BCPS supervisor of research wins award for paper on program at Overlea High School

Maria Y. Finger-ElamThe Northeastern Educational Research Association has presented its 2017 Lorne H. Woollatt Distinguished Paper Award to Maria Y. Finger-Elam, Ph.D., supervisor of research for Baltimore County Public Schools.

As a result, Finger-Elam will present her paper at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. The meeting will be held in New York City from April 13 to 17, 2018. Over 17,000 education researchers are expected to attend. More than 2,800 sessions will be offered.

The Lorne H. Woollatt Distinguished Paper Award is awarded annually. Finger-Elam’s paper earned this recognition because it received the highest overall rating of eligible submissions, based on its relevance, theoretical backing, clarity, design, analytical procedures, and presentation of results and conclusion. Finger-Elam’s award-winning paper evaluated a pilot reading intervention program at Overlea High School.

As supervisor of research for BCPS, Finger-Elam is involved in the full life cycle of both applied research and program evaluation within the school system. She works with the research team to design, conduct, and produce research/evaluation reports on BCPS programs and initiatives. As the primary point of contact for those interested in conducting research in the system, she participates on a multidisciplinary team that reviews research proposals and monitors all research activities in BCPS. She also oversees surveys conducted within the system including the system’s annual stakeholder survey, which typically garners more than 75,000 responses.

A BCPS employee since December 2015, Finger-Elam previously worked for Howard County Public Schools. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Hampton University and a master’s degree and doctorate in developmental psychology from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Finger-Elam lives in Owings Mills with her husband, Gary, and daughters Ameenah and Noor.

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