IRIS Area and International Studies Awards: Spotlight on Cynthia Baeza, Doctoral Candidate in Curriculum & Instruction (School of Education)

“Teaching Science Across Languages: Bridging Borders Through Bilingual Education”

Cynthia T. Baeza, a passionate doctoral candidate from the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, embarked on a remarkable journey in 2023, fueled by her dedication to exploring the intricate intersection of bilingual and science education, with particular focus on issues of race, language, and inclusion.

Cynthia’s research transcended the confines of her university campus. She delved into the complexities of bilingual classroom settings, seeking to unravel the socio-historical factors of race and language that still influence equity and inclusion in education. Her research was aided and supported by the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education at the UW-Madison.

She recognized that her research held value not only for her local community but also for an international audience that hungered for innovative insights into the world of education.

As Cynthia transitioned from a student to a doctoral candidate, her focus evolved. She understood the importance of sharing her research, building a network and learning from fellow scholars. Cynthia’s determination led her to the path of national and international conferences, a tradition she had upheld for three years.

In 2023, Cynthia’s research had earned her a coveted spot at the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) international conference in Cappadocia, Turkey. The ESERA conference was more than a stage to present research; it was a gateway to the world. Here, Cynthia engaged with colleagues and experts who shared her passion for science education. Their interactions transcended borders and led to exciting opportunities. Her networking skills opened doors she never imagined. The University of Malmö in Sweden invited her as a virtual guest speaker in the coming fall, promising more international collaboration.

Moreover, Cynthia had the chance to present a co-authored paper at the conference. The experience allowed her to reach a global audience with her research and gain invaluable feedback on her work on bilingual and science education.

With the support of the IRIS Award, the resonance of her research had extended beyond the horizon, uniting scholars from different corners of the world. Now poised to continue her work, and seeking further opportunities to support her growth as a researcher and future scholar, Cynthia Baeza has become an ambassador of knowledge, bridging borders through her research and paving the way for a brighter future in the field of education, for scholars and students alike.

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