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Summer Scholars & Artists Program

2013 Participants

Ilana Ben-Ezra

History and Political science
Project Title: A Medieval Identity Crisis: An exploration of French and English Identities in Light of Jewish Expulsions
Assistant Professor Elizabeth Casteen, mentor

Ilana's project comparatively examined what it meant to be French or English during the 13th and 14th centuries. She explored how the French and English perceived of the Jews' place in society and how this compared to the Jews' understanding of their relationship to the greater English and French peoples.

"The Summer Scholars and Artists Program enhanced my undergraduate experience by allowing for immersion in faculty-mentored research. The experience has shaped my professional aspirations, fostered an invaluable relationship with my faculty mentor, and sharpened my academic skills, all of which have personalized my undergraduate career."

Joshua Chorman

Majors: English and Cinema
Project Title: Sustained glancing: Road-kill
Associate Professor Ariana Gerstein, mentor

Joshua completed a cinematic project which explored the humanistic, visceral and individualized response to encountering "road kill". His film challenges humans' propensity to experience, react, reflect and dismiss death within seconds by providing a glimpse into the effects of embedded and unexpected personifications.

"The 2013 SSAP has helped me to grow not only as a scholar and artist, but also as an individual and professional. Being awarded this opportunity has legitimized and encouraged the development of my own interests and ideas, as well as providing a means to make them happen."

Chunhui Dai

Electrical Engineering
Project Title: Micro-sized Bacteria-powered battery
Assistant Professor Seokheun Choi, mentor

Chunhui hypothesized that high performance micro-sized Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) could provide an alternative self-sustainable energy source suitable for powering next generation micro-/nano-devices. His research therefore sought to improve micro-sized MFC power generation performance to match that of more conventional micro-sized chemical fuel cell counterparts.

"The Summer Scholars and Artists Program gave me my first opportunity to focus on research. This experience made me clear about the potential, challenges, and future directions of my area. After the summer, I know my true interests and how I should do research."

Sarah Davis

Integrative Neuroscience
Project Title: Familial associated neurological disease trends in a sub-population of female chronic Lyme disease patients
Professor Ralph Garruto, mentor

Sarah studied 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.

"Being able to participate in the 2013 Summer Scholars and Artists Program and having the ability to conduct my own research was an amazing experience. I was able to study things I was interested in in a whole new setting. There is nothing better than being able to do this as an undergraduate."

Matthew Epstein

Bioengineering
Project Title: Computational Modeling of Endothelial to Mesenchymal Transformation
Assistant Professor Gretchen Mahler, mentor

Matt's research explored the biomechanical and biochemical factors that induce and promote endothelial to mesenchymal transformation (EndMT). The goal of the project was to create a unifying computational model in order to advance tissue engineering practices as well as to make a generalized prediction of in vivo endothelial cell behaviors in disease progression.

The experience "gave me motivation to pursue knowledge and learn outside of the narrow spectrum of courses. I grew a more authentic enthusiasm for science and technology that's harder to feel while studying for exams."

Raymond Futia

Cell and Molecular Biology
Project Title: Mitochondrial Populating Structure of Wild Yeasts
Assistant Professor Heather Fiumera, mentor

Raymond collected and studied wild yeast samples from the Binghamton University Nature Preserve to further the understanding of the interaction between mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA.

"My project gave me the opportunity to explore concepts I learned in class in a lab setting with the intent of discovery; this exposed deeper function and meaning. In my classes, I was introduced to the field of biology, but in my research, I was immersed in it."

Joy Hallmark

Integrative Neuroscience
Project Title: Targeting serotonin receptors for the improvement of dopamine replacement therapy in Parkinson's diseaseAssociate
Professor Christopher Bishop, mentor

Joy tested novel drugs and drug combinations in order to better understand the mechanisms behind Parkinson's disease. Through her research, she hoped to contribute to the improved treatment of the disease.

"Earning the Summer Scholars and Artists award provided me with an opportunity to learn beyond the classroom and become more autonomous in the laboratory. I was able to fully devote my attention to my project and gain more confidence in presenting my findings to a larger audience. I am extremely excited to be presenting my work, as a first author, at the 2014 Society For Neuroscience conference in Washington, D.C. in November!"

Jin Woo Lee

Mechanical Engineering
Project Title: Sterilization of Catheters Using Optically Heated Gold
Assistant Professor Peter Huang, mentor

A major cause of bacterial infection in hospitals is the use of improperly sterilized catheters. Jin's research sought to investigate the potential of using optically heated gold nanorods (GNRs) to sterilize catheters and thus prevent infection from occurring.

"The research project through the Summer Scholars and Artists Program helped me to not only apply the complex theories I obtained in the classrooms but also to think beyond the ordinary and take an active role in being a part of the cutting edge research."

Mallory Mecca

Sociology and Economics
Project Title: Bombs and Books: The Militarization of the University
Associate Professor Kelvin Santiago-Valles, mentor

Mallory's project focused 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.

"This program enriched my undergraduate experience. I was able to incorporate what I had been learning in the classroom into independent research. From the initial step, I included methods learned in my classes. This experience gave me the opportunity to learn hands-on, and to work closely with my faculty advisor."

Mike Miller

History
Project Title: Race and Racial Ideologies in Twentieth-Century France and the United States
Associate Professor Elisa Camiscioli, mentor

Mike explored the dynamics of race and racial ideology between and within France and the United States in the early 20th century. He learned about the international convergence of racial movements by studying the art and literature of the Harlem Renaissance and Negritude.

"The Summer Scholars & Artists program afforded me the opportunity to do my own research, and get a first-hand view of my future profession. Additionally, the chance to present the findings to my peers gave me a sense of pride and confidence."

Patrick Schechter

Cinema and Psychology
Project Title: Documentary on Marconi Tower
Assistant Professor Tomonari Nishikawa, mentor

Patrick created a documentary on the Marconi Tower, a Binghamton landmark. Through the film, he explored the tower's historical significance as one of the birthplaces of mobile communication.

"I definitely struggled and pushed myself with this project, and I had no idea what I was getting into when I first started. I figured it out though, and it was well worth it. I can't stress the value of this sort of hands-on real-life experience enough."

Joel Thomas

Cell and Molecular Biology and Philosophy
Associate Professor Anne B. Clark, mentor
Project Title: Retrospective Analysis of American Crow Lineages in Urbanizing Populations

In the project, Joel studied the DNA of crow populations to determine the future of crows that have migrated to urban areas. His focus was on whether these crows migrate back and forth between urban and rural areas or stay only in urban areas and evolve independently as a distinct genetic population.

2012 Participants

Philip Emeritz
History, English and Classical Civilization
Associate Professor Andrew Scholtz, mentor

Nora Holt
Geology and chemistry
Professor Tim Lowenstein, mentor

 

 

 

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Last Updated: 5/30/14