Summer 2014 Research Roundup

Posted August 26, 2014

ACU undergraduate researchers had a busy summer working on a variety of projects, with more than 50 students from more than 15 departments participating. Seventeen students took part in research through the McNair Scholars program. Other students and faculty were supported by Pursuit Research Grants and Office of Undergraduate Research Summer Stipend Grants.

"ACU has a strong undergraduate research program with hundreds of students participating in scholarship every year," says Dr. Autumn Sutherlin, director of undergraduate research. "As undergraduates at ACU, students have the opportunity to work with faculty members who are experts in their field to tackle questions that have not been asked before.

"Each year, ACU students present their findings at national and regional meetings alongside graduate students and even faculty from other universities," adds Sutherlin. "This is clearly a great opportunity for them as they grow in their expertise."

McNair Scholars: 17 students participated and completed research on various projects in their disciplines. They will present their work at national McNair conferences in the coming months.

Biblical Studies: Student Victoria Sun and Houston Heflin, assistant professor at ACU's Graduate School of Theology, studied Student Engagement.

Biology: Three students studied genes they believe to be essential to horizontal gene transfer in the bacterial genus Aeromonas. They also searched for Aeromonas in rainwater.

Chemistry and Biochemistry: Ten students and five faculty members participated in ongoing research projects in biochemistry, organic/medicinal chemistry, polymer science, and organometallic synthesis.

Education: Ashley Towe, Kaitlin Sehres and Jake Hall worked with Dr. Andrew Huddleston on a project entitled “Thou Read’st Black Where I Read White: Understanding Pervasive Interpretive Pluralism of Biblical Texts through Louise Rosenblatt’s Transactional Theory of Reading."

Engineering and Physics: Hannah Hamilton, Ryan Pinson, Ramsey Towell and Cecily Towell spent their summer at Brookhaven National Laboratory working with the PHENIX experiment alongside Drs. Michael Daugherity and Rusty Towell. They helped operate the facility's $200 million detector and built a test stand for detector development. Dr. Darby Hewitt and several students worked on optics, laser science and spectroscopy research.

ACU Library Maker Lab:  Student Amy Carnagey worked with Dr. John Weaver to research the theory and practice of constructionist pedagogy (“inventing to learn”) as well as its present and potential impact on the design of learning experiences in the Maker Lab and elsewhere on ACU's campus. They presented their research results at the 2014 Annual Conference of the American Theological Library Association (ATLA).

Language and Literature, Communications and Sociology: McNair Scholar Kendra Oregon (Dr. Ron Morgan’s student in Global Studies) worked with Drs. Cindy Roper and Paul Roggendorff to research the interaction of Muslim, Jewish and Christian cultures in medieval Spain in her paper “Tolerance in Toledo, Spain, Between Muslims, Christians and Jews, between 711 and 1031.” In her research, Oregon found examples of peaceful coexistence in a radically pluralistic society.

Management Sciences: Student Levi Ritchie and Dr. Ryan Jessup studied the effects of too much choice.

Learn more about undergraduate research at ACU.


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