Summer Collaborative Research

Collaborative student-faculty research is integrated within the Earlham academic curriculum but for students who are interested in a more immersive experience, Earlham offers paid summer collaborative research experiences. Such projects permit students to pursue cutting-edge scholarship under the mentorship of subject area experts, review current literature in the field and present results at conferences including, Earlham’s EPIC Expo as well as regional and national professional events.

Earlham has offered collaborative research experiences during the summer since 1988. More than 375 students participated in projects between 2008-2020.

All 2020 Summer Collaborative Research Programs were cancelled in response to the COVID-19 international crisis in order to protect the health of faculty and students. Please see the “Past Projects” section for examples of typical summer research projects.

Tanzania

Since 2014, teams of students from Earlham have traveled to one of the richest archeological locations in the world, Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, to work side by side with scientists excavating the site.

“Doing CS-related work all day for a month did make me realize that I love this field, and I picked my major right. After the research, I am much more excited to go into the field and either work in the industry or conduct research.”

– Ali Gokcelioglu ’20, computer science research with Dave Barbella

OUTCOMES

Summer Collaborative Research (SCR) exposes students to authentic research and prepares them for their next steps after college, whether they choose to pursue graduate school or employment.

  • 98% of student participants report their SCR experience was career discerning.
  • 96% of students believed their SCR project helped prepare them for a job.

SCR helps students understand the process of scholarship while learning discipline specific techniques and academic skills.

  • 98% of student participants learned new technological tools or techniques during their project (89% made sizeable gains).
  • 100% of students improved their problem-solving skills and 98% improved in critical thinking.

Participants also build confidence and perseverance through engagement in student-faculty collaborative projects.

  • 58% of student participants felt they made large gains in their comfort with collaboration and teamwork.
  • 98% of students developed tolerance for facing obstacles from their experience.

Want to learn more?

For questions about the Summer Collaborative Research program, contact Sara Paule, director of sponsored programs and foundation relations.

PAST PROJECTS

2019 Projects

  • Plant Physiology: Carbon Sequestration and the Evolution of Competitive Ability – Dan Atwater with Hyunseong Ahn ’21, Evan Hill ’21, Amelia Richardson ‘22, Samuel Russo ’21 and Wesley Smith ’21
  • Bioinformatic Exploration of Codon Bias within Malaria Genomes and Phylogenetic Analysis of Regional Trematode Parasites – Peter Blair with Ruth Reichman ’22 and Abigail Zanatta ’22
  • The Effects of Bacteriophage Hybridization on Host Range – Lindsey McGee with Yazid Barhoush ’21 and Drenushe Krasniqi ’21
  • Ant Caste Determination – Chris Smith with Mahbuba Akhter ’21 and Sven-Erik Nilsson ’20
  • Examining Avian Malaria Prevalence along a Tropical Elevation Gradient in Papua New Guinea – Wendy P. Tori with Sam Pigott ’21 and Ian Shriner ‘21

2018 Projects

  • 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

2017 Projects

  • Demography and reproductive biology of turtles in the Nebraska Sandhills – John 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 ’19, Lilly Hartman ‘20, Brenna Hellman ’19 and Caroline Wolfe-Merritt ‘20

2016 Projects

  • Computational Exploration of Codon Bias within the Malaria Genome and Phylogenetic Analysis of Regional Trematode Parasites – Peter Blair with Noah Kelner ’18 and Maleeka Shrestha ‘19
  • Ancient DNA of Giant Beavers – Heather Lerner with Emily Buttrum ’17 and Maren Schroeder ‘18
  • The Evolution of Novelty in Insects – Understanding the role of the Enigmatic Osiris Genes – Chris Smith with Moataz Noureddine ’19 and Swati Pant ‘19

2019 Projects

  • Method Development for Chitin Content Determination in Crustacean Shells – Patrick Barber with Jared Ammon ’21 and Tyler Le ’21 (v)
  • Determining Lipid Vesicle and Exosome Size Distribution using NanoTrackJ – Kalani Seu with Spencer Owen ’20 and Isaiah Shake ’20
  • Continued Study of Mitsunobu Reactions Involving Cyclic beta-Hydroxy Tertiary Amines – Mark Stocksdale with Alec Bryan ’20
  • Synthesis, Characterization and Computational Modeling of Unsaturated Organometallic Complexes – Lori Watson with Ngan Nguyen ‘22, Grace Olive ’22 and Garris Radloff ’22

2018 Projects

  • 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

2017 Projects

  • 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 (Eli Lilly-supported)
  • 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

2016 Projects

  • Analysis of Ancient Chinese Pottery utilizing X-ray Fluorescence and Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy – Corinne and Mike Deibel with Veronica Bradley ‘18 and Margaret Tojo ‘17
  • Synthetic Strategy toward Novel Phytosiderophores – Mark Stocksdale with Paul Beasley ’18 (McNair Scholar) and Darius Meiman (Eli Lilly-supported) ‘17

2019 Projects

  • Integrating Semantics into Automated Analogy Detection – David Barbella with Ali Gokcelioglu ’20, K. Aditya Karan ‘ 20, Davit Kvartskhava ’21, and Phi Hung Nguyen ’21

2018 Projects

  • 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

2017 Projects

  • 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

2016 Projects

  • Building Thermal-aware Energy-efficient Cluster – Xunfei Jiang with Lam Nguyen ‘18, Diaki Akiyoshi ‘18, and Tuguldur Baigalmaa ‘17
  • Development of an Icelandic Field Studies Program – Charlie Peck with Nick Arnold ‘17, Deeksha Srinath ‘17, and Erin Lewis ‘17

2019 Projects

  • Landscape Paleoanthropology of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania – Cynthia Fadem with Ethan Thompson ’20
  • Searching for Tsunami Deposits in Maritime Canada – Andy Moore with Zoe Kerchen ’22 and Bibi Mohamed ‘22

2018 Projects

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

2017 Projects

  • 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

2016 Projects

  • Landscape Paleoanthropology of Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania – Cynthia Fadem with Gavin Curry ’17, Matthew Evans ’18 and Gabriel Rehm ‘17
  • Geological Evolution of Marbles in the Northwestern Adirondacks, New York – Meg Streepey Smith with Olivia Bispott ‘18 and Anisha Dongol ‘18

2019 Projects 

  • Art of Pricing and the Pricing of Art – Rajaram Krishnan with Dong Cao ’22 and Jus Tavcar ‘22

2018 Projects 

  • 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

2017 Projects 

 

2019 Projects

  • Zero Waste Planning for Earlham – Jamey Pavey with Zachary Brake ’20, Melissa Ellas ‘22 , Madeline Gullion ‘21 and Trevor Marimbe ’22

2018 Projects

  • 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

 

2019 Projects

  • Brand Anthropomorphization and Line Extensions in Socially Responsible Sectors– Terrence Motsi with Hephzibah Okorie ’22 and Juana Maria Serna ’22

 

2019 Projects

  • Race and Health Disparities: American Epidemics – Betsy Schlabach with Kofi Ayensu ’22, Ahmed Omer ’21 and Harrison Rice ’21 (McNair Scholar)

2018 Projects

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

2017 Projects

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

2018 Projects

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

2018 Projects 

  • 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)

2016 Projects

  • The Whole Is Not the Sum of its Parts – Julie Beier with Ahsan Khoja ’19 and Kellan Steele ‘17

2019 Projects

  • Assistant Conductorship for the San Gabriel Valley Choral Company – Alex Grabarchuk with Julian Sun ‘20

2019 Projects

  • Perineuronal Nets in Long-term Memory – Michelle Tong with Starsha Davis ’21 (McNair Scholar), Tynan Gacy ‘20, Joshua Maclin ’21 (McNair Scholar), and Tyrique Richardson ’21 (McNair Scholar)

2018 Projects

  • 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)

2017 Projects

  • 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

2016 Projects

  • Stress and Health – Beth Mechlin with Anthony Maggard ’18 (McNair Scholar), Sarah Murphy ’17 (NSF REU), Kayla Trevino ’18 (McNair Scholar), Daisy Vargas (NSF REU from Smith College), Wangchen Tsering ‘17

2016 Projects

  • All Politics is Local: Voter Turnout in Wayne County, Indiana – Jennifer Seely with Genesis Galo ’17 and Fredrik Lyford ‘17

2019 Projects

  • Numerical Techniques for Modeling Gravitational Waves – Seth Hopper with Micah Chabowski ‘21, Nhat Le ’20, Xingxin Liu ‘20 and Emmett Salzer ’21

2018 Projects

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

2017 Projects

  • 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

2016 Projects

  • Ultrafast Lasers and Applications­ – Ellen Keister with Neil Nicholson ’19 and Ram Itani ‘17
  • Imaging Measurements of Fluctuations in a Magnetized Cylindrical Plasma – Adam Light with Atit Bashyal ’18 and Muhammad Mujtaba ‘18
  • Testing and Optimization of Multiple Reflective Thermal Filtering Systems for Millimeter Wave Experiments – Kyle Zilic with Anmol Lamichhane ’18 and Saimoon Thapa ‘17

2019 Projects

  • Using Eye-Tracking to Understand Attention in Bullying Situations – Rachael Reavis with Robert Alba ’20, Rance Albert ’21 (McNair Scholar), Jerilyn Gillenwater ’20 and Thuong Nguyen ’22

2018 Projects

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

2016 Projects

  • The Role of Praise in Fixed and Growth Mindset & Does the Parents as Teachers (PAT) Program Prepare Wayne County Children for Kindergarten? – Rachael Reavis with Lara Khalifeh ’18, Karli Oxford-Jordan ‘17, and Idara Udo-Inyang ‘17

2019 Projects

  • Soundscapes of White Belonging – JoAnn Martin with Aza Hurwitz ‘22, Kiara Kamara ’22, Evan Saito ‘22 and Della Walters ‘20

2016 Projects

  • A Social/Cultural History of the Original Mountain Cur – JoAnn Martin with Eva Chaitman ‘17, Peter Oberg ‘17, and Ava Obrecht ‘17

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