Student Jessica Ross receives national recognition for study in education

Soleil Barros
Journal Contributor

Suffolk University senior Jessica Ross recently received national recognition due to a study she conducted, which focused on the achievement of minority and impoverished children. Her study, “Robots in the Classroom: Accountability, Curriculum, and Instruction in High Poverty Schools,” suggests the best teaching method for promoting high educational achievement from these groups requires teachers to tailor curriculum and instruction to meet student’s individual needs. She analyzed the effect of high-stakes testing and accountability standards on the methods of instruction employed by teachers in American elementary schools.

Ross was one of 20 students that participated in a month-long research program in June at the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) at Duke University. During her stay at Duke, she was able to gain access to particular databases that are solely intended for research purposes at the institute.

“It helped me in conducting my research. I used a data set that was from Inter-University Consortium Political and Social Research (ICPSR),” said Ross.

Because she was able to use this source, Ross was not obliged to collect all of the data used on her own. Without the aid of the databases and moral support of her fellow RBSI students, Ross wouldn’t have been able to complete a semester’s worth of work in one month. “We lived off of coffee and donuts from Dunkin’ Donuts for the month,” she said. “RBSI motivated me and inspired me to study race and ethnic politics. It showed me the importance of the subject to the American political arena. Also, the summer institute gave me an educational opportunity to study topics in political science that I wouldn’t of had otherwise been introduced to,” said Ross.

Ross was one of 10 students selected to present her work to an audience consisting of well-known political scientists, researchers and educators from across the United States. The four-day American Political Science Association’s 2010 Annual Meeting and Exposition was held in Washington, D.C. and allowed attendees to mingle with new professionals, network, and receive an insight on things up and coming in the field of political science. One of the many highlights to her overall experience was the opportunity to meet Dr. Cornel West. “I admire his work; he has really been an inspiration to me wanting to join the political science field,” said Ross.

Being the second Suffolk University student to attend RBSI has allowed Ross to be presented with new opportunities. “It feels great. I am so grateful and appreciative,” said Ross. So many new doors have been opened for me.”