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HDFS Students Get Honorable Mentions in Prestigious National Accolades

Jessica Marmolejos
Jessica Marmolejos

Jessica Marmolejos, a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Science (HDFS), has been selected as an alternate for the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program. This nationally competitive program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program that supports cultural exchanges between the U.S. and more than 140 countries all over the world through studying at an international university, conducting research, or teaching English aboard.

Jessica proposed to conduct research surrounding the Afro-descendant population in Barranquilla, Colombia to explore how Afro-Colombians learn about race and form their identity outside of the national identity of mestizaje, or multiculturalism. Additionally, she will consider how racial socialization processes and one’s physical phenotypes together influence identity formation among Afro-Colombians. This project, intended to be for her dissertation, aims to broaden the definition of race in the Latine diaspora as well as challenge the mestizaje ideology held by most Latine people in the world. After earning a PhD, she plans to pursue a career in academia as a faculty member at a R1 university. Jessica is advised by Dr. Antoinette M. Landor, Associate Professor in HDFS.

Notable Fulbrighters include 62 Nobel Laureates, 89 Pulitzer Prize winners, 80 MacArthur Fellows, 41 heads of state or government, and thousands of leaders across the public, private, and non-profit sectors.

Karen Talley

Karen Talley, another doctoral student in HDFS, received an honorable mention for her application to the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) with the National Science Foundation (NSF). According to NSF, the GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated the potential to be high achieving scientists and engineers, early in their careers. The GRFP provides up to three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. 

Karen proposed a mixed-method study to understand what aspects of romantic life reviews might relate to subjective well-being for rural older adults. “Given this population can feel isolated with limited resources, sharing life reviews may be a low-cost and effective way to assess perceptions of life, while also acting as an entry-point for possible interventions for those with lower subjective well-being,” Karen said. Karen is advised by Dr. Kale Monk, Associate Professor in HDFS.

NSF states that an honorable mention is “considered a significant national academic achievement” and is only granted to a small proportion of highly rated proposals (only 1,788 applicants received an honorable mention this year).