Former Capstone Supervisor of the Year
CAPSTONE SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR, 2021-2022 Heading link
Dr. Mary Khetani
Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
College of Applied Health Sciences Sciences
The Capstone Supervisor of the Year award is given annually to a faculty member for their outstanding mentorship of Honors College students’ Senior Honors Capstone projects. This year’s Capstone Supervisor of the Year is Dr. Mary Khetani, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy in the College of Applied Health Sciences, with affiliate appointments in their PhD program in Rehabilitation Sciences and Department of Disability and Human Development.
Dr. Khetani is a pediatric occupational therapist and rehabilitation scientist by background, having pursued an honors program of study herself to earn her B.A. in Psychology and Biomedical Sciences from Marquette University. She then earned her M.A. in Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California and her Sc.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences, followed by postdoctoral training, at Boston University. As a clinician scientist, Dr. Khetani directs the Children’s Participation in Environment Research Lab (CPERL) that pursues interdisciplinary team science to advance smart and connected options for advancing person-centered rehabilitation services for children with developmental needs and their families. Dr. Khetani has engaged the CPERL team to co-author articles outlining their strategic plan and early efforts to cultivate an anti-racist research environment and network for supporting women to grow and sustain their careers in pediatric rehabilitation research and/or research-engaged practice.
Dr. Khetani was nominated by Julia Gabrielle Sim, who writes, “Dr. Khetani is a mentor who is purposeful with her mentoring techniques and continuously challenges you to strive to be better. Her mentorship, braveness, compassion, and patience has brought me to where I am today and I owe a lot of my successes to her as she gave me the opportunity to be uncomfortable, step out of my comfort zone, and grow.”
CAPSTONE SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR, 2020-2021 Heading link
Dr. Robert F Klie
Professor of Physics
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Capstone Supervisor of the Year for 2020-21 is Dr. Robert F Klie, Professor of Physics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Klie specializes in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics. He began his undergraduate studies in Physics at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in Bonn, Germany and graduated in 1998 from Kingston University, London, UK with a B.Sc in Physics. After receiving his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois in 2002, Dr. Klie joined the Materials Science Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) as a Goldhaber Fellow. Following the completion of this fellowship in 2005, Dr. Klie accepted a position as an Assistant Scientist at BNL’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials.
In his research, Dr. Klie pursues the development and utilization of atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopy of nano-scale materials systems. He utilizes a variety of analytical techniques, including Z-contrast imaging and electron energy-loss spectroscopy to study the effects of defect and interfaces in superconducting oxides or borides, semiconducting oxide hetero-structures, and heterogeneous catalyst systems.
In nominating Dr. Klie, Honor College student, Lopa Bhatt, wrote that “Prof. Robert Klie is one of the best research capstone advisors an undergraduate could ask for,” and noted his support when students want to go beyond conventional expectations of the lab experience and try new techniques.
CAPSTONE SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR, 2019-2020 Heading link
Dr. Jane Rhodes
Professor and Department Head, African American Studies
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The Capstone Supervisor of the Year award is given annually to a faculty member for their outstanding mentorship of Honors College students’ Senior Honors Capstone projects. This year’s Capstone Supervisor of the Year is Jane Rhodes, Professor and Head in African American Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Professor Rhodes is trained as a mass media historian with specialization in African American history and culture. She focuses on the study of race, gender and mass media; the history of the black press; media and social movements; and African American women’s history. She is particularly interested in how aggrieved communities have used print culture, film, electronic media, music, and other expressive cultures as modes of resistance and empowerment. Her work also explores the gender politics of African American communities and the experiences of transnational black subjects.
Professor Rhodes was nominated by Taylor Hutchinson who wrote that, balancing the substantial academic load as a pre-med senior, she was initially very hesitant about the project and whether or not its completion would be feasible, but Professor Rhodes eased this fear and only furthered Taylor’s love for the project. Taylor writes, “In working with Professor Rhodes, I have never questioned the dedication or devotion she has towards guiding me through the process of completing this project nor ensuring that the remainder of my journey in the Honor’s College and at UIC is one both enjoyable and memorable.”
CAPSTONE SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR, 2018-2019 Heading link
Dr. Aerika Brittain Loyd
Associate Professor, Educational Psychology
College of Education
The Capstone Supervisor of the Year award is given annually to a faculty member for their outstanding mentorship of Honors College students’ Senior Honors Capstone projects. This year’s Capstone Supervisor of the Year is Aerika Brittain Loyd, Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the College of Education. She is also an affiliate of Community Health Sciences in the School of Public Health.
As a developmental scientist, Dr. Loyd investigates how social stressors and protective factors affect mental health and development in African American and Latinx youth and families, and she provides recommendations for culturally informed youth practice, prevention, and policy. She has conducted research in the United States and in South Africa, and her research has been published in journals such as Developmental Psychology, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, and the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.
Professor Loyd was nominated by Tiffany Besana who wrote, “Dr. Loyd introduced me to a wide array of opportunities that I would not have otherwise received without her support and belief in my work on Asian American Media Representation and Identity Development. She encouraged me to present my findings…. and invited me to publish my capstone…. By eagerly offering me these chances to showcase my research, Dr. Loyd promotes my professional development and self-efficacy. She inspires and guides me to become an eloquent researcher such as herself.”
CAPSTONE SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR, 2017-2018 Heading link
Dr. Bette L. Bottoms
Dean Emerita, Honors College, and Professor, Department of Psychology
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The Capstone Supervisor of the Year award is given annually to a faculty member for their outstanding mentorship of Honors College students’ Senior Honors Capstone projects. This year’s Capstone Supervisor of the Year is Bette L. Bottoms, Dean Emerita, Honors College, and Professor, Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The issues Dr. Bottoms studies lie at the interface of psychology and law. Much of the motivation for her research stems from her concern for justice and the welfare of children, yet her research is driven by a desire to test basic psychological theories.
An Honors College Fellow since January 2005, Dr. Bottoms has a long history of working with Honors Students, and received the Fellow of the Year award in 2006. “I have worked with Honors College students in my research laboratory every year that I have been here since 1992, Bottoms wrote in 2006. “It’s been a wonderful experience to work with such bright, dedicated students. I put off becoming an Honors Fellow for many years because I didn’t think I had the time, but became one anyway, and have been very pleased with the experience.”
This year Jonathan Aniciete, Kajal Sachdev, Kaitlynn Richardson, and Brandon Garcia nominated Professor Bottoms as Capstone Supervisor of the Year. Kaitlynn wrote in her letter of nomination, “Dr. Bottoms sets an example for not only how successful one can become, but also how one should handle their success once they have achieved it. As a researcher, Dr. Bottoms challenges her students with the projects and tasks that they take on under her supervision.” Kajal, in summing up her experience working with Professor Bottoms, wrote, “She pushes me to strive for excellence in everything I do and has allowed me to turn my Capstone project into something that represents everything I wanted to accomplish while at UIC and more importantly, into the starting point for my future research career in graduate school.”
CAPSTONE SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR, 2016-2017 Heading link
Dr. Kara Morgan-Short
Associate Professor, Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies, Department of Psychology
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The Capstone Supervisor of the Year award is given annually to a faculty member for their outstanding mentorship of Honors College students’ Senior Capstone projects. This year’s Capstone Supervisor of the Year is Dr. Kara Morgan-Short, Associate Professor in the Departments of Hispanic and Italian Studies and Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Morgan-Short is the director of the UIC’s Cognition of Second Language Acquisition Laboratory. She has won numerous awards, including a Teaching Recognition Award and Graduate Mentoring Award.
Professor Morgan-Short was nominated by Nethaum Mizyed and Minnie Pham. Regarding Professor Morgan-Short’s advising, Nethaum says, “She has been very easy to communicate with and has encouraged me to stay organized and relaxed so that I can enjoy the experience of a capstone.” Minnie adds, “I adore [her] because of her ability to be intelligent but humble at the same time; wise, but never condescending… She is a perfect fit for Capstone Supervisor of the Year, a quintessential role model, and her profound positive impact is something I will take with me leaving UIC.”
CAPSTONE ADVISOR OF THE YEAR, 2015-2016 Heading link
Dr. Eileen Hacker
Associate Professor, Department of Biobehavioral Health Science
College of Nursing
The Capstone Advisor of the Year award is given annually to a faculty member for their outstanding mentorship of Honors College students’ Senior Capstone projects. This year’s Capstone Advisor of the Year is Dr. Eileen Hacker, Associate Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health Science in the College of Nursing. Dr. Hacker’s teaching focus includes scientific reasoning and statistical content for nurse scientists and practitioners, in addition to the care of people with cancer across the disease trajectory. She has won numerous awards, including a Teaching Recognition Award and Excellence in Research Award.
Dr. Hacker was nominated by Miglena Garkova, who said, “Dr. Hacker is an exceptional mentor… She is skilled at providing the undergraduate student the tools they would need to guide them into research practice…This being my first research endeavor, I felt like I was in great hands.”
CAPSTONE ADVISOR OF THE YEAR, 2014-2015 Heading link
Dr. Pauline Maki
Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, UIC College of Medicine
Director of Women’s Mental Health Research
Dr. Maki is the first recipient of this new award, which recognizes an Honors College Capstone advisor for their outstanding mentorship of Honors College students’ research.
Dr. Maki received her Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Minnesota and has been devoted to the mission of UIC since 2002. Passionate about women’s mental and cognitive health, Dr. Maki investigates sex differences in cognitive and psychiatric disorders.
As a Capstone advisor, she enjoys mentoring students as they conduct independent projects after she and the student work together to identify a project tailored to the student’s goals and passions. To further their research experience, Dr. Maki also encourages her students to present at the UIC Student Research Forum and other nationally recognized conferences. Currently, several Honors students work in her laboratory, forming a “community of scholars with very similar missions.” In fact, she has even published papers with former Honors College students and still mentors them even after they graduate.
In addition to serving as a Faculty Fellow and Capstone Advisor, Dr. Maki is also involved in the Honors College in other ways. She taught a subunit of HON 201: Foundations for the Future and is currently working on developing a closer pipeline between the Honors College and the UIC College of Medicine so that students have more information regarding the M.D./Ph.D. program.
As advice to Honors students, Dr. Maki recommends that students constantly monitor their interests and have a sense of grit. The Capstone Advisor of the Year award has meant a great deal to Dr. Maki, especially since it was chosen by the Honors College student body. A recent Honors College alumnus expressed, “Dr. Maki has inspired me to continue to do research throughout medical school, and her lessons will help me throughout my career.”