Mae Kile and Sara Terlecki, UTC graduate students, both received this year’s Sigma Xi Outstanding Research Award. Sigma Xi is the honor society of research scientists and engineers. It is an international, multidisciplinary society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise, reward excellence in scientific research and encourage a sense of companionship and cooperation among scientists in all fields. These awards are given to outstanding graduate students enrolled in thesis programs at UTC.

“The UTC chapter of Sigma Xi is very proud of our two Outstanding Research Award winners this year,” Alice Tym, UTC Clinical Instructor of Geography, said.  “These two students are fine representatives of the research being done here.”

Kile, an Environmental Science graduate student, began her graduate studies in fall 2009. Kile conducted research with Drs. Joey Shaw and Jennifer Boyd, Assistant Professors of Biological and Environmental Sciences. Through summer 2009 in anticipation of her thesis work, she monitored and assessed populations of locally endemic and federally threatened Scutellaria montana (large-flowered skullcap) at the Tennessee Army National Guard Volunteer Training Site in Catoosa County, Georgia.

For her thesis, Kile is attempting to explain the effects of canopy clearing and low-grade burning on successful establishment and continued growth of S. montana individual plants following transplantation.  This work will provide critical and practical information to both the military and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as they work to protect this threatened, yet not well studied, local species.

Terlecki will graduate in May 2011 with a Master’s of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. She is currently analyzing the data for her thesis, entitled Exploring Individual and Organizational Level Antecedents of Experienced Workplace Incivility, which considers individual personality characteristics and organizational characteristics as antecedents of experienced workplace incivility. She will present her preliminary results at the Ninth International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health in Orlando.

As a member of the Summer School subcommittee of the UTC Efficiency and Effectiveness committee, her efforts were critical to the development, planning, and acceptance of a major restructuring of the university’s summer school policies, practices and schedule.

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