Monday, December 21, 2009
Jennifer Kelley earns Undergraduate Distinguished Achievement AwardBy Dave Groves, staff writer
In light of pride the Oakland University community takes in advancing not only academic achievement, but also faculty and student research in a wide array of disciplines, the selection of the 2009 Undergraduate Distinguished Achievement Award recipient is particularly appropriate.
Jennifer Kelley, a psychology major in the College of Arts and Sciences, has distinguished herself with outstanding academic performance and numerous achievements in research, teaching and service to the campus community. She was one of four students nominated.
“This is always a tough choice for us because we consistently have a lot of very impressive candidates,” said Susan Wood, professor of art history and chair of the UDAA selection committee.
“What we’re looking for is a pattern of outstanding achievement – work that really goes above and beyond what’s expected in the coursework. What made Jennifer most impressive is that she really has a wide variety of achievements.”
Kelley worked with Professor Robby Stewart to develop and conduct research exploring behavioral and cognitive aspects of psychological wellbeing in more than 300 students.
The ambitious senior and aspiring developmental psychology researcher helped make this work possible by winning a 2008 OU Provost Undergraduate Student Research Grant, and she made three poster presentations outlining research findings at an annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science.
In addition to her studies and work on this project, Kelley worked as a research assistant to three faculty members, served as a teaching assistant and presented guest lectures in the Positive Psychology course. Outside the university, she has worked as an intern for the Oakland County Probation Office.
Kelley’s leadership activities include serving as OU chapter president of the Psi Chi psychology honor society.
“I’m just honored that they picked me,” she said, acknowledging she was competing with highly qualified fellow students. “I’m really passionate about the research, so it’s nice to be recognized. I really enjoy it and it just makes my experience here at OU all the better.”
Other nominees for this year’s award include Steven Bialecki, a computer science and engineering major; David Hornibrook, an English major; and Ryan Malek, a chemistry major.