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Two St. Lawrence seniors

accurately predicted

the Trump presidency. As the U.S. transitions to a new

administration, universities, media outlets, and political

organizations continue to assess the successes and failures of

predictive modeling in the 2016 presidential election. However,

back in October 2016, more than 30 St. Lawrence University

students took part in the American Statistical Association’s National

Election Prediction Contest. Students enrolled in Statistical

Methods of Data Collection, taught by Professor of Statistics

Michael Schuckers, worked in groups and were challenged to use

analytical methods to predict the next president prior to Election

Day. Seniors Mary Beth Benzing ’17 of Angola, New York (pictured

below right) and Šejla Palić ’17 of Bosnia and Herzegovina (left)

were among very few entries that provided analytics to accurately

predict the Trump victory in the 2016 election. Their results made

national news and as Mary Beth told

The Washington Post

:

“Everyone was putting weight on 2016 polling, but we used a

lot of data from 2012 because we thought it was most relevant.

Putting a little history in there made for a better prediction.”

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

awarded

St. Lawrence a four-year grant totaling $800,000 to

support the “Sophomore Journeys” program. This new program

will offer a new series of second-year student seminars and

courses that are linked to experiential learning opportunities,

including internships, community outreach, and summer

research fellowships. (see page 26)

Eliza Koso ’18

of Lexington, Massachusetts, and

So Hyeong Lee ’19 of South Korea, were selected out of

hundreds of applicants as Project Pengyou Leadership Fellows.

They participated in a U.S.-China Leadership Training Summit

in October at Harvard University. Project Pengyou (pengyou

means 'friend' in Mandarin) is a program sponsored by the

Golden Bridges Foundation that is mobilizing a rising

generation of U.S.-China bridge-builders to bring about

a world that embraces diverse cultures and shared humanity.

Regional African Union Awards

in Committee

Leadership went to Rutendo Chabikwa ’17, Yvonne

Boateng ’18 and Namarig Kram ’18 and Outstanding

Delegation in Committee Award went to Rutendo Rutendo

Chabikwa ’17. Seven St. Lawrence University students and

their faculty advisors participated at the second-annual

New York Six Regional Model African Union, which took

place in October at Colgate University.

Nine students participated

in a geological

field methods course in Iceland with P. Jay Fleisher

’61, faculty emeriti, Alexander K. Steward, associate professor

of geology, and Matt VanBrocklin, geology technician. The

purpose of the course was to introduce students to the

complex interplay of volcanic and glacial processes with the

human environment and to study how Iceland is maximizing

the natural resources while adhering to using sustainable

practices in heating, electric and water usage.

n

ST. LAWRENCE UNIVERSITY MAGAZINE | WINTER 2017

From left:

Rutendo Chabikwa ’17 of Zimbabwe, Xaviera Gitau ’17 of

Kenya, Ajok (Victoria) Deng ’18 of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and

Moemedi Rakhudu ’20 of Botswana represented the Botswana

delegation, while Yvonne Boateng ’18 of the Ghana, Namarig Kram

’18 of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, and Steven Valverde Porras ’19 of

Costa Rica represented the Liberia delegation.

KNOW IT ALL

stlawu.edu/news

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