SURF program names 19 summer research fellows

Nineteen Radford students have been named recipients of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) awards for 2016.

The SURF program fosters a community of undergraduate research every summer at Radford University. The 2016 SURF class has been selected from research proposals from all disciplines, including the arts, sciences, education and business. The 2016 SURF Fellows work with a faculty mentor to plan, develop and implement their individual original research into a variety of fields.

Recipients of the SURF awards are expected to work an average of 20 hours a week for 10 weeks, under the mentorship of a faculty member. In turn, they receive a $2,000 stipend to conduct a project that will contribute knowledge and understanding to their discipline.

For Summer 2016, the SURF Fellows, their faculty mentors and projects are:

  • Bismark Amofah, under the mentorship of Tim Fuhrer, assistant professor of chemistry, is investigating the use of student built supercomputers on student learning in areas of molecular dynamics and protein ligand docking.
  • Skyler Carrell, under the mentorship of Jason Davis, assistant professor of biology, is investigating the physiological mechanisms modulating sociality in spiders.
  • Kristy Clark, mentored by Joy Caughron, assistant professor of biology, is investigating the speciation of river turtles in the Peruvian Amazon and the New River and possible association with the prevalence of Salmonella.
  • Rebecca Cox, under the mentorship of Caughron, is investigating the presence of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, Fish Handler’s Disease, in the Peruvian Amazon.
  • Miracle Davis, mentored by Sara O’Brien, assistant professor of biology, is investigating the influence of environmental conditions on mosquitofish behaviors, stress levels and melanophore activity.
  • David Timothy Godbey, under the mentorship of Beth McClellan, associate professor of geology, is investigating the precise radio dating of the Konnarock Formation near the Mount Rogers Recreational Area to understand the areas relation to the “Snowball Earth” theory.
  • Lauren Hines, under the mentorship of Chris Monceaux, assistant professor of chemistry, is investigating a new synthetic route using epoxides to produce ephedrine derivatives found in narcolepsy and depression medications.
  • Krista Johnson, under the mentorship of Brooke Blanks, assistant professor in special education, is investigating the degree of food insecurity among pre-service teacher candidates and students at Radford University.
  • Taylor Layton, under the mentorship of Jeremy Wojdak, professor of biology, is investigating how individual behaviors change the relationship between host contact rates and host density using a model system of aquatic snails and ectoparasitic worms.
  • Abigail Malmborg, under the mentorship of O’Brien, in investigating the impact of the agriculture pollutant trenbolone on fish development.
  • Jessica Mundy, under the mentorship of Joe Wirgau, associate professor of chemistry, is investigating the building of student skills and success through classroom pedagogy.
  • Marta Paulson, mentored by Donna Boyd, professor of anthropology, is investigating criteria needed to determine if bone fractures occurred at the time of death or well after death.
  • Elise Roel, under the mentorship of Jake Fox, assistant professor of anthropology, is investigating soil variability in the Amazon to better identify new archaeological sites.
  • Holly Rindorf, mentored by Georgia Hammond, professor of biology, is investigating the contribution of bacteria to the output of toxic arsenic at the Brinton Arsenic Mine.
  • Samantha Van Shufflin, mentored by Kim Lane, assistant professor of biochemistry, is investigating the interactions between the beta-glucironidase inhibitor Z77, a potential chemotherapy component, with the surface of beta-glucironidase.
  • Hans Voll, under the mentorship of Skip Watts, professor of geology, is investigating efficiency of ground source heat pumps in the New River Valley.
  • Heidi Warner, under the mentorship of Nora Reilly, professor of psychology, is investigating if resident assistant engagement influences resident student retention and if such a relationship is moderated by personality.
  • Jacob Wroten, mentored by Monceaux, is investigating the synthesis and screening of central nervous system inhibitors toward the development of medications aimed at mitigating the causes of seizures.
  • Abdullah Zulfiqar, mentored by Watts, is investigating the water loss at Mountain Lake by generating topographic and thermal maps with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.

For more information about SURF awards, visit their website.

Apr 1, 2016