Summer Scholars, McNair Scholars ready for showcase

Luke Pardy and Lindsay Czap are two scholars ready to present their research at the annual Student Summer Scholars Showcase on August 4.
Luke Pardy and Lindsay Czap are two scholars ready to present their research at the annual Student Summer Scholars Showcase on August 4.

Twenty-five students in the Student Summer Scholars (S3) program and 16 McNair Scholars will present research on topics ranging from muscle performance to operettas in the 1880s to genetic variations in bats during the annual Student Summer Scholars Showcase.

The showcase is set for Tuesday, August 4, from 4-7 p.m. in the DeVos Center. 

Susan Mendoza, director of undergraduate research and scholarship, said S3 is a unique program that provides funds for a student and faculty mentor to devote about 14 weeks to a research or creative project.

"Through Student Summer Scholars, students begin to direct their own paths and familiarize themselves with the structure of professional research," Mendoza said.

Luke Pardy is a cell and molecular biology major who will enter his sophomore year in the fall. Pardy said spending his summer with faculty mentor Osman Patel has been "a crash course in learning how to write a research paper."

Pardy and Patel, associate professor of cell and molecular biology, are researching the effects of anthracycline based chemotherapy on triple-negative breast cancer cells. Pardy said triple-negative breast cancer is among the most severe forms of the disease, and perhaps their research will someday results in less aggressive chemotherapy for patients.

"Being in S3 has given us a great opportunity to present, and this summer has provided me with exposure to the research process," said Pardy, also a Meijer Honors College student.

Mathematics major Lindsay Czap will graduate in December and said being an S3 participant will enhance her resume when she applies to graduate schools.

"S3 is an awesome experience. Most people do not get an opportunity to do undergraduate research," Czap said. "I'm going to be competing with all these other students applying for graduate schools. This experience tells them that I have experience with an advisor, we have done this research and, hopefully, will have it published."

Czap and faculty mentor David Clark researched a technique for minimizing the number of questions asked during a two-person guessing game. For example, asking someone to name a number between 0-7 creates a certain amount of questions to ask. Czap and Clark, assistant professor of mathematics, have researched the cost of a guessing game and found the cheapest possible guessing games.

Czap said it can be applied to the business world. "When your printer doesn't print a piece of paper, the steps you go through to figure out why it isn't printing are, in effect, questions you are asking the printer. We've given those questions a cost function," she said.

For more information about the S3 Showcase, visit www.gvsu.edu/ours.