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Beginning in 2014 ARNA presents a number of awards at the yearly conference to recognize outstanding service to the ARNA community. Currently we give awards in three categories:

    • Eduardo Flores Leadership Award
    • Promising Action Researcher Award
    • ARNA Community Development Award
    • ARNA Social Justice Award

 ARNA Recognizes the following people who have made significant contributions to the Action Research Community through their work.

Eduardo Flores Leadership Award

As one of the founders of ARNA, Eduardo Flores not only worked diligently to improve 

education in Mexico but was instrumental in building the initial structures of ARNA.  

Eduardo’s work to build an inclusive ARNA in both Spanish and English, as well his 

incredible support for the initial conference in San Francisco, mean that he had a 

significant impact on the future of ARNA despite being involved for only short time.  

This award acknowledges an individual who embodies Eduardo’s leadership.



Dr. Margaret Riel, USA

 Margaret has been active in ARNA leadership 

since the creation of the network. Beginning in the 

summer of 2012, she was one of the five “network initiators” 

who worked together to form an action research network 

for the Americas. Margaret immediately recruited new 

ARNA members and dove right into web development 

work. Within a very short period of time ARNA was 

able to launch a website and to use it as a platform to spread 

the word about the inaugural conference and to highlight the steps 

being taken to build a strong network. From the beginning
Margaret has served diligently and tirelessly 
and has mentored new members, helping them to
find meaningful involvement in ARNA. She has 
provided steady leadership for all four years of 
ARNA’s existence and has demonstrated repeatedly the qualities associated with the legacy of
Flores. Link to Margaret's Center for Collaborative Action Research and action research tutorial




Dr. Cathy Bruce, Canada

No one has been more actively engaged in the leadership 

of ARNA since its inception than ARNA co-initiator and 2015 

conference co-chair, Catherine Bruce.  Cathy serves as 

Associate Professor and Graduate Director of the Masters in 

Educational Studies program in the School of Education and 

Professional Learning at Trent University. In 2013, she was 

named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers 

by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. 

Cathy has more than 25 years of combined public school and university teaching experience and in addition 

to co-chairing this year’s ARNA conference and CARN Study Day, she co-chaired last year’s conference in 

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. We have been most fortunate indeed to see the reach of Cathy’s profound influence 

on the action research of local practitioners throughout this year’s Study Day and Conference.

Link to Cathy's action research.


Dr. Lonnie Rowell, USA


Lonnie is one of the initial members of the small group
which has led to the creation of ARNA and indeed to our being here
together this evening.  Those of this group who were part of that initial
group recognize the significant influence of Lonnie’s vision throughout
the establishment of this exciting and energizing organization.  Lonnie is
tireless in his efforts to grow the network, document the history and
progress of action research, and mentor those of us who aspire to keep up
to him.  Today Lonnie referred to the work of ARNA as “building mutual
respect and unleashing creativity.”  We know that we couldn’t have a
better leader in this endeavor. Link to Action Research in School Counseling
and  Social Publishers Foundation 

Promising Action Researcher Award

As indicated in the mission statement, ARNA unites college and university students and 
faculty conducting practitioner inquiry into teaching and learning with fellow action 
researchers in public schools, private schools, community settings and workplaces 
throughout the Americas. This award acknowledges an individual who has 
demonstrated a commitment to rigorous action research as well as valuing the 
importance of developing knowledge in situ.


Morgan Urbany, USA

An ARNA member since 2014, Morgan has distinguished herself over the past   
two years as a beginning action researcher. Her first action research was 
conducted as a graduate student-action researcher at the University of
San Diego during 2014-2015, where she chose to initiate a youth
participatory action research project during her fieldwork at an Alternative
School for at-risk youth. This past fall, Morgan presented her latest action
research at the CARN Conference in Braga, Portugal. During the 2015-2016
academic year, Morgan served as Team Leader for the ten person team of
graduate student volunteers who helped manage and continue the development
of the University of San Diego’s Action Research in School Counseling web site.
Morgan shows great promise both as an action researcher and as a leader in the 
            future development of action research in the Americas and beyond. Link to Action Research in School Counseling.


Cathy Griffin, Canada

The ARNA Award for Promising Young Researcher is presented to Cathy Griffin. Cathy 
is from the Bluewater District School Board in Ontario and has been working tirelessly 
with her colleagues to improve teaching and learning through action research 
colleagues. Since earning her Master of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction 
from Brock University in 2011, she has written papers and made presentations with jack 
Whitehead, Liz Campbell, and Jackie DeLong, among others. She is creator of the 
Bluewater Action Research Network, ten of whose members  presented their action 
research at the 2015 ARNA conference. Her keynote address to the Teacher Learning
and Leading Program provides more details about her work. 


Meredith Cohen, USA

  Meredith's action research study examined the impact of support provided by the ESL
  teacher upon mainstream teachers’ and monitored and post-monitored ESL
  students’ academic, cultural, social, and emotional experiences in the
  context of middle school.  In her research, she examined how to support
  the teachers in the main stream classrooms who didn’t necessarily
  believe that these student required support because they had enrolled in
  the main stream.  This is the so what – it is action research that is
  clearly making a real difference in the lives of ELL students  and is
  empowering other practitioners to be more reflective in their own
  practice and of their own beliefs to change their practice.  Meredith
  elected to undertake the action research to improve the lives of underserved students.
Meredith will be presenting her work in a session called Letters to Param: Perceptions Versus realities Between Monitored &
Post-Monitored ELLs and Their teachers in the Mainstreamed Secondary Classroom. Meredith's  action research study may be

   Camillo Manchola, Colombia

     Camilo Manchola has been an extremely valuable and 
     active member of the Transition Coordinating Group. In this 
     role, he helped chart the second year development of ARNA.
     He as embraced this leadership role in the action research 
     community and provided insightful dedication to building the ARNA 
     community in South America. When he moved to Brazil to pursue 
     his doctorate, he continued his service to ARNA as a valued
     member of the the Web and Tech Development Team.   He 
     continues to make connections for ARNA in Columbia, Brazil and 
     throughout South America. He has been working closely with 
    ARNA to develop the plans and contacts for ARNA 2017 
    Conference in Columbia on the 40th Anniversary of the first 
World Symposium of Action Research convened in 1977. 

ARNA Community Development Award

The organization and execution of the annual conference depends upon the ability of 
leaders to engage and motivate the community and to build strong connections with 
those knowledgeable others.  These efforts require significant investment of both time 
and energy, as well as a long lasting enthusiasm for ARNA and the recipient of this 
award is such an individual.


John Peters

ARNA has clearly benefited from John’s service as well as his spirit, 
and for this we are so pleased to recognize him. John was a
founding member of ARNA and indicated early on that he was
available to, as he often put it, “help out when needed.” ARNA
leaders called on this availability at several key moments in the
network’s early development. Of course, John’s most visible
contribution to ARNA community development is this very
conference, which we all are attending now. He agreed to chair
the conference during a time when he was phasing out of his
formal employment at the University of Tennessee. It would
have been easy for him to say “thanks, but not thanks” to the invitation to chair an ARNA
conference. But he didn’t, and he proceeded to work carefully and thoroughly in assembling
what has become a milestone conference for ARNA: the most sponsors; a link with one of the
leading social justice centers in the hemisphere; the introduction of new conference features
while also respecting traditions established by previous conferences



ARNA Proceedings Editorial Team, USA and Canada

ANRA is a knowledge mobilization organization comprised entirely of volunteers 
committed to ARNA’s mission and vision. The ARNA Community Development Award 
goes to the members of the 2014 Proceedings Team, led most ably by Elena Polush 
from Ball State University, and comprised of Trent University’s Tara Flynn, West 
Chester University of Pennsylvania’s Heather Leaman, Ball State University’s Jose 
Martinez, and Moravian College’s Jamie Hill, published the first proceedings in record 
time and to universal acclaim. As the editors say in their preface to the inaugural issue, 
which is accessible from the ARNA home page. The proceedings represent authors 
who are the members of the action research global community. They live and work in 
Australia, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, Portugal, the United 
Kingdom, and the United States. While being a diverse group of scholars and 
practitioners with different backgrounds and from various fields of practice and 
research, they share passion for action research, social justice, change, transformation, 
education, environment, livelihood and sustainability of communities, and collaboration, 
among other key commitments and aspirations. Their work is guided by engagement, 
reflections, actions, and critical dispositions. This evening we honor Elena and her team 
for their most excellent first publication. Link to the ARNA Proceedings.


Rachel Sherman, USA

The organization and execution of the annual conference depends upon the
ability of leaders to wrestling up the community and building strong
connections with those knowledgeable others.
Rachel demonstrated significant and sustained commitment to the 2014 ARNA
conference from the start.  She attended the 2013 ARNA conference in San
Francisco, where she made many connections with both presenters and
attendees.  These connections formed the foundation of her work over the
past year, during which time she has strengthened and expanded existing
networks, as well as created new  networks.  Many of you have benefitted
from Rachel’s work, perhaps without even knowing it, and many of you met her at the registration table.
Rachel exemplifies the type of dedicated and determined individual whose work strengthens ARNA’s ability to
expand the action research community. Rachel's action research story was captured at the 2013 conference.
Her action research thesis on project-based learning is available.

ARNA Social Justice Award

ARNA members are committed to taking action locally, regionally, nationally, and 
internationally to promote action research that is conducted with a commitment to 
honesty, integrity, inclusiveness, multi-vocality, engagement, and achievement within 
sustainable democratic societies.  The realization of such a commitment requires 
individuals, such as the recipient of this award, determined to build relationships that are 
respectful of cultural and linguistic diversity.


Highlander Research and Education Center

The Highlander Center serves as a catalyst for grassroots organizing
and movement building in Appalachia and the South. Highlander works
with people fighting for justice, equality and sustainability, supporting
their efforts to take collective action to shape their own destiny.
Through popular education, participatory research, and cultural work,
Highlander helps to create spaces where people gain knowledge,
hope and courage, expanding their ideas of what is possible.
Highlander develops leadership and helps to create and support
strong, democratic organizations that work for justice, equality and
sustainability within communities and that join with others to build
broad movements for social, economic and restorative environmental change.


Dr. Candace Kaye, USA

The recipient of this year’s Social Justice Award epitomizes ARNA’s commitment to the 
development of worldwide efforts in support of teacher action research. Under the most 
able leadership of New Mexico State University’s Dr. Candace Kaye, ARNA has signed 
its first official memorandum of understanding with an international higher education 
institution, the Mongolian National University of Education, which is also an ARNA 
conference and institutional sponsor. Candace has lead and will continue to lead efforts 
to engage our Mongolian colleagues in collaborative research with a specific focus on 
action research projects, lectures, symposia, seminars, and workshops, while 
supporting the exchange of action research, practitioner research, and participatory 
research information and materials. Candace has most ably explored the development
of new distance technology support system for action research through the promotion of  mutually beneficial endeavors.
More information about Dr. Kaye's work is available at


Dr. Miguel Angel Lopez Montoya, Mexico

We begin by  acknowledging the considerable support Miguel
provided throughout the process of putting out the call for proposals
through to accepting them and right up to putting the final touches on the
program and abstract documents.  He provided excellent feedback on the
many stages of the process, quickly responded to translation requests, and
communicated across the various networks as we moved toward this
conference.  Within his work at Universidad Autonoma de Baja California,
he has demonstrated a commitment to promoting and conducting action
research with the highest of standards.  We are pleased to present Miguel
with this acknowledgement of his leadership.