The Education Studies Award is given to a student who has performed and achieved at an exceptional level as a student in the Education Studies minor. Through coursework and participation in school environments, this student has shown significant growth and capacity in recognizing and confronting bias and inequities that shape school institutions and in critically considering how educational policy and classroom practices impact the learning opportunities available to P-12 students.

2024: Kaia Doan
Kaia Doan


Kaia Doan has a strong belief in the power of student voice and student autonomy in creating social change. A product of Montessori schooling, she has a passion for non-traditional forms of education and is committed to, in her words, “the responsibility of teaching.” By participating actively in local Tacoma schools, Kaia has come to understand and document the importance of enacting the democratic values of equity & belonging in classrooms.

2023 Chris Beyer Headshot


Chris has demonstrated a long term and unwavering commitment and desire to work in education. He has persisted in very challenging circumstances as the K-12 system was impacted by the pandemic. He considers issues deeply, is very intentional with instructional planning, collaborates in ways that expand his and other’s perspectives, and shows incredible promise in his ability to work with youth. In classes, Chris demonstrates a hopeful stance toward schooling and a deep commitment to social justice.

Kaitlyn McIsaac


Kaitlyn McIsaac is an energizing, supremely positive, and highly collaborative educator and lesson planner who poses critical questions about teaching and learning. Kaitlyn very productively uses feedback to support her growth. 

Sam Kaufman


Sam Kaufman critically engages theory and practice in Education Studies to advocate for equity in our schools and in teaching and learning. Sam is a disarming, highly thoughtful, and self-motivated learner who exemplifies collegiality and co-learning as he works with others.


Kelsey Koscienski ’21


Kelsey Koscienski cares deeply about issues of equity and social justice. She is a deep thinker who consistently offers insightful commentary. She leans in to critical feedback and persists in the face of challenge to stretch herself to grow as an educator.

Nicole Carino ’21


As a first-year student, Nicole Gherima Ramiro Cariño met with School of Education faculty to talk about issues of equity in education and how she might impact the lives of students. Nicole brings an exceptional commitment and critical insight as she engages with classroom spaces, students, and educational systems. She builds community and coalition to assert the central role of equity and justice in the work of education.

Joy Risley ’20 and Kai Haven ’20


Joy Risley and Kai Haven demonstrated remarkable collaboration while supporting learners in a Grade 3-5 autism classroom at Reed Elementary. They engaged in fascinating action research on the complex relationships between students and para-educators. Joy brings a tremendous spirit, remarkable curiosity, and a willingness to reframe her own assumptions and beliefs, as she engages with children. Kai is a highly reflective, critically engaged student of classroom life. She is deeply committed to students as individuals and exudes positivity and caring.

Abby Shade ’19


Abby is an incredibly positive, dedicated student and an especially insightful observer of children’s learning. Abby’s contributions serve to advance the collective thinking of her peers. She has made a tremendous difference in local schools through her attentive presence, collaboration, relationship-building skills, and insight into student growth and learning.

Erica Gott ’18


Erica has a keen ability to see students as individuals, reading their behaviors and engagement in ways that are insightful and validating. She has spent hundreds of hours volunteering in a local 5th grade classroom, making thoughtful contributions to her mentor teacher’s classroom and to the school building as a whole.

Robin Rosenberg ’17


Robin brings a thoughtfulness and authenticity to the study of education that Education Studies minor faculty appreciate. He genuinely thinks through complex issues like race, equity, and meaningful instruction. He engages sincerely in discussions by actively questioning his beliefs and contrasting his beliefs to others’ perspectives.