PULLMAN – Xyanthe Neider, a doctoral student in the WSU College of Education, will receive the 2008 Critical Issues in Curriculum and Cultural Studies Graduate Student Award from the American Education Research Association (AERA).

The award is given to a graduate student who best demonstrates a consistent and promising commitment to the critical study of curriculum and curriculum scholarship informed by cultural studies. It will be presented on March 24 at AERA’s annual meeting in New York City.

The award stems from her paper titled “Higher Education Curriculum as Western Colonial Project.” In it, she discusses cultural imperialism, essentialism, historical sanitization, and “whitening,” said Assistant Professor Pauline Sameshima.

“Xyan’s paper demonstrated her ability to draw connections between authors, ideas, disparate discourses, and personal experiences,” Sameshima said. “Xyan’s academic and life experiences provide a broad background and contextual framework for her research. Her work reflects her insatiable appetite for learning, her excitement in discovery, and ability to inspire.”

Sameshima taught the curriculum course in which the paper was written. She noted that her students contributed extensively to each others’ thinking and writing through discussion and peer review. “It is a collective honor for Xyan’s work to be recognized,” she said.

Neider, Sameshima and doctoral student Joan Oviawe will present the paper on March 1 at the Globalization, Diversity, and Education Conference in Spokane and on March 22 at the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies meeting in New York.

Neider is working on a doctoral degree in higher education administration. Her research interests include how transnational identities are shaped within the U.S. college campus environment, student cognitive development and identity transition and adherence.

She is a teaching assistant, president of the Education Graduate Association and advisor to Phi Eta Sigma honor society. She received her associate degree from Skagit Valley Community College and has received a dual bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and sociology, and a Master of Arts in higher education administration from WSU.