April 2015

Scholar Accomplishments

Every so often we’ll share some of the recent accomplishments of our Social Science Scholars. These are achievements that (a) exceed our basic expectations for the Social Science Scholars; (b) recognize their creativity and dynamism; and (c) acknowledge the generosity of faculty mentors who are so commendably supportive of this program.


Madge MacLeanMadge Mclean and Andrew Martin’s research on gun violence and the media has been accepted by the committee of the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UUARF), a prestigious annual event at which students present their research to a wide university audience. They have been working with Dr April Zeoli (Criminal Justice) on an important project that seeks to identify which factors determine whether reports of shooting crimes make it into the national media. It is rare for freshmen to have the opportunity to present at UURAF. Further plaudits to Madge for her equestrian achievements this semester. She moved up in the equestrian team rankings to the point where she is listed to compete on the show team.

Samantha PerrySamantha Perry was one of six panelists last week during a public discussion at the Kellogg Center about the representation of women in the Fifty Shades book trilogy and movie. She has been assisting with Dr Amy Bonomi’s (Dept of Human Development and Family Studies) research which has involved holding focus groups to ascertain the reactions of MSU undergraduates to the Fifty Shades movie. Over a hundred members of the public, including several fellow Scholars, attended the event and saw Samantha speak with confidence and clarity, unfazed by being the only undergraduate involved in the research, and a freshman at that!

Tristyn WaltonTristyn Walton was invited into the Honors College, Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society, and MSU’s Tower Guards. She has also started to provide volunteer tutoring for children at Foster Community Center and is volunteering at Haven House, a facility that provides emergency housing and support services for one-parent and two-parent families with children.

Manny AlaloufManny Alalouf was featured in a December 27 Detroit Free Press article about his proposal for a modification to the existing ‘winner-take-all’ system by which Michigan’s votes are assigned to presidential candidates. When involved in Michigan Youth in Government, Manny proposal won ‘best bill’. It came to the attention of a Free Press journalist after Rep. Pete Lund introduced a somewhat similar bill to the Michigan legislature. Manny’s political involvement continues. After an interview process in November, Manny was appointed to a 3-year term as commissioner for the Human Relations Commission in East Lansing, working on civil rights issues in the East Lansing area. One of the committee’s projects has been to mount at marketing campaign to encourage residents to report instances of discrimination to the city’s website. Manny has also been accepted into the East Lansing Emerging Leaders Program, giving him the opportunity to meet local government employees such as the Chief of Police and the Mayor.

Dean RyanDean Ryan is the Residential Hall Association representative for Yakeley/Gilchrist hall, has been nominated to the Honors College First Year Council, and has just been appointed as the ASMSU representative to the general assembly of the Residential Hall Association.

Grace HoughGrace Hough was given a special invitation to attend a breakfast meeting with MIT’s Professor of Economics Amy Finkelstein who was on campus to describe her research on the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment. In 2012 Professor Finkelstein was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, given annually to the economist under the age of 40 who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge. Grace was invited having greatly impressed her academic mentors in the Department of Economics.