Education student wins award for master’s research paper

York Faculty of Education graduate Jingxuan Liu (MEd ’06) has won the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews’ 2006-2007John Lockwood Memorial Award for excellence in graduate-level research for her master’s research paper, “Learning in a Cross-cultural Community: Chinese Students’ Academic Socialization into a University MBA Program.

Jingxuan LiuThe paper aims to present the dynamics of a group of Chinese students, who are non-native speakers of English, as they are being socialized into the linguistic, academic and cultural practices of their Master of Business Administration (MBA) Program at a large urban Canadian university.

Right: Jingxuan Liu

“Recognizing the fact that the student population is increasingly diverse in many Canadian postsecondary institutions, this project highlights the significance of understanding how newcomers (e.g. graduate students) from different linguistic, cultural and educational backgrounds acquire academic discourses and construct cultural identities in their new second language (L2) communities,” said Liu. “Specifically I am interested in minority students’ academic experiences in higher education and how Canadian institutions respond to the growing needs of international students.”

“Strategically dovetailing socialization and community of practice theory, Liu relates a compelling story of three adult students, thrust into an academically foreign learning environment, who assemble and activate a network of resources that they identify as necessary to their survival in the higher education milieu,” said York Professor Sandra Schecter, Liu’s research project supervisor.

According to Paul Axelrod, dean of the Faculty of Education, “Jingxuan Liu’s work engages important issues related to cultural diversity, second language education, and higher education policy. We congratulate her for her exceptional accomplishment."

The Canadian Council of Christians and Jews-John Lockwood Memorial Award, valued biannually at $3,750, is given to a graduate student whose studies focus on issues related to cultural diversity or cross-cultural understanding in Canada. Among other things, the student’s research may focus on prejudice in Canadian society and/or proposals for its elimination.