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OISE’s Mia Quint-Rapoport receives George L. Geis thesis award at CSSHE


By Jennifer Sipos-Smith

May 31, 2011

 

Mia Quint-Rapoport, a recent graduate of the doctoral program in higher education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto, receives the prestigious George L. Geis Dissertation Award at the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education’s annual general meeting today. 

The George L. Geis Award honours an outstanding dissertation or thesis in a Canadian university that examines a postsecondary topic. The criteria demands that it focus on topics in postsecondary education, including the societal context, access, governance, teaching and learning, institutional studies, and education and employment.

“This year the committee received 5 nominations of very high quality for this award, making the task of the Award committee particularly difficult,” wrote Keith Archer, the past-president, Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, and Chair, George L. Geis Dissertation Award Committee.

When asked how she reacted to news of her award, Mia replied, “honoured and thrilled.”
 
Mia’s thesis is a study of an Open Source Software application that was developed in an academic environment. Open source software is free for anyone to download, use, re-use and modify, that is protected by a special intellectual property license called the General Public License (GPL). The thesis looks at the way OSS occurs in academic institutions – from modes of communication to funding to work arrangements for the developers involved and theorizes its impact and effects within the arena of higher education based on the example of the development of the Open Journals System (OJS) (pkp.sfu.ca). The OJS is an open source software application that facilitates the production of Open Access peer reviewed electronic journals. It now publishes over 5000 journals in a variety of different languages and has users located and universities and institutes all over the world.
 
Her thesis was supervised by Glen A. Jones and committee members included Megan Boler and Jamie Magnusson. Mia currently holds a postdoctoral fellowship working with Professor Edith Hillan in the Provost's Office at the University of Toronto.

The purpose of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE) to promote scholarship related to postsecondary education through publications and scholarly conferences. The CSSHE is a registered charitable organization, funded through membership fees, subscriptions, donations and a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.