April 27, 2011

Junior Earns National Post-Graduate Scholarship

Sarah Lukowski
Sarah Lukowski

Junior psychology major Sarah Lukowski now joins the ranks of some of the top students at Case Western Reserve University, becoming just the fourth student in the university’s history to be named a Beinecke Scholar and the first in nearly 10 years.

The Beinecke Scholarship is an endowment for highly motivated students in the arts, humanities and social sciences to pursue graduate studies; only 20 students around the country were selected this year. Each scholar receives $4,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school.

Lukowski, a native of Battle Creek, Mich., plans to enter a PhD program in experimental psychology, specifically programs that combine education and psychology. “I want to study math, science and reading abilities/disabilities in children,” she said.

She’s been getting plenty of preparation during her time on campus with her work on the Western Reserve Reading Project with Department of Psychological Sciences Chair Lee Thompson and her volunteer hours at the Robinson G. Jones Elementary School and the Children’s Hunger Alliance. Additionally, she is a Gelfand Science and Engineering Fellow and assists Douglas Detterman, Louis D. Beaumont University Professor, with his forthcoming book.

 “I am so proud of Sarah but I am not at all surprised,” said Thompson, whose lab Lukowski has worked in since her second semester. While there, “Sarah, on her own, analyzed our longitudinal twin data to explore the similarity between parents reading and math ability and their twins' reading and math ability,” Thompson explained. “Sarah could not find recent published reports looking at parent-offspring resemblance for measured reading and math abilities. She conducted the analyses and submitted the results for presentation at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research held in Ithaca (N.Y.) this year.” Lukowski presented the work a few weeks ago and has written up her findings as a journal submission that Thompson expects to be published.

The opportunity to research and connect with others, as she plans to do in her post-graduate studies, was what drew her to Case Western Reserve University in the first place. “I liked the atmosphere, I had done research in high school and very much wanted to get involved with research quickly upon matriculation,” she said. “I liked the small, research-oriented community vibe that I felt when I toured.”

Posted by: Emily Mayock, April 27, 2011 09:12 AM | News Topics:

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