Online fellowship provides research experience for Addison Lindsey ’21

A summer fellowship through the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Graduate School Exploration Fellows program has provided valuable experience for Addison Lindsey ’21 of Nunica, Michigan.

The fellowship was supposed to take place at a Big Ten school for 10 weeks, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fellowship was transferred to a 10-week online format. Lindsey worked virtually from home in collaboration with Kristine A. Kovack-Lesh, professor of psychology.

Lindsey is majoring in psychology and educational studies. She was interested in studying a cross-section of her two majors on a topic she hopes to pursue in graduate school. All her research was conducted via email and Zoom.

Her study title was “Children’s Attitudes toward Individuals with Autism.” She studied whether children’s attitudes change about a person if they got more information. By interacting with children in grades 1 through 7, she looked at how children rate their attitude of fairness and how likely they were to play with a classmate with autism and a classmate without autism — both before they knew one of them had autism and then again after they knew one of them had autism. Participants ranged in age from kindergarten through grade 6.

She found some significance in the fairness questions for both individuals, but no significance in the play questions. Many changed the fairness rating but not their likeliness to play after being given more information.

She plans to continue her study this academic year or in graduate school.

She presented her research virtually for the ACM/Big Ten Institute Conference. She also had the opportunity to attend a writing class and the Graduate School Discovery program.

“This fellowship allowed me to gain more research knowledge that I would have never had the opportunity to elsewhere,” she says. “In addition, it gave me a head start on graduate school applications, which will hopefully help me land a placement in a program of my dream. This fellowship pushes for the recipients to look at Ph.D. programs which is something that I never imagined myself investigating until I received this experience. If anything, this fellowship opened a wave of doors that will hopefully allow me to find where I am supposed to end up in life.”


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