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A Spotlight on Students Who Remain Eagle Strong

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During each Board of Trustees meeting, students are spotlighted to showcase how wonderful Eastern students really are—especially when they have to overcome the challenges of online learning during a pandemic.

The Dec. 11 BOT meeting featured two such students—Lizeth Bañuelos and Theresa Lee—each finding success through this challenging period and showcasing what Eagle Strong is really about. Both women are also examples of how utilizing resources through the EWU Libraries and Learning Commons encourages creativity and learning.

Lizeth Bañuelos

Lizeth Bañuelos is a senior majoring in applied developmental psychology and minoring in both race and cultural studies and Chicana/o/x studies. She is also a McNair Scholar. Bañuelos was selected to join the McNair Program due to her unique talent and motivation toward her academic goals.

“As a McNair scholar at Eastern Washington University, I had the opportunity this past summer to complete a McNair research internship, under the mentorship of Dr. Aryn Ziehnert, where I began research that examined the Latinx first-generation academic experience and the role that institutional and familial supports play amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bañuelos says. “The study emphasizes looking at their perceived stress related to academics, their academic self-efficacy, and their knowledge and feelings towards institutional supports. For this study, I am utilizing a convergent mixed-methods approach, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative data.”

Bañuelos is passionate about her project and relying on her own experience in her research.

“As a first-generation Latina, I intend to focus my research on finding solutions for societal issues that impact the mental health of traditionally underserved populations,” she says. “Witnessing psychological and psychosocial symptoms in my community positioned me to understand the limited mental health services that are available and accessible for traditionally underserved populations. I hope to continue my work toward dismantling the barriers to mental health care that affect the Latinx community.”

Theresa Lee

Bañuelos’ full research project is stored in the EWU Digital Commons here.

The board also got to meet Theresa Lee, an undergraduate student from Whidbey Island working on a double major in psychology and criminal justice and a minor in sociology. Her interests and research focus on recidivism with an emphasis on prisoner reentry barriers—investigating the influence that social perceptions have on successful prisoner reentry.

Lee is also McNair Scholar, who under the mentorship of Lindsey Upton, PhD, assistant professor of criminal justice at EWU, continued her research on college perspective toward prisoner reentry barriers in her 2020 EWU McNair Research Internship. Lee is currently applying for doctoral programs. She hopes her education in criminal justice encourages an increase in funded reentry services for victims and offenders.

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