"Alexandra Patzak is a truly exceptional and most promising young scholar, outstanding in an already extraordinary group of amazing students (now colleagues) I’ve had the privilege to supervise."

Phil Winne

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Dr. Alexandra Patzak receives Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal

As one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Education, Dr. Alexandra Patzak is recognized with the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Dr. Patzak on her outstanding achievements.

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July 19, 2021

Dr. Alexandra Patzak’s doctoral thesis, Measuring and Understanding Self-Handicapping in Education, strives to broaden the framework for theorizing about and researching counterproductive self-regulated learning to enhance motivation and help learners achieve their academic goals.

In her research, she identified key gaps in theorizing the phenomenon of learners’ self handicapping, designed a lab experiment to fill those gaps then observed and recorded students’ procrastination in progress. Through quantitative analysis, she helps educators better understand how learners self handicap and how self-handicapping affects learning.

Entering her doctoral program at SFU in 2015 from the University of Vienna, Austria, she continued her studies in Educational Psychology, she undertook her doctoral program with her own set of challenges. Born with a degenerative eye disease, when she entered SFU she possessed only approximately 20% of her vision and completed her degree in English when her first language is German.

Her studies were funded through various awards, including a multi-year entrance scholarship which is awarded to only three SFU students a year. She co-authored articles and book chapters, and presented at first-class international conferences and produced a manuscript on a similar topic set to be published in a top-tier journal.

Patzak’s supervisor, distinguished professor, Phil Winne says, “Alexandra Patzak is a truly exceptional and most promising young scholar, outstanding in an already extraordinary group of amazing students (now colleagues) I’ve had the privilege to supervise.”

“Receiving this prestigious medal is a great honor, and an artifact of invaluable experiences at SFU, and the joyful and inspiring collaboration with my wonderful advisor Phil Winne,” says Patzak.

Following her passion for teaching and research, Alexandra is now an Assistant Professor in Educational Psychology at George Mason University, where she teaches graduate-level courses and continues to advance her research through collaborations with researchers at SFU and Monash University leveraging learning analytics to provide motivational scaffolds to enhance learning in virtual learning settings.