Nellie McCannon Life Sciences Communication Scholarship

Nellie McCannon earned a B.S. in Home Economics at Iowa State College and became a home agent in Milwaukee County where she was the first extension agent to use television as an educational tool. She decided to return to school and pursue her M.S. in Agricultural Journalism (now LSC) to learn about the teaching potential of television. Following her graduation in 1953, Nellie joined the department and was involved in teaching undergraduate and graduate classes in home economics journalism and advising students. She also continued to make five television programs each week with farm broadcaster Maurice White, trained extension agents on how to do commercial television appearances, and initiated a yearly workshop for women editors and reporters in the state.

Congratulations to our 2021-2022 Nellie McCannon LSC scholarship award recipients, listed below in alphabetical order.

Luye Bao

Degree program: Ph.D. in Mass Communications

Hometown: Taizhou, China

This scholarship is a huge honor for me. This will allow me to field a pilot MTurk survey to collect data that I am interested in. The scholarship will also allow me to participate in online courses to develop the programming skills that I need for research. This will greatly help my dissertation and future career path.

Future goals: My future career plan is to work in academia to conduct cross-national research on science communication to expand our understanding of how opinion formation and policy preferences on emerging science and technology differ across cultural contexts. From a practical perspective, I aspire to translate research findings into practice to reach a consensus among different stakeholders on how to better use and regulate science and technology.

Mikhaila Calice

Degree program: Ph.D. in Mass Communications with minors in political science, quantitative methods, and energy analysis and policy

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

I am extraordinarily grateful for this scholarship as it enables a lot of autonomy and flexibility as a graduate student. First and foremost, this scholarship covers all of my student fees for the entire year. This is a huge weight off my shoulders as these fees are often burdensome, but are crucial for access to university perks like my bus pass and workout facilities. With the additional funding, I plan to put most if not all of it towards prolonging any conference travel I have this year. While we can apply for conference funding, it may not cover everything, certainly not if you want to extend your trip.

Future goals: My number one goal is to be a tenure-track professor at an R1 institution. I really love the SCIMEP lab model and hope one day to be able to create something like that in my own program. However, I am also open to experiences and building skills that equip me for a range of career paths including consulting work, think tank or national lab research, or working in some capacity as a social scientist that informs policy.

Ashley Cate

Degree program: M.S. in Life Sciences Communication

Hometown: Enfield, NH

This scholarship is very helpful to me in several ways. As a first-generation college student, any form of support is meaningful. Just feeling as though my schoolwork and research interests are worthy of recognition is a huge honor! But, as a first-gen college student who is financially supporting themselves during one of the strangest years in their life, this scholarship is extra special. This scholarship has allowed me to breathe a sigh of relief during an incredibly stressful and mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially draining time. The mental space that was previously dedicated to worrying about how I am going to pay for school supplies next semester is now freed up and I am able to focus my energy towards conducting sound and meaningful research for my Master’s thesis. That is a priceless feeling that I could never thank you enough for.

Future goals: As I am getting closer to the end of my Masters program in the Department of Life Sciences Communication, I have started to think more about my future plans. My short-term plans are to continue my research on public perceptions and expectations of the dairy industry as a PhD student in LSC. Long term, I see myself always being involved in research related to public perceptions of agriculture. As the population continues to grow, so does the demand for food, and this increased demand will drive changes within the agricultural industry. We will always need to know how agriculture, and specifically food, need to be produced so it remains a sustainable product. Though social sustainability is only a piece of the puzzle, it influences and is influenced by environmental and economic sustainability.

Shiyu Yang

Degree program: Ph.D. in Mass Communications and M.S. in Computer Sciences

Hometown: Changsha city, Hunan province, China

This scholarship acknowledges my work and performance as a graduate student. Therefore, it means a lot to me. I am very grateful for receiving this honor. Furthermore, the financial support will allow me to take more courses and expedite my graduation plan. As I am pursuing a double degree with a PhD Mass Communication and a Master’s in Computer Sciences, this support can be extremely helpful, especially during COVID-19. The scholarship will also give me greater opportunities to conduct research activities, participate in professional development workshops and training that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

Future goals: I intend to continue my career in higher education and carry on with my research enterprise after graduating from my Ph.D. program. Specifically, I intend to pursue a career in science communication research and teaching, ideally in a college faculty position. I intend to use my academic research skills, data analysis skills, and computational programming and research skills to develop projects that enhance our understanding of issues at the science-society interface and use that knowledge to benefit people in society.