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M.Ed. Capstones - Awards

College of Education Deans Award for Outstanding Masters Project and Thesis


To recognize outstanding student research and applied scholarship at the graduate level


Thesis or project must have been completed during academic year prior to fall deadline (1st day of classes)


One thesis winner and/or one project winner with 2-4 finalists


  1. The Dean of the College of Education will send out a general call for nominations at the beginning of each semester and post announcement on COE website.
  2. Project or thesis advisor will write a brief letter of support describing why she or he believes the project or thesis should be considered for the award. This letter and the project or thesis needs to be submitted to the Deans office by 5:00 p.m. on the first day of classes of the fall semester.
  3. Award ceremony will be held in January, when winners will present their work.

Selection Process

Panel of readers will consist of at least five COE faculty members. Any committee member who has a student under consideration will withdraw from discussion that focuses on that students project or thesis. The committee will meet during the fall semester and make recommendations to the Dean.


Upon notification of award, the College of Education will request award recipients' permission to submit their work to ScholarWorks@GVSU, GVSU's open-access scholarly works repository.

Recent Award Winners

  • Theresa Lyon – 2015 Outstanding Thesis
    “Undocumented Latino College Students and Identity Development: A Qualitative Analysis of Undocumented Latino College Students’ Movement Towards Developing Purpose”

  • Kate Thome – 2015 Outstanding Project
    “Promoting Self-Authored Career Decision-Making through Parent Partnerships”

  • Tung Nguyen - 2014 Outstanding Project
    "Student-Centered Behavior Management: A Holistic Approach to Reducing Overall Discipline While Minimizing the Disproportionate Racial Gap"

  • Reba Loret Oguntokun - 2013 Outstanding Thesis
    "The African American/Black Male Experience at Grand Valley State University: Implications for the Future"

  • Karri Lynn Sanders - 2013 Outstanding Project
    "Breaking Tradition in the Mathematics Classroom: Making Mathematics Real, Relevant, and Personal"