June 01, 2010

Doctoral students win research paper competition

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Two graduate students in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Rehabilitation Institute were honored May 30 during the annual North American meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis International in San Antonio, Texas.

Sadie L. Lovett of Otsego, Mich., and Brooke D. Walker of Springfield, both enrolled in the Institute’s doctoral program in behavior analysis, won an annual research paper competition sponsored by the association’s verbal behavior special interest group. They received plaques during a banquet ceremony.

“Graduate students from all over the world enter the competition, and a panel of internationally renowned researchers review the entries and select winners,” said Professor Ruth Anne Rehfeldt, who coordinates the Institute’s Rehabilitation Services Program. “Winning these awards will facilitate a number of opportunities for them in the future.”

Both women, who just completed their first year of doctoral study, drew on their masters’ theses in writing their papers. Lovett described how behavior analysts can use language to change social stereotypes, while Walker tested the effectiveness in a classroom setting of a teaching technique commonly used in the lab. Lovett’s paper is being considered for publication by the “European Journal of Behavior Analysis.” Walker’s paper is in the process of being published by “The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.”

Lovett received her master’s degree last year from SIUC. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 2006 from Western Michigan University. Lovett’s mother is Shirley M. Foster.

Walker also received her master’s last year from SIUC and completed her undergraduate degree in 2006 at Northern Illinois University. She is the daughter of Gary L. and Lori L. Walker.