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Research

13 students awarded undergraduate research funding

Thirteen Oglethorpe students have received undergraduate research awards from Oglethorpe’s Student Research Development Fund, distributed annually. The students are majoring in a range of disciplines, including biology, biopsychology, psychology, chemistry, English, and mathematics.

Funding applications were evaluated by a committee comprised of Dr. Lea Alford, Eli Arnold ’06, Dr. Nick BujakDr. Beth Concepción, Alyssa KowisDr. Karen SchmeichelDr. Glenn Sharfman, and Dr. Justin Wise.

This year’s recipients are:

Delaney Abood ’19, Biopsychology major – Abood will travel to the Southeastern Psychological Association conference in Florida in March 2019 to present her research on the correlation between sleep and academic performance in university students.

Maya Babbs ’19, Chemistry and Spanish major – Babbs will present her ongoing research on CdSe Quantum Dots as a potential light harvester at the annual Southeastern Undergraduate Research Conference in Tennessee in February 2019.

“The point of our research is to find a quantum dot that can be synthesized cost effectively and environmentally friendly,” explained Babbs in her application. “Finding the correct quantum dot can allow me to produce a solar panel consisting of solar cells made in the lab. This would open up many doors for allowing everyone to have a chance to [have] renewable energy no matter their socioeconomic status.”

Lexi Covalsen ’20, English major – Covalsen began working with the international English honors society Sigma Tau Delta in spring 2017 to re-establish Oglethorpe’s chapter. After two years, the Upsilon Rho chapter of Sigma Tau Delta was revived and OU students are now eligible to participate in the annual Sigma Tau Delta international convention. As one of the founding members of the chapter and secretary of the organization, Covalsen will attend the 2019 convention in St. Louis in March, where she will present her essay “Politics of Girlhood”.

Sarah Davidson ’21, Biology major
Vivian Manso ’21, Biology major
Davidson and Manso will present their research on biomedical applications to Bio-fuel-Cell construction and manipulation at the 2019 Southeastern Undergraduate Research Conference.

Ronald Dill ’19, Psychology major – Dill will present his research findings on mindful meditation at the 2019 Southeastern Psychological Association conference. His research focuses on comparing the effect of mindfulness meditation versus a “sham” meditation to see if meditation effects are more than a placebo.

Charlotte Disley ’19, Psychology major – The recipient of two awards, Disley is researching “the effectiveness of psychoeducational interventions on an individual’s willingness to seek out help for different mental health issues, with a specific focus on male athletes, comparing team versus individual sports.” Funding will be used in part to provide incentive for study participants. In addition, Disley will present other research on the relationship between sleep and academic performance at the Southeastern Psychology Association conference.

Yashi Feng ’19, Biology major – Feng will travel to Orlando to present research on the conversion of chemical energy to electrical energy at the American Chemical Society National Meeting.

Bradley Firchow ’19, Biopsychology major – Firchow will present his research, examining the effects of arousal and crime severity on moral condemnation by a third-party observer, at the 2091 Southeastern Psychological Association conference.

Adiba Khan ’19, Biology major with a concentration in Public Health – Khan’s funding will be used to support ongoing research into the design of nanoparticles to remove heavy metals and bacteria from surface water, and to present the research at the ACS National Meeting and the 2019 Southern Undergraduate Research Conference.

“Contamination via heavy metals such as Lead, Cadmium, and Arsenic in drinking water is a critical problem in both the United States and developing countries across the world,” explained Khan in the application. “The chemicals are leaked via channels underground that then flow into larger streams and/or rivers and lakes. These rivers/lakes serve as the major source of drinking water in these areas. The contamination comes from agricultural, industrial and chemical run-off from development and/or lack of resources needed to filter the water. Since 2015, I have been working on the development of a novel magnetite nanoparticle that will serve as a cheap and effective way to remove both heavy metals and bacteria from surface water. I spent the first year characterizing the drinking water and understanding the impact of run-off into water. The following year, I analyzed the chemical properties of the Chattahoochee River and quantified and purified bacterial colonies found in the water. The following year, after understanding the chemical, physical, and biological properties of drinking water, I began the development of the nanoparticles. Over the past two years, I have been taking comments and considerations from conferences attended…and using them to better design my nanoparticles.”

Kwanghee Lee ’19, Psychology major – Lee will travel to Florida to present psychology research at the 2019 Southeastern Psychological Association conference.

Zoe Nelson ’20, Mathematics major – Nelson completed research in the field of code-based cryptography during summer 2018, and has written an article currently in the pre-publication process. She plans to use her funding to present her research at the 2019 Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Math.

Serlin Singh ’19, Biopsychology major – Singh’s funding will support ongoing research on how the source of information effects the acceptance of BioTechnology, specifically Genetically Modified Organisms/Food. Singh also plans to present the research at an upcoming conference.

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