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Alumni Spotlight header for Yvette Prinsloo Franklin.

Cultural Studies of Educational Foundations

Franklin earned an MS with the Cultural Studies of Educational Foundations program in 2008 and went on to earn her PhD with the Learning Environments and Educational Studies program in 2012. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa she now lives in Lenoir City, TN. We asked her to reflect on past experiences with EPC and discuss where she’s at now. Read her responses below.

Yvette Prinsloo Franklin at graduation.

Current Occupation

Adjunct Faculty at two regional state universities:

  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN – Lecturer for Learning Environments and Educational Studies Program
  • Tennessee Tech University, Cookeville, TN – Instructor for Department of Educational Research and Foundations
Awards and Accomplishments Earned as a Student
  • Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Methods in Education – A graduate certificate may be earned by successful completion of a series of specific courses. A candidate for a graduate certificate program must be a fully admitted graduate student who has satisfactorily completed the minimum requirements for a certificate as described in the Graduate Catalog. (2010, University of Tennessee)
  • Kin Takahashi Award for Young Alumni – Officially called the “Kin Takahashi Award for Young Alumni of Maryville College,” the recognition is for “any alumnus/alumna who has, within 15 year of his/her graduation of Maryville College, lived a life characteristic of College legend Kin Takahashi, who, in his 36 years of living, worked tirelessly for the betterment of his alma mater, his church and his society.” (2009, Maryville College)
Accomplishments since Graduating

For me, the greatest professional and personal accomplishment since receiving my MS and PhD from UT has been continuing to be active in my field in a diversified way while balancing a rich family life and community service commitment. I have been thrilled to publish and present and just as excited to share my passion for education with graduate students, young learners, and schools and parents seeking educational guidance.

Recent Publications/Presentations
  • Franklin, Y. P. (2014). Virtually (un)packing your backpack: Educational philosophy and pedagogical praxis, Educational Studies, 5(1), 65-86.
  • Franklin, Y. P. (2011). Journey into critical consciousness, Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice, 24(4), 46-49.
  • American Education Studies Association Conference 2015 (panel presentation, San Antonio, TX)
  • American Education Studies Association Conference 2013 (paper presentation, Baltimore, MD)
  • American Education Studies Association Conference 2011 (panel presentation, St. Louis, MO)
  • Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society Conference 2011 (paper presentation, Dayton, OH)
  • Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Conference 2010 (poster presentation, Cedarville, OH)
  • American Educational Research Association 2009 Conference (invited to present paper, San Diego, CA)
  • Mid-South Educational Research Association 2008 Conference (paper presentation, Knoxville, TN)
Personal Interests

I volunteer tutor a wonderful fourth grade boy 12-15 hours a week and do pro bono curriculum and professional development for a local private school. I also teach a class at my church one morning a week.

My greatest delight is my family – a busy doctor husband, three children, four chickens, and a golden retriever! We enjoy traveling, working hard, and serving together!

Yvette Prinsloo Franklin and young boy.

What sold you on this program?

What sold me on the graduate program in Cultural Studies of Educational Foundations was the synergy found between the disciplines of anthropology, history, philosophy, psychology, and sociology, as well as multiculturalism, ethnography, and other critical theories that helped me find a way forward as a teacher. As a South African, and then transplanted southern-American, educator faced with student achievement gaps, diverse populations I felt ill-equipped to engage, and social justice concerns, the program helped develop me professionally by connecting social foundations theory to my practice life.  Now I teach in Cultural Studies and Social Foundations of Education within higher education helping other teachers apply vital theory to their own practice life.

What do you think was the most rewarding/challenging about this program?

The most rewarding part of this program is the personal attention and mentoring I received from my advisor, professor Barbara Thayer-Bacon. She helped me adjust to life as a graduate student juggling a family. An excellent teacher, I enjoyed her classes immensely and the community spirit that was fostered. Additionally, I was encouraged and supported to publish and present and this meant a great deal coming from a woman who has published many books, been all over the world to present her work, and is a well-respected scholar in our field.

Is there anything else you would like to say as an alumna of this program/department?

Whenever I come back to campus – after wishing there was more parking 😉 – I always feel like I am coming home as I walk the department hallways. This is a special place where educators, counselors, and researchers converge to share and grow. We alum are just basking in the reflected light of the scholars and educators gathered here to help us on our way. They are who deserve the real spotlight!

Yvette Prinsloo Franklin on shoreline.