Pitt alum Eben B. Witherspoon (EDUC '19G), currently a researcher in education and instruction at the prestigious American Institutes for Research (AIR), received the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) 2021 Outstanding Doctoral Research Award. Witherspoon completed his PhD in the School of Education's Learning Sciences and Policy Program in 2019. Witherspoon was also a postdoctoral researcher at the Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) working under the mentorship of professor of psychology Christian Schunn.
NARST is a global organization dedicated to improving science teaching and learning through research. The Outstanding Doctoral Research Award was established in 1992 and is given annually for the doctoral dissertation judged to have the greatest merit and significance in the field of science education.
Witherspoon’s dissertation, “Localizing and Understanding Mechanisms of Gender Differences Within Pathways Towards And Away From Science Degrees,” was also named the Outstanding Alumni Dissertation by the Pitt School of Education in 2020.
Witherspoon joins two other Pitt doctoral candidates and LRDC scholars as recipients of the NARST Outstanding Doctoral Research Award. In 2017, Anita Schuchardt was a NARST awardee. In 2011, Catherine Eberbach was granted the NARST award.