Samantha Long, Emily Blaker, and Dr. Karagiorgakis

Penn State Fayette students awarded Erickson Discovery Grants for research

Two students of Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, have been selected to receive the 2018 Erickson Discovery Grant awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Education at University Park.

Samantha Long and Emily Blaker will each receive $3,500 to support their proposed research projects, the topics of which will remain undisclosed until completion to preserve research subject naivety in the campus community.

A total of 209 proposals were submitted for an Erickson Discovery Grant, and 72 students across the Penn State system were selected to receive funding. The grant enables students to complete research across disciplines by relieving the burden of living expenses and project costs, such as supplies, software and travel. The proposal process includes conceptualization of a research topic, proposal writing, identification and implementation of research methods, and intended communication of results.

“These grants indicate that our students can compete with the very best student researchers across all of Penn State,” said Aris Karagiorgakis, assistant professor of psychology at Penn State Fayette. “[Long and Blaker] are both excellent students who perform at the highest level. I look forward to working with them this summer.”

Long and Blaker will work independently under the supervision of Karagiorgakis over the summer 2018 semester.

“The proposal experience was time-consuming but informative, exciting and worth the outcome,” said Long. A Connellsville native, Long is expected to graduate in 2019 with a bachelor of science in psychology. She plans to eventually obtain a doctorate degree with a focus in trauma psychology.

Blaker is a sophomore from Dilliner, Pennsylvania, pursuing a bachelor of science in psychology and a minor in human development and family studies. “Dr. Karagiorgakis helped to prepare me for the research study and fine tune my writing skills,” she said. “This is my first research of any kind, so I’m excited for the experience.”