W&M Student Researchers

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Kelly Govain Leffel

Kelly is a doctoral student in the Curriculum and Learning Design program at William & Mary. She began her career as a high school history teacher and spent 12 years conducting professional development workshops at Colonial Williamsburg before coming to William & Mary. She holds a Masters in Social Studies Education from Rutgers University. Kelly continues her passion for supporting teachers through professional development and has a particular interest in the advantages of blended learning environments and project-based learning.

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Aiesha Lee

Aiesha is a doctoral student in the Counselor Education and Supervision program at William & Mary. Prior to beginning her work at William & Mary, Aiesha obtained her masters in Counselor Education from The College of New Jersey and served as an Outpatient Therapist and Case Manager in Trenton, NJ. Aiesha continues to be passionate about social justice issues and serving marginalized populations. As an aspiring leader in the field of counselor education and supervision, Aiesha intends to continue to bring awareness to multicultural considerations within the practice and pedagogy of counseling.

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Eleah Ruffin

Eleah is a senior obtaining my Bachelor of Arts in Psychological Sciences. Her hometown is Roanoke, VA, where she grew up her entire life. She is passionate about mental health and hopes to one day pursue a career goal in the industry in order to make a difference and help those in need. In her spare time, she enjoys journaling, calligraphy and watching cartoons

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Patrick Hardner

Patrick is a Biology student with hopes of pursuing a career in secondary science education. He is involved in research in William and Mary’s biology department with Dr. Paul Heideman, with which he is researching the effectiveness of “minute sketches” and students’ abilities to store information more efficiently. He hopes to transfer what he learns as an undergraduate researcher into a high school biology classroom environment.

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Alexandra Harris

Alexandra is a rising Junior majoring in Government and minoring in Education from Chesapeake VA. She serves as the Event Coordinator for the Students of Hip-Hop Legacy club (SoHHL) and the event coordinator for Africana House. She also has served as a Multicultural Recruitment Intern in Admissions and has conducted research through the WMSURE program in the Education and Government departments. Alexandra has worked with the Center for Student Diversity as a PLUS Counselor for two years and plans to continue working with organizations on campus to cultivate a welcoming campus community for students of all backgrounds. After undergrad, Alexandra hopes to attend graduate school to receive her master’s degree and eventually hopes to work with students and educators in some capacity.

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Samantha Boateng

Samantha is a senior at the College, double majoring in English and History. On campus she is involved with the African Cultural Society and Afrodite Dance team. Additionally, in 2016, Samantha founded a nonprofit organization, Read 2 Lead, which seeks to empower the youth by providing libraries to communities in need. So far, Read 2 Lead has opened 2 libraries in Ghana and is currently working on its 3rd library. Samantha hopes to work in International Education Policy in the future and sees research with this team as an exciting new opportunity!

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Aidan Gossett

Aidan is a sophomore government major and global education minor at the College. He is interested in how discrimination and inequity play such a big role in our education systems at a local, state, and federal level; an interest that helped shape my major and minor decision. In his free time, he is a peer advisor in the Conduct and Honor Advisor Program (CHAPs), a member of ROCKET magazine, and works at the coffee shop in our campus library.

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Daniel Villegas

Daniel is a rising senior majoring in Biology and minoring in Judaic Studies. He also works in a biochemistry lab with Professor Hinton where he studies pseudophosphatases to develop a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases. Daniel also serves as the Vice President of his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta, and has a passion for helping others and spends many hours volunteering at a local hospital. In his spare time, Daniel loves to travel, cook, and watch a good movie. 

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Emma Arents

Emma received both her B.S. in biology and her M.A.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from William & Mary. Her honors research focused on engaging high school students in the biology classroom through drawing to learn and “minute sketches”. She will be emphasizing this in her classroom this fall as she begins her first year teaching at Henrico High School in Richmond, Virginia