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National Science Foundation Global Venture Fund Awards GSEP a Second Year of Funding for Student Research in Namibia

Pepperdine University Professor and Fulbright Research Fellow Dr. Eric Hamilton Supervises Program with University of Namibia and Namibian Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture

For the second consecutive year, Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) has won support from the National Science Foundation’s Global Venture Fund to bring college and graduate students together for research experiences in the Republic of Namibia. The research itself is supervised by GSEP professor Dr. Eric Hamilton. The recipient of a multi-year Fulbright Research Fellowship, Dr. Hamilton is working alongside his students and Namibian teaching professionals to foster technological sophistication within their classrooms, as well as to build a vibrant national learner community of digital media makers.

Along with Pepperdine undergraduates and GSEP students, five Seaver College students are also currently assisting with the expansive project, working in four locations around the country. Next year, a student from Tuskegee University and the joint Pepperdine-Tuskegee University engineering education project is slated to join the team in Africa. All the researchers have reported their experiences as “life changing,” while Dr. Hamilton notes the profound professional development they are helping Namibian teachers experience.

“The process of connecting real world phenomena unique to their geography is still novel. They are heavily invested in meeting curriculum goals, and are facing many of the same struggles in nurturing deep and effective learning in light of performance demands,” Hamilton says.

The National Science Foundation’s Global Ventures Program itself is extremely small, supplementing only a handful of projects with travel support for students. As a result of the award for 2016-2017, GSEP and Pepperdine undergraduates will receive almost $100,000 toward travel expenses.

This research project is one of the numerous educational opportunities available to current GSEP students, whether local or remote. With the National Science Foundation’s recognition of Dr. Hamilton’s project, GSEP continues to train leaders in the fields of education and psychology, and its profile continues to broaden.