LSU Education Doctoral Students Honored by International Education Society

04/10/2013 04:02 PM

BATON ROUGE – Leah Katherine Saal and Deanna Kay Rice, doctorate students in the LSU School of Education, were recently honored by the Comparative International Education Society, or CIES, at its annual conference on March 13, in New Orleans.

Saal and Rice’s paper “Mon Amie, I mean, Mi Amiga”: Two Louisiana educational researchers in Chile,” was selected for a highlighted session at the conference by the Latin American Special Interest Group, or LASIG. The duo later learned that they had also won a Student Travel Award.

CIES is a scholarly association dedicated to increasing the understanding of educational issues, trends and policies through comparative, cross-cultural and international perspectives. Its nearly 2,500 individual members – researchers, analysts, practitioners and students – use different conceptual frameworks to explore topics related to education.

“The Latin America Special Interest Group serves as a conduit to expand the conversations about, around and from Latin America about education broadly understood,” said Daniel Friedrich, assistant professor of curriculum at the Teachers College of Columbia University and co-chair of the LASIG. “The highlighted sessions at the CIES annual conference present the most highly reviewed papers in the SIG, representing some of the most thought-provoking and interesting research being currently conducted on the region.”

Saal and Rice received this recognition as a result of their research in Chile in summer 2012. While in Chile, Rice and Saal discovered a number of striking similarities between the educational systems in Chile and Louisiana, some of which include access to education and educational resources.

“Our own colonial past, and, therefore, educational system are so similar to Chile’s  – there are many local implications for educators as well as policy makers,” Saal explained.

“It opened our horizons beyond what we could have imagined and fostered a world view of what we do as educators,” Rice said.

“The Teaching in Chile program helps to interpret and make sense of how we see the world and how we understand our relationships as people with those outside of the United States.  Ms. Saal and Ms. Rice, as graduate assistants on the trip, were not only able to participate in the experience themselves, but help mediate and support their younger peers, a truly rich experience,” said LSU Assistant Professor Kenneth Fasching-Varner, who coordinates the Teaching in Chile program.

The School of Education is one of six schools realigned to form the new LSU College of Human Sciences & Education, joining the School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Social Work and the University Laboratory School.  For more information on the School of Education, visit

For more information on the Comparative and International Education Society, visit

For more information on the School of Education, visit

For more information on the College of Human Sciences & Education, visit

Billy  Gomila 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013