William O'Brien First-Year Research Prizes | St. Lawrence University First-Year Program

William O'Brien First-Year Research Prizes

Winners from the Class of 2023

Will O’Brien was a member of the Class of 2006 who was tragically killed in the summer after his first year here at St. Lawrence.  Will loved his year at SLU, and thanks to the generosity of his family and their friends, we are able to fund a series of prizes for research done in spring First-Year Seminar courses.
Each year, we select three students whose research in their FYS best reflects exemplary achievement of the goals of the FYS.  Those three students will receive cash awards and typically will have the opportunity to present their research to the campus community at the Honors Reception during Family Weekend in the fall of their sophomore year. However, this year due to Covid-19 the Honors Reception has been cancelled. Please note that the Laurentian Weekend will be a VIRTUAL celebration in 2020 and families should not plan to come to campus. Click here to view this year's schedule. This year, we have also selected four honorable mentions.

Congratulations to the William O'Brien FYS Research Prize winners from the
Class of 2023:

First Place: Samantha A. Gaul
     "Circadian Rhythm Misalignment on Night Shift Workers"
     FYS - “Neuroscience of Stress"
              with Serge Onyper

Second Place: Katherine G. Sheehy
     "Government Intervention in the Family: The Successes and Failures of Family Planning Policies in Iran"
     FYS - “Is Hijab Dangerous: Thinking about Gender and Sexuality in the Contemporary Islamic World"
              with Howard Eissenstat

Third Place: Laken A. Mooney
     "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Inclusion of Transgender Female Athletes"
     FYS - Sports and Gender: Breaking Traditional Boundaries
              with Elisa VanKirk

Honorable Mention: Grace E. DeFranco
     "Seattle’s Seventies Sonic Boom: How the City Went From Economic Disaster to a Progressive Metropolis"
     FYS - "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised": Reassessing the 1970s in the United States and Canada
              with Neil Forkey

Honorable Mention: Cora M. Ferguson
     "The Influence of Stress on Decision Making"
     FYS - Neuroscience of Stress
              with Serge Onyper

Honorable Mention: Jenna L. Mack
     "The Mechanisms and Effects of Soil Nitrification in Relation to Nitrous Oxide Emissions"
     FYS - General Chemistry FYS with Lab
              with Adam Hill

Honorable Mention: Sofie G. Carlson
     "The Ills of Small-Scale Solar"
     FYS - Energy and the Environment
              with George Repicky