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Student Spotlight

Congratulations to Rebecca Thiem on receiving the Dean’s Award of Merit in Arts and Sciences!

Dr. John Wade presents Rebecca Theim with the Dean's Award of Merit

On April 13, 2016, Rebecca Thiem was awarded the EKU College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award of Merit for the 2015-2016 academic year. The Dean’s Award of Merit is awarded to three outstanding seniors representing the areas of arts and humanities, natural and mathematical sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. Students selected for this award have demonstrated exceptional academic achievements in an appropriate discipline as well as campus leadership, community service, and the potential for professional achievement.

               Rebecca Thiem, from Middletown, Ohio, is a double major in mathematics and statistics, with a minor in actuarial science. She has worked for the EKU Department of Mathematics and Statistics as a lab assistant, grader, and tutor. In addition, she was actively involved at the university level as the President of the EKU Women’s Club Volleyball, a member of the steel drum ensemble, former secretary and president of Kappa Mu Epsilon, president of Mu Sigma Rho, and a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board.

               Rebecca was selected for an REU (Research for Undergraduates) at James Madison University for the summer of 2014, and for the Pennsylvania State University REU through the Mathematical Biosciences Institute at Ohio State University in the summer of 2015. Rebecca has made presentations on various topics of research, including “Integrating Different Data Types in Estimating Phylogenies” and “Approaches to Addressing Overfitting in Averaging Classifiers,” at events such as the Miami University Pi Mu Epsilon Student Conference and the Kentucky Section meeting of the Mathematical Association of America. In February of 2016, Rebecca worked with Dr. Michelle Smith and Dr. Lisa Kay on a poster called “Do Study Halls Produce Valedictorians?” for the Posters-At-The-Capitol event in Frankfort; the project examined how senior class rankings in Kentucky public high schools are determined.

               Rebecca will be attending North Carolina State University in the fall of 2016 to pursue a Ph.D. in Statistics. She has received a teaching assistantship for the 2016-2017 academic year.

               Congratulations, Rebecca! We know you will go on to do great things, and we wish you the best of luck!


Congratulations to Rebecca Thiem, Simon Mikulcik, and Heidi Houtz-Little on receiving the Outstanding Senior Award!

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