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A graduate is distinguished…

Helen Mulhern Halasz, a Ph.D. student in the College of Education's Department of Educational Leadership & Policies, is recognized as a 2013 Distinguished Graduate Scholar!
Dr. Mulhern Halasz was nominated by her advisor Dr. Jennifer L. Bloom and ultimately selected to receive this award by a USC panel of senior faculty, the Graduate School, and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Distinguished Graduate Scholars are students who have demonstrated research and scholarly excellence by successfully obtaining research fellowships or awards, presenting at national conferences, or publishing papers or book chapters. Mulhern Halasz easily met all of these requirements.

Mulhern Halasz has actively explored educational opportunities to advance her knowledge of academic advising through research, publications, and presentations. As a research project assistant, Halasz coded qualitative responses for nearly 900 surveys involving assessment of first-year programs for the National Resource Center on The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. She also conducted two research projects for Dr. M. Audrey Korsgaard at the Moore School of Business – an independent study in which she wrote an empirical paper on the job satisfaction-job performance relationship and occupational values; the other involved coding qualitative responses from surveys concerning critical incident and forgiveness experiences.

Her most prestigious opportunity, however, was being awarded a $3,250 research grant from the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) to conduct a qualitative dissertation study. Mulhern Halasz interviewed 26 undergraduate students within a strong theoretical framework of Schlossberg's 4 S's (situation, self, support, and strategies). "Helen's research results," Dr. Bloom asserts, "will be helpful to retention committees, academic advising administrators, and other senior institutional leaders."

Among Mulhern Halasz's publications are co-authoring Write on Through to the Ph.D.: Using Writing Groups to Facilitate Doctoral Degree Progress with EDLP Associate Professor Michelle A. Maher and EDLP Ph.D. alumna Amber C. Fallucca was published in the 2012 Studies in Continuing Education. The article Making Change Work: Empowering Students in the Major Change Process with Dawn Sizemore Traynor and EDLP Professor Jennifer L. Bloom was published in the 2011 on-line academic advising journal The Mentor.

In 2010, Mulhern Halasz was a co-presenter with EDLP alumna Elizabeth M. White-Hurst at the Southeast Case Research Association Conference for a case study on An Academic Adviser's Professional Plight. At the May 2011 NACADA Regional Conference, she was the lead presenter for You Have a Staff Vacancy: Now What? In December 2012, Mulhern Halasz presented her dissertation research at the national NACADA conference in the program Major Adjustment: Students' Transition Experiences Leaving Selective Undergraduate Degree Programs. She is now working as the Ph.D. Program Coordinator at the USC College of Nursing.

Accompanied by her Dissertation Committee Co-Chairs Drs. Jennifer L. Bloom and Christian Anderson, Helen Mulhern Halasz will attend an awards luncheon at the McCutcheon House on Friday, March 29th where she and other Distinguished Graduate Scholars will be honored.

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