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SU Recognizes Inaugural Undergraduate Research Fellows

OURCA LogoSALISBURY, MD---Thirteen student leaders have been named Salisbury University’s inaugural Undergraduate Research Fellows.

As ambassadors, they serve as role models for other students who are interested in research, connecting them with SU’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (OURCA), faculty and administrators. They also provide input on the needs of student researchers and help develop new ideas to grow research and creative opportunities.  

“Undergraduate research has long been a pillar of a Salisbury University education, and we are excited that more students are getting engaged,” said Dr. Clifton Griffin, SU’s dean of graduate studies and research. 

Selected for the fellowships were: Austin Dabbs, a finance and chemistry double major from Clarksville, MD; Lauren DeLong, a biology major and chemistry and mathematics minor from Fulton, MD; Myra Dickey, a biology major and chemistry minor from Annapolis, MD; Genevieve Kurtz, a communication arts major and Spanish and marketing minor from Takoma Park, MD; Colleen Lynch, an exercise science and interdisciplinary studies major from Davidsonville, MD; Ben Meister, an exercise science major from Pasadena, MD; Julia Miller, a chemistry major from Ellicott City, MD;  Patrick Miller, a biology major and chemistry minor from Salisbury; Martina Maya-Cullen, an art and conflict analysis and dispute resolution double major from Laurel, MD; Zachery Radziewicz, a geographic information science major and graphic design minor from Easton, MD; Amanda Rocker, a biology major and psychology minor from Edgewater, MD; Juliet Vapsva, a psychology major from Berkeley Heights, NJ; and Danielle Walker, a political science and English major and film minor from Salisbury.

“Getting my foot in the door early has given me valuable opportunities from experiencing the lab environment, enhancing my writing and presenting at conferences,” said Rocker, who works in Dr. Jessica Clark’s zebrafish lab. Engaging in research helps make students “competitive for internships, graduate school and jobs,” she added.

Maya-Cullen said her research on the transformational power of art to spark social change allowed her to merge her two majors and bring awareness to such topics as eating disorders, sexual assault and global economic inequality.

Miller said assisting with Chemistry Department research on a cost-effective synthesis of an anti-migraine drug helped her excel in the classroom because she could directly apply course material in the lab.

“I am in the process of discovery myself, and it makes the learning process so exciting,” said DeLong, adding that she is grateful to faculty for providing hands-on experience. Her work in SU labs led to research internships at the National Institutes of Health and, this summer, in Germany on a DAAD RISE scholarship.

Fellowship recipients receive $500 stipends per semester. They must have a 3.0 G.P.A. and be engaged in research or creative activities outside of coursework for at least two semesters or one summer. Many are members of the SU Honors College and have presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and SU’s Student Research Conference.  

For more information visit the OURCA website at