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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