COLLEGE PARK, MD (August, 2017) – Alexander D’Esterre, a doctoral student in the University of Maryland College of Education, received the William C. Graham and William J. Graham Memorial Scholarship in Education. The COE scholarship is awarded based on academic performance, financial need, leadership and contributions to the field of education, and commitment to promoting a diverse, multicultural community.
D’Esterre is entering his third year in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology’s developmental psychology PhD program. His dissertation research focuses on moral development, theory of mind, and “intergroup cognition,” which is the way children think about members of their own and other groups. Theory of mind, D’Esterre explains, is an understanding that the mental state of another, such as their knowledge, beliefs, and intentions, may differ from your own.
“What I find interesting about this research is that it provides insight into the mechanisms underlying the formation of prejudice and biases, by investigating the ways children show preferences for their own groups,” D’Esterre said.
His faculty advisor is HDQM Professor Melanie A. Killen.
“I appreciate the support of this scholarship because this funding will enable me to present my findings at a major conference which I otherwise may not have been able to attend,” D’Esterre added.
This scholarship fund was established in honor of Dr. William J. Graham (’51), a longtime supporter of the university, and William C. Graham (’27), who was a teacher and public school principal.