Jalina McClarin loves to learn. This summer, she will be
afforded an opportunity that, as she puts it, is "too big to
McClarin has been selected by the Committee on Institutional
Cooperation's (CIC) highly competitive Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP). She is the first student in Carlow's
85-year history to receive this honor.
A junior psychology major from Bethesda, Ohio, McClarin will
travel to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to work in the
psycholinguistics lab of Gary Lupyan, PhD, for 10 weeks this
summer. Lupyan's research revolves around the interaction between
language and cognitive processes.
"I'm really interested in psycholinguistics, and how we gain
meaning from sounds," says McClarin. "I will be doing my own
research and publishing my own article on the subject. Getting
published as an undergraduate is an amazing opportunity!"
The CIC is a consortium of the Big Ten member universities, plus
the University of Chicago. SROP, now in its 28th year,
aims to increase the number of underrepresented students who pursue
graduate study and research careers. SROP has received the
Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and
Engineering Mentoring and has mentored more than 12,000
students-610 of whom have gone on to receive PhDs.
McClarin says Carlow—and the close relationships she's developed
with her professors—made the SROP a reality.
"The Carlow community is the whole reason I ended up with this
opportunity," she says. "Had it not been for the intimate setting
at Carlow, I might have been just another student in a huge crowd.
My professors here helped me through the entire application
process. Coming to Carlow is the best decision I ever made."
Mary Ann Sestili, PhD, ('61), Carlow Laureate, trustee emeritus,
and president of Health Sciences Associates, was instrumental in
bringing the program to the attention of Sylvia Rhor, PhD, associate professor of art history and co-director of Carlow's Honors Program.
"The SROP is an excellent opportunity for Carlow," says Sestili.
"Recognizing the benefits of this program, I laud Dr. Sylvia Rhor
in her leadership and Jalina McClarin for pursuing this career
"I am absolutely thrilled for Jalina," says Rhor. "I hope
this research helps her get a better idea of what she would like to
explore in her graduate studies, and what it is like to be a part
of a research team at a large university."
Rhor is a firm believer in the power of mentoring and says the
SROP will open many doors for McClarin.
"Studies show how challenging and often unfair academic
environments have and can be for women and people of color," says
Rhor." Mentoring helps provide professional training, but also
helps build networks of support."
Stephanie Wilsey, PhD, director of Carlow's undergraduatepsychology program, says the experience will enable McClarin to
focus her research and professional interests. "I can't think of a
better way for an undergraduate student to catch the research bug,"
Rhor calls McClarin's achievement the beginning of a new chapter
for Carlow." Jalina may be the first Carlow student to receive the
SROP," she says, "but she will not be the last."