November 12, 2014

As a graduate student in the Elementary Education and Reading MIITC program, Kaitlyn Marie Gardner maintains a full schedule. As a graduate assistant for the Elementary Education and Reading (EER) Department, she earned a wealth of professional experience for her future career as an educator.

Gardner served not only as an office assistant in the EER Department , but also as a Professional Development Schools (PDS) representative, a PDS Advisory Council member, a researcher, a collaborator, a leader, and a respected member of the staff. 

She provided administrative and advisement assistance to the EER department and its students. As a PDS representative, her job duties included organizing and directing the consortium’s undergraduate representatives, arranging its advisory council meetings, and preparing for its annual retreat.

Under the direction of PDS co-directors Leslie Day and Pixita del Prado Hill, Gardner is conducting research to be presented at the annual National Association for Professional Development Schools Conference in March.  

Gardner will participate in the International PDS program in the Dominican Republic in January, has taught at a bilingual Montessori school in Honduras, and is actively researching the affect that parental involvement has on a child’s educational success.  She is currently completing a master’s thesis on the motivational practices of rural educators and plans to pursue a PhD after graduating from Buffalo State.

"Although nearly 30 percent of our nation's children attend rural schools, less than six percent of education research takes place in these schools," said Gardner. "Having grown up in the countryside on the outskirts of Jamestown, I have a vested interest in rural education."

In addition to her roles with EER and PDS, Kaitlyn also served as a Graduate Student Senator for the Graduate Student Association. She is currently an academic tutor at the Writing Help Center, is the graduate liaison for the Elementary Education Club, is a diversity fellow, and chairs the Public Relations and Marketing Committee.

All of Garner’s work is being recognized—she was recently awarded a 2014 UUP College Scholarship for outstanding academic achievement and commitment to social justice. Along with two other student awardees, Gardner received a $3,000 scholarship from UUP at the 2014 Fall Delegate Assembly in Albany. “This scholarship will be a great aid to my research, to my studies abroad, and to my professional development,” said Gardner.

Gardner’s position is providing her with incredible opportunities that add to the depth and quality of her education at Buffalo State. 

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