Four students awarded undergraduate research funding

The Philip Weltner Library Undergraduate Research Fund, established in 2016, has announced its first round of research grant recipients:

Kelsey Hurt (Dec. ’16) received funding to continue her psychology research and present at the national conferences of the Society for Neuroscience and Society for Social Neuroscience in San Diego.

Kelsey with Mickey Goldberg, former president of SSN.

Kelsey with Mickey Goldberg, former president of Society for Neuroscience.

Kelsey is currently an intern/research assistant at Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University, where she works with the lab in the Cognitive and Developmental Neuroscience division. For more than seven months, she has researched the effects of sevoflurane general anesthesia on infant rhesus macaques’ social and non-social play behaviors. During the summer, Kelsey became a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the Society for Social Neuroscience. She submitted her preliminary analyses and was accepted to present the research at their annual November conference attended by more than 30,000 neuroscientists from 80 countries. The conference gave her the opportunity to interact with leaders in the neuroscience field and learn from emerging research. Kelsey has applied to the University of Hawaii’s neuroscience PhD program and plans to move to Hawaii in March 2017.

Ciaran Flake received funding for research as part of his Individually Planned Major in Eastern Philosophy and Buddhist Studies, and in preparation for study abroad at Oxford University.

Ciaran is establishing a foundational, comparative study on two surviving Buddhist sects: Tibetan Buddhism (Drepung Loseling Monastery) and Japanese Soto Zen (Atlanta Soto Zen Center). His project research is examining the philosophy of Buddhism and its influence on the West, and if this influence is an answer to a modern, global identity, and for transgender identity. The culmination of this study will produce a documentary short, research paper, and lecture to be presented at Oglethorpe’s Liberal Arts Symposium in spring 2018.

Deon Heavens received funding to present chemistry research at the Southeastern Undergraduate Research Conference at the University of South Carolina.

In summer 2016, Deon joined Dr. Gregory Gabriel‘s organic chemistry research group and started research in polymer synthesis. In one research project, he is designing a lab experiment for incorporation into an upper-level chemistry course. He hopes to come up with conditions to make gels that could be used as drug-delivery agents, and to write pre-lab/ post-lab exercises.

In another project, he is making and testing new types of antibiotics. “This project is exciting because we have collaborated with a biology student and professor so it is truly an interdisciplinary project spearheaded by Oglethorpe researchers,” wrote Deon in his grant application. He received funding to present both projects at the Southeastern Undergraduate Research Conference at the University of South Carolina in January 2017.

Larissa Randall received funding to present research at the conference of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries at the University of Oregon.

Larissa Randall

Larissa Randall ’18

Since January 2016, studio art and art history major Larissa Randall has interned at the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. There, she has contributed to the curation of the exhibition Hattie Saussy: Rediscovery of an Artist, on view January 21-June 11, 2017, and conducted original research for this retrospective exhibition of Saussy’s work. Her research will be published in the exhibition catalog, which will accompany the exhibition when it travels to the Telfair Museum in Savannah and the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta. Larissa, together with OUMA’s curator of collections John Tilford, will present their research and discuss how the museum serves as a resource at a liberal arts university, at the conference of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries at the University of Oregon.



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