Dissertation Award goes to Waddington

April 09, 2013William Schmitt

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Joe Waddington, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research associate with the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO) has been named a recipient of the annual Dissertation Award from the Catholic Education Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association.

Waddington’s dissertation, Urban Catholic Schools in Expanding Charter School Markets: Enrollment Shifts and School Closures, was one of two winners of the 2013 award. Co-winner was Ursula Aldana, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Education at Loyola Marymount University. Her research was titled College Dreams, Corporate Work Study, Brotherhood and Belonging: How Urban High Schools Structure Opportunity for Low Income Latino and African American Male Youth.

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a national research society, strives to advance knowledge about education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Among its many special interest groups, the group bestowing this annual award is among the leaders in building Catholic education as a distinct and valuable field of scholarly research.

Waddington, an associate of Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives, holds a Ph.D. in educational studies and an M.A. in statistics from the University of Michigan, along with his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame. Alongside his work with CREO, he performs research related to the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Program for K-12 Educational Access, building upon knowledge of school choice, quantitative methods, and education policy, with a particular focus on Catholic and charter schools in the United States.

In his dissertation, he studied the effect of charter schools on urban K-8 Catholic school enrollments and closures in ten large cities throughout the Great Lakes region of the United States. His studies have also examined school choice and government funding structures for private schools in countries other than the United States.