2022 Student Summer Scholars
Rachelle Baumann, MS3
Characterization of new inhibitors of ADC-30: combatting a clinically relevant variant involved in antibiotic resistance
Faculty Mentor: Brad Wallar, Chemistry
Rachelle Baumann is a student studying the discipline of Biochemistry at Grand Valley State University. Rachelle was a recipient of the Student Summer Scholar Grant which aided in funding her research on Antibiotic Resistance involving variants of ADC β-lactamase enzymes derived from the pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii and their resistance capabilities. This research has supported Rachelle’s aspirations to obtain a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in a graduate program following the competition of her undergraduate degree at GVSU.
Jared Bengston (Ott-Stiner Scholar)
Structural and functional characterization of ADC-73 β-lactamase: a new clinical variant involved in antibiotic resistance
Faculty Mentor: Brad Wallar, Chemistry
Jared Bengston is a student at Grand Valley State University majoring in Biomedical Sciences. Jared was the recipient of the Student Summer Scholars Program and was recognized as an Ott-Stiner Scholar. He researched multiple novel ꞵ-lactamase ADC variants located in A. baumannii that contribute to antibiotic resistance. After graduating, Jared hopes to attend medical school. In his spare time, Jared enjoys exercising, sailing, and leading outdoor adventure groups.
Elizabeth Borton, MS3
How Phytohormones Impact Protein Degradation Through RUBylation in Arabidopsis thaliana
Faculty Mentor: Kristin Renkema, Biomedical Sciences
Elizabeth is a senior undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University majoring in biomedical sciences with an emphasis in pre-medical. She is one of the recipients to receive funding through the MS3 Program at Grand Valley to help aid her research for the summer. The research she is focusing on is detecting concentrations of IFN-γ using a mouse model, SPF and CoH mice, to better understand the immune response fighting against cancer exposure along with the Hygiene Hypothesis. Elizabeth hopes to attend medical school in the fall of 2024.
Jefferson Cano, MS3
Studying the Effect of Fuel Overabundance on Biochemical Changes of Cardiac Muscle Cells
Faculty Mentor: Ruijie Liu, Biomedical Sciences
Jefferson Cano is an honors student at Grand Valley State University majoring in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Chemistry. Jeff was a recipient of the Modified Student Summer Scholar program and researched the effects of high glucose and high lipid concentrations on a rat cardiac cell line. Upon completion of Jefferson’s undergraduate degree, he plans to apply to Medical school.
Mary Fergus (Ott-Stiner Scholar)
Exploring cross-class inhibition of key antibiotic resistance targets in the multidrug resistant pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii
Faculty Mentor: Rachel Powers, Chemistry
Mary Fergus is a student at Grand Valley State University majoring in biochemistry. Mary was a Student Summer Scholar and recognized as an Ott-Stiner Scholar, where she researched cross-class inhibition of β-lactamases to overcome antibiotic resistance. Research has inspired Mary to pursue her PhD in biochemistry.
Analysis of the ATP structure requirements of aminoglycoside nucleotidylyltransferase-6 (ANT-6)
Faculty Mentor: Brian Smith, Chemistry
Natalie Grantham is an undergraduate student studying biochemistry. Natalie was the recipient of the Student Summer Scholars research grant that allowed her to study the ATP structure requirements of aminoglycoside nucleotidylyltransferase-6 (ANT-6). This research has supported her ambitions to attend graduate school and receive her P.hD in biochemistry.
Integration of Performance Practice and Stylistic Understanding in the Realization of Schubert Sonata D. 845
Faculty Mentor: Sookkyung Cho, Music, Theatre and Dance
Becca Hanson is an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in piano. In 2022, she attended The Academy of Fortepiano Performance in Hunter, New York and will have an essay published in UCLA’s MUSE Journal. Becca’s summer research project focuses on historical performance practice, informing her future scholarship in piano literature.
Intercellular Communication via Gap Junctions Influences Cell Survival During Hypoxia
Faculty Mentor: David Geenen, Physician Assistant Studies
Lauren Harmon is a student at Grand Valley State University majoring in Allied Health Sciences with an emphasis in Physician Assistant Studies. Lauren was the recipient of the Student Summer Scholars (S3) scholarship that researched the role of gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) in stem cell therapy. Lauren's research has solidified her interest in the medical field and contributes to her drive to become a Physician Assistant.
Taar1 receptor interaction with mu-opioid receptor in a mouse model system of methamphetamine addiction
Faculty Mentor: Shkelzen Shabani, Biomedical Sciences
IndieTrainer: Enabling individuals with Cerebral Palsy to Receive Gamified Power Mobility Training in Their Own Manual Wheelchairs
Faculty Mentor: Lisa Kenyon, Physical Therapy
Brianna Kleikamp is a student at Grand Valley State University majoring in biomedical sciences with a minor in health care ethics. Brianna is a recipient of the Thompson Worker Family Achiever Scholarship which has further supported her with her studies. Upon completion of her bachelor’s degree, she wants to go to graduate school to become a physician assistant.
The Effect of Right-to-Work Laws on Creativity: Evidence based on Michigan and Indiana Right-to-Work Laws
Faculty Mentors: Vijay Gondhalekar, Finance & Chandresh Baid, Management
Owen Laverty is an undergraduate student at GVSU studying finance and economics with an additional certificate in applied data analytics. He received the Student Summer Scholars grant in 2022 to fund his research on Right to Work laws and their effects on creativity. After graduating in December 2023, Owen hopes to work for a few years in either real estate or corporate finance before applying to graduate programs in business. Outside of his research, Owen is involved in Seidman IPO and the Frederik Meijer Honors College.
Sofia Mansoor, MS3
Mutagenic analysis of antibiotic resistant enzyme aminoglycoside nucleotidylyltransferase-6 (ANT-6)
Faculty Mentor: Brian Smith, Chemistry
Molly McCarthy (Koeze Fellow)
The First Meal of Your Life: Parental Influence on Acquisition of Gut Microbiota in Drosophila melanogaster
Faculty Mentor: Georgette Sass, Biology
Molly McCarthy is an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University, studying biology with an emphasis in biomolecular processes. In 2022, Molly was awarded the Student Summer Scholars grant and was a recipient of the Koeze Fellowship at Grand Valley State University, which allowed her to spend the summer studying the gut microbiome acquisition of larval fruit flies and the effects on life span and reproduction. After graduation, Molly plans on attending graduate school to get a master's in genetic counseling.
Ian McGuckin (Stiner Scholar)
Religious Hybridity in Early Modern Inquisitions
Faculty Mentor: Grace Coolidge, History
Ian McGuckin is a student at Grand Valley State University majoring in English, History and Education with a minor in French. Ian was the recipient of the Stiner Scholarship and his research looks into the causes of the hybrid nature of religious beliefs in Early Modern Latin America. After he completes his Bachelor's degree, Ian plans to pursue a career in high school education.
Emily Murray, MS3
Effects of Remote Vignette-Based Training on Social Initiations of Young Adults with Autism
Faculty Mentor: Amanda Karsten, Psychology
Emily Murray is a student at Grand Valley State University majoring in Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience. Emily was the recipient of the Modified Student Summer Scholars grant to help research the effects of vignette-based training on social initiations of young adults with autism. After graduation, Emily plans to obtain a Ph.D. and become a Psychologist.
Lindsey Schmidt, MS3 (Schroeder Fellow)
The Effect of Instructor Feedback on Student Motivation in Undergraduate Chemistry
Faculty Mentors: Thomas Pentecost, Chemistry & Jessie VandenPlas, Chemistry
Lindsey Schmidt is a student at Grand Valley State University majoring in biochemistry and psychology. She was a recipient of the Schroeder Fellowship for her work in the modified student summer scholars program and is researching how undergraduate chemistry students interpret instructor feedback. The skills and knowledge Lindsey has gained from this experience will help her attain a career in scientific journalism upon graduation.
Evan Sidebotham (Schroeder Fellow)
By what mechanisms do genes altered during spaceflight influence biofilm formation?
Faculty Mentors: Derek Thomas, Biomedical Sciences & Ian Cleary, Biomedical Sciences
Evan Sidebotham is a Senior completing his undergraduate in Biomedical Sciences at GVSU. He is performing research through the S3 program on the yeast Candida albicans. He will be attending MSU’s M.D. program next fall in pursuit of Emergency Medicine.
Investigating best practices for engaging chemistry students in online learning
Faculty Mentor: Jessica VandenPlas, Chemistry
Megan Smith is an undergraduate student majoring in chemistry with an emphasis on education. Megan was a recipient of a Student Summer Scholars (S3) research grant for the summer of 2022 to do research about how students learn chemistry in a virtual environment. Megan also is a tutor at the Chemistry Success Center, an SLA Facilitator for CHM 115, leads in Delight Ministries, gives tours on campus, is a part of the TRIO first generation college student organization, and enjoys making Tiktok videos sharing college life hacks for college students.
Musical Life in Grand Rapids, 1903-5: An Archival Study
Faculty Mentor: Lisa Feurzeig, Music, Theatre and Dance
Thomas Stutz is a saxophonist pursuing his Bachelor in Music Performance at Grand Valley State University. In 2021 he was the winner of the GVSU Orchestra Concerto Competition, and in 2022 the recipient of the Arthur C. Hills music scholarship. Upon graduating with his Bachelor of Music, Thomas will continue to pursue his second degree, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.
Christina Vann, MS3
Information Technology Use in Nonprofit Management
Faculty Mentor: Huafang Li, Public, Nonprofit, Health, Hospitality and Tourism Management, School of
Christina Vann is a student at Grand Valley State University majoring in Public and Nonprofit Administration and minoring in Geospatial Technology. She was the 21-22 recipient of the Agard Fellowship where she researched how Geographic Information Systems could improve youth grantmaking decisions. She is applying to graduate schools to pursue her research passion of "tech for good."
Isabelle Villanueva (Stiner Scholar)
Bibliotherapy in Speech-Language Pathology
Faculty Mentor: Cara Singer, Communication Sciences & Disorders
Isabelle Villanueva is a student at Grand Valley State University studying Communication Sciences and Disorders. She was the recipient of the Stiner Fellowship in Scientific Skeptical Reasoning and Logic to research the use and efficacy of bibliotherapy (the use of books to help patients cope with challenges and emotional problems) within the speech-language pathology field. Her research project included analyzing results from a survey study on speech-language pathologists’ use of bibliotherapy and developing an experimental study that will explore the use of bibliotherapy with preschool-aged children.
Zane Walters, MS3
Effects of microRNAs on alpha-synuclein gene expression in Parkinson-like cells
Faculty Mentor: Sok Kean Khoo, Cell and Molecular Biology
Zane Walters is an undergraduate research scholar majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology at Grand Valley State University. Zane was awarded the Modified Student Summer Scholars grant which funded his research on the effects of microRNAs on alpha-synuclein gene expression in Parkinson's-like cell culture. Upon completing his graduate degree at Grand Valley, Zane plans on pursuing a PhD in cell biology.
Pride, empathy and the narcissism/vanity distinction: Advantages and disadvantages regarding relational bondedness, attachment, selflessness and image management.
Faculty Mentor: Lawrence Burns, Psychology
Madison Wheeler is a upcoming senior at Grand Valley State University majoring in behavioral neuroscience with a minor in psychology. Madison was awarded the Student Summer Scholarship that is funding her current research on distinguishing definitions of narcissism and vanity within the context of social psychology. Madison’s interdisciplinary research experience has inspired her to pursue graduate programs in neuropharmacology.