July 25, 2019

Every summer, a group of students conduct intensive independent research in their field of study. 

This summer, 31 Hampden-Sydney students from a variety of majors took a deep dive into independent research under the supervision of a faculty member. “We have an unusually large summer research program for a school of our size, and we are proud of the opportunities it generates for our students,” says Dr. Mike Wolyniak, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. Students who participate in the program build valuable skills for future work in their disciplines. Wolyniak explains, “Summer research allows students to immerse themselves in scholarly work, perform sophisticated studies that will be presented at academic conferences across the country, and develop the independent problem-solving and critical thinking skills that will make them attractive to future employers and graduate or professional schools.” This year’s student projects, which encompass scientific, societal, and philosophical matters, are listed below.


Dr. Mueller helps Nathan Houser in the labGarnet Crocker ‘20: A translation of Book I of the Anti-Lucretius of Cardinal Polignac

Brahm Dean ‘21: Synthesis and characterization of chiral, mixed-ligand metal coordination compounds and their evaluation as catalysts for polymeric ring opening reactions of lactides

Titus Dowell ‘22: Synthesis and characterization of Schiff-base ligands using “click” chemistry, preparation of their Zn2+ and Fe3+ complexes, and evaluation of fluorescence properties of complexes

Jonathan Duarte ‘21: Examining the effect of exposure to nature on directed attention during racial categorization

Shelby Hanna ‘20: Artificial intelligence and the philosophy of war

Andrew Hay ‘21: Using “click” chemistry to synthesize several Schiff-base ligands incorporating guanine for fluorescence detection of zinc and iron

Douglas Hogan ‘21 and Matthew Rehak ‘21: Using Micropterus salmoides mucus to prevent the formation of biofilms in urinary catheters

Nathan Houser ‘21: A study of DNA and RNA sequencing using the Oxford Nanopore MinION sequencer

Andrew Howell ‘20: The continuation of the use of stretch bioreactors to promote C2C12 skeletal muscle growth and maturation on scaffolds

Andrew Jamison ‘22: Why the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) failed and how to replace it

Alexander Jaramillo ‘20: Examining the interactive effects of job type, race, and facial features on job suitability ratings

Jonathan Lawson ‘21: Turtle Sense product development

Charles Lemon ‘21: Distributed telescope observing in an undergraduate astronomy class

Ronald Lowman ‘22: Examining the effect of media framing on attitudes towards minorities

Jared Medwar ‘21: A study of green concrete

Matthew Moody ‘20 and Michael Moody ‘20: A characterization of Porphyromonas endodontalis as it relates to dentistry

Michael O’Malley ‘20: Does the temperature gradient in a trombe wall affect convection?

Andrew Howell uses the 3D printer in the labChristopher Parrish ‘21: The synthesis of a nitrogen fixation gene to enable nitrogenase function in Escherichia coli

Daniel Pearce ‘22: The investigation of curcumin by electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy and the fast flow method

Keifer Pfister ‘20: Private military companies and American foreign policy

Elijah Strong ‘20: Investigating the role of chemokine: Chemokine receptor signaling in melanoma progression

Brian Tarnai ‘20: Evaluating the differences in chemokine receptor expression in the B16-F1 and D5.1G4 melanoma cell lines

Peyton Tolley ‘20: A study of negative lift and downforce

Brennan Vaught ‘21: Synthesis of Schiff-base ligands for investigation of fluorescence of transition metal complexes

Alexander Washington ‘21: The use of pea protein isolate to increase C2C12 skeletal muscle cell maturation

Anthony Weeks ‘22: A comparative analysis of three national epics with respect to the birth of two romance languages

Arthur White ‘20: The effect of adjectival order on emphasis and meaning in English and Spanish: A corpus analysis of real language in periodicals and the telenovela

Charles Wolfe ‘20: DFT-MO calculations on asymmetric salen ligands

Ivan Woodruff ‘20: The neurological effects of moderate chronic embryonic caffeine exposure on zebrafish

Christopher Zoller ‘20: The future of flight: Determining the feasibility of electric and hybrid aircraft

Office of Undergraduate Research

Dr. Michael J. Wolyniak, Director
Elliott Associate Professor of Biology 
(434) 223-6175
Gilmer 129 | Box 183
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden Sydney, VA 23943 

Student Research
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