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Narges Sareh received the Sherrod Library Graduate Student Scholarship for Excellence in Research at ETSU. This $500 scholarship was established to recognize graduate students who demonstrate research acumen and a successful, strategic research strategy in using library resources to conduct their research.
Sareh earned this scholarship for her paper on "Gender Differences in Preschool Teachers' Math Talk with Children." Sareh is a doctoral fellow in early childhood education at ETSU, and holds a B.S. degree in Italian language and literature from the University of Tehran. She is one of 10 emerging early childhood education leaders chosen as Lasting Legacy Scholarship Recipients to attend the 2019 National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference.
In her research, Sareh examined the biases in teachers that impact the amount of talk about mathematics that boys receive from their preschool teachers versus that which girls receive. She went on to present the results of her research at a national conference in November 2018.
According to her professor, Dr. Alissa Lange, Sareh effectively used the Sherrod Library in locating and evaluating peer-reviewed articles pertaining to her topic. "For many students in this class who had minimal prior research experience, we were ambitious in asking this class to proceed through all the phases of research through the end," Lange wrote in nominating Sareh for the scholarship. "Narges truly went above and beyond with her project."
Ifeoma D. Ozodiegwu has been awarded the inaugural Sherrod Library Graduate Student Scholarship for Excellence in Research at East Tennessee State University.
This $500 scholarship was established to recognize graduate students who demonstrate research acumen and a successful, strategic research strategy in using library resources to conduct their research.
"It's for formative coursework prior to the dissertation, thesis or capstone project because we want to reward good, careful, thoughtful research early in the graduate student's academic career," said Dr. Wendy Doucette, graduate research and instruction librarian at ETSU's Sherrod Library. "ETSU has many awards for undergraduates and many which are department-specific. This was an opportunity for the Library to specifically target graduate students of any program and prioritize their efforts navigating the research process."
Ozodiegwu received the first award from this new scholarship for her paper, "The relationship between maternal obesity and neonatal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa: A pooled cross-sectional analysis of 33 countries."
"The findings of my study, which links maternal obesity with increased neonatal mortality," Ozodiegwu said, "draws attention to the potential impact of the rise in maternal obesity seen in low- and middle-income countries, and will inform more confirmatory studies."
"Of the applications we received, Ms. Ozodiegwu's work demonstrated everything we sought in the award," Doucette said. "With regard to the minimum qualifications required, she demonstrated attention to detail, an abundance of peer-reviewed sources and a lucid explanation of her searching technique. It was gratifying to see this careful research utilized to construct an impressive, well-documented case worthy of professional publication.
"Ms. Ozodiegwu may still be a nascent researcher, but the quality of her work gives every likelihood of a successful career."
Ozodiegwu, an international student from Nigeria, is a third-year doctor of public health (Dr.P.H.) student concentrating in epidemiology in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology in the ETSU College of Public Health. She holds a master of public health degree from ETSU and a bachelor's degree in applied biochemistry from Enugu State University of Science and Technology in Nigeria.
Before entering the Dr.P.H. program at ETSU in 2015, she served as a regional monitoring and evaluation consultant with Research Triangle Institute, a global non-profit based in North Carolina, where she provided in-country technical support for Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Health Neglected Tropical Diseases program. She has also held positions with the Centre for Infectious Diseases Research in Zambia on a National Institutes of Health-funded project, as well as with the District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Health and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa.
"Winning the scholarship means a lot, because it provides a platform within the ETSU community to bring public visibility to the issue of maternal obesity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), which I hope will lead to more collaboration, support and funding," Ozodiegwu said. "Additionally, it serves as a confidence-booster and validation of the high quality of my work, which will keep me motivated to do more."
"As a result, I plan to continually improve myself in my quest to attain my professional goal of becoming a technical expert in maternal and child health issues in LMICs in order to play a lead role in efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (set by the United Nations) of reducing maternal and child morbidity and mortality globally."
"I would like to thank all my teachers and mentors who have taught me well, supported me and pushed me to exceed my goals and targets," Ozodiegwu continued. "This includes Dr. Liang Wang, the professor who nominated me for this award and in whose class I developed my research paper; Dr. Megan Quinn, my academic advisor; and Drs. Hadii Mamudu and Henry Doctor, both members of my dissertation committee."