Undergraduate Research Grant Awards

Students from several departments applied for funding to attend conferences to present research, compete in academic competitions, and purchase supplies to complete research.  The current semester of faculty sponsors, the students, and the title of the projects are listed by department below.

Spring 2023 Awards



Biological Sciences Department

Faculty Sponsor: Swati Agrawal

Student:  Jay BoudreauCounteracting Antibiotic Resistance in Bacillus Bacteria with Phage Therapy

Student:  Abigail DelapenhaCharacterization of Toxoplasma gondii Calcium regulator proteins for Toxoplasma gondii growth and invasion

Student:  Raesa Zia Characterization of Jabberwock Phage proteins


Faculty Sponsor: Josephine Antwi

Student:  Tessa LanzafameShifts in Herbivorous Insect Host Plant Ranges within the City of Fredericksburg


Faculty Sponsor: Dianne Baker

Students: Erin Kenealy, Olivia Pierce, Katherine Scott and Max De La CruzProximate cues in zebrafish reproduction


Faculty Sponsor: Bradley Lamphere

Student: Megan CarrThe Relationship Between Microplastic Load and Ontogeny in Local Freshwater Fish Species


Faculty Sponsor: Lynn Lewis

Student: Ryan MeekEffects of Hydroxychloroquine on the Replication of EMCV Infected Cells.


Faculty Sponsor: Ginny Morriss

Student: Victoria AshtonThe Effect of Injury on PDGFRB Signaling in a DM1 context

Students: Delaney Baratka and Shyanne Michael – Localization of Transgenes for Drosophila Models of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1

Student: Jada GundyEffect of CUG expression on vascular development in the cell culture of model myotonic dystrophy


Faculty Sponsor: Abbie Tomba

Student: Mika BishtonThe impacts of nutrient pollution on macroinvertebrate communities in Accokeek Creek and Potomac Creek


Faculty Sponsor: Parrish Waters

Students: Lilliana RamirezEffects of exercise on digestive health in mice


Chemistry Department

Faculty Sponsor: Varun Makhija

Student: Lana Chaleunrath-PhamFemtosecond pulse autocorrelator


Faculty Sponsor: Sarah Smith

Student: Sierra HunterQuantification of Capsaicin and Dihydrocapsaicin in Beer using High Performance Liquid Chromatography

Student: Madison MinvielleInvestigation of the Use of Additive Manufacturing for HPLC Columns to Provide a More Efficient Separation


Classics, Philosophy & Religion

Faculty Sponsor: Lianne Houghtalin

Students: Shilah Morris, Vonne Daszkilewicz and Jessica ThorneThe Installation of a Roman Thermopolium in the UMW Museum of Ancient Medierranean Cultures


Communication & Digital Studies

Faculty Sponsor: Elizabeth Johnson-Young

Student: Lyndsey ClarkFraming Contexts and Immersion: The Functionality of TRPG Frames in Dimension 20’s Fantasy High Series


Earth and Environmental Science Department

Faculty Sponsor: Pamela Grothe

Student: Jacob Cantor – Evaluating coral Sr/Ca using ICP-AES as a cost-effective geochemical analysis for paleotemperature reconstructions

Student: Catharine DeGoylerAssessing the diagenetic susceptibility of the large skeletal architecture coral speciesHydnophora microconos implications for tropical paleoclimate reconstructions

Student: Jessica OberliesEvaluating coral Sr/Ca using ICP-AES as a cost-effective geochemical analysis for paleotemperature reconstructions

Student: Melody ZeherAssessing the diagenetic susceptibility of the large skeletal architecture coral species Hydnophora microconos – implications for tropical paleoclimate reconstructions


Faculty Sponsor: Melanie Szulczewski

Students: Anna Velardi, Faith Jones and Katherine CookFactors Affecting Total and Bioavailable Concentrations of Trace Metals in Surface Soils in the Kingston, Jamaica, Region


Economics Department

Faculty Sponsor: Amrita Dhar

Students: Ravi Palat – Student presentation at Issues in Political Economy Conference


Geography Department

Faculty Sponsor: Dawn Bowen

Student: Kaleb Dunlap –Represent SEEDAG at the World Geography Bowl Competition

Student: Richard Munoz – Represent SEEDAG at the World Geography Bowl Competition


Historic Preservation

Faculty Sponsor: Michael Spencer

Student: Wilson LeCount – Independent Study in Restoration Carpentry


Faculty Sponsor : Christine Henry

Student: Brooke Prevedel and Luka Molloy – Student presentations at the Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference


Modern Languages and Literatures Department

Faculty Sponsor: Betsy Lewis

Students:  Madeline Killian and Julia May – Student Presentations at the Undergraduate Research Symposium of Virginia


Political Science and International Department

Faculty Sponsor:  Rosalyn Cooperman

Student: Joseph ZeldinHollywood, Heinz Field and the Hill: Analyzing Political Amateurs in Congressional Elections


Psychological Science

Faculty Sponsor: Mindy Erchull

Student: Nicole AltenbergSexual IPV and Psychopathology Symptoms Among LGBQ+ Women


Faculty Sponsor: Marcus Leppanen

Students: Sana Aftab, Julianna Buyaki, Allison Holden, Carla Kanupp and Robert OehlerHigher Mindfulness Is Associated with Reduced Viewing of Chosen Distractor Faces


Faculty Sponsor: Miriam Liss

Students: 28 Students attending the Association for Psychological Science Annual

Student: Talyn DerflingerTransgender individuals in Higher Education: Barriers and Progress


Faculty Sponsor: Christine McBride

Students: Randi Ball and Madelyn GedneyEffect of Credibility and follower count on social media influencer trust and impact


Faculty Sponsor: Erin Palmwood

Students: Nicole Altenberg, Xavier Herring, Tyler Clift and Sophia Stil – Ambivalent Sexism Impacts Attitudes Toward Marital Surname Change Decisions


Faculty Sponsor: Holly Schriffin

Students: Delaney Boyer, Helena Nichols, Wilhelmina Solley and Emily WilsonThe Relationship of Helicopter Parenting to Academic Burnout and Disordered Eating through its impact on emerging adults’ perfectionism, self-control, and self-efficacy.


Faculty Sponsor: David Stahlman

Student Talyn Derflinger – Student presentation at the International Conference on Comparative Cognition


Theatre & Dance

Faculty Sponsor: Michael Benson

Student: Madeline Berger – Student presentation at United States Institution of Technical Theatre (USITT)


Faculty Sponsor: Gregg Stull

Student: Julia CoxStop Kiss


Previous Awarded Grants: