News Archive

Student/faculty summer research program continues

Seventeen students to take part

5/15/2002 3:48:00 PM

    LYNCHBURG, Va.— How do school age children develop a sense of humor? Is there a way to measure the luminescence spectroscopy of optical crystals using a home-built dye laser? Can interactive online science modules influence the development of scientific concepts and pedagogical knowledge of prospective K-8 educators? These are just a few of the questions that 17 R-MWC students and 12 faculty members will be investigating this summer as the R-MWC Summer Student/Faculty Research Program enters its third year. (For a full list of this year's summer research projects, click here.)

The program, launched two years ago with the help of a $192,000 grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, has grown considerably since its inception when eight faculty members and 11 students took part. Program Coordinator and Professor of Chemistry Kurt Seidman praises the summer research program as excellent preparation for students planning to go on to graduate research programs. "It’s a great opportunity for our undergraduates to become comfortable with the kinds of processes they’re sure to face later on in their academic careers."

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. Student researchers, who receive a stipend for participation in the program, 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 Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson (Biology), Martha Dasef and Paul Irwin (Mathematics), Kurt Seidman (Chemistry), Dennis Goff and Beth Schwartz-Kenney (Psychology), Susan Stevens (Classics), Peggy Schimmoeller (Education), Peter Sheldon (Physics), Jennifer Abbassi (Political Science), Hermina Hendricks (Music), and Elizabeth Perry (Economics).

This year’s student summer researchers are Eva Andrijcic ’04, Alana Anthony ’05, Meagan Christenson ’04, Lourdes Cuellar ’04, Arati Dahal ’04, Noelle deSouza ’04, Ryan Gipson ’03, Holly Groover ’04, Jennifer Hogg ’04, Rehema Kahurananga ’04, Rachel MacNutt ’04, Nilanjana Rahman ’04, Brandy Shaw ’04, Julie Spradlin, ’03, Tracy Thorn ’03, Tracey-Ann Wellington ’05, and Elizabeth Willett ’04.

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations