News - A Fourth, Fruitful Summer of Science Research

A Fourth, Fruitful Summer of Science Research

A Fourth, Fruitful Summer of Science Research

This summer marked the completion of the fourth Greenville College Summer Research Experience (GC-SRE). Professors from Greenville College's biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics departments worked closely with seven students on four different research projects throughout the summer. Research topics included analyzing free radical addition polymerization models, mathematics education using 3-D printing and capturing wolf spiders and beginning cell, genetic, and immunity studies.

Senior Meghan Jerden and junior Michelle Denning studied two wolf spider species, Tigrosa helluo and Rabidosa rabida, with Professors Ryan Stork and Eugene Dunkley. After capturing the spiders at the Ayers Field Station, they returned to the lab to study cellular encapsulation, develop methods for running immunity tests, and conduct enzyme assays for use in future summer research. They also completed follow-up behavioral work that research teams started last summer. They wrote about and submitted the results of their behavioral studies to a peer-reviewed journal.

Greg Schimke, a senior physics major, also submitted work to a peer-reviewed journal. Professor Darrell Iler served as his faculty advisor. Together, they used numerical analysis to study the chemistry of free radical addition polymerization (FRAP) systems.

Iler said, “I believe that these [potential] publications, along with three of our students receiving awards for best research presentations at the 2011 and 2012 Illinois State Academy of Sciences (ISAS) meetings are evidence that our research program is providing students with important and valuable experiences in the sciences.”

Elle Shaw and Peter Huston worked with Professor Ray Myers on an astrophotography project that made use of the science division’s new 11-inch Celestron telescope and Canon DSLR camera.

Shaw is a math and physics double major who will graduate in 2016. She was eager to explore her interest in astronomy. “I am very interested in astronomy,” she said, “and am constantly in awe of the majesty of God that is so evident in the universe. The opportunity to do a summer research project that incorporated both of those things was too good to pass up.”

Shaw appreciated the opportunity to experiment with the new equipment. “I am really proud of the work that we accomplished: getting the telescope to operate correctly and getting some really neat shots of the Lagoon Nebula,” she said.

With multiple publication opportunities and three awards after four summers of research, GC-SRE proves to be a success.

“It was an educational, fun and fruitful summer,” Iler summarized. “We have been blessed and look forward to another rewarding research experience next summer!

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the students who participated in the 2013 GC-SRE and learn more about their projects at the Student Summer Research Symposium during Homecoming 2013.

This story was published on September 11, 2013

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