Four students win Highlander In Action awards

RU Biology Majors have been granted 4 of the 5 campus-wide Highlander In Action (HIA) awards from the Scholar-Citizen Initiative program.  These HIA awards are given to students based on their successful submission of a competitive application to explore academic activities beyond the classroom.   The award provides summer funding that allows students to explore opportunities such as local, national, or international internships, community-based research projects, volunteer projects, and summer immersive projects.  

  • Emily Guise will be conducting a research project exploring the effects of trenbolone, an endocrine-disrupting chemical found in local agricultural run off, on the behavior, development, and reproduction of freshwater fish.  
  • Katharyn Self will be conducting a research project exploring the synergistic effects of exposure to multiple endocrine disrupting chemicals found in many food packaging products on behavior, development and reproduction. Katharyn's and Emily's work will explore the diminishing dichotomy between human health and environmental health as humans continue to be exposed to a ubiquitous mixture of chemicals of concern.  
  • Cassie Bonavita will be traveling to Costa Rica to collect two different species of mosquitos that harbor the virus that gives rise to dengue fever. Her work will explore the correlates of mosquito gut bacteria to viral load as groundwork for a possible understanding of disease transmission and prevention.  
  • Matti Hamed will be establishing a sampling method for determining the species diversity of local amphibians and reptiles at the Selu Conservancy. She will also be spearheading an educational outreach workshop to teach the public about the importance of maintaining a rich species diversity of amphibians and reptiles as well as where to find and how to identify these creatures.  

In their own unique way, all of these projects meet the learning goals of the Scholar-Citizen Initiative: To enhance student learning through real-world problem solving as well as foster a culture of engaged learning and scholarship. 

For more information on the HIA award, please see Scholar-Citizen Initiative homepage:

Apr 13, 2014
Sara O'Brien