Spring 2021 Recipients of the Sharon Borine Awards
Each year, graduating psychology undergraduates are tasked with completing a project to explore an area of interest. The Sharon Borine Top Capstone Award and Sharon Borine Top Honors Thesis Award were created to acknowledge students whose senior projects were of the highest quality. The award process consists of nomination by section leaders or faculty mentors followed by a review and ranking by an ad hoc panel of faculty members.
Congratulations to the Spring 2021 recipients: Abby Person (Top Honors Thesis), Tyler Schildt (Top Capstone), Areeb Kidwai (Top Capstone), and Madison Fredrick (Top Capstone)!
Abby Person was awarded the top honors thesis award for the paper titled “Fit or Focus: The Effectiveness of Strategy-Situation Fit vs. Controlling What You Can”. Abby worked on this project under the mentorship of Patricia Frazier. Person receives a $250.00 cash award.
Abby is a graduating senior that has been working in Dr. Patricia Frazier's Stress and Trauma Lab for three years. Along with research, she is a teaching assistant for Psych 1001 and a reviewer for the Minnesota Undergraduate Research & Academic Journal. Her plans include working at the Masonic Cancer Center while she applies to graduate schools.
To examine stress and coping strategies used during the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election week, Abby worked alongside Dr. Frazier with the assistance of three undergraduate students: Carmen Ramirez, Tu Do, and Lancy Cao. Using a sample of 210 undergraduate students, they compared a well-known coping theory (i.e., that individuals should match their coping strategies to the controllability of stressors) to an alternative theory (i.e., that individuals should focus on the aspects of stressors that are controllable and act on those aspects).
Tyler Schildt was awarded the 1st place capstone award for the paper titled “Evaluating Effects of Limited Dynamic Range and Frequency-to-Place Mismatch in Simulations of Electric Hearing.” Schildt receives a $250 cash award.
Tyler has always had an interest in the sensory systems of the human body and how these systems impact our lives. He grew up with an older sister with a profound sensorineural hearing loss, so was exposed to the tremendous impact that sensory input, or lack thereof, can have on a person's life. This experience, along with an interest in human physiology and sensory systems, was what drove him to pursue a position in the Auditory Perception and Cognition (APC) Laboratory under Dr. Andrew Oxenham as an undergraduate research assistant. Tyler is a Pre-Physical Therapy student and plans to attend a physical therapy program starting in the Fall of 2022. He believes a background in psychology will be a strong foundation for a healthcare career and will help him to understand and connect with patients.
Tyler’s work in the APC lab was primarily focused on a project involving the simulation of electric hearing (a cochlear implant, or CI) using a vocoder (digital simulation of CI), and then presenting this simulation to individuals with clinically normal hearing to assess their performance in comparison to CI users on several tasks. The end goal of this work is to improve the vocoder simulations that we use to assess and understand the experience of CI users, to hopefully improve the auditory experience of these individuals. He worked directly under Dr. Jordan Beim on this project.
Areeb Kidwai received the 2nd place capstone award for the paper titled “A Preliminary Study: Is Persecutory Ideations Associated with Jumping to Conclusions?” with a cash award of $150.00.
Areeb Kidwai is originally from Chicago, Illinois. He transferred in Spring 2020 (right when the pandemic hit) from a local community college. Psychology has always interested him since high school. Areeb loves learning about why people think the way they do and how different thought processes relate to dysfunctional behaviors such as addiction or how they may relate to severe mental disorders. Currently, he plans to start working as a research coordinator in the Department of Psychiatry where he will be investigating biological and cognitive mechanisms related to schizophrenia. Hopefully, this experience will aptly prepare him for attaining his doctorate in clinical psychology someday. Areeb is hoping to become a psychologist so that he can use his research and clinical skills to treat a variety of mental disorders.
Through the writing process of this paper, Areeb had a chance to help conduct a research study gathering data on the thought processes and clinical symptoms of people with psychotic disorders and see how it compared to those without a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder. More specifically, he wanted to investigate whether persecutory ideation is associated with jumping to conclusions in people with a psychotic disorder and how IQ may relate to jumping to conclusions. This work was completed with the TRiCAM Lab with Dr. Angus MacDonald III and Anita Kwashie.
Madison Frederick was awarded the 3rd place capstone award for the paper titled “The Effect of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on Neurological Development and the Subsequent Development of Mental Disorders,” and receives the cash award of $75.00.
Madison graduated from the College of Liberal Arts this Spring (2021) with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Integrative Neuroscience. Following the completion of her undergraduate degree, she intends to take a gap year to pursue full-time employment opportunities that will provide her with hands-on experience in the field of Psychology. She is most interested in working with children and adults impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), so she used her capstone project as an opportunity to explore and research this topic of interest as it is related to her future career goals. In the future, Madison intends to pursue a master's degree in social work so that she can work directly with populations at risk for experiencing disrupted neurological development and mental health disorders after ACE exposure.