AHRD Student Writes Award Winning Thesis

College of Education

AHRD Student Writes Award Winning ThesisIn recognition of her outstanding efforts with her thesis, “The Effects of Cross-Cultural Differences on Team Performance within an Education System,” Sevinj Iskandarova ('16) has been awarded The Graduate School's 2016 Outstanding Thesis/Project Award. This award recognizes superior scholarship, research, and writing in a master’s thesis project. Students must be nominated by their thesis/project advisor and endorsed by their Graduate Program Director or Academic Unit Head. Each graduate program may nominate only one thesis/project for consideration for this award. Theses/projects are evaluated on the basis of clarity of style and presentation, scholarship, methodology, and contributions to the field or discipline. Awards are given in two areas of study: Education, Social Sciences and Humanities, and STEM, Health, and Behavioral Studies; Iskandarova has received the award for the Education, Social Sciences, and Humanities area of study.

Iskandarova gave us a look into the development of her award winning thesis:

If you could sum up your project in a few sentences, what would they be?

The purpose of this study was to determine and measure the effect of cross-cultural differences on team performance, highlight advantages and disadvantages of those cross-cultural differences within the team, and apply the knowledge learned from the study to enhance team performance within an educational setting. By referencing these findings, educational institutions may improve organizational culture and provide a vision for increasing multicultural team performance. By highlighting the benefits and challenges of cross-cultural differences, educational administrators gain greater knowledge in understanding and promoting more productive team performance.

What was your motivation for your project?

I wanted to get a better understanding of the life of an international faculty member at JMU. One day I too would like to be a professor. I was particularly motivated by working with my advisor and the professors in Learning Technology and Leadership Education (LTLE). It was such an honor working closely with them. In my country the opportunity to collaborate with faculty members is a great honor.  This opportunity was such a motivating factor that I just could not let it pass me by. 

I am so honored to receive this award. I am also honored to be part of the College of Education and the Graduate School here at JMU.  I have learned so much during my study and time here, and I know that I am well prepared as I begin plans for my doctoral studies.

Can you give a brief explanation of what efforts went into your project/thesis?

Mapping out a plan that would be doable within the timeframe that I had was a challenge because I wanted to create something meaningful and useful to the people who invested in me and to those who are in positions to make a difference in the lives of faculty from all backgrounds. My plan is to continue this line of research into the next chapter of my education.

Is there anything else additional you would like to say about your thesis?

I would like express my appreciation for individuals who without their help and support I would not have been able to complete this work. First and foremost, I would like to thank my advisor, Professor Oris Griffin McCoy, who has put a great deal of her time and effort into the guidance of this work. Dr. Griffin supported me academically and guided me as her daughter. Her office was always opened to help me solve any issues I uncounted during the program. Next, I would like to convey my sincere thanks to Dr. Diane Wilcox for her support. From my first visit to James Madison University, Dr. Wilcox believed in, and supported me in reaching this goal. Her classes were a mix of challenge and joy for students who wanted to learn about instructional design and development. Dr. Jane Thall, a great inspirational teacher and leader provided me with the chance to glow and shine in the field, and I will not forget her continuous encouragement during every step of my academic career. A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Amy Thelk, my committee member and research consultant, for her expertise and continuous support of my research. Her valuable suggestions led to a greatly improved thesis. Dr. Michael Stoloff, thank you so much as it was an honor working with you on my research. All other LTLE faculty members: Thank you for being consistently supportive of my academic years at James Madison University! Mrs. Sandra Gilchrist: Thank you, not only for being my supervisor but also for the moral support given to me every single day at James Madison University. I cannot forget to thank Kristen Shrewsbury, one of the best members of the writing center at James Madison University. Without Kristen, my work would not have been well-written. Finally, I would like to thank the professors who I interviewed for my research at James Madison University, for their time, patience and support.

Sevinj Iskandarova ('16) will complete her Master's in Adult Education/Human Resource Development: Instructional Technology this May. She will be recognized for her Outstanding Thesis Award at The Graduate School Awards Reception on Sunday, April 17th

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Published: Monday, April 11, 2016

Last Updated: Thursday, January 4, 2018

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