SU Students Excel in Summer Research

Student Summer Research

Salisbury University’s campus does not close and students don’t stop learning once the summer months hit. SU students get some of their most immersive experiences during this time between semesters. Over the summer, undergraduate and graduate students take part in research projects and have the opportunity to get up close and personal with their passions.

Follow this page and Salisbury University on Facebook and YouTube for information and videos on some of these research opportunities.
Student in lab

Quantum Dot Solar Technology Could be a Game Changer

In an effort to search for more “green” energy sources, solar power has been key, but current technology can only harness a third of the energy the sun offers. In a sponsored research project, SU junior Brandon Chang with the guidance of Dr. Lena Woodis (Chemistry) is creating quantum dots – tiny semiconductor particles – to test their efficiency in solar cell applications.

student in lab
student in lab

Arsenic and the Immune System

How do low doses of arsenic impact the immune system? As part of summer sponsored research, Salisbury University student Jeremie Barbosa is exploring that question with guidance from her faculty mentor, Dr. Jennifer Nyland (Chemistry). Her research could help determine if maximum exposure levels set by the World Health Organization are too high, or help make the public aware of how low levels of arsenic could affect them.

Watch the Video!


Aerial View of Wicomico County

A Mathematical Look at Land Values

Using mathematics and statistics, SU senior Nicholas Orsini is working with Dr. Jiacheng Cai (Henson School) to construct a model for land values in Wicomico County. The sponsored research project seeks to better understand the impacts of various factors in the area.

Aerial View of Wicomico County

Outline of Young person using e-ciggarette
Outline of Young person using e-ciggarette

Effect of e-Cigarettes on Adolescents

What are the effects of e-cigarettes on the developing adolescent brain and body? SU student Casey Parisi is studying this through sponsored research with her mentor, Dr. Mark Walter (Psychology). She also is examining the similarities in marketing for combustible cigarettes in the 1950s-60s and e-cigarettes today.


Mallard Duck head

The Development of Duck Brains

Ducks are known for their sensitive beaks, good sense of smell, but vision that is less than average – traits that are represented in their brain. SU senior Katlynne Tatterson, with guidance from Dr. Jeremy Corfield (Biology), is exploring how differences in brain anatomy arise during development. She is examining duck embryos to determine when and how ducks develop larger smell and beak brain centers and smaller visual ones.

Mallard Duck head

Dr. Randall Groth Teaching for PATHWAYS program
Dr. Randall Groth Teaching for PATHWAYS program

Enhancing Mathematics Teaching Skills

Eight SU undergraduate students, mentored by Dr. Randall Groth, are developing their skills as mathematics teachers and mathematics education researchers as part of the NSF-funded PATHWAYS project. Working in pairs, they are teaching tasks to groups of elementary and middle school children. The lessons will be video recorded and studied along with plans for effectiveness.


zebrafish

Hyperglycemia and the Central Nervous System

Visual impairment is one of the most common complications associated with uncontrolled diabetes. This summer through her sponsored research, SU sophomore Jessica Pierce, with the guidance of Dr. Jessica Clark (Biological Sciences), is studying how hyperglycemia affects the central nervous system in adult zebrafish. She will focus on the optic nerve, which normally communicates visual information to higher brain centers.

zebrafish

gamer on computer
gamer on computer

Creating Your Avatar

The gaming world offers users the chance to be anything or anyone they want. SU senior Jessica Harbaugh, with the guidance of Dr. Lance Garmon (Psychology), is basing her sponsored research project this summer on the psychology of why gamers choose to customize certain characteristics in their avatars, including using an avatar with a gender that differs from their own.


owl

Owls Dietary Habits

SU senior Margaret Kinsella, with the mentorship of Dr. Christina Bradley (Biological Sciences), is collecting and analyzing feathers and pellets from the burrowing owls at the Salisbury Zoo this summer as part of a sponsored research project to study their dietary habits in comparison to similar birds in the wild.

owl

dental tools
dental tools

Have No Fear

This summer, SU junior Ines Tchienga is working alongside Dr. Echo Leaver (Psychology) to make your future visits to the dentist a little more pleasant. Tchienga is continuing a sponsored research project on dental anxiety, studying the physical reactions when music and movies are introduced to lessen the anxiety.


cluster

Physics Computer Simulations

Studying diffusion-limited aggregation this summer, SU senior Cal Wilkens, with the guidance of Dr. Gail Welsh (Physics), will run computer simulations to learn how randomly clustered particles can fill space under various conditions.

cluster

SU art history - Italy gondola
SU art history - Italy gondola

Summer Experiences Abroad

SU students are spending parts of their summer studying, interning and researching all around the world. Some are studying with faculty on Global Seminars in Venice and Bologna, Italy, as well as in Iceland and the Ukraine. Others are with global partners in South Korea, Spain and Scotland. Still more are completing internships and field research in Costa Rica, Ireland and Spain. Altogether, 89 SU students are earning credits toward their degrees in 14 countries on five continents.


monkey

Impacts of Climate Change

This summer, Kathryn Breon, with the guidance of Dr. Aaron Hogue (Biological Sciences), is using data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature and scientific literature to determine which environmental problems pose the greatest threat to species and ecosystems globally as part of a sponsored research project.

monkey

students dressed up
students dressed up

Dress to Impress

It’s often said you should “dress to impress,” but for college students that's not often the norm. This summer through sponsored research, SU senior Ngu Sint Sint Thu with the guidance of Dr. EJ Han (Communication Arts) is studying if college students who regularly dress up for their classes see a difference in their academic performance compared to those who dress more casually.


Jeffrey Todd sings

Jeffrey Todd Competes

In June, Jeffrey Todd competed at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Student Auditions. Todd has worked for years with Dr. John Wesley Wright (Music, Theatre and Dance) and was in training for this competition since the end of the semester. He performed in the semifinals for his division, hoping to advance to the finals.

Jeffrey Todd sings

Ants
Ants

Ants on the Eastern Shore

With more than 70 species of ants on the Eastern Shore, little is known about their feeding preferences and how they fit within the food web. This summer, SU student Abigail Wilson is working with applied biology master’s student Denise Manole and mentor Dr. Dana Price (Biological Sciences) to study species diversity of ants and their eating habits on Assateague Island.


Chemistry-MRI

Studying MRI Contrast Agent

Exposure to the standard MRI contrast agent can lead to further health issues for patients who need regular scans. This summer, SU junior Tas Elbashir is working with Dr. Anthony Rojas (Chemistry) to create an MRI contrast agent more in tune with the chemicals already found in the human body, making it healthier for the patient and a more effective medical tool.

Chemistry-MRI

safe space logo
safe space logo

Safe Space Workshop Training

The Safe Space workshop training was developed to create an inclusive environment for faculty, staff, students and visitors, in particular those in the LGBT+ community. This summer, with the mentorship of Drs. Michèle Schlehofer (Psychology) and Diane Illig (Sociology), SU student Alexandra Creasy is analyzing qualitative feedback from past participants to help enhance the SU program in the future.


For more student success stories and University news, visit the Salisbury University News Website.