December 5 , 2006
For immediate release
Ph.D. candidate April Regester of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School awarded prestigious Siff Fellowship
April Regester, a fourth year doctoral student at the Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara, has been awarded a Philip & Aida Siff Educational Foundation Fellowship for the 2006-2007 academic year. In the letter announcing the $7500 award, the Foundation wrote, “You are to be commended for your academic achievements to date and your obvious dedication to the achievement of a higher education. We trust that the Fellowship awarded will allow you to pursue your graduate education with additional enthusiasm.”
The Siff Foundation, based in Santa Barbara, supports doctoral students researching education of the developmentally disabled. April Regester – a student in the Gevirtz School’s Special Education, Disabilities, and Developmental Risk program with Dr. George Singer as her advisor – is working on a long term study on interventions that took place in the Santa Barbara area high schools in the early 1990s. These interventions promoted friendship development between students with and without developmental disabilities. Her study will contain interview data from the people who developed some of the interventions in Sacramento, administrators who disseminated the information, general and special educators who facilitated the programs, and the students with and without disabilities who were participants. The positive impact of these interventions on the people involved and how their friendships have stayed intact and developed into adulthood will be discussed in detail.
April Regester has a BA in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara and an Education Specialist Credential (ESC). She has worked the past three years with the ESC coordinator, Joanne Singer, to help supervise the current credential students in their student teacher placements. Regester also works with the Teacher Education Program as a teacher’s assistant in the Language Arts course required for the multiple subject credential students and the ESC students. She also teaches two graduate level courses, Inclusion and Stakeholders in Special Education.
“This award will allow me to continue my graduate education with the support of a foundation that values the importance of friendship development for young people with developmental disabilities,” Regester says. “I have been fortunate to be in a program and community that has fostered my interests in this field and allowed me to grow as a graduate student and educator. I have been financially independent since the age of 17, and without the support of my colleagues, financial aid, family and the Siff Foundation I would not have been able to continue with my dreams.”
[April Regester is available for interviews; to arrange an interview, contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]