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Illinois Wesleyan Announces 2019 Eckley Scholars

June 6, 2019

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Wesleyan University has announced the 2019 recipients of the Robert S. and Nell B. Eckley Scholars and Artists Program fellowships. Established by President Emeritus and Mrs. Robert S. Eckley, the recognition provides a stipend of $4,000 for each scholar to spend the summer on campus conducting scholarly research or artistic activity under the mentorship of a faculty member. The program is designed to develop and deepen a student’s creative and research competencies.

Students selected for the fellowship, their projects, and their faculty sponsors are:


Student: Kayley Rettberg ’20 (Carol Stream, Ill.)

Project: “Criminal Record Expungement Policy and its Consequences”

Sponsor: Greg Shaw, Professor and Chair of Political Science


Student: Adam Cady ’20 (Rock Island, Ill.)

Project: “Redressing the Tragedy: The Place of Otho the Great in John Keats’s Letters"

Sponsor: Michael Theune, Professor of English and Writing Program Director


Student: Leah Bieniak ’21 (Saint Charles, Ill.)

Project: “Determining Species Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Breeding Birds in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois”

Sponsor: Given Harper, George C. and Ella Beach Lewis Endowed Professor of Biology


Student: Henryken (Minzhao) Liu ’21 (Dalian, China)

Project: “Quantum State Separation and Demonstration of High-Dimensional Entanglement”

Sponsor: Gabe Spalding, B. Charles and Joyce Eichhorn Ames Professor of Physics


Student: Julia Chen ’21 (Ocala, Fl.)

Project: “Unlocking the Secrets of Two New Viruses With a Unique Type of Blueprints”

Sponsor: Richard Alvey, Assistant Professor of Biology