Ludy’s Work With Undergraduate Researchers Honored

mary-jon-ludy
Mary-Jon Ludy

Dr. Mary-Jon Ludy, associate professor of food and nutrition in the College of Health and Human Services https://www.bgsu.edu/health-and-human-services.html, received the 2018 Elliott L. Blinn Award for Faculty-Undergraduate Student Innovative Basic Research/Creative Work.

The award recognizes work conducted by individual Bowling Green State University faculty members in collaboration with undergraduate students and supports collaboration with additional students.

The award is given in memory of Dr. Elliott Blinn, a professor of chemistry, who dedicated his career to sharing with his undergraduate students the excitement of the process of discovery by directly involving them in basic research/creative work. Ludy received a $2,500 award, which included $1,250 transferred to a department account for the continued collaborative research activities with BGSU undergraduate students, as well as a $1,250 cash prize.

Ludy believes that engaging undergraduates in research is deeply fulfilling and that good mentoring drives good research. Undergraduate researchers stimulate her curiosity and motivate her to continually evolve her approach. This environment promotes constant growth between the students and Ludy, enabling them to be stronger scientists.

She believes that learning is not a spectator sport. Research provides the opportunity for students to learn actively and become more responsible for their learning outcomes. To Ludy, participating in research makes learning transformative and whets students' appetites for becoming lifelong learners.

Through research, students learn concepts and have a higher order of understanding of their field than can be accomplished through traditional classroom lectures, discussions and tests. Ludy’s core belief is that student-engaged research has the power to bring textbook materials to life, and, at the same time, enriches students' educational experiences by exposing them to a variety of internal and external collaborators.

Ludy’s overall research focus is energy balance through dietary manipulation. She is guided by a desire to conduct research that has practical application in real-life situations and involves students in the research process. She is founding director of the Health, Wellness, and You Academic Learning Community, where first-year students become researchers on their own health patterns and learn strategies for improving their self-care.

“The research and creative work I have been able to be a part of at BGSU has given me valuable experiences that I can only attribute to Dr. Ludy's motivation to engage all students,” said Tiffany Smith, a Newman Civic Fellow. “She has helped me grow into the researcher and student I am today, whether it was making it possible to attend professional development meetings, promoting professional networking at local and national conferences, assisting in grant writing and research development, or connecting me to opportunities that align with my interests, she has never stopped encouraging or motivating me along the way.

“I have no doubt that these opportunities have allowed me to grow into a professional and competent student who understands the importance of research, grants, creative projects and, most importantly, follows their passions. Dr. Ludy has continually supplied opportunities and always has great connections throughout a series of networks that make many things possible. I have no doubt that Dr. Ludy will continue to do the same for her students.”