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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.

2018 Projects
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Ant Nutritional Ecology and Caste Determination - Chris Smith with Harald Mumma ’20 and Tung Xuan Phung ’20

Ancient DNA Sequencing and 3D Genomics - E. Smith with Oliver Daniel ’20, Hanh Le ’20 and Marena Sein ’20 (McNair Scholar)

The identity and importance of feathers in Tree swallow nests - Wendy P. Tori with Evelyn Barragan ’19, Brenna Hellman ’19 and Sam Pigott ‘21


The development of molecular sensors for arsenic detection and the extraction of chitin from waste lobster shells - Patrick Barber with Freya Beinart (ACS Project SEED from Richmond High School ’20), Mai Hoang ’20, Fang (Joyce) Li ’20 (Eli Lilly-supported) and Dylan Shelby (ACS Project SEED from Richmond High School ’20) [Video]

Evaluating the Chemistry and Cellular Action of Midwestern Medicinal Plants - Courtney Scerbak and Mike Deibel with Alexandra Abelkis ’20, Jasmine Carter ’20 (McNair Scholar), Claire Cornwell ’21, Nguyen-Anh Thi Nguyen ’21 and Rafaella Shima ’21

Developing a Protocol to Determine Lipid Vesicle and Exosome Size Distribution using NanoTrackJ - Kalani Seu with Luke Brake ’21 and Jeffrey Douyere ’21

Mitsunobu Reactions Involving Cyclic beta-Hydroxy Tertiary Amines - Mark Stocksdale with Dalton Engle ’20 and Sven-Erik Nilsson ’20

Computer Science

Automated Identification of Patterns Used to Communicate Analogy - David Barbella with Phi Hung Nguyen ’21

Energy-aware Management System on Cluster - Xunfei Jiang with Eli Ramthun ’18 and Thuy Thai ’21

Multi-Modal Non-Invasive Remotely Piloted Aerial Sensing of Archeological, Avian, and Glacial Study Sites - Charlie Peck with Ahsan Ali Khoja ’19, Rei Rembeci ’19 and Daniel Stoffregen ’19


What's Your Development Rank? A Digital Project - Rajaram Krishnan with Giorgi Kharshiladze ’19 and Muskan Uprety ’21

The Sraffa Index - Mark Lautzenheiser with Chowdhury Walid Tahabee ’20 and Summia Tora ’20

Environmental Sustainability

Conservation genetics of Yukon Caribou - Karen Mager with Dominic Saidu ’21, My Hoang ’20 and Khoa Nguyen ’20

Earlham Goes for STARS Gold! - Jamey Pavey with Alyssa Guritz ’20 and Marcella Lanzillotti ’20


Landscape Paleoanthropology of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania – Cynthia Fadem with Andrew Fishback ’19

Global Management

The impact of consumer and personal values on consumption of foreign products - Terrence Motsi with Edita Danielyan ’20 and Jeremy Douyere ’21


Book Project - Betsy Schlabach with Jackson Gage ’19 and Eli Tienin ’20

Languages and Cultures

Commentary in Mamluk Literature - Kelly Tuttle with Mairead Blatner ’21, Lily McDevitt-Bayless ’19 and Rachel Sames ’19


Modeling the Dynamics of an Activator-Inhibitor System with Varying boundary Conditions - Kwadwo Antwi-Fordjour with Gyeongeun Lee ’20, Anh P. Nguyen ’20 and Sebastian Slavinskas ’20 (McNair Scholar)


Altered Expression of Ion Channels During Spinal Cord Regeneration in Lamprey - Bob Rosenberg with Morgan Bailey ’19 (NSF REU), Drenushe Krasniqi ’21, Ava-Clare Steed ’20 (McNair Scholar), and Maia Van Buskirk (NSF REU from Colgate University ’20)

The role of Perineuronal Nets in Olfactory Perceptual Learning - Michelle Tong with Abhay Chaudhary ’20, Mallory Crosby ‘19 (NSF REU), Jerilyn Gillenwater ’20 (McNair Scholar), and Valentina Martin (NSF REU from University of Miami ‘21)

Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave source modeling - Seth Hopper with Nhat Le ’20 and Aiden Newman ’19, Jonah Otto ’20


Praise & Perseverance/ Bullying & Attention - Rachael Reavis with Leslie Estrada ’19, Sungeun Park ’19 and Ethan Perkins ’20


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

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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Richmond, Indiana
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