Grand Challenges Initiative (GCI) students Heather Andrini, Ashley Okhovat, and Sydni Au Hoy (l. to r. above) have been awarded the 2021 Kevin and Tam Ross Undergraduate Research Prize hosted by The Leatherby Libraries.

Heather, Ashley, and Sydni started working on their project, “Psychogenic Non-epileptic Seizures Disorder: Treatment after the Diagnostic Odyssey” as the focus of their efforts in their GCI courses. They continued their efforts beyond the GCI, forming a collaboration with Dr. Juliana Lockman, an expert in psychogenic non-epileptic seizures based at Stanford University, to bring new breadth and depth to their research. They recently presented their findings, a case study focused on the challenges of diagnosis and treatment of this unusual phenomenon, at the American Neuropsychiatric Association Conference in March 2021.

Receiving the prize is an honor, but it is not where this research journey will end. According to Heather Andrini ‘22, “This accomplishment will serve as fuel for us to continue working on this project; we have so much more to learn.” Sydni Au Hoy ‘22 adds, “Our team sincerely appreciates all the support we received from our advisor, Dr. Gregory Goldsmith, Dr. Juliana Lockman, Rebecca Green, the external mentors and professors we collaborated with, and Chapman’s Leatherby Libraries!”

The selection committee included the following faculty members and librarians:

  • Taylor Greene, Leatherby Libraries, Chair of the Undergraduate Research Prize Selection Committee
  • Rand Boyd, Special Collections Librarian, Leatherby Libraries
  • Dr. Jeremy Hsu, Instructional Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Fadel Lawandy, Clinical Associate Professor, Argyros School of Business and Economics
  • Essraa Nawar, Associate Librarian, Leatherby Libraries
  • Dr. Jan Osborn, Associate Professor, English