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, sociology, English, and comparative literature.

Funding applications were evaluated by a committee comprised of Dr. Lea AlfordEli ArnoldDr. Nick BujakDr. Beth ConcepcionAlyssa KowisDr. Glenn Sharfman, Dr. Karen Schmeichel, and Dr. Justin Wise.

This year’s recipients are:

Syeda Bano ’20, Politics and Sociology major – Bano will present her research on identity development and identity salience of Southeast Asian college students in the southeastern United States at the Annual Southern Sociological Society Conference in Florida in April 2020.

Yasmin Tehrani ’20, International Studies and English major – Tehrani will present her paper titled “Mrs. Dalloway and the Membrane Between Selves” at the International Sigma Tau Delta Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her paper follows the ways in which Virginia Woolf constructs Clarissa Dalloway as an active agent able to cross the “membrane” (threshold between separate consciousnesses) and make intimate connections on the non-verbal, physical level.

Ariana Jimenez ’20, Biology major – Jimenez will attend the American Society of Cell Biology Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. to present their research on ciliary assembly using the genetic model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a unicellular green algae with two cilia.

Alex Prots ’20, Biology major – Prots has conducted surveys with visitors of three different bays on the West (Kona) Coast of Hawaii, and she will take her findings to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Bozeman, Montana in March 2020.

“Our overall goal for this project is to encourage, if not pressure, stronger conservation policy and increase funding for educational signs that inform people on appropriate behavior before the damage done to these dolphins is irreversible and we see yet another species go extinct due to human negligence,” Prots explained in her application.

Lexi Covalsen ’20, English and Comparative Literature major – In March 2020, Covalsen will return to the Sigma Tau Delta international conference in Las Vegas, Nevada to present an essay titled “Defining Trauma in the Graphic Novel.” The essay seeks to break down how the combination of visual art, literary art, and personal confession within the graphic novel allows the medium to act as a processing of authors’ personal traumas.

Fernanda Rodrigues ’20, English and Comparative Literature major – In March of 2020, Rodrigues will attend the Sigma Tau Delta international conference in Las Vegas, Nevada to present on her critical essay titled “The Satirical Happiness in ‘Mad Men,’” which focuses on her analysis of how the television series uses satirical view of 1960s America in similar literary techniques present in Samuel Clemens’ texts.

Jaime Croft ’20, Biopsychology major
Andrew Aycock ’20, Biopsychology major
Croft and Aycock will present research at the Southeastern Psychological Association conference on the possible predictors that could influence attitudes towards cheating in college students The project looked at how cognitive ability, academic self-efficacy, sense of belonging in school, and locus of control could influence attitudes towards academic dishonesty.

“Academic dishonesty has been an issue of concern for colleges and universities, particularly with technological advances that make cheating easier,” explained Aycock in his application. “Understanding the predictors of attitudes toward cheating can potentially lead to interventions that reduce cheating behavior.”

Emily Schultz ’20, English and Psychology major
Mikayla Ries ’21, Psychology major
At the Southeastern Psychological Association conference, Ries and Schultz will present on their study that investigated how signature location might influence participants’ honest self-reports of their own personality.

“Our study’s results suggest future directions for research. The results are especially important to Oglethorpe as we abide by an honor code that seeks to increase honest behavior,” said Ries in the application.

Jalisa Kassam ’20, Biopsychology major – Kassam tested factors in students influencing attitudes toward cheating and academic dishonesty. Using surveys to conduct the research, she tested the variables of self-efficacy, cognitive ability, and locus of control to see if they were predictors of attitudes toward academic dishonesty. She will present her findings at the Southeastern Psychological Association Conference held in New Orleans in April 2020.

Erin Battaglia ’20, Psychology major – At the 2019 Liberal Arts and Sciences Symposium (LASS) / Posters of Research in Science and Mathematics (PRISM), Battaglia presented work on the effect of severity and type of trauma on the social response to victims. The research suggests that participants responded more to the severity of the survivor’s symptoms of distress post-trauma than to the severity of the trauma itself.

Lane Sticher ’20, Communications and Rhetoric Studies major – Sticher will present at the Sigma Tau Delta International Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in March 2020. There, she will present her research paper titled “Primetime and the Oppressed Mother.” This research paper looks at how primetime television represents women and how working moms are depicted on television.

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