Five students awarded undergraduate research funding

Five 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, chemistry, physics and theatre.

Funding applications were evaluated by a committee comprised of Dr. Lea Alford, Eli Arnold, Dr. Beth Concepcion, Alyssa Kowis, Dr. Karen Schmeichel, Dr. Glenn Sharfman and Dr. Justin Wise.

This year’s recipients are:

Courtney Stuart ’21, Biology major
Reagan Goodwin ’21, Biology major
Stuart and Goodwin are conducting a joint research project investigating how novel protein, flagellar associated protein 93 (FAP93) assembles on the flagellum in the genetic model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The research aims to decipher the role of FAP93, as a wide array of diseases can occur if there are defects in human flagella, which has the same structure as FAP93. Funding was awarded for additional equipment to be purchased to assist in research needs.

Hannah Easley ’22, Chemistry major
In conjunction with a research team at the University of Wisconsin, Easley’s research aims to uncover details of a mechanism for Metal Free Ring-opening Metathesis Polymerization. Funding will allow for the opportunity to present findings at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society August 22-26, 2021.

Jaelen Knight ’22, Physics major
A superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) detects small fluctuations in magnetic fields and is sensitive enough to detect electromagnetic fluctuations that occur when neurons fire in the brain. The SQUID is used in brain-mapping and in the treatment of epilepsy.  Knight was awarded funds to purchase a new SQUID probe board for the physics lab, allowing for independent research to be conducted using the device. Knight also plans to design an experiment to allow undergraduate students to become more comfortable with SQUIDs.

Mia D’Zerrea Taylor ’21, Theatre major
Taylor was awarded funds to secure the rights to a full-length theatre production that gives voice to BIPOC and artists of the LGBTQIA+ community at Oglethorpe, and to subsequently “creatively experiment with ways to film a theatrical piece in a pandemic driven society.”

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