Ph.D. in Education, 2014
School of Education
February 1, 2011
“My first year in the doctoral program was a wonderful experience.”
Ana Auger is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Education with a specialization in Educational Policy and Social Context. Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Ana received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. While completing her undergraduate degree, she volunteered at a low-income school in Austin, assisting with nutritional classes for parents and children. In addition to her work during the academic year, Ana worked at a Girl Scout camp in Northern Wisconsin during the summer months. She served as the program and leadership director for three summers. Both of these positions aided in sparking her interest in child development and shaping her research career.
During her time at UT Austin, Ana worked with professors and graduate students on research surrounding low-income youth and their participation in out-of-school activities. For her senior thesis she examined data from the New Hope Child and Family Study, looking at the association between academic achievement and sports participation. Working on this thesis spurred her interest in how current policies and programs can boost the academic achievement of low-income children. Ana also had the opportunity to work closely with a professor in the School Psychology Department, where she honed her research skills and became familiar with large, national datasets. Due to the mentoring Ana received from professors at UT, the opportunity to work closely with graduate students, and her passion for working with children and learning about their development, she was highly motivated to continue her education and research career.
Ana’s first year in the doctoral program in the Education Department was a wonderful learning experience. She worked with Drs. Greg Duncan and Stephanie Reich, and graduate student Emily Penner in analyzing Dr. Reich’s Baby Book data. For her first year poster, Ana examined the effects of baby books on maternal reading beliefs and practices. She found that receiving free baby books had a significant effect on maternal reading beliefs when the child was 12 months of age.
Ana is involved with numerous research projects in the Education Department. Currently she is a Graduate Student Researcher for Dr. Margaret Burchinal. As a GSR, she assists with Dr. Burchinal’s projects surrounding early childhood care and childcare quality. Ana is working with Dr. Burchinal on a paper examining the predictive effects of cognitive stimulation in the home and childcare quality in preschool on academic achievement in later grades. She also is involved in research examining pre-service teachers noticing of student learning with Dr. Beth van Es and graduate student Mary Cashen.
Recently, Ana was awarded a Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Student Travel Award to attend the 2011 SRCD Biennial Meeting in Montreal, Canada, where she will be presenting her research. In April, she will be presenting at the Annual AERA conference in New Orleans with Dr. van Es and fellow graduate student researcher Mary Cashen.