Spotlight on Diversity: Maria Royle

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Maria Royle is a graduate student in the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance. She has had a life-long interest in science and helping children. She earned a master’s degree in Organizational Management and Leadership from Springfield College, Massachusetts. Her passion for children and science, though, led her to become a candidate in the College’s Science Middle Grades Program; she is currently a clinical intern (formerly known as student teaching) at College Park Middle School in Berkeley County. She has been a volunteer guardian ad litem for over twelve years, serving the Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley County communities.

Maria is bilingual and learned English as a second language. Her first-hand knowledge of the struggles with learning English and the American culture has helped her to be an advocate for the growing number of immigrant children in local schools. Once she earns her initial certification in middle grades science, she plans to add English for Speakers of Other Languages to her area of certification. Maria was a graduate assistant until the start of her internship and is the recipient of the Goizuetta Scholarship, one of the most prestigious scholarships within the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance.

Maria’s research agenda includes being a team member of a five-year long research project through NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute Education, Education/Public Outreach Program (SSERVI EPO), whose goal is to work with a variety of artists, scientists, and educators to develop an arts infused STEM curricula, for both formal and informal education venues, that inspires and engages students in the multidisciplinary field of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). In addition, the team will broaden participation by developing materials that are accessible by all students, including those with disabilities. Maria’s research agenda also includes working with English learners; she will be a presenter at the upcoming College of Charleston National Diversity Conference. Her presentation, entitled “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA), will explain the latest federal legislation enacted to help undocumented students attend college.

Maria has enjoyed her life as a graduate student. She is happy to be attending a teacher education program that has such a good reputation within the community. Although she was worried about the state licensing exams, she passed them with no problems because of the rigor of her classes and the high expectations of her professors.

We wish Maria the best as she continues her graduate studies and thank her for sharing her experience!

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