April 25, 2012
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.