SURF Kicks Off Summer Undergraduate Research

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A group of people sitting at round tables in a conference room, listening to a person standing and speaking near the front.

The 2024 season of Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), Randolph-Macon鈥檚 signature summer research program, officially launched on Monday, June 3.

Under the guidance of faculty mentors, 27 student participants will conduct original research during the nine weeks of SURF, in addition to other learning and social events as a campus cohort. Eighteen students are funded through SURF, while nine also received funding from other sources, including the National Science Foundation and the Klein-Maloney Fellowship for Women in the Sciences.

This summer鈥檚 research projects span a broad range of subject areas including chemistry, computer science, history, and communications studies. Students will explore pancreatic cancer treatments, the environmental impacts of the removal of Ashland Mill Dam, and the works of Latin poet Tibullus.

91短视频 student researchers in Dr. John Thoburn鈥檚 chemistry lab will also be joined by two rising seniors at Hermitage High School and Dr. Nabila Haddadine, a chemistry teacher at Richmond Community High School. The collaboration aims to get young scholars interested in careers in research and chemistry, and to provide research experience for high school teachers to bring back to their classrooms.

Below is an additional sample of SURF 2024 projects:

  • Taylor Bennett 鈥25, Professor Natoli (Classics) 鈥淪ound Plat and Authorial tyle in Tibullus Book 3鈥
  • Sydney Blanks 鈥25, Professor Conners (Communication Studies), 鈥淲hat Do Gendered Advertisements Look Like Today? A Content Analysis on Advertisements Within Women鈥檚 Magazines鈥
  • Caroline Campbell 鈥25. Professor Gerecke (Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience), 鈥淒oes a trkB agonist rescue the neurotoxic effects of maternal deprivation, a form of early life stress?聽 An examination of memory functionality through visualizing the expression of CaMKII following a trkB agonist treatment after long-term maternal deprivation in C57/BI6J mice.鈥
  • Allison Carey 鈥25, Professor Foster (Biology), 鈥淚s the ACRV1 Protein a Component of the Sperm Acrosomal Matrix?鈥
  • Kathleen Connor 鈥27, Professor Thoburn (Chemistry), 鈥淯sing oligo-ethylene glycol to solubilize large supramolecular complexes鈥
  • Matteo DeLuca 鈥26, Professor Thoburn (Chemistry), 鈥淪ynthesis of dicyanoazulene, a guest capable of probing the interior structure of metal-organic supramolecular complexes鈥澛
  • Shane Hale 鈥27, Professor Taylor-Cornejo (Biology), 鈥淒etermining the RNA Splicing Capability of the IRE1 Stress Sensor of the Model Amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum鈥
  • Isaac Kwong 鈥27, Professor Thoburn (Chemistry), 鈥淪ynthesis of a crown-ether based supramolecular host with a positively charged interior鈥澛
  • Jacob Langley 鈥25, Professor Gowan (Environmental Studies), 鈥淎 proposal for pre-project monitoring related to removal of Ashland Mill Dam鈥
  • Emily Matthews 鈥26, Professor Bergmann (History), 鈥淐aesar had his Brutus, Charles the First His Cromwell, George the Third. The Political Memory of the English Civil Wars and the Interregnum in Revolutionary Virginia鈥
  • Teaghan McNeill 鈥27, Professor Thoburn (Chemistry), 鈥淪ynthesis of 鈥榮ulflower鈥, an electron-rich guest for encapsulation in supramolecular hosts鈥澛
  • Isabella McNulty 鈥25, Professor Schreiner (Chemistry), 鈥淪ynthesis, characterization, and anticancer activity of novel ruthenium (II) piano-stool complexes鈥
  • Hanna Nash 鈥26, Professor Elouni (Computer Science), 鈥淩obotics in Retail鈥
  • Owen Partain 鈥26, Professor Michelsen (Chemistry), 鈥淭he Reactions of Acetic and Formic Acid with Calcium in Aqueous Droplets with Freezing鈥
  • Yaniv Regev 鈥25, Professor Thomas (Philosophy), 鈥淲here Conservatism Went Wrong: A philosophical analysis of the evolution of conservative thought鈥
  • Riley Russ 鈥25, Professor Gerecke (Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience), 鈥淎cute effects of maternal deprivation on inflammatory microglial expression in male and female juvenile mice鈥
  • Siri Sandford 鈥26, Professor Riener (Psychology), 鈥淏oredom Enjoyment and Daydreaming Frequency on Task Engagement鈥
  • Allison Seiberling 鈥26, Professor Terrono (Art History), 鈥淢ore than Property or Politics: Diversity and Authenticity in Heritage Tourism at Plantation Sites in Virginia鈥
  • Kelena Snipes 鈥26, Professor Taylor-Cornejo (Biology), 鈥淚nvestigating the function of IRE1 in regulating the unfolded protein response from the model amoeba, Dictyostelium discoideum
  • A.C. Tetterton 鈥26, Professor Foster (Biology), 鈥淢igration of GPR56 During Sperm Capacitation to Prepare Sperm for Fertilization鈥
  • Dillon Van Gilder 鈥25, Professor Necaise (Computer Science), 鈥淐onnected but Not Secure: Development of IoT devices for an Open-Source Network Protocol鈥
  • Bailey Wargo 鈥25, Professor Thoburn (Chemistry), 鈥淜inetic isotope effects on nitrogen inversion: calculating the effect of quantum mechanical tunneling on rates of reactions鈥

SURF was introduced in 1995 and has been supported through a generous endowment by Ben Schapiro 鈥64 and his wife, Peggy Schapiro and other donors. In the following 29 years, around 875 students have participated in this transformative experience. The fellowship provides students with a stipend and housing on campus during the summer. Led by co-directors, Art History Professor Evie Terrono and Serge Schreiner, The Dudley P. & Patricia C. Jackson Professor of Chemistry, SURF is often cited by graduates as a most significant academic and professional development opportunity in their undergraduate studies.

The program will conclude in early August with a SURF symposium, where students share their findings in oral and poster presentations. SURF projects will be highlighted on rmc.edu throughout the summer months.