Bridgewater College Announces Summer Research Awards Recipients

May 21, 2015

More than $55,000 in funding for faculty-student summer research projects has been awarded to 14 Bridgewater College students who will live and work at the college throughout the summer.

Funding was provided by the Dr. John Martin Summer Science Research Institute, The Research Experience @Bridgewater and the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC). The awards, plus free housing on campus for the summer, enable students to devote their summers to research and exploration on a wide variety of projects.

“These students have worked hard to develop compelling, competitive proposals,” said Jada E. Blinn, who administers the college’s summer research program. “Now they have the chance to work one-on-one with a faculty member who is an expert in the field, and the students can take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to a new problem or question. We are delighted to be able to offer opportunities like this to so many students.”

The Dr. John Martin Summer Science Research Institute is named for one of Bridgewater’s most beloved professors, who taught in the chemistry department from 1961 until his retirement in 1985.

The Research Experience @Bridgewater is a donor-funded initiative providing support for teams of Bridgewater faculty and undergraduate students to spend the summer in collaborative research and creative, scholarly work in any discipline.

The VFIC awards student stipends for supervised undergraduate summer research projects in the sciences.

The Dr. John W. Martin Summer Science Research Institute fully funded the following projects:

  • Matthew Pisarcik, a senior from Centreville, Va. (Biology, with Dr. Moshe Khurgel), “From Regeneration to Development – Redirecting the Fate of Stem Cells.”
  • Kamal Kaddoura, a junior from Saida, Lebanon (Physics, with Dr. Deva O’Neil), “Studying the Parity Behavior of the Higgs Boson A0 in the Two-Higgs-Doublet Model.”

Research Experience @Bridgewater awards were made for the following projects:

  • Angela Hastings, a sophomore from Midlothian, Va. (Biology, with Dr. Moshe Khurgel), “Does Increase in Locomotion Facilitate Limb Regeneration?”
  • Alys Harshbarger, a senior from Arlington, Va.  (Biology, with Dr. Kim Bolyard), “Observations on the Behavior of Longnose Dace Fish in their Natural Habitat.”
  • Lacy Clark, a senior from Powhatan, Va.  (Environmental Science, with Dr. Tim Kreps), “Analysis of a Fish Community in a Freshwater Stream Designated for Restoration.”
  • Martha Hill, a sophomore from Richmond, Va. (Biology, with Dr. Moshe Khurgel), “Does the Rate of Regeneration Decrease with Increasing Age of Axolotls?”
  • Jose Corona, a junior from Axton, Va. (Applied Physics, with Dr. Verne Leininger), “Modeling Carotid Pulse Signals.”
  • Troy Soaper, a senior from Nokesville, Va. (Applied Physics, with Dr. Eric McGregor), “Thoracic Biometrics Using Carotid Pulse Signals with Varying Heart Rates.”
  • Ariana Brice, a junior from Luray, Va. (Psychology, with Dr. Brian Kelley), Concept Mapping Proposal: New Hope for Addiction Prevention and Treatment
  • Grey Robinson, a junior from Glade Spring, Va. (Psychology, with Dr. Brian Kelley), Concept Mapping Proposal: New Hope for Addiction Prevention and Treatment

The VFIC made awards to the following projects, which were supplemented with funding from the Martin Institute or The Research Experience @Bridgewater:

  • Malia Berg, a senior from Petersburg, Va. (Biology, with Dr. Tracy Deem), “The Role of Testosterone in Mediating Protection from Malaria in Interleukin-3-Deficient Mice.” (VFIC-Carilion Fellowship, with the Martin Institute)
  • Samantha Saylor, a senior from Berryville, Va. (Biology, with Dr. Tracy Deem), “Mechanism for Malaria: A Look Into the Possible Involvement of Innate Immune Cells.” (VFIC-Carilion Fellowship, with the Martin Institute)
  • Haley Lloyd, a junior from Matthews, N.C. (Biology, with Dr. Kim Bolyard), “Habitat Contamination and Antipredator Behaviors in Rhinichthys atratulus.” (VFIC-MeadWestvaco Fellowship, with the Martin Institute)
  • Daniel Feivor, a senior from Roanoke, Va. (Environmental Science, with Dr. Gavin Lawson), “A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Glow Sticks, Sardines, and No Bait for Trapping Red-Spotted Newts.” (Notophthalmus viridescens) (VFIC Fellowship, with The Research Experience @Bridgewater)

    Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state's first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to approximately 1,800 undergraduate students.