MHDI REU Student Wins NSF Award

REU Student Darien McElwee Wins Award at NSF Emerging Researchers National Conference in STEM

In February, former MHDI REU Student Darien (Penny) McElwee presented at the NSF Emerging Researchers National (ERN) Conference in STEM in Washington, D.C. At the conference, McElwee presented a poster entitled “The Effects of Social, Cultural, and Economic Capital on Helping Behaviors in Nain, Labrador: A Social Network Analysis,” the abstract for which is available here.

NSF’s ERN Conference in STEM brings together high-achieving “college and university undergraduate and graduate students who participate in programs funded by the NSF HRD Unit, including underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities.” In addition to presenting their research at the conference, students who attend the conference have the opportunity to participate in workshops centered on career development topics like applying to graduate school and identifying research and educational opportunities.

McElwee developed her research throughout her time as an REU with MHDI learning about network science while assisting on REACH’s work studying health in Inuit and Arctic communities. Her research presented at the conference was conducted under the support of Dr. Kirk Dombrowski, MHDI director and REACH principal investigator on the Arctic Health research project.

As an REU last year, McElwee won the summer research symposium’s poster presentation competition. At the NSF’s ERN conference, she once again proved herself as an outstanding student, researcher, and presenter as she earned a first place award in the Social and Behavioral Sciences poster presentations competition.

Along with her award from the NSF conference, McElwee has also recently earned another impressive accolade. This spring, McElwee was chosen as one of only 18 students in the nation to be awarded the Beinecke Scholarship. The scholarship will support McElwee in her graduate studies in psychology, through which she hopes to study how children develop resiliency. Read more about McElwee’s accomplishments and development as a student in this recent article published by the Emory Report.

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