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PoliSci Student Selected for Harvard Presentation

Political science undergraduate McCayla Sica has been accepted to present her research at the 2017 National Collegiate Research Conference to be held at Harvard in January. This is a very prestigious honor, as the application process is extremely competitive.

McCayla's honors thesis is titled “The Effects of Early Education Curriculum on a Child’s Perception of Race.” She investigates whether first and second grade students who are exposed to a classroom reading and activity on multiculturalism alter their perceptions of race (and gender) and their beliefs about leadership.

To conduct her research, McCayla secured the cooperation of the Florida State University School (FSUS) and received approval from the university’s Human Subjects Committee. to work with students at FSUS divided into treatment and control groups. Students in the treatment group took part in a classroom reading of Dr. Seuss’s The Sneeches, a classic children’s book about bias toward others, and a classroom activity in which they played the role of the sneeches, where some received certain privileges and others did not. The early results suggested that students in the treatment group exhibited increased levels of tolerance.

In the process of conducting this work, Sica has also won two small research grants. She also hopes to present her research in April at the Midwest Political Science Association Meetings in Chicago.

McCayla is also a member of the college's Student Leadership Council, where she serves as Scholarship Chair.