Summer research scholarships give students more in-depth academic experiences

While the Undergraduate research and creative pursuits (URCA) The program funds projects throughout the year, its flagship event is its Undergraduate summer research with the faculty (SURF), which aims to reward cutting-edge and well-designed projects.

“The process is very competitive,” says Charlie calvert, director of URCA and lecturer in scenography at the Department of Theater and Dance. “Only about half of the applicants receive a scholarship. This is a great opportunity for students to practice grant writing, as it is a process that some will do for the rest of their lives.

Working with a faculty mentor, students apply for grants of up to $ 6,500. A committee of faculty representing all of the College of Charleston schools and familiar with the grant process reviews applications and selects recipients.

Calvert, who is in his first year as Director of URCA, knows firsthand the benefits of the SURF program, having served as a mentor to the faculty for several years.

“SURF is really a special program for students,” he says. “For some teachers, mentoring is an integral part of our life, so our SURF role is second nature. Yet having the summer to work with a student without the distractions of a regular semester allows for an in-depth experience for both the student and the faculty member.

This year, 59 students applied for the SURF scholarships. In total, 30 were awarded. Here’s a look at nine up-and-coming seniors working on SURF projects this summer.

Is estrogen signaling responsible for the effects of exercise on synaptic reorganization of the spinal cord after peripheral nerve injury?

Major in Biology Grace Bader, under the mentorship of psychology professor Jennifer wilhelm, is investigating whether treatment with estrogen signaling can be used during treadmill exercise to alleviate synaptic changes that occur after an accident results in loss of connections in the spinal cord. If treatment helps alleviate synaptic changes, the results may lead to new pharmacological solutions.

Integration of video projections into the stage and lighting design

Major in theater Mary hope ballou, guided by Jason lyon, Visiting Professor of Lighting Design for the Department of Theater and Dance, explores the integration of video and projection into stage and lighting design. To do this, Ballou observes and assists Lyons, who is the lead designer of the rock musical, Rock of the ages, for the Theater Under the Stars in Houston.

Magnetic nanoparticles for the removal of heavy metals from water

With the support of Katherine mullaugh, lecturer in chemistry and biochemistry, Hussein Bhagat, a major in biochemistry, studies environmentally friendly water purification techniques, in particular the effectiveness of magnetic nanoparticles in removing toxic heavy metals from water. They are also studying how magnetic nanoparticles can be cleaned and recycled for repeated use.

Discover Orellana: Guatemalan avant-garde

Laura Maria Diaz Coronado, a music and Informatic Systems double major, alongside Michael o’brien, director of the music department and associate professor of ethnomusicology, and Yuri Bekker, assistant professor of music and director of the College of Charleston Orchestra, examines a little-studied period of the work of Guatemalan experimental composer, instrument maker and violinist Joaquin Orellana. The trio’s research is based on ethnomusicology (ethnographic interviews and performance study), musicology (analysis of scores and instruments) and musical performance to study Orellana’s work between the 1960s and 1980s. .

Study of the stability of parasitic waves in nonlinear SchrÖdinger models of deep water waves

In collaboration with a team from the University of Central Florida, Chapman Lane Ellisor, a major in mathematics, and math teacher Annalisa calini explore mathematical models of rogue wave formation (waves that suddenly appear and then disappear without a trace) in the deep ocean, their solutions and the robustness of these solutions to small changes in the initial state and / or in the models themselves.

Addition of alkylboronic esters to electrophiles

Ellie Kraichely, a major in chemistry, together with Tim barker, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, explore how new nucleophilic molecules react to various electrophilic molecules. The aim is to develop a reaction that can be beneficial in the synthesis of biologically relevant molecules.

An evaluation and comparison of the use of leave-in personal care products among college of Charleston and The Citadel students

Endocrine disruptors (EDs), which are commonly added to personal care products (PCP), have been linked to cancer, reduced fertility, and impaired growth and development. Mary lightsey, a major in public health, work with Leslie Hart, associate professor of public health, to study the use and co-use of “leave-in” PCP among students at two universities – one public and one military. The objective is to improve the understanding of the behavior of exposure to ECC and to identify intervention routes.

Experiences and Expressions in Irish Women’s Reproductive Stories

Major History Anna walter and history teacher Cara’s delay examine criminal (illegal) abortions in Ireland in the 20th century (circa 1900-1967). They hope to place the experiences, emotions and words of women at the center of the analysis of the sexual and reproductive experiences of Irish women during this time.

Passion and Terror: Victorian Monsters and the Sublime Gothic

English and philosophy double major Patrick Wohlscheid studies 18th and 19th century philosophical treatises on the sublime, 19th century Gothic literature and contemporary literary criticism. With the mentorship of the English teacher Tim carens, Wohlscheid aims to show that the “mental landscape” of Gothic monsters contains the same kind of haunting terror associated with the natural landscape.


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Bernice Dyer

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