Eckley Summer Scholars Announced

April 16, 2021

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Wesleyan University announced the 2021 recipients of the Robert S. and Nell B. Eckley Summer Scholars and Artists Program.

Established by President Emeritus and Mrs. Robert S. Eckley, the recognition provides a stipend of $4,000 for each scholar to spend the summer 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. This summer, Eckley scholars and their faculty sponsors are collaborating through distance learning modes.

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


Katie Fata
Katie Fata ’22

Student: Katie Fata ’22 
Project: “__Plath: Confronting the Tone Policing of Sylvia Plath”
Faculty Sponsor: Mike Theune, Robert Harrington Endowed Professor of English
Majors: English - Writing and Women's and Gender Studies
Hometown: South Weber, Utah


Joey Kiper
Joey Kiper ’22

Student: Joey Kiper ’22
Project: “Stimulating membrane repair in Neuroblastoma cells that are compromised by APP overexpression.”
Faculty Sponsor: Thomas Kwiatkowski, Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Major: Biochemistry
Hometown: Bloomington, Illinois


Jenna Ney
Jenna Ney ’22

Student: Jenna Ney ’22
Project: “The Specter of the Past: Historical Legacy and Democratic Backsliding in Hungary”
Faculty Sponsor: William Munro, Betty Ritchie-Birrer '47 and Ivan Birrer Endowed Professor and Chair of Political Science
Majors: Political Science and Japanese Studies
Hometown: Grover Beach, California


Anjali Patel
Anjali Patel ’23

Student: Anjali Patel ’23
Project: “How to Build a Bone in the Chicken Eye”
Faculty Sponsor: Tyler Schwend, Assistant Professor of Biology
Majors: Biology and Psychology
Hometown: Springfield, Illinois


Isabel Sperry
Isabel Sperry ’22

Student: Isabel Sperry ’22
Project: “Challenging Narrative Form and Prescriptive Messaging through Ceramic Storytelling Introduction”
Faculty Sponsor: Claire Hedden, Adjunct Assistant Professor of the School of Art
Majors: English - Literature and Sociology
Hometown: Macomb, Illinois


By Kailee Galloway