Education faculty member and alumna present on impactful undergrad research at an international conference

Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Brittany Sylvain and Judy Sharkey on Dublin street

Brittany Sylvain '20 '21G and Judy Sharkey, professor of education, on a break from the Collaborative Action Research Network conference in Dublin, Ireland.

When Brittany Sylvain ‘20 ‘21G embarked on her capstone project for the educational studies dual major, she probably didn’t foresee that she’d be presenting that research at an international conference. But earlier this semester, she did just that.

Sylvain, who attended UNH under the last name Missert, is a fifth grade teacher at Barnstead Elementary in Barnstead, NH. She recently traveled to Dublin, Ireland, with Judy Sharkey, UNH professor of education, to co-present at the Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN) conference, which drew participants from across Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. CARN supports education research aimed at improving teaching and learning through an iterative process that includes student voices.

Back in 2020, when Sylvain was a senior, her capstone project was a group effort that studied the experiences of undergraduates in the Education Department as they prepared to be future educators. Elements of their research were then used to develop a new four-year teaching certification program in the Department, which is now up and running. The CARN presentation shared the effect that undergraduate research had at UNH.

“This is a great example of student research that led to significant student-voice input in the curriculum,” says Sharkey. “It also represents the ways that educational studies students remain part of our community even after graduation.”

“I’m so thankful for the short but great weekend in Dublin presenting at CARN 2022,” says Sylvain. “We were able to listen to educators and researchers from many different countries, and it was really cool to make those global connections and hear their perspectives. This was an amazing opportunity as a UNH alum, and I’m so thankful for all the strong mentors who continue to inspire me even after graduation.”