April 10, 2020

SUNY Empire State College Faculty Awarded 2020 Dr. Nuala McGann Drescher Diversity and Inclusion Leave Program Funding for Research on Independent Learners

Assistant Professor Lynette Nickleberry Selected to Continue Research into the Role of Self-Regulation in Guided Independent Studies


(FORT DRUM, NY – April 10, 2020) SUNY Empire State College today announced Lynette Nickleberry, assistant professor in the School of Human Services, has been awarded funding through the 2020 Dr. Nuala McGann Drescher Diversity and Inclusion Leave Program to continue her research into the habits and behaviors of independent learners.

The Drescher Award is a joint award of up to $12,000 with the State of New York and the United University Professions (UUP) Joint Labor-Management Diversity and Inclusion Committee that aims to advance the work of SUNY faculty from underrepresented groups.

Nickleberry’s research, “Self-regulated Learning in Guided Independent Studies,” explores the role of self-regulation in academic performance and success for SUNY Empire State College independent study students. Nickleberry has been working on this since 2017, and the Drescher Award will allow her to spend the fall semester finalizing her research while on full-time leave from SUNY Empire.

“Now, more than ever, we need to understand and put into practice the keys to successful independent study and work,” said SUNY Empire State College President Jim Malatras. “Dr. Nickleberry’s research in this area will lead to better tools and support for our students, as well as students across the state, nation, and world. This work was important when she began it in 2017 and only grows more relevant by the day.”

“The research on self-regulated learning that Dr. Nickleberry is engaged in is expected to provide insights on learning that will lead to development of faculty and student resources to improve student success and increase retention,” said SUNY Empire State College Provost Meg Benke. “Her research will provide benefits not only to SUNY Empire State College students, but to students well beyond this institution. We are delighted that she was chosen for this award and proud that she brings recognition to her scholarship and to SUNY Empire.”

“I am truly honored to be the recipient of this award,” said Nickleberry. “This research has taken on a life of its own as I have come to realize that many of my colleagues are deeply curious about the factors that contribute to the success of their independent study students. As pioneers in independent study, I think SUNY Empire State College is strategically positioned to advance this valuable scholarship and to think critically about perfecting this specific learning modality. I am more than happy to contribute to this body of work.”

Nickleberry holds a B.A. in Psychology from Stephens College in Missouri, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri. Her research primarily adheres to an intersectionality perspective, which centralizes race, class, sexuality, and other identities in the construction and production of family, bodily, racial, and gender ideologies.

About the Drescher Award

The Dr. Nuala McGann Drescher Diversity and Inclusion Leave Program enhances employment opportunities for employees who are preparing for continuing appointment (academic employees) or permanent appointment (professional employees). Established under the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Committee, this program seeks to promote diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity in SUNY’s workforce. Preference is given to employees who demonstrate they are under-represented in their department, unit, program, or school on the basis of their protected class status, including/but not limited to, age, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, military or veteran status, disability, gender expression, and gender identity.

In addition, this program seeks to promote diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity for specific employees in a department, unit, program, or school if the employee and the campus can demonstrate that the employee is underrepresented in a specific department, unit, program, or school.

About SUNY Empire State College

SUNY Empire State College educates students at any stage of life with a personalized learning experience delivered online, in person, or a blend of both. Since 1971, SUNY Empire has empowered students to earn an accredited degree around the demands of a busy lifestyle to advance their personal and professional goals. With world-class faculty, more than 1,300 dedicated mentors to help students tailor their degree programs, and cutting-edge distance learning technology, SUNY Empire delivers a trusted and flexible online college experience grounded in more than 30 New York State locations and seven international sites where students can learn and collaborate in person. Our nearly 50 years as a leader in awarding credit for prior learning and life experience helps students earn a degree faster and at lower cost. To learn more, visit www.esc.edu and follow @SUNYEmpire.