Mount students selected for conference in Canada

April 25, 2012

Newburgh, NY -

Mount Saint Mary College students Brittany Botta, an honors mathematics/education major from Warwick, NY, and Pablo Escotto, a psychology major from Wappingers Falls, NY, were selected by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) to participate in the association’s prestigious undergraduate research workshop.

A national research society, AERA strives to advance knowledge about education, to encourage scholarly inquiry related to education, and to promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. The annual meeting was recently held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The students are pictured with George L. Wimberly (center), director of social justice and professional development at AERA. Last fall, Wimberly was the keynote speaker at the Mount’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) symposium on campus.

Botta’s primary research interest is motivation among adolescent girls to pursue careers in mathematics and engineering. Escotto’s research interests include exploring the prefrontal cortex's role in the regulation of cognitive activity.

Mount professors Frances Spielhagen, education, and Sarah Uzelac, psychology, wrote letters of support for Botta and Escotto, respectively. Spielhagen noted that application to the program is very competitive and Mount students competed against large R-1 research institutions and Ivy League colleges.

Botta is a graduate of Chester High School where she played track and field. Escotto transferred to the Mount from Dutchess Community College. To facilitate the transfer of credits, Mount Saint Mary College has special agreements with community colleges in Orange, Dutchess, Westchester, Rockland, Sullivan, and Ulster counties, as well as graduate schools.