Newsletter Article

ALCOR Fellowships Support Diverse Research Interests

Each spring, the Psychology Department awards the Alcor Summer Fellowship, funded through the Alcor Endowment in Psychology.  Alcor fellows demonstrate outstanding ability, achievement, and financial need. With no service expectation, our fellows are especially appreciative of Alcor support to defray living costs and provide personal support, which enables them to make speedier progress on a major program milestone.

The Alcor fellowship fund was created by Harry E. Peterson and Claire Garlick Peterson.  Harry and Claire were avid amateur astronomers and sailed on several boats they named “Alcor” through the years.  “Alcor” is the name of a double star located at the end of the Big Dipper’s handle and represented the close relationship the two had.  Their fellowship continues to give a lasting gift reflective of their full, productive and well-traveled lives.

Photo:  Marissa Corona
Photo: Marissa Corona

Alcor recipient Marissa Corona’s dissertation, “Depression and obesity among ethnic minority youth,” is an important body of work which will help serve the minority youth community. From personal experience, she identified early on that there were gaps in the research on mental health issues for minority youth and omissions in the services provided to the minority youth community.  Her dissertation research has sought to address these concerns. During her Alcor summer, Marissa plans to analyze her dissertation data and complete a draft of her dissertation that can be refined during Fall quarter. She plans to defend her dissertation in January 2013. She has previously presented a portion of her Ph.D. research at the 2011 APA Annual Convention. Marissa is a fifth year child clinical student, working with Psychology Professor and University Provost Ana Mari Cauce.


Photo:  Tom Soare
Photo: Tom Soare

Tom Soare is a fourth year animal behavior student mentored by professors Sean O’Donnell (now at Drexell University), and Mike Beecher.  As Tom noted in his Alcor application, his research examines  “army ant preferences for nest sites with different attributes. “  He will be collecting and analyzing data at the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica this summer.   Tom has been actively involved in collecting data for this project for the past three years.  He will use Alcor to cover fees for his four-week station stay, part of his airfare, and most importantly, allow him to be in the field to continue his dissertation work.



Photo:  Adrienne Sussman
Photo: Adrienne Sussman

Adrienne Sussman will spend her Alcor summer focusing on collaborative research with the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Beaverton, Oregon.  The research she conducts during this time will provide the basis for the final two chapters of her dissertation.  She also plans to develop and submit a journal publication on the work, and establish a data base for future comparative study.  Being supported by Alcor will allow Adrienne to travel to Oregon and make huge strides in her work.   Adrienne is a fourth year student in our animal behavior area working with Psychology Research Associate Professor Jim Ha.

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