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Students Earn MLK Jr. Advancing Inclusion through Research Award

Students at Museum Celebrate MLK Jr. Day

The research and creative works of seven Michigan State University students has earned them the Martin Luther King Jr. Advancing Inclusion through Research Award.

The award builds the body of work authored by students that supports the ideals of inclusive excellence through topics of inclusion, diversity and marginalized populations. This year’s competition encompassed the themes from the university’s Project 60/50.

Student research papers and creative projects completed in 2015 and submitted by members of the Honors College, James Madison College, Lyman Briggs College or the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities were considered.

First prize was awarded to Kairsten Nitsch for her research paper, “Structural Racism and Normalized Whiteness as Driving Forces in Racialized Urban Agricultural Movements.” Nitsch is a member of James Madison College, and is also in the Honors College.

Second prize was awarded to Ewurama Dankah for her research paper, “Affirmative Action and Postsecondary Education.” Dankah is a member of both James Madison College and the Honors College.

Third prize was awarded to Lyman Briggs College students Brittany Ladson, Sydnee Wargo, Tia Barbera, Erin Schaner and Lindsay Dean, for their website, STEM Under the Microscope. Ladson and Dean are also in the Honors College.

The students will receive their awards during the All-University Excellence in Diversity Awards program on Feb. 15.

“This year’s submissions covered incredibly diverse topics and displayed the wide array of focus areas among the collaborating colleges,” said Jasmine Lee, director of diversity programs and student engagement for James Madison College. “We are so thankful that this award competition allows students to see the ways research connects with the university’s ideals of inclusive excellence and the ongoing conversations surrounding Project 60/50.”

The MLK Jr. Advancing Inclusion through Research Award was created in 2010 to highlight the ways in which MSU students follow Dr. King’s legacy, using their critical and creative skills to understand and re-envision the world.

Jasmine Lee , Stephanie Cepak–via MSU Today

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