Honors Fellowships

Dimelza Gonzales-Flores

Name: Dimelza Gonzales-Flores
Title of Project:
Differentiation of Student Achievement Levels in English as a Second Language Programs
Advisor: Joel Schwartz
Honors Department: Interdisciplinary Studies

The literature on English as a Second Language (ESL) programs has focused on English instruction best-practices, measurements of language acquisition, and bilingual education. My research project will add to this literature by studying how the implementation of ESL programs impacts long-term achievement and motivation levels of ESL students. The Honors Fellowship is important because it covers the personal and research costs that would have required me to obtain a job this summer. There isn’t much literature on my topic and thus research will be very intensive and require many resources.

Hometown: Springfield, VA
Major: Government
Future Plans: I have recently entered the William and Mary School of Education Five Year Masters Program for Curriculum and Instruction to expand my work on ESL programs and to become a certified secondary school teacher. I plan on working for a few years after completing the masters program before continuing on getting a Masters on Public Administration with a focus on education policy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Campus Activities: I have taken leadership roles in the Undergraduate Honor Council, Circle K International, and the Latin American Student Union. I was part of the WM Undergraduate Virginia Redistricting team, which produced the maps the General Assembly kept in consideration for this decade’s districts. I have also served as the recruitment chair for the Phoenix Project– Social Innovation Program and have worked closely with Williamsburg James City County Public Schools for three years.
Hobbies: I like to make things. I don’t have any particular skills, but I love to look up “how-to-do” or “DIY” blogs and make clothes, tables, crafts, etc. from recycled materials. I guess this interest stems from my love for puzzles (currently working on 3000 piece puzzle). I love taking road trips, even when abroad. For instance, I ventured from Buenos Aires, Argentina to La Paz, Bolivia by bus this past December. I like planning in general. There is just something amazing about putting things together to get something out of it and not having it be exactly 100% as you believed at first. The magic that happens between Point A and Point B is a constant reminder that it’s all about attitude– it’s good to be reminded of that.
Fun Fact: I was chased by a headless duck when I was 5 years old. My family and I took a trip to my grandmother’s hometown, where it’s tradition to cook the best farm animal for guests. Someone accidentally let go of the duck while beheading it and so that’s how I ended up being chased by a headless duck. I was raised by my grandparents since I was 3 months old until I was 12 years old. As I grow older, I become more thankful to them for their unusual childrearing methods, for making me proud of my heritage, and for instructing me with the values I hold today.

Follow Dimelza’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!