Honors Students featured by URCA Program

Several CofC Honors Students have been recently spotlighted by the College of Charleston Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Team.

The Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) Program at College of Charleston supports student research and creative activities by providing competitive grants to fund summer project costs and stipends, academic year project costs, and travel to conferences for undergraduate students and their faculty mentors. Participation in a challenging, scholarly project can be the single most important experience that a student will have in college and the training and knowledge gained from this experience is often a deciding factor in the acquisition of professional positions and acceptance into post-graduate programs.

Jenny Sella, Sam Andritsch, Grace Bader, and Sammy Stocking have all been recently featured on the page. Check out some of their research below:

Jenny Sella:

Jenny and her mentor, Dr. Morgan Hughey, received a SURF 2021 Grant to explore the energy expenditure differences between bicycles and electric-assist bicycles for Charleston’s bike share program. “Bike share programs are a growing trend in cities around the world, where users can rent, ride, and return bicycles at several stations designed to offer alternative and more physically active transportation. Many bike share companies are further innovating by offering electric bicycles (e-bikes) which use a battery and motor to offer a boost while the user is pedaling. The goal of our study was to quantify the differences in energy needed to use a regular bike share bicycle compared to an e-bike and to examine differences in individual perceptions of difficulty between the two bike types”.

Sam Andritsch: 

Sam and her mentor, Dr. Brian Bossak, received a SURF 2021 grant to explore the spatial correlation between COVID-19 mortality and fine particulate matter concentrations in the United States. “Using Excel maps we were able to determine clusters of counties with respectively high COVID-19 mortality rates and high fine particulate matter concentrations. This finding will lead to further investigation into the Social Determinant of Health and/or geographical features that contribute to this positive association between the variables”

Grace Bader:

Grace and her mentor, Dr. Jenn Wilhelm, received a SURF 2021 Grant to explore peripheral nerve injuries. “My project focused on peripheral nerve injury and how the absence/addition of estrogen combined with exercise can facilitate synaptic changes after injury. I gained a lot of lab experience from this that will be useful to me when I pursue medical school or MD/PhD programs.”

Sammy Stocking: 

Sammy and her mentor, Dr. Michael Ruscio received a 2021 SURF grant to explore invertebrate research. “Dr. Ruscio and I examined the process of neurogenesis in adult snapping shrimp. Our main goal was to compare rates of neurogenesis with seasonal changes (breeding and not-breeding seasons) in female and male shrimp; we compared these rates using brain staining techniques and florescent microscopy. 

To read more, click here!


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