August 04, 2014

McNair research scholars earn awards

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill., -- A senior majoring in creative writing is the winner of this year’s McNair Scholars Summer Research Symposium at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Casi Scheidt, a Charleston, S.C., native, won first place for her presentation titled “Academic struggle: The conflict between potential and perfectionism.” Her mentor was Christina Voss, a lecturer in the Department of English. 

Scheidt is from a family with strong ties to SIU and plans to pursue her master of fine arts degree in creative writing. Scheidt is also an avid game and toy inventor and this October will present a table of her products at the annual Chicago Toy and Game Fair where she hopes to sign with a major distributor. 

The annual symposium highlights the work of SIU undergraduates in the McNair Scholars program. The research institute is an intensive eight-week program during which the scholars work with their mentors to master advanced research skills, including fieldwork and literature review, compiling data, and writing research papers.

Other award recipients, with the title of their research and mentor were:

  • Second place: Kenyahtta Gray, a senior in communication disorders and sciences from Chicago, “The use of early vocalizations in the identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders.” Her mentor was Sandie Bass-Ringdahl, assistant professor of communication disorders and sciences. 
  • Third place:  Asia Lee, a senior in marketing from Chicago, “LGBT Inclusivity in advertising in revealing the necessity for gender identity in out-of-closet advertising with the in group/out group association.” Her mentor was Cheryl Burke Jarvis, associate dean of the College of Business and professor of marketing. 
  • Fourth place: Ashani Hamilton, a senior in animal science from Gregory Park, Jamaica, “Impacts of genetic selection on the parasitic immunity of goats.” Her mentor was Karen Jones, chair of Department of Plant, Soil and Agricultural Systems. 

This year’s panel of judges include: Craig Anz, associate professor in the School of Architecture; Shahan Bellamy of Marion, the 2013 McNair Research Symposium winner who soon will earn his bachelor’s degree in cinema and photography at SIU. Bellamy will graduate in August and this fall will pursue a doctorate at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.; Faith Matzker, a doctoral student in English; Courtney Payne, a doctoral student in the counseling psychology program at SIU and a former McNair Scholar from St. Olaf College in Minnesota, and Christopher Stout, assistant professor of political science. 

Other student presenters were: 

  • Lateesha Baquet, a senior in psychology from Sandusky for “Factors that influence minority students’ decision to attend college.” Her mentor was Kathleen Chwalisz, professor of psychology. 
  • Curtis Brown, a senior in business economics from Chicago for “Non-traditional students: An analysis of the challenges of graduating from college.” His mentor was Regina Trevino, visiting assistant professor of economics. 
  • Gina Collori, a junior in social work from Round Lake, for “Early acting out or criminal friends? Examining the contributions to adult crime.” Her mentor was Daryl Kroner, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice.
  • Brenda Escutia, a senior in social work from Rolling Meadows, for “Transfer students: Perceptions of transition challenges.” Her mentor was Sosanya Jones, assistant professor of educational administration and higher education. 
  • Jovan Gathings, a junior in speech communications from Chicago, for “Looking at the WNBA and gender normativity.”  His mentor was Sandy Pensoneau-Conway, assistant professor of communication studies. 
  • Terilyn Mahome, a junior in exercise science from University Park, for “The physical and psychological effects of weight/exercise training on prostate cancer survivors: A case study.” Her mentor was Phil Anton, associate professor of kinesiology. 
  • Claudia Martinez, a senior in art history from Carrollton, Texas, for “Inclusive Connections: Accessibility of art museums online and onsite.” Her mentor was Stacey Sloboda, associate professor of art and design. 
  • Siedah McNeil, a senior in social work from Chicago, for “Stereotype threat: The effects on self-efficacy and academic performance in minority students.” Her mentor was Patricia Saleeby, assistant professor of social work. 
  • Briana Shaw, a senior in psychology from Chicago for “Effects of parental incarceration on social behavior.”  Her mentor was Breanne Pleggenkuhle, assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice. 
  • Ivan Vargas, a senior in economics from Brooklyn, N.Y., for “Economic stability in the United States from 1983 to 2007.” His mentor was Kevin Sylwester, associate professor of economics.