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Daniela Ottati

Commencement: Spring 2015, Ceremony 1

Degree: Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction

Graduate of: College of Education

Daniela Ottati will become a four-time FIU graduate this spring.

Daniela has earned a bachelor of science in elementary education, a master of science in mass communication, and an educational specialist degree in curriculum and instruction. She will cap off her decade-long educational journey at FIU with a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Daniela said her great experiences at FIU kept her coming back for advanced degrees. To complete her Ph.D., Daniela conducted research on why students in the U.S. struggle with geography. Her research revealed that it is not for a lack of interest; rather it is due to a lack of available courses and instruction that students fail to memorize the names of capitals.

As potential solutions to the problem, Daniela suggests borrowing a practice from her native Uruguay, where subjects such as economics, history, politics, and social studies are tied to geographic locations so that students can better appreciate the effect geography plays in those arenas.

Daniela credits Associate Professor Hilary Landorf as a mentor who constantly made herself available to answer questions while she was working on her dissertation.

After commencement, Daniela plans to continue teaching in the Communication Arts Department of the College of Architecture + The Arts where she currently serves as an adjunct instructor.