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Summer Collaborative Research

Collaborative student-faculty research is an integrated part of the Earlham academic curriculum, but for students who are interested in a more immersive experience, our faculty offer the opportunity to engage in summer collaborative research. Such projects permit students to pursue cutting-edge research under the mentorship of subject area experts, review current literature in the field and present results at conferences, such as the EPIC Expo, as well as regional and national professional events.

The summer collaborative research experience exposes participants to authentic research and prepares them for their next steps after college, whether they choose to pursue graduate school or employment. Often, the research experience helps students decide on a future career path.

"Before working with Dr. Rosenberg this summer, I never considered graduate school. I realized that I love doing research and would definitely consider graduate school as an option after college."

– Leonora Akporyoe ‘19

Earlham has offered collaborative research experiences during the summer since 1988. From 2008-2017, more than 275 students participated in projects spanning 4-8 immersive weeks.

2017 Projects

Raven -mccreeBiology

Demography and reproductive biology of turtles in the Nebraska SandhillsJohn Iverson with Anna Carlson ’19 and Julia Freeman ‘19

Evolving a virus capable of infecting a novel host  - Lindsey McGee with Megan Hedinger ‘19, Noah Kelner ‘18, Khoa Nguyen ‘20, Joel Pagan ‘18 and Claire Rickerman ‘19

Biomarkers of Aging: Insights from Midwestern Medicinal Plants- Courtney Scerbak with Minhwa Choi ‘19, Raven McCree ’20, Lobsang Palmo ‘20 and Evelyn Sanchez ’19 (McNair Scholar)

The identity and importance of feathers in Tree swallow nests- Wendy P. Tori with Evelyn Barragan, Lilly Hartman ‘20, Brenna Hellman ’19 and Caroline Wolfe-Merritt ‘20


Use of Hand-Held X-ray Fluorescence for Heavy Metal Analysis in Soil and Biological Materials - Corinne and Mike Deibel with Saujan Kafle ‘18 and John Sakaleros ‘20

Design, Synthesis, and Optimization of Phytosiderophores and Important Precursors  - Mark G. Stocksdale with Abhay Chaudhary ‘20 and Chu Ywe ‘19

Nano-fabrication methods for potential applications in biosensors - Tian Tian with Isabela Bicalho ‘18, Honglie Hu ‘18, Yejin Ki ’19 and Linh To Toan ‘18

Summer -projects -2017-aComputer Science

Detecting Analogy in Text - David Barbella with Noah Back ‘20, Vuong Khuat, Rei Rembeci ’19 and Maniz Shrestha ‘19

Energy-Efficient Load Balancing on Cluster Systems - Xunfei Jiang with Niraj Parajuli ‘18, Eli Ramthun ‘18, Eamon Roosa ’18 and Phuc Tran ‘18


Measuring and Evaluating Economic Impacts of Economic Development Initiatives - Jonathan Diskin with Ali Shahram Musavi ‘19, Anh Nguyen ’19 and Isit Pokharel ‘18


Landscape Paleoanthropology of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania – Cynthia Fadem with Anisha Dongol ‘18

Event stratigraphy and sediment dynamics of a coastal lagoon, Mbweni, Tanzania – Andy Moore with Melody Che ‘19 and Ai Lena Tomioka ‘19


Multi-modal non-invasive remotely piloted aerial sensing of archeological, avain, and glacial research areas - Charlie Peck, Emi Smith, Gail Clark with Nic Arnold ‘17 and Eliana Bookbinder ‘18

Summer -projects -2017-cNeuroscience

Stress and Health in College Students- Beth Mechlin with Leslie Estrada ’19 (McNair Scholar), Naomi Ongjanco ’19 (NSF REU), Faridhe Puente (NSF REU from University of Texas – Austin ‘20), Yunjoo Shin ‘19, Mubtasim Talha ‘19 and Kayla Trevino ‘18

Decreased expression of voltage-gated sodium channels during spinal cord regeneration in lamprey -Bob Rosenberg with

Leonora Akporyoe ‘19, Olivia Galinzoga (NSF REU from University of the Incarnate Word ’19), Emma Hoffmann ’18 (NSF REU), Khyrul Khan ‘19 and Maren Schroeder ‘18

Molecular mechanisms in olfactory habituation memory - Michelle Tong with Abdul Awol ‘19 & Olivia Wallace ‘18

Project-based course development - Michelle Tong with Flannery Currin ‘19


Laser Microscopy: Coherent Diffractive Imaging­ - Ellen Keister with Aiden Newman ’19 and Alexander Owen ‘18

Computational Biophysics at Earlham - Michael Lerner with Vika Dua ‘20, Annika Hirmke ‘19, Ahmed Imamovic ‘20, Moataz Noureddine ‘19, Sunil Pun ’19 and Sirajus Salekin ‘18

Contact Information

For more information on Summer Collaborative Research at Earlham, contact Sara Paule, Director of Sponsored Programs and Foundation Relations, at 765-983-1431 or email her at