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15 students receive Provost's Academic Achievement Award


Provost's Students Academic Achievement Award recipients (photo by Jeff Sabo). Click on image to view in larger format
Fifteen students received the 2012 Provost's Student Academic Achievement Award for their outstanding contributions to Miami University's intellectual environment.

The recipients were selected based on nominations from Miami faculty. The award is given annually to 10-15 students who have completed their third year at Miami (a minimum of 75 credit hours) who have achieved academic excellence while making sustained and significant contributions to the intellectual climate of a department, an academic division or the campus. Students are awarded with a $1,000 scholarship and certificate of recognition.

The 2012 recipients, recognized at a ceremony Aug. 17, are:

Stephanie Babiarz, kinesiology major from Downers Grove, Ill. She has conducted research with mentor Rose Marie Ward, associate professor of kinesiology and health, on calorie restriction and exercise output in college students participating in extreme drinking, which she presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. She completed three internships in physical therapy, and this past summer participated in a physical therapy internship in Chang Mai, Thailand. She studied abroad in Australia in summer 2010 and in Miami’s Luxembourg program in spring 2011.

Charles Ebersole, psychology major, political science minor, from Beavercreek. He has conducted research with Carrie Hall, lecturer in psychology, for the past two years in the area of social psychology, focusing on such topics as behavioral mimicry, social ostracism and embodied cognition. He has presented his research at the Midwest Psychology Association’s annual conference. Last semester he joined the lab of Heather Claypool, associate professor of psychology, extending his research into new areas. He was a distinguished undergraduate teaching fellow for a course in psychological research methods.

Erica Fox, anthropology and environmental principles and practices co-major, global perspectives on sustainability minor, from New Providence, N.J. She completed an internship at the Tibetan Government in Exile Environment and Development desk while participating in Miami’s Dharamsala program and living with a Tibetan host family. While there she also conducted anthropological research in Northern India pertaining to socioeconomic status and its connection to running water in households. She is the secretary of Green Oxford.

Erin Hingsbergen, middle childhood education (mathematics and language arts) major, from Hamilton. She has been involved with extension projects through her coursework in education, including sharing a critique of urban education with other pre-service teachers. She is the co-founder of Students for Life on Miami’s Hamilton campus.

Joshua Kaine, biochemistry and biological physics double major, computer science minor, from Cincinnati. He has conducted undergraduate research since his first year at Miami with mentor David Tierny, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry. His work in the field of inorganic chemistry has ranged from synthesis to spectroscopic characterization and computational chemistry. His research has culminated in presentations at a national conference and two regional conferences, as well as a journal publication. He is a member of Miami’s Mallory-Wilson Center for Healthcare Education Student Advisory Board.

Choolwe Mandona, chemical engineering major from Lusaka, Zambia. She has conducted research with mentor Marvin Thrash, faculty in chemical and paper engineering, collecting and modeling isotherm data for proteins on cellulose adsorbents. She was selected to participate in MIT’s Summer Research Internship program in summer 2012. She is also a residence assistant, member of Engineers Without Borders and secretary of the International Students Organization. She coordinated the Talawanda Middle School Encore (After School) program in spring 2012, working with eighth grade girls to conduct science and engineering projects.

Ryan Martini, integrated mathematics education major, American literature and gerontology minors, from Cincinnati. He twice completed an independent study project through the Opening Minds Through Art program with Elizabeth “Like” Lokon, research associate, Scripps Gerontology Center, creating art lessons for older adults with dementia. He was a 2012 undergraduate summer scholar, working on the project “Integrating Older Adult Family Life Education into High School Curricula.” Last year he was editor of Miami’s new undergraduate publication, Mi Cup of Tea.

James Morton, quadruple major in computer science, electrical engineering, engineering physics and mathematics and statistics, Chinese minor, from Oxford. He has conducted research since his first year with mentors John Karro, associate professor of computer science and software engineering, and Chun Liang, associate professor of botany, to develop bioinformatics software packages to help understand biological mechanisms linked with gene regulation and cancer. He has presented his research at a national conference; he also is co-author on a journal article in preparation for submission. In summer 2012 he was one of 25 selected (out of 800) to participate in an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories to develop computational tools in order to study biological phenomena related to disease susceptibility and functional variation. Last semester he studied at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He has been a member of the Miami University Symphony Orchestra (cello), a member of the Glee Club, and is currently a member of the Collegiate Chorale.

Karen Otzen, business economics major and international business minor, from Waterford, Mich. She has participated in the Farmer School of Business’ China Summer Program and Miami’s Luxembourg program. She recently finished an internship with dunnhumbyUSA in Cincinnati. She has worked through Miami’s Buck Rogers Business Leadership Program and the Center for Business Excellence to establish a mentoring program that matches business professionals with Miami students.

William (Billy) Price, supply chain and operations management major, political science minor, from Cincinnati. He is a student director of the Buck Rogers Business Leadership Program and is co-president of Spectrum, Miami’s LBGTQ organization. He has presented papers at the American Culture Association’s national conferences for the past two years, including his research on "The Rise of Westboro in Pop Culture: Sociological and Political Effects on the Movement for Equality.” He was integral in Spectrum's response to Westboro Baptist Church's picket at Miami last fall. He has completed internships at Ohio National Financial Services, Limited Brand and Target.

Catherine Scott, graphic design major, marketing and interactive media studies minors, from Hamilton. She has done graphic design work for Miami’s Crucible Magazine, a Miami University Interdisciplinary Technology Development Challenge team and the Pi Sigma Epsilon business fraternity. She has also worked with the Wilks Scholar Leader program as the organization’s graphic designer, doing a variety of print work including pieces for its national conference.

Jeffrey Segrave, marketing major, economics and communications minors, from Dublin. He attended the Chinese University of Hong Kong in spring 2011. He was first author and presenter of a paper at the Americas Conference on Information Systems which examined “Online Social Networks, an Online Brand Community Framework.” He also serves as vice president of the Honors and Scholars Advisory Board.

Teresa “Sky” Sloderbeck, English literature and creative writing double major, women's studies minor, from Hamilton. She completed an internship working under the executive editor of the Horror Line at Samhain Publishing in summer 2012. She also completed a 67-page creative writing/research paper project based on Beowulf that attempted to present new scholarship regarding a potential connection between the Old Testament and the dragon episode. She has worked with the Hamilton Harrier magazine, and has received university awards for her creative writing and research papers.

Christopher Walsh, music education major from Avon Lake. He has conducted research and interviews as a 2012 undergraduate summer scholar on the musical compositions and choral culture of Latvia during and after the Soviet occupation. He is conductor of the student a capella group the Cheesies, who recently released their first CD. He is also founder and conductor of the new student vocal ensemble, Chapel Voices.

David Wang, finance and accounting double major, mathematics and Chinese minors, from Cheyenne, Wyo. He has completed internships with The Royal Bank of Scotland (Sales & Trading Division, Stamford, Conn.) and with J.P. Morgan in New York City. In 2010 he was an undergraduate summer scholar with mentor Steve Wyatt, professor of finance, researching yield curve factor models. He is the managing director for Miami’s investment banking club, and is vice president for professional activities for the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity.


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