Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Fall 2019 Recipients of the Sharon Borine Award

Students majoring in psychology must complete a capstone project to demonstrate appropriate expertise in an area of psychological research prior to graduation.  The Sharon Borine Award was established to recognize the best of these projects each semester.  Student projects are reviewed by section leaders, the course instructor, and a group of faculty reviewers in the Department of Psychology to select and rank the recipients.

Congratulations to the Fall 2019 recipients: Maddie Notti, Abigail Runyon, and Tamara Tyson!

Maddie Notti received the 1st place for the paper titled “Could Early Long-Term Marijuana Use Increase One’s Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease?”  Notti receives a cash award of $250.
Through my work in labs at Minnesota, including but not limited to the Luciana Lab, studying the impact of marijuana use in young adults and at Johns Hopkins studying Alzheimer's Disease prevention I began to notice similarities between the two. Specifically, the importance of the hippocampus in both and similarities in memory deficits. Given the independent but increasing prevalence of both, I wondered if there could be a connection between them. While research has not looked jointly at marijuana use in early life and later development of Alzheimer's, the current findings on each topic further reinforce it is a possibility worth exploring. After graduation, I plan on pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology with a focus on forensics.

Abigail Runyon, 2nd place recipient for the paper titled “Mental Illness and Homelessness: The Bidirectional Relationship Between Mental Illness and Homelessness”  Runyon receives a cash award of $150.
I am planning to go to graduate school next fall. I am waiting to hear back from schools in Manhattan, NY where I have plans to move to this upcoming summer to pursue my Masters in Social Work (MSW). I hope to work as a social worker in a children’s hospital setting or in the juvenile system in the future. I am incredibly passionate about ending the stigma around mental health and doing my part to end unequal access to mental health treatment while working with youth and adolescents who have experienced trauma. 
I have spent the last 6 months working at Tubman, a local domestic violence shelter, where I have been exposed to the burden and prevalence of homelessness and how interconnected it is to mental health. This is where my interest in this topic arose and I learned how essential it is for our society to provide further services so fewer families and individuals are left without support and services to turn to in order to prevent and lessen the burden of homelessness.

Tamara Tyson was awarded 3rd place for The paper titled “A Review of the Distinction Between Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder.”  Tyson receives a cash award of $75.