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School of Education

Collier Named Inaugural Sanford H. Levine Fellow

Albany, NY (January 12, 2012) - Department of Educational Administration and Policy Studies (EAPS), School of Education, and University at Albany faculty and staff gathered on December 8, 2011 with Mrs. Margaret Levine, Dr. D. Bruce Johnstone, and friends to celebrate the announcement of the first Sanford H. Levine Fellow, doctoral candidate Mary Beth Collier. Family, friends and colleagues established this fellowship to support doctoral candidates in EAPS, in memory of Professor Sanford Levine, who spent over 20 years teaching in the department.

Mary Beth Collier, Dean Robert Bangert-Drowns and President George PhilipMary Beth Collier, Dean of Academic Advising at SUNY New Paltz, began the doctoral program after two decades in higher education administration. She was a student in Professor Levine’s course on higher education law and one of his student advisees. The fellowship selection committee noted that Collier has, through her doctoral coursework and related activities, developed a depth of knowledge, a honed capacity for reflection, and an eagerness to engage widely outside of her current job—all foreshadowing a likely path to an even more influential role in senior management in higher education.

Ms. Collier’s dissertation project looks closely at influences and perceptions of students choosing to attend a private college. The project emerges from a thoughtful critique of the extant research and exploits the technologies (Skype, eg.) that are now so much a part of the life of young adults, to elicit information that will go beyond conventional surveys. It is a creative, thoughtful, nuanced, and useful project. She will use the fellowship support for microphones, specialized software, and iTunes cards to encourage student participation.

Mary Beth Collier and othersCollier has seized opportunities to widen her engagement with others in the field, most notably for a conference organized in China through Professor Dan Levy's Program for Research on Private Higher Education (PROPHE). While she has participated and presented at other professional venues, the resources for doing so are now even more limited. As a Levine Fellow, she looks forward to attending the Association for the Study of Higher Education conference, the major academic association and conference in the broad field of higher education, next fall. The exchanges at that conference can advance her dissertation work, both in progress and in dissemination, and build up further her network with professionals and scholars in the field.

Mrs. Levine and the Levine family, and Dr. D. Bruce Johnstone, former SUNY Chancellor and Distinguished Professor of Higher and Comparative Education at the University at Buffalo, are among the founders of The Levine Fellowship which has seen generosity from numerous other contributors. Up to $3,500 will be available each year to help defray the cost of fieldwork and preparation of a student’s doctoral dissertation and to support a professional development experience in the fellowship year.

Read more about the Sanford H. Levine Fellowship.