SXU Announces Student-Faculty Collaboration Grant Winners

Student-Faculty Collaboration Grant WinnnersSaint Xavier University’s (SXU) Office of the Provost congratulates Kristen Kitsch ’16, Adriana Santillanes ’16 and Rebecca Shalack ’16 on being selected to receive Student-Faculty Collaboration grants. With funds generously donated by SXU’s class of ’62, SXU created the Student-Faculty Partnership Endowment in September 2013 to fund grants to support collaborative student-faculty research or creative projects to encourage continued growth in such activity.

This is the inaugural year for the program that was made possible by a federal Title III grant, generous contributions from the classes of 2013 and 1962, and Jim and Trish Morris ’83. Accordingly, it is in their names that a Student-Faculty Collaboration Grant was awarded to Kitsch, Santillanes and Shalack, who will report on the findings of their projects in a symposium to be held in April 2016.

Kitsch, a clinical counseling major, will work on a project entitled, The Fading Affect Bias in Autobiographical Memory is Disrupted among Individuals with Eating Disorders,” under the guidance of Dr. Timothy Ritchie, professor of the Department of Psychology. This research project will investigate how an individual’s current self-concept either facilitates or disrupts their recall of past personal events. Additionally, Kitsch will examine the relationship between one’s past events and the feelings that they hold in the present time towards those past events.

“I am truly humbled to have been awarded this grant, since it will enable for me to better explore a topic that I am passionate about,” said Kitsch. “The grant has provided me with a vast amount of opportunities that will help me gain valuable experience for graduate school and my future career.”

Kitsch is thrilled to be working with Dr. Ritchie and looking forward to presenting at the Student-Faculty Collaboration Grant Symposium in April.

Santillanes, also a clinical counseling major, will work on a project entitled, “Art for Mental Health,” where she will collaborate with Nicola Demonte, assistant professorial lecturer of the Department of Psychology. This research project will enable students to create a piece of art, reduce mental health stigma and regulate their own positive experiences using mindfulness. Project participants will be able to express their feeling using drawings or paintings. In doing so, participants will have the opportunity to increase their positive mindfulness in relation to the present moment by savoring and appreciating positive experiences.

“The objective is to start a visual conversation about mental health, reduce stigma by promoting awareness on campus and to create a supportive environment where people can speak up and seek help for mental health issues,” said Santillanes. “I want to contribute to the concept of mindfulness and have the ability to impact a person’s life.”

Santillanes is looking forward to seeing the participant’s artwork and hoping to make a difference in the SXU community in regards to mental health.

Shalack, an industrial organization major, will work on a project entitled, “The Impact of Human Resource Management Strategies in the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteers for a Non-Profit Organization,” in conjunction with Dr. Ekundayo Akinlade, assistant professor of the Graham School of Management. This research project will examine how Strategic Human Resource Management, High-Performance Work Systems and Psychological Empowerment impact the recruitment and retention of volunteer workers in a non-profit charitable organization. Data for this project will be collected through interviews with testimonials from volunteers as well as employees.

“I hope the grant funds will enable me to complete, present and eventually publish the research Dr. Akinlade and I write,” said Shalack.

Shalack is excited to participate with the Student-Faculty Collaboration Grant because it will give her the opportunity to present at the symposium in April 2016.

SXU looks forward to learning more about each students’ project and to support them as they pursue the goals associated with their findings. Join SXU in congratulating each of these three award-winning students and their faculty mentors!