Two doctoral students receive funds to assist research

December 18, 2012 | News, UToday, — Languages, Literature and Social Sciences
By Samantha Watson


Jill Brown and Shane Close, two doctoral psychology students at The University of Toledo, were awarded scholarships to help with their research in social psychology and health.

Brown, a native of Eugene, Ore., originally received the Ford Family Foundation Scholarship to fund her undergraduate education at Oregon State University. When she came to UT, the foundation extended her scholarship for two years.

“I definitely owe my education to the Ford Family and am very grateful for their generosity,” Brown said. “This scholarship has allowed me to focus on the completion of my schoolwork and research activities.”

Brown is pursuing a career as a professor and researcher of social and health psychology.

“Jill’s interests are in the area of social psychology, health and medical decision-making,” said Dr. Andrew Geers, professor of psychology and academic adviser for both students. “She is interested in helping to improve the medical decisions that patients make.”


Close received the Graduate McNair Scholarship, which is awarded to students who were McNair scholars as undergraduates. The scholarship is geared toward those who are first-generation, low-income or minority students.

The scholarship is named after Ronald E. McNair, an African-American astronaut who was a first-generation college student from a low-income family. McNair died on the space shuttle Challenger after it exploded shortly after takeoff in 1986.

Close is a first-generation college student in his family. With this scholarship, he will not have to work as a teaching assistant like most doctoral students; this will allow him more time to conduct research.

“By being able to focus on research, I will be able to complete studies more quickly, which gives me the opportunity to work on papers more and hopefully get published,” he said.

Close, like Brown, is researching social psychology and health. He aims to improve the physical health outcomes for individuals through psychological interventions.

“Shane has maintained stellar grades and academic performances for many years,” Geers said. “Few scholarships are given to doctoral students by McNair, indicating Shane’s high standings.”

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