Foss, LSU PhD Graduate, Awarded Education Law Association's Dissertation of the Year

Baton Rouge, LA - Gillian Foss, recent Higher Education Administration PhD graduate, was selected as the Beckham Dissertation of the Year Awardee from the Education Law Association. This award recognizes exemplary dissertations by doctoral students on topics related to education law.  

While at LSU, Foss served as the graduate assistant for assessment for LSU’s Residential Life Department and as a graduate research assistant in the School of Education. Foss credits both of these roles with helping her begin to recognize her love for studying law, finance, and policy in higher education and truly setting her up for success when she began her dissertation. On top of her work as a graduate assistant, Foss served as a writing coach at the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, volunteered as a University Hearing Panelist and Accountability Advisor for Student Advocacy and Accountability, and spent five weeks as an academic assistant for a study abroad program in Greece. 

Defending a dissertation is a very independent journey that requires a lot of discipline and confidence. Foss sees this award as a wonderful affirmation of the countless hours of hard work it took to get to this point. She expresses immense gratitude for LSU when she says, “I’m not sure I can even fully articulate how thankful I am to LSU! Navigating a doctoral program is challenging in itself, and navigating one while thousands of miles from home is even harder. I met lifelong friends and loved ones at LSU, had experiences that transcended international borders, and successfully wrote and defended a dissertation during a global pandemic. None of that could have been accomplished without the supportive community I had at LSU, and that includes the most incredible doctoral chair, Dr. Joy Blanchard, and the best committee members, Dr. Ashley Clayton, Dr. Erin Coyle, and Dr. Renee Edwards. Even now, I continually get to stretch my skills in teaching, service, and research as an adjunct instructor within LSU’s School of Education, and that has been very special.”

Foss currently serves as a Director of Academic Coaching and Editing for Heartful Editor where she supports students and faculty in their writing journeys and teaches ELRC 7605: Law in Higher Education for LSU’s Online Higher Education Administration master’s program.