Dr. Alicia Briancon, an August graduate from the Baylor School of Education’s online EdD in Learning and Organizational Change and instructor at College of Southern Nevada (CSN), a community college in Clark County, Nevada, received the Outstanding Research Paper Award for the Southeastern Universities Graduate Research Symposium (SUGRS).
Briancon’s research paper, “Build the Bridge to better faculty-student relationships,” was peer-reviewed by members of the SUGRS faculty leadership/advisory committee to receive the honor. SUGRS is a symposium specifically for graduate student research and encompasses eleven universities, with Baylor the only member that is not in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
The paper explored the relational gap between faculty and students in higher education. “Faculty-student relationships matter, especially for community college students,” Briancon said.
In her study, Briancon conducted faculty and student interviews and collected 67 student survey responses from three courses provided at CSN to learn how faculty and students describe informal faculty-student contact.
“My research contributes to the understanding of the purpose, depth, and quality of student-faculty informal interactions and their impact on student outcomes,” she said.
Her findings revealed that both faculty and students believe they are the initiator of informal communication, which can include interactions such as emails; meetings in faculty offices or for coffee; and visits during office hours, before or after class, in the hallway, or off-campus,. She also found that both faculty and students maintain personal boundaries while engaged in these interactions.
Briancon said that her own experience with her students inspired her to investigate this topic.
In addition to sharing her research at SUGRS, Briancon also presented it at the annual American Educational Research Association (AERA) Conference in April, after which she was approached to replicate her work at a medical school and a law school.
“It is inspiring to see the insightful work and passion that Alicia displayed in her Problem of Practice research. Her results reflect her hard work and determination, while underscoring the importance of faculty-student interaction,” said Dr. Corina Kaul, dissertation advisor and lecturer in the Online EdD in Learning and Organizational Change program.
Dr. Tony L. Talbert, professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction focused on qualitative research and social/cultural studies education, said he is looking forward to continued collaboration with Briancon and Dr. Kaul to ensure that Briancon’s research has ample opportunity for national recognition in publications and presentations.
“Her selection as a 2023 Outstanding Research Paper Award winner is further evidence of why the Baylor University EdD in Learning and Organizational Change program continues to be identified and acknowledged as a top online doctoral program in the U.S.,” Talbert said.
For more than 100 years, the School of Education has advanced Baylor’s mission across the globe while preparing students for a range of careers focused on education, leadership, and human development. With more than 60 full-time faculty members, the school’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation. Likewise, the School of Education’s graduate programs have attained national recognition for their exemplary preparation of research scholars, educational leaders, innovators, and clinicians. Visit www.baylor.edu/SOE to learn more.
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.