Summer Scholars present research

Kira Smith-Butland and actors read her screenplay.
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Kira Smith-Butland and actors read her screenplay.
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Twenty-two students were able to succinctly answer the question, “What did you do during your summer vacation?” during either a seven-minute presentation or a poster display.

The students who participated in the Student Summer Scholars (S3) program capped 12 weeks of research during a showcase August 1 at Loosemore Auditorium, DeVos Center.

Presentations ranged from the study of attitudes towards language variations to the history of the Kushan Empire to constructed wetlands. A list of Summer Scholars and their faculty mentors is below.

• Danielle Bradke; faculty mentors: Paul Keenlance and Joseph Jacquot, biology
• Tami Brown; faculty mentor: Neil MacDonald, biology
• Brittany Cooke; faculty mentor: Richard Vallery, physics
• Brianne Docter; faculty mentor: Brad Wallar, chemistry
• Samantha Ellis; faculty mentor: Andrew Korich, chemistry
• Jessica Franks; faculty mentor: Eric Snyder, biology
• Danielle Grimm; faculty mentor: Ryan Thum, Annis Water Resources Institute
• Anthony Hage; faculty mentors: Martin Burg and Debra Burg, biomedical sciences
• José Jiménez; faculty mentor: Melanie Shell-Weiss, liberal studies
• Kip-Chumba Kaitany; faculty mentor: Dave Leonard, chemistry
• Joshua Lee; faculty mentor: Merritt Taylor, biomedical sciences
• Jackie Main; faculty mentor: Amanda Dillard, psychology
• Danielle Maryanski; faculty mentor: Jennifer Winther, biology
• Xinyi Ou; faculty mentor: Craig Benjamin, history
• Michael Peruzzi; faculty mentor: Shannon Biros, chemistry
• Jeremy Peshl; faculty mentor: Karen Gipson, physics
• Kira Smith-Butland; faculty mentor: Austin Bunn, writing
• Christopher Stretton; faculty mentor: Roderick Morgan, biology
• Jessica Thoe; faculty mentor: Dawn Clifford Hart, cell and molecular biology
• Angela Tramontelli; faculty mentor: Kathryn Remlinger, English language and literature
• Sarah VanOeveren; faculty Mentor: Georgette Sass, biology
• William Waalkes; faculty mentor: Daniel Bergman, biomedical sciences

Susan Mendoza, director of undergraduate research and scholarship, said the showcase offers a great opportunity for students, mentors, family members and donors to see the work achieved during S3. The number of scholars each year varies between 20-25 depending on funding and the quality of grant proposals, she added. S3, established at Grand Valley more than 10 years ago, offers faculty and student stipends and a small budget for supplies.

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship is working collaboratively with University Development to establish endowed S3 fellowships, allowing faculty members and others to fund future scholars, Mendoza said.