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Summer Scholars 2013

2013 Summer Scholars and Artists Program

The following Harpur College students are fellowship recipients in the 2013 Summer Scholars and Artists Program:

Joshua Chorman

Majors: English and cinema major
Hometown: Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Year: 2013–14 senior
Faculty mentor: Associate Professor Ariana Gerstein

Chorman is working on a cinematic project focusing on what is acceptable and unacceptable concerning animals killed on roads and highways. He hopes to make roadkill more relatable to the human experience through his film.

“To receive this honor is both exciting and intimidating. I am thankful for this opportunity to pursue such an avant-garde subject. This overall experience is very healthy for me as an individual and as an artist.”

Sarah Davis

Major: integrative neuroscience
Hometown: Greenville, N.Y.
Year: 2013–14 junior
Faculty mentor: Professor Ralph Garruto

Davis is studying demographic correlations, including family history and gender, among chronic Lyme disease patients. As the cause of chronic Lyme disease is unknown, she hopes her research will help further the understanding of this disease.

“Receiving the award for the 2013 Summer Scholars and Artists Program is a great opportunity for me. It is allowing me to branch away from the structured academia of school and do a more independent study of what I find interesting. It will give me a lot of experience in the research field that I would have not been able to obtain anywhere else.”

Raymond Futia

Major: cellular molecular biology
Hometown: Bethlehem, N.Y.
Year: 2013–14 junior
Faculty mentor: Assistant Professor Heather Fiumera

Futia is collecting and studying wild yeast samples from the Nature Preserve to further the understanding of the interaction between mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA.

“Just to see results, to see them pan out, is kind of cool. It’s like putting a puzzle together.”

Joy Hallmark

Major: integrative neuroscience
Hometown: Bayside, N.Y.
Year: 2013–14 junior
Faculty mentor: Associate Professor Christopher Bishop

Hallmark tests novel drugs and drug combinations in order to better understand the mechanisms behind Parkinson’s disease. She hopes to contribute to the improved treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

“I think it is fantastic that (the program) is meant for students to just be able to enjoy doing their research. Having the opportunity and freedom to delve into my research project this summer will help me in so many ways. I will be able to discover even more about the complex workings of the brain, develop greater confidence in my research skills and continue to learn the most effective ways to communicate my findings.”

Mallory Mecca

Majors: sociology and economics
Hometown: Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Year: 2013–14 senior
Faculty mentor: Associate Professor Kelvin Santiago Valles

Mecca’s project is on military funding of research in university settings and the effect this funding has on research focus, classes offered and other facets of university life.

“President Eisenhower warned the nation about the military industrial complex, but Henry Giroux said that it was originally the military academic complex. I’m looking at the relationship between the university, private industry and the military. I’m looking at funding for research on campus and where that’s coming from and how it might affect what’s being researched.”

Mike M. Miller

Major: history
Hometown: Waverly, N.Y.
Year: 2013–14 senior
Faculty mentor: Associate Professor Elisa Camiscioli

Miller is exploring the dynamics of race and racial ideology between and within France and the United States in the early 20th century. He hopes to learn more about the international convergence of racial movements by studying the art and literature of the Harlem Renaissance and Negritude.

“The chance to do my own research, on a topic of my choosing, is a dream come true. I am a non-traditional student, and receiving this award has proven to me that returning to school a little later in life has not put me at a disadvantage. This program is wonderful because it gives students the opportunity to push their abilities as far as possible.”

Patrick Schechter

Majors: cinema and psychology
Hometown: Scarsdale, N.Y.
Year: 2013–14 senior
Faculty mentor: Assistant Professor Tomonari Nishikawa

Schechter is making a documentary on the Marconi Tower, a Binghamton landmark. Through the film, he is exploring the tower’s historical significance as one of the birthplaces of mobile communication.

“This is going to be my first time producing a fully funded project. As a student filmmaker, getting funding is an amazing, yet rare opportunity.”

Joel Thomas

Majors: biology and philosophy
Hometown: Huntington Station, N.Y.
Year: 2013–14 junior
Faculty mentor: Associate Professor Anne B. Clark

In the project “Retrospective Analysis of American Crow Lineages in Urbanizing Populations,” Thomas will study the DNA of crow populations to determine the future of crows that have migrated to urban areas. His focus is whether these crows will migrate back and forth between urban and rural areas or stay only in urban areas and evolve independently as a distinct genetic population.

“I have never been given this much free reign and independence for a project, but I am excited to see where the research takes me. I believe the opportunity will teach me to think creatively, cope with the unexpected and become more patient.”

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Last Updated: 12/10/14