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College presents annual awards to outstanding graduate students

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

LAWRENCE – The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas recently presented awards to three graduate students for their accomplishments in research and academia.

The recipients of the Outstanding Thesis Award, the Kate Stephens Fellowship and the Allen S. Wilber Scholarship are investigating subjects such as decreasing the effects of childhood trauma through attachment-based intervention and tracking the cartographic coverage of Syrian refugees.

Meghan Kelly, graduate student in the Department of Geography, received the Outstanding Thesis Award. The Outstanding Thesis Award is presented to graduating masters students for completing a thesis that is innovative, methodologically rigorous and makes a significant advancement or original contribution to his or her discipline.

In her thesis, “Mapping Syrian Refugee Border Crossings: A Critical, Feminist Perspective,” Kelly investigates media coverage of the crisis, specifically how cartographic coverage of refugees’ movements is presented as well as how it could be improved to encourage public engagement. Kelly’s advisers nominated her for the award, citing her skill in examining her subject “with an innovative combination of theory, content analysis, interview, and cartographic exploration and expression.”

Andrés Rabinovich, a masters student entering the doctoral program in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, received the Kate Stephens Fellowship award. The award is provided to a student focusing on the study of literature, history or ethics at the graduate level. Rabinovich was nominated by the faculty in the Spanish and Portuguese department. Described as “a disciplined, rigorous and committed student” by his professors, Rabinovich “is one of those students that one wishes will enroll in every class.”

Austen McGuire, an undergraduate student entering the graduate program in clinical child psychology, received the Allen S. Wilber Scholarship to aid his research. McGuire was nominated by the faculty in the Clinical Child Psychology Program. The scholarship is awarded to students who completed an undergraduate degree at KU and intend to pursue graduate study in humanities, social sciences, or international and interdisciplinary studies.

One of McGuire’s recent papers, “The Utility of Attachment Priming as an Intervention Among Youth with Traumatic Experiences,” focuses on testing an easier, cheaper way to decrease the mental health problems associated with childhood trauma. McGuire is a co-author on five peer-reviewed papers currently in press or in print, and he has an additional six papers under review in professional journals or in preparation. McGuire’s professors praised him for being “exceptional in intelligence, maturity, focus, work ethic, collegiality and overall professionalism.”

Funds for the awards are managed by KU Endowment, the independent nonprofit foundation serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.

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