Developing a Worldview for Success

In 2008 the government of Chile recognized Paulina Berrios as being among its future leaders in guiding the country’s higher educational system.

Paulina BerriosIn that same year, Berrios recognized that the School of Education at UAlbany was the place to develop the skills she would need to justify her nation’s confidence in her.

This May, Berrios completed the first year of her Ph.D. studies in the Department of Educational Administration & Policy Studies (EAPS). She liked much about it, including receiving a School of Education Harbison Fellowship, awarded to graduate students of outstanding promise.

“What I have liked most is the academic excellence of my professors, and how they are always able to take time to guide their students,” said Berrios. She also underscored the doctoral program’s diversity and flexibility. “At the University, there is the flexibility to arrange an academic program that suits each student’s interests. It is difficult to find this kind of flexibility in other American universities.”

Berrios is equally appreciated at UAlbany. “Paulina is a serious early-career scholar, already recognized as a leader of her generation in Chile,” said Alan Wagner, chair of EAPS. “That’s not only been demonstrated by the awards she’s received, but also by the esteem of those with whom she has studied or worked.”

Berrios is the recipient of the SYLFF-University of Chile scholarship established by the Tokyo Foundation in support of young leaders in social sciences and humanities. In addition, the quality and creativity of her proposal to better understand the challenges of the academic profession in Chile earned her the Chilean Council for Higher Education prize for researchers in the higher education field.

Her proposal was national in scope; she interviewed 67 faculty members from seven different universities across the country. Her research showed how much advanced degrees and post-Ph.D. scholarship now positively influence success and stability in academe in Chile — “the same process of professionalization that the American higher education system faced three decades ago,” she said.

“Nowadays I belong to a very small but growing group in Chile that works on the higher education system from both academic and public policy points of view. Once I finish my doctoral studies in the EAPS program, I will return to Chile having developed two important skills to enhance my future career: research and policymaking.” 

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