Northern Illinois University

Northern Today

Students awarded grants to present their research

February 2, 2009

Lisa McFadden, a doctoral candidate in the psychology department’s neuroscience and behavior program, and Suhong Yu, a doctoral student in physics, are the first beneficiaries of the new Howard Johnston Award for Graduate Student Travel at NIU.

The Howard Johnston Award encourages excellence in research by providing travel grants of up to $1,500 for students to present their research at national or international conferences. Applicants must be nominated by their research mentor and department. 

“Our graduate students at NIU do some terrific research, and this is one way that we can encourage them more to present their work in national and international venues,” said James Erman, interim vice president for research and graduate studies at NIU.

Psychology Professor Leslie Matuszewich nominated McFadden.

McFadden’s work looks to gain a better understanding of the basic mechanism involved the therapeutic effects of early amphetamine and Ritalin treatments in children with ADHD. She presented her research on the topic last semester at the annual meeting for the Society for Neurosciences in Washington, D.C.

Professor Zhili Xiao nominated Yu for the award.

Yu is carrying out research on the fabrication, properties and applications of nanoscale superconductors. She recently has been able to make superconducting loops with diameters down to a few hundred nanometers and observed novel phenomena. Her results are important for both understanding nanoscale superconductors and their potential applications in nanodevices. Yu also was part of a team that developed new approaches to fabricating superconducting niobium nitride nanowires and nanoribbons. She will present her research at the annual March meeting of the American Physical Society in Pittsburgh.

The Howard Johnston Award for Graduate Student Travel will be given out on a periodic basis. Applications/nominations will be accepted three times each year: Feb. 28, June 30 and October 30.

See for more information.