2014 - 2015

February 16, 2015
CMU Nominates Student to Compete for Truman Scholarship
Created by Congress in 1975, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation’s purpose is to recognize college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in public service. The scholarship provides students with financial support, leadership training and a network of like-minded individuals committed to the greater good. 
Kelsey Friberg: Social Work
Kelsey Friberg -Truman.jpgKelsey Friberg, a Caledonia junior majoring in Social Work with a minor in Psychology is CMU's 2015 Truman Scholarship nominee.

Though she is interested in social issues such as gender-based violence, women's rights and juvenile justice, Friberg has focused on human trafficking legislation, specifically sex trafficking of women and minors in the United States. Her interest began during her senior year in high school when she read a book about human trafficking, "Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery."  Learning about the horrendous realities of human trafficking, Friberg made it her mission to not only learn more information but to also become an advocate for survivors. She hopes to see sex trafficking addressed in the United States in three key ways: 1) Introducing harsher sentencing and modifying prosecution processes for perpetrators, which will be her main focus; 2) Increasing services available to survivors; and 3) Strengthening prevention strategies and programs.

Friberg has engaged in numerous opportunities that allow her to grow within her field of study. She began as a volunteer at the Women's Aid Service, Inc. but she is now employed as a shelter advocate. In this position, she not only works as an advocate for domestic violence and sexual assault awareness, but she also directly supports clients. Her involvement with the Women's Aid Service, Inc. has had a profound impact on her life as she states, "it has changed my life…I honestly cannot express on paper the love that I have for working with these women and their children." Friberg has also volunteered with the Manasseh Project, a Sex Trafficking Trauma Recovery Center. In addition she has participated in several service trips to Durango, Mexico and Nassau, Bahamas and she will be volunteering in Phnom Penh, Cambodia this coming summer.

Friberg has been active in many student organizations including the World Changers Student Organization. She is also President of the International Outreach Student Ministry Team with His House Christian Church and Membership Director of the Student Social Work Association. Currently, she is organizing a registered student organization focused on Anti-Human Trafficking awareness and advocacy which she plans to start in the fall of 2015. Friberg has also been a research assistant in the Social Department and Center of Applied Research and Rural Studies for the past two years, addressing issues relevant to local governments and non-profit organizations in central and northern Michigan.

Upon graduation from CMU, she plans to pursue a Juris Doctorate and Masters of Social Work program in pursuit of Public interest law. She specifically hopes to attend a program that has a center of clinic for human trafficking, global justice or human rights.

February 13, 2015
Two Students Nominated to Compete for Goldwater Scholarships

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, who served for 56 years as a soldier and U.S. senator. Scholarships are awarded each year to 300 college sophomores and juniors committed to pursuing research careers in mathematics, engineering, or the natural sciences.

Rachel Domagalski: Mathematics - Pure Mathematics Conc.
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Rachel Domagalski, a Clarkston, MI junior Honors student majoring in Mathematics with a pure Mathematics concentration has been nominated by CMU to compete for a 2015 Goldwater Scholarship. Domagalski is in the Accelerated Masters of Arts in Mathematics program at Central Michigan University, completing a bachelor's degree in May 2016 and a master's degree in May 2017.

During summer 2014, Domagalski participated in a Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Central Michigan University where she spent eight weeks studying Finite Frame Theory under the guidance of Dr. Yeonhyang Kim and Dr. Sivaram Narayan. She presented this research at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Antonio, Texas in January 2015. She also presented her findings at the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics in Lincoln, Nebraska in January 2015. She continues to work as a research assistant for Dr. Narayan.

Her current research project examines a type of frame called a tight frame. In mathematics, a frame can be defined as a spanning set which can be redundant and are often used to lessen the effect of losses in signal transmission. To analyze these frames, they used factor posets, with the ultimate purpose being an analysis of necessary and sufficient conditions for a poset to be a factor poset. Domagalski states she is grateful for the opportunities she has had to conduct research "in a mathematics field of my interest under the guidance of experienced mathematicians."

In addition to conducting research, Domagalski is involved in several professional development activities. She assists with grading for Calculus I and Calculus III classes, and was a Supplemental Instruction Leader for pre-calculus in spring 2014. She is also the treasurer a mathematics honors fraternity, Kappa Mu Epsilon.

Domagalski is motivated to pursue a career in this field by her passion for math and problem solving. She states that, "Mathematical research intrigued me because it offered the opportunity to make a difference in the world while doing what I love." Upon completion of her Master's degree, Domagalski plans to continue her studies in a Ph.D. program specializing in Number Theory of Algebra. Ultimately she plans to teach and conduct research in mathematics in a university setting.

Alyssa Shepard: Biochemistry
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Alyssa Shepard, a Holland, MI junior Honors student double-majoring in Biochemistry and Music has been nominated by CMU to compete for a 2015 Goldwater Scholarship.

Shepard is currently conducting research examining the intracellular breakdown of toxic tau fragments present with Alzheimer's disease under the guidance of Dr. Michelle Steinhilb. Shepard recently presented her work at the Van Andel Research Institute West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference (2014) and the Honors Program Research and Creative Endeavor Exhibition (2014).

In the summer of 2014, Shepard received a Central Michigan University Summer Scholars Grants, one of only ten awarded yearly, to continue conducting research during the summer of 2014. She was also awarded an Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors Grant to help fund her research. In addition to conducting research, Shepard is involved in a number of professional development activities. She is the Vice President of Central Michigan University's chapter of the American Chemical Society and a tutor in the chemistry department.   

Her interest in research started at a young age when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. She said that while her mother can now call herself a survivor, the experience influenced Shepard's career goals.  She has "always dreamed of dedicating my life to cancer research, so that I may help other families avoid having a loved one have to fight this disease." She also intends to pursue certification in a translational medicine program, combining laboratory research with clinical applications – such as treatment clinical trials – to provide cutting-edge care to patients.

After completing her bachelor's degree, Shepard plans to earn a Ph.D. in Biochemistry to prepare herself for a career in cancer research or a related field. She describes her current Alzheimer's research as a means to, "prepare me for a future career in cancer research, as both are currently incurable diseases that involve intense study of proteins." 

October 22, 2015

Three Students Nomimated to Compete for Fulbright Grants

The Fulbright program is the largest U.S. international exchange program, offering opportunities for students, scholars and professionals to increase understanding between U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries through international graduate study, advanced research and teaching. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries.
Katerina Gugliotta: English Teaching Assistantship Nominee to Ukraine
2014 Gugliotta -Fulbright nominee.jpgKaterina Gugliotta, a senior Honors student from Illinois  majoring in speech-language pathologist, hopes a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Ukraine will add a personally meaningful dimension to her previoius experiences abroad.
Growing up close to her Ukrainian grandparents prompted Katerina to learn Ukrainian as a second language as well as engaging in a variety of activities that taught her more about the culture and country. "In Saturday school, I learned about Ukrainian history, geography and music," Katerina said. "In the Ukrainian youth group, we sang folk songs and learned more about the culture through arts and crafts, and skits and presentations."

In addition to her early exposure to Ukrainian culture, she has had three significant experiences abroad that have helped prepare her for undertaking the responsitibilities associated with a Fulbright award should she be chosed to receive the honor. At age 12, Katerina participated in an educational trip to China through the national People to People Ambassador Program. She also lived with a host family in France for two weeks during high school as a foreign exchange student. Her passion for learning about cultures prompted her to complete a four month study abroad experience in Italy in her junior year of college. Each cultural experience has added something new to her skill set, whether it be navigating a language barrier, volunteering in a foreign country, developing an understanding and appreciation of cultural differences, or gaining a new perspective into the day-to-day life of another culture.


"My experiences abroad have fed my desire to continue interacting with people from other cultures, and prepared me to be a cultural ambassador from a very young age," Katerina said. "Learning and teaching language has furthered my appreciation for how different and unique languages are making me excited to travel to places where I am immersed in the language." She is looking forward to working with children in Ukraine if picked for a Fulbright because the experience would be helpful in preparing her for her future career as a speech-language pathologist in either an elementary school or a rehabilitation center.

 Emily Marlow: Research Grant Nominee to Germany 
2014 Marlow - Fulbright nominee.jpgEmily Marlow, a senior Honors student from Holt, Michigan got her first taste of French culture during a semester abroad in the city of Angers.

She has been nominated to compete for a Fulbright research grant and if successful she will be returning to France to conduct research on the effects of early nutritional interventions on rodent brain development. This work will contribute to the conversation about the underlying causes of obesity.

Emily's interest in science began at an early age. "The first time I remember getting excited about science was in sixth grade when we first learned about genetics," she said. "I was intrigued by the idea that no two people have the exact same DNA."

She followed her passion for science at CMU by studying Huntington’s disease in a rodent model at the Field Neurosciences Institute Laboratory for Restorative Neurology. During the summer of 2013 she further developed her research skills as an Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Summer Scholar by examining differences between human and mouse stem cells during Huntington’s Disease treatment.

Emily has been involved in several medicine and science related extracurricular groups including the Nu Rho Psi National Honor Society in Neuroscience, Global Brigades, Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, and Le Cercle Francias.

The opportunity to conduct research in France is a significant step toward Emily’s future career in medicine. She also hopes one day to work for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders so an immersion experience in France where she can improve her French language speaking and writing skills will be beneficial to her long term career goals. "After I become a doctor I plan to work for MSF in a francophone African country, where French fluency will be vital for my communications with other doctors and patients," she said.


Mikaela Kolany: English Teaching Assistantship Nominee to France

Mikaela Kolany, a 2014 CMU Honors graduate from Naperville, IL, hopes to pursue her future career goals through an English Teaching Assistantship in France.

"It has been my dream to teach abroad now for six years," she said. "I think that Fulbright would benefit me professionally because I can bring my knowledge of French culture back to the United States and my students in my future classroom."

Kolany, a former math and statistics tutor, an Alternative Break leader and , and a Recreation Director for Outdoor Opportunities, has been drawn to the French culture since she was a child living next to neighbors from France.

She has studied the French language for six years and hopes that being exposed to different teaching methods in France will be beneficial to her in the States.

As a sophomore, Kolany was able to experience teaching abroad for a short time during a month-long study abroad trip to Togo, Africa. There, she was able to observe both math and English, as a second language, teachers at work. This experience further fueled her drive to become a teacher herself.

"I would like to learn more about my students' life experiences so I would like to travel around the community and see the local sites," Kolany said. "I want to learn from other adults in the area the best way to connect to my students."

Kolany has a commitment to connecting with her students currently while she teaches math at a Title 1 Middle School where her students are made up mostly of non-English speakers. Connecting to these students is not always easy, but Kolany hopes this experience will help her overseas.

"These students have had a very different cultural experience," she said. "When I started teaching at the beginning of the year, my priority was learning more about my students' personal experiences and their culture."