3 SESP Students Awarded Undergraduate Research Travel, Language Grants

3 SESP Students Awarded Undergraduate Research Travel, Language Grants

Abby Durgan

Three SESP students were awarded grants by the Office of Undergraduate Research during winter quarter. Abby Durgan and Nick Medrano received Conference Travel Grants, and Daniel Isaacson won an Undergraduate Language Grant.

Conference Travel Grant Winners
Durgan and Medrano received Conference Travel Grants to present their research at the annual conference of the Society for Research in Child Development. Conference Travel Grants fund half of a student’s expenses, up to $500, to present research or creative work at a conference.

Abby Durgan, who is majoring in human development and psychological services, presented her research on “Adolescent Daily Stress: Sources, Age and Gender Variations, and Affective Consequences.” Her faculty sponsor is Emma Adam, a professor in the SESP Human Development and Social Policy Program.

Durgan chose her topic in an effort to help young adolescents manage stress. She says, “Learning about adolescent stress through research is my way of contributing to the well-being of students younger than me, so that hopefully their stress can be reduced once schools and parents incorporate findings into their understanding of adolescence. I would love to see adolescents get the most out of their education and extracurricular activities while still being able to enjoy friendships and relationships with family members, and fun, enriching activities that will allow students to grow as individuals.”

Nick Medrano

Nick Medrano, another human development and psychological services major, presented his research on “Problem Solving through Hands-On Engagement and Parent-Child Conversations at a Children’s Museum.” His faculty sponsor was David Uttal, a learning sciences professor at SESP.

"I study how children and their families learn about and engage in informal environments. Specifically, I am looking for evidence of real hypothesis testing as children work on a construction exhibit at a museum."

"This is important because it demonstrates the importance of influences beyond school that affect children's learning as well as the capability of children to use STEM concepts," says Medrano.

Undergraduate Language Grant Winner

Daniel Isaacson

Daniel Isaacson, who is currently a social policy major, will study Chinese this summer at the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing. His faculty sponsor for this language program is Hsiu-ling Robertson of the Asian Languages and Cultures department at Northwestern.

"I realized that the best way to take my language ability to the next level was to immerse myself in the culture in an intensive environment," says Isaacson.

Undergraduate Language Grants provide support for the intensive and experiential learning of a foreign language during the summer. Grant winners receive up to $5,000, up to 75 percent of their total expenses, for such study.

In addition to travel grants and language grants, Northwestern University’s Office of Undergraduate Research also offers Academic Year Undergraduate Research Grants of up to $1,000. These grants fund research expenses to do an independent academic or creative project connected to an independent study or thesis seminar. See the entire winter 2015 grant winners list.

Students will find information for applying for undergraduate research grants on the Office of Undergraduate Research website.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 7/13/16