News Archive

Students, faculty team up for summer research


    LYNCHBURG, Va.— When recounting what she did on her summer vacation, Faith Hays, a rising senior at Randolph-Macon Woman's College, will undoubtedly have a different story to tell than many of her peers. She’s spending most of her summer looking for potential links between polyaromatic hydrocarbons and cancer. Kristin Whitacre, another member of the R-MWC Class of ’02, will be investigating and analyzing sense of humor in children. Holly Groover, a rising sophomore, will be working with a physics professor to develop ways to computerize the introductory physics laboratory to improve student learning. Hays, Whitacre, and Groover are among the 11 R-MWC faculty members and 15 students who are participating in the 2001 R-MWC Summer Student/Faculty Research Program. 

The R-MWC Summer Student/Faculty Research Program, launched last year with the help of a $192,000 grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, has grown considerably from last summer’s eight faculty members and 11 students. Program Coordinator and Professor of Chemistry Kurt Seidman is pleased to see more students taking advantage of the opportunity to undertake ongoing independent research. "It’s a big plus for our students," says Seidman. "It gives them a chance to become comfortable with the kinds of processes they’re sure to face in graduate programs." 

The intensive eight-week program is open to students in all disciplines from the end of their first year through the summer preceding their graduation. Projects are selected through a proposal application process, and student participants reside in a residence hall on campus. The major component of the program is active laboratory and field studies, complemented by literature research based on the selected discipline. Students will have an opportunity to attend special seminars with guest speakers and share the progress of their research through informal forums organized throughout the summer. The program ends with a mini-retreat for all participants, during which students present their research results orally.

Faculty participants in this year’s program are Peter Sheldon, Peggy Schimmoeller, Amy Cohen, Meg Pope, Dennis Goff, Kurt Seidman, Ann Fabirkiewicz, Lynne Spies, Beverly Adams, Carl Hester, and Beth Schwartz-Kenney. R-MWC students doing research this year, who receive a stipend for participation in the program, are Katherine Flansburg ’03, Karell Thompson ’03, Evelyn Webb ’02, Michelle Earles ’03, Anne Taylor ’02, Kristin Whitacre ’02, Ryan Reikowsky ’03, Rachel MacNutt ’04, Faith Hays ’02, Jamie Boyce ’02, Deirdra Tsai ’03, Caroline Jelavich ’04, Holly Groover ’04, Marcia Hall ’02, and Shorna Howell ’03.

For a complete list of this year's summer research projects, click here.   

| |

CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations