Jay Ledbetter from UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School has received a 2012 Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. Ledbetter is one of 60 graduate students to win this prestigious national award administered by the National Research Council (NRC) on behalf of the Ford Foundation. The awards are made to individuals who, in the judgment of the review panels, have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. The award provides for three years of a $20,000 annual stipend.
Ledbetter is a graduate student in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology. Working with Dr. Tania Israel, Ledbetter will investigate the way ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, and socio-economic factors affect a person’s lived experiences and psychological well-being. This fellowship will allow Ledbetter to focus on research that strives to provide a voice for marginalized populations, promote social change, and improve intergroup interactions through community-based research. Ledbetter’s goal is to teach and encourage students and community members to explore their own unique identities while learning to value diversity, thereby creating positive social change.