Seventeen students receive inaugural awards for undergraduate research and creative activities



Seventeen Marshall University students have each been awarded $750 plus expenses through a university program started this year to promote undergraduate research and creative activities.

Made possible by funding provided through the Office of the President, the Undergraduate Creative Discovery and Undergraduate Research Scholar Awards provide students with an opportunity to pursue original creative work, scholarship or research under the mentorship of a full-time faculty member. The students each receive a $750 stipend and up to $1,000 for travel and materials during the spring 2018 semester. In addition, $750 is provided to each faculty mentor for travel.

“Undergraduate research certainly changed my life and was instrumental in my going on to graduate school and an eventual career in biomedical engineering and higher education,” said Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert. “Creating this program to give our students more of the same opportunities was one of my top goals this year. I’m eager to see their work progress this semester.”

The students’ projects can involve research, design, development, field study, creative work or performance, and require a total commitment of 150 hours over this semester. The program is structured so the students can produce creative or scholarly output—presentations, publications, exhibits or performances—at the end of the award period.

The students selected for the inaugural round of the awards, along with their university colleges, project titles and faculty mentors, are as follows:

Jessica Ashworth, College of Arts and Media, “Developing a Raku Process” (Frederick Bartolovic, mentor)

Hunter Barclay, College of Liberal Arts, “Substance Abuse Reduction App” (Dr. Jonathan Day-Brown, mentor)

Megan Bates, College of Information Technology and Engineering, “Optimal Penetration Factor of Wind Distributed Generation to Improve the Voltage Stability in A Weak Distribution Network” (Dr. Tarek Masaud, mentor)

Sarah Canterbury, College of Liberal Arts, “Remembering Sophia Jane” (Dr. Joel Peckham, mentor)

Brandon Duke, College of Information Technology and Engineering, “Leveraging Internet-of-Things to Detect Flash-Floods” (Dr. Haroon Malik, mentor)

Ethan Higginbotham, College of Science, “The Effect of Increased Glycerol Availability on Triacylglycerol Production in Chlorella vulgaris” (Dr. Derrick Kolling, mentor)

Emma Lockyer, College of Science, “Search for Extra Dimensions in Gravitational Waves” (Dr. Maria Babiuc-Hamilton, mentor)

Jenna Marsh, College of Science, “Bioengineering Adult Neural Stem Cells for Parkinson’s Disease Therapy” (Dr. Elmer M. Price, mentor)

Bryan Pennington, College of Arts and Media, “Contemporary Human Figure” (Ian Hagarty, mentor)

Mary Piaskowski, Honors College, “Qualitative Habitat Analysis for Conservation of Hellbenders” (Dr. Jennifer Mosher, mentor)

Brittany Rolfe, College of Health Professions, “The Effects of Cardiovascular Fitness on the Relationship Between Fatigue and Basketball Free Throw Performance” (Dr. Suzanne Konz and Dr. Steven Leigh, mentors)

Jessica Sayre, College of Health Professions, “Writing Skills Among Undergraduate Students in Communication Disorders” (Dr. Mary E. Weidner, mentor)

Erin Sears, College of Arts and Media, “The Life of Faith Through Song:  The Hymnody of Charles and John Wesley” (Thomas Walker, mentor)

Stephanie Spaulding, College of Liberal Arts, “Barriers to Needle Return in Harm Reduction Program” (Dr. Brittany Canady, mentor)

Tyler Vernick, College of Information Technology and Engineering, “Optimal Penetration Factor of Wind Distributed Generation to Improve the Voltage Stability in A Weak Distribution Network” (Dr. Tarek Masaud, mentor)

Jonathan Warner, College of Information Technology and Engineering, “Optimal Penetration Factor of Wind Distributed Generation to Improve the Voltage Stability in A Weak Distribution Network” (Dr. Tarek Masaud, mentor)

Maggie Westfall, College of Health Professions, “Children Who Stutter:  A Video Project” (Craig Coleman, mentor)

Proposals are now being accepted for a second round of awards which will provide a $3,000 stipend for the student plus up to $1,000 for travel and materials for summer 2018. In addition, $1,000 will be provided for the participating faculty mentor for travel. Up to 14 awards will be made.

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, March 16. Full details about the application format, submission requirements and the evaluation process are available on the Marshall University Research Corporation website at www.marshall.edu/murc.