FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to announce the naming of seven outstanding UMF student researchers as Wilson Scholars and Fellows for fall 2022. Awardees are named twice a year and include single-semester scholars and year-long fellows.
This semester’s awardees include Wilson Fellows Heather Janson from Marlborough, Massachusetts and Autumn Koors Foltz from Baltimore. Wilson Scholars include Kelly Gentilo from Bethesda, Maryland; Isabelle King from Yarmouth; Emily Moore from Epsom, New Hampshire; Will Robert from Embden and Jaycie Stevens from Pittston.
“Congratulations to this semester’s Wilson Scholars and Fellows. This program is a great example of the value of undergraduate research at Farmington and how the results can inform, enrich and benefit the citizens of Maine,” said Joseph McDonnell, UMF interim president.
Fall 2022 Wilson Fellows
A senior with a double major in secondary education and mathematics, Janson is working on a deep, not wide, approach to gifted and talented mathematics education. Lori Koban, professor of mathematics is the faculty sponsor.
A junior majoring in creative writing and English, Koors Foltz is pursuing an academic and poetic investigation of the evolving form of queer letter writing. Stephen Grandchamp, assistant professor of literature and digital humanities is the faculty sponsor.
Fall 2022 Wilson Scholars
A junior majoring in performing arts, Gentilo is creating “Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes: A Multimedia Installation.” Aaron Wyanski, assistant professor of music composition is the faculty sponsor.
A senior majoring in secondary education/English, King is creating, “A Quilt Quartet: a Seasonal Reflection of My Life Growing Up in Maine.” Ann Bartges, assistant professor of visual arts, and Kristen Case, professor of English, are the faculty sponsors.
A junior majoring in performing arts, Moore is exploring “Piano Sonata: The Composer/Performance Relationship.” Aaron Wyanski, assistant professor of music composition is the faculty sponsor.
A senior majoring in earth & environmental studies, Robert is researching “An Environmental Geochemical Analysis of the Plumbago North Lithium Deposit, West-central Maine.” Doug Reusch, professor of geology, is the faculty sponsor.
A junior majoring in community health education, Stevens is “Exploring Changes in the UMF Student Sexual Health Knowledge, Perceptions, and Behaviors from Before to After the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Katie Callahan, assistant professor of community health education is the faculty sponsor.
A good example of the depth of the Wilson program, Heather Janson’s year-long Wilson Fellows project will be developing a curriculum supplement of learning activities for students in grade six gifted and talented programs that will help them have a deeper understanding of individual math concepts.
According to her proposal, inadequate resources for gifted and talented programming often result in a student receiving a wide rather than deep curriculum. Thus a student who has completed multiplication is quickly moved on to another concept such as division rather than working on a deeper understanding of the concept they just completed.
Janson always struggled with math in her early years, but grew to love it once she could understand it conceptually. Now, in her last year of her undergraduate degree, she is passionate about teaching and her goal is to help students in these programs have the opportunity to work on open ended problems with different applications so they can fully understand the concept and develop their mathematical expertise to the fullest extent possible.
In partnership with her faculty sponsor Lori Koban, UMF professor of mathematics, Janson is working to develop a deep curriculum supplement that could be applied within any gifted and talented program structure.
“I have loved being at Farmington. All my teachers know me by name and when I have a question or something to contribute, I can speak directly with them. That professional mentoring makes all the difference,” said Janson.
In addition to her student teaching next semester, Janson will be working on her Wilson project to create learning activities for about 40 sixth grade Common Core mathematics standards. Once she is a full-time teacher, she and Koban plan on continuing their work developing a gifted and talented curriculum for grades 6-12 and getting it published.
“Working with Dr. Koban has been wonderful,” said Janson. “I look forward to our continued collaboration as a full-fledged Maine teacher.”
Student researchers are individually sponsored by faculty and supported at every stage of their research. These faculty mentors assist with proposal development, research methodology, project presentation and continuing follow-up on pre-professional and post-graduate opportunities.
For more information, contact Donelle Schwalm, UMF assistant professor of environmental biology, at firstname.lastname@example.org.