Gatton Students Ready to Tackle a Summer of Research, Internships and Study Abroad Opportunities
- Author: Cheryl Kirby-Stokes
- Author: Thursday, May 31st, 2018
Caption: Satya Moolani ('19, Daviess County HS) and Elvin Irihamye ('19, Paul L. Dunbar HS) are two of the 21 rising seniors participating in summer research programs.
Students from The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky are beginning summer learning at WKU, around the Commonwealth, and around the globe. From research internships to study abroad to robust community service projects, students are gearing up for busy weeks ahead.
In addition to notable research internships through the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), The Gatton Academy also continues with its ninth summer of the Gatton Research Internship Grant and its second year with the WKU Sisterhood Research Internship Grant. Through these latter two programs, 21 rising Gatton Academy seniors will conduct summer research. This summer also features travel and study abroad opportunities for 55 Gatton Academy students. Summer travel destinations include China, England, Estonia, Jordan, Moldova, France, Italy, the Seychelles, Spain, and South Korea.
“Our students’ passion to explore and drive for meaningful activity never ceases to amaze me. While our building is closed, they are off researching, studying abroad, working, and volunteering,” said Dr. Lynette Breedlove, Director of The Gatton Academy. “For Gatton students, summer brings a shift but not necessarily a change in pace as they continue their efforts to impact their communities and as they prepare to impact our state and our world.”
A list of grouped student summer plans appears below followed by individual student experiences.
Faculty-Awarded National Science Foundation Study
Three Gatton students will be working in Barrow, Alaska this summer studying the circadian rhythms of Alaskan birds with WKU Department of Biology’s Dr. Noah Ashley on an NSF-funded study:
- Keelee Pullum (’18) of Bowling Green
- Anna Strunjas (’19) of Bowling Green
- Zoë Ward (’19) of Frankfort
National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) and NSF International Research Experiences
The following students have been selected for prestigious REUs and International Research Experiences funded through the NSF:
- Wendy Cecil (’18) of Bardstown will conduct NSF-funded biochemistry research in South Korea with Dr. Moon-Soo Kim of the WKU Chemistry Department.
- Phillip Wilkerson (’18) of Russellville will study heliophysics research with astrophysicists at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Heliophysics on an NSF REU program.
- Daniela Zieba (’18) of Lexington has a NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Software Engineering Internship in Huntsville, AL under the mentorship of Dr. Tim Crumbley.
Gatton Research Internship Grant Recipients
In its ninth year, the Gatton Research Internship Grant program provides support funding for rising seniors to conduct summer research. Twenty students were chosen for summer 2018:
- Pranay Agrawal (’19) of Lexington will be conducting a Monte-Carlo tree search, distinguishing good decisions from bad, with Dr. Uta Ziegler from the WKU School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
- Abdullah Ateyeh (’19) of Frankfort will be mathematically modeling healing in diabetic foot ulcers with Dr. Richard Schugart of the WKU Department of Mathematics.
- Annika Avula (’19) of Bowling Green will be conducting research on Legionella pneumophila with Dr. Simran Banga of the WKU Department of Biology.
- Isabel Chumbler (’19) of Bowling Green will be studying the mercury bioaccumulation in bats from Mammoth Cave National Park with Dr. Cathleen Webb of the WKU Department of Chemistry.
- Elizabeth Embry (’19) of Guston will be studying the synthesis of nanoparticles using ionic liquid with Dr. Lawrence Hill of the WKU Department of Chemistry.
- Anas Gondal (’19) of Danville will be searching for the gene responsible for development of invasive ASP with Dr. Ajay Srivastava of the WKU Department of Biology.
- Gopika Gopan (’19) of Morganfield will be looking at self-regulation and school readiness in children with Dr. Elizabeth Lemerise of the WKU Department of Psychological Sciences.
- Elizabeth Hedrick (’19) of Louisville will be finding quantum potential energy curves of reactions using Gaussian and Mathematica with Dr. Jeremy Maddox of the WKU Department of Chemistry.
- Evan Hendrickson (’19) of Mount Vernon will be looking at the bioaccumulation of toxic methymercury in Bald Eagle organs with Dr. Cathleen Webb of the WKU Department of Chemistry.
- Elvin Irihamye (’19) of Lexington will be conducting a microarray analysis on cancer cell lines with Dr. Michael Smith of the WKU Department of Biology.
- Matthew Knerr (’19) of Paducah will be researching sleep fragmentation in mice with Dr. Noah Ashley of the WKU Department of Biology.
- Trivan Menezes (’19) of La Grange will be looking at Planar Diagram code to detect a flype with Dr. Claus Ernst of the WKU Department of Mathematics.
- Satya Moolani (’19) of Owensboro will be looking at the effects of novel platinum compounds on cancer cells and auditory hair cells with Dr. Michael Smith of the WKU Department of Biology.
- Rithik Reddy (’19) of Bowling Green will be analyzing differential equation models using Bayesian Perspective with Dr. Richard Schugart of the WKU Department of Mathematics.
- Wyatt Ringo (’19) of Louisville will be researching proteins integral in the desiccation protection of land plants and extremophiles with Dr. Michael Menze of the University of Louisville’s Molecular Physiology and Bioenergetics Department.
- Sasha Sairajeev (’19) of Frankfort will be manipulating cardiovascular tone on inflammatory responses to sleep loss in mice with Dr. Noah Ashley of the WKU Department of Biology.
- Julia Stekardis (’19) of Louisville will be studying the effects of indole, a volatile organic compound emitted by plants when they encounter various stress cues, on iron uptake in Arabidopsis thaliana with Dr. Chris Frost of the University of Louisville’s Biology Department.
- Alexander Stewart (’19) of Clearfield will be looking at how Mycobacteriophage genomes translate into 3D structural proteins with Dr. Claire Rinehart of the WKU Department of Biology.
- Lily Vowels (’19) of Elizabethtown will be identifying the connection between tree transpiration and growth with Dr. Albert Meier of the WKU Department of Biology.
- Sydney Wheeler (’19) of Scottsville will be conducting experiments with visual and tactile 3D shape recognition with Dr. Farley Norman of the WKU Department of Psychological Sciences.
WKU Sisterhood Research Internship Grant Recipients
Made possible by a gift from the WKU Sisterhood in the fall of 2016, the WKU Sisterhood Research Internship Grant program offers internships for young, underrepresented women between their junior and senior years.
- Lea Mitchell (’19) of Hebron will be studying water quality at urban karst sites with WKU Department of Geography and Geology’s Dr. Jason Polk.
National Security Language Initiative-for Youth (NSLI-Y)
NSLI-Y scholarships are from the U.S. Department of State and fund students for six-to-eight weeks of summer intensive study and immersion in a critical language. The scholarship covers all program costs, travel to-and-from the host country, tuition, housing with a host family, activities, and more. The following students have received NSLI-Y Scholarships for summer language study:
- Mattie Allara (‘19) of Pikeville will travel to Moldova for intensive language study with her NSLI-Y scholarship this summer.
- Jonathan Bramley (‘18) of Fairdale will continue his study of the Russian language in Estonia this summer with his NSLI-Y scholarship.
- Lillian Hamm (‘18) of Somerset will return to China for intensive Chinese study with her NSLI-Y scholarship this summer.
- Sarah Yaacoub (‘19) of Lexington will travel to Jordan to continue her Arabic studies with her NSLI-Y scholarship this summer.
Now in its eighth year, The Gatton Academy is once again partnering with Harlaxton College in Grantham, England to offer a study abroad course. The following students will study Honors: Introduction to Literature with Professor Walker Rutledge of the WKU Department of English:
- Pranay Agrawal (’19) of Lexington
- Drew Aubry (’19) of Fort Knox
- Annika Avula (’19) of Bowling Green
- Grace Bauer (’19) of LaGrange
- Seth Baunach (’19) of Taylorsville
- Gillian Brown (’19) of Hopkinsville
- William Burroughs (’19) of Tompkinsville
- Isabel Chumbler (’19) of Bowling Green
- Jackson Chumbler (’19) of Benton
- Hannah Congleton (’19) of Bedford
- Sereniti Coulter (’19) of Bardstown
- Devin Davis (’19) of Georgetown
- Madison Ellis (’19) of Brandenburg
- Anas Gondal (’19) of Danville
- Elizabeth Hedrick (’19) of Louisville
- Evan Hendrickson (’19) of Mount Vernon
- Georgia Hoffman (’19) of Hindman
- Deegan Lawrence (’19) of Henderson
- Julia Martinez (’19) of Frankfort
- Grace Martini (’19) of Shepherdsville
- Trivan Menezes (’19) of LaGrange
- Lea Mitchell (’19) of Hebron
- Satya Moolani (’19) of Owensboro
- Shaylon Moore (’19) of Louisa
- Kennedy Pendleton (’19) of Hopkinsville
- Zane Polley (’19) of Henderson
- Emma Poole (’19) of Central City
- Paul Portmann (’19) of New Liberty
- Rithik Reddy (’19) of Bowling Green
- Elizabeth Roebker (’19) of Erlanger
- Sasha Sairajeev (’19) of Frankfort
- Hannah Shapiro (’19) of Lexington
- Aashka Sheth (’19) of Bowling Green
- Anna Shoulders (’19) of Adairville
- Monda Singai (’19) of Richmond
- Julia Stekardis (’19) of Louisville
- Graham Stephens (’19) of Tompkinsville
- Alexander Stewart (’19) of Clearfield
- Bailey Thompson (’19) of Louisa
- Briley Thompson (’19) of Burlington
- Jason Tran (’19) of Louisville
- Isabella Uhls (’19) of Franklin
- Zoë Ward (’19) of Frankfort
- Sydney Wheeler (’19) of Scottsville
- Megan Whittle (’19) of Manchester
- Kayla Woodward (’19) of Hawesville
- Daniel Yan (’19) of Bowling Green
- David Yan (’19) of Bowling Green
- Lauren Young (’19) of Nicholasville
Other Experiences Abroad
- Alicia Edds (’18) of La Grange will participate in a European music study abroad in Italy, France, and Spain..
- Marco Garcia (’18) of Paducah will travel to the Seychelles for a month, volunteering with the wildlife clubs there.
Other Notable Individual Experiences
To view the list, please click here.