Each year, the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) recognizes one outstanding graduate student research paper and one outstanding undergraduate student research paper in conjunction with their annual conference. This year, Joann Lianekhammy, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Family Sciences received the Outstanding Graduate Student Research Paper Award. The award is presented through the NCFR Affiliates’ Council Board.
Lianekhammy, originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky, holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Anthropology from Western Kentucky University and a Master of Arts in Psychology from University of Kentucky. Upon finishing her master’s degree, Joann worked as a quality analyst for Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, where she realized her aspiration to continue her educational pursuits in family-based, translational research. She began work on her doctorate in family sciences in 2009.
Joann’s primary research interests include exploring the influence of media on adolescents and family well-being. The paper submitted for the awards program focused on the impact of excessive online video gaming on couple relationships from the perspective of the gamer’s wife or and girlfriend. Qualitative data was gathered through online forums that allowed video game ‘widows’ to share their experiences and frustrations with the partner’s excessive online video game time.
In addition to this research, Joann has worked with her advisor, Dr. Ron Werner-Wilson, Chair of the Department of Family Sciences, on research studies investigating the impact of video games on adolescent and college-aged students. She is currently completing her dissertation research in this area with a goal of defending her dissertation in spring 2014.
Joann has co-authored publications on topics ranging from couples communication to electrical brain research and has recently co-authored a book chapter on mental health promotion in adolescence. In 2011, she received the Family Sciences Graduate Student Excellence Award from the School of Human Environmental Sciences and is currently the recipient of the University of Kentucky’s Lyman T. Johnson Academic Fellowship, which she has received since 2009.
Congratulations to Joann on receipt of this very prestigious honor!