• Gabriela T. Richard

Advisee successfully defends her dissertation

Updated: Mar 30, 2019

It is always heartwarming to see your advisees succeed in meeting the goals they have set for themselves. Today, my doctoral advisee Rebecca Bayeck successfully defended her dissertation entitled "EXPLORING THE AFRICAN SONGO GAME AND HOW GAMEPLAY ENHANCES MULTIPLE LITERACIES AMONG ADULT PLAYERS IN CAMEROON AND THE UNITED STATES." Her comparative ethnographic case study using microethnographic techniques explored how players in Central Africa and the United States play one of the oldest recorded analog games in history, Songo (a Mancala-related game). She took on an ambitious research project, which both underscored the need for more international (and particularly African centered) research on games and play, and the need for more investigation of learning-relevant practices in analog game play.


I was honored to co-chair her committee with Nicole Webster, an Associate Professor from the Comparative and International Education program, where she is receiving a dual title degree. (The CIED "dual-degree enables students from different graduate programs to learn the perspectives, techniques, and methodologies of comparative and international education, while maintaining a close association with their program areas of application." The Learning, Design and Technology program, where I am an assistant professor, is her primary degree program). Rebecca put together a great committee, which included content area and methodology specialists, Ty Hollett, fellow Assistant Professor in LDT, and Sinfree Makoni, Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics and African Studies.


She will have much to write about for years to come, as the study explored culture, context and learning from multiple dimensions with an incredible diverse group of Cameroonian and New York players. Also apparent was the gendered dynamics of play. I am so proud of her as she revises her final draft for submission, and heads on to postdoctoral achievements, of which I am sure there will be many!


Rebecca (center) successfully defends her dissertation. Her committee is pictured around her.


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