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Doctoral candidate awarded KDPi scholarship for second straight year

Published: Oct 6th, 2015 •• Category: Awards, Newsmakers, Student Laurels
Tagged as: Curriculum and instruction, KDPi, Natalie Ridgewell


Natalie Ridgewell

Natalie Ridgewell

Natalie Ridgewell, a doctoral candidate at the University of Florida College of Education, was recently awarded the prestigious international C. Glen Hass Laureate Scholarship for Instructional Leadership for the second straight year.

Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education awards the annual $2,000 scholarship to doctoral education students who impact the practical and theoretic development of instructional leadership and the scholarly extension of curriculum.

Ridgewell, who is working toward a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, said she was shocked the first time she received the award, and even more humbled when her name was called a second time.

“When they recognized me the second time it was not just about the potential they first saw in me, but that I was continuing (to develop) those (skills),” said Ridgewell, a KDPi member since 2013.

To qualify for the honor, Ridgewell’s application packet included a required essay she wrote emphasizing her passion for teaching, instructional leadership skills, commitment to the success of her students, and her positive influence in the community.

Letters of recommendation written by UF education faculty cited Ridgewell’s scholarship, leadership, service and her passion for teaching.

Suzanne Colvin, associate director of the School of Teaching and Learning, coordinator of Unified Elementary Proteach and the former adviser for the KDPi UF Chapter, recommended Ridgewell for the 2014 award. Alyson Adams, clinical associate professor in STL and the college’s Lastinger Center for Learning, is Ridgewell’s dissertation committee chair and recommended her the past two years.

Ridgewell has served as secretary of the Student Alliance of Graduate Educators (SAGE), and volunteers for a summer education and enrichment program for underserved youth in east Gainesville called FOCUS, a program developed by Natalie King, a UF doctoral colleague of Ridgewell’s. She also has volunteered at the local Boys and Girls Club, served as a Pen Pal for a third grader, and volunteered for an event sharing information about the Education Common Core Standards.

Since receiving her bachelor’s in English literature from Georgia College & State University, Ridgewell has earned master’s degrees in library and information science from the University of South Carolina, and in English literature from the University of Georgia.

Ridgewell said she continually stresses her teaching mantra, “How you teach is just as important as what you teach, and you can’t effectively teach students you don’t know.”

Ridgewell is due to graduate with her doctorate in August of 2016.


CONTACTS
    SOURCE: Natalie Ridgewell, UF College of Education; 478-319-5512; nkr@ufl.edu
    WRITER: Katelin Mariner, UF College of Education; marinerk@ufl.edu 
    MEDIA LIAISON: Larry Lansford, communications director, UF College of Education; 352-273-4137;llansford@coe.ufl.edu