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Student Research Fellows to Participate in Summer Projects

Student Research FellowshipsTwelve Ferris State University students will spend the summer on campus to gain research experience as part of the Student Research Fellowship program.

The new program supports collaborative research projects between faculty and students, and is intended to increase on-campus summer research, contribute to the professional development of faculty and provide students with another mechanism to gain research experience.

Summer 2011 was the pilot run of the program and included just five students from natural sciences. This year, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Fritz Erickson provided the means to expand the program and support research projects from any discipline at Ferris, said Karen Strasser, director of Academic Research and Grants.

“Working on a research project with a faculty member can be a life-changing experience,” Strasser said. “I believe many faculty at Ferris, myself included, would tell you that it was an undergraduate experience like this that directed them toward graduate study and a career in academia.”

The student fellows will work full time on a research project with a faculty mentor for a 10-week period over the summer. Results of their work will be presented to the Ferris community at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 22 in Room 234 of the Michigan College of Optometry.

Applications for the Student Research Fellowship program are collaborative, Strasser said. Faculty members submit the application along with a statement from the student.  A committee of faculty and administrators selects the recipients, a process expected to become increasingly competitive.

“Although faculty work hard to provide students with hands-on experiences in their classes, the depth of these projects is often limited due to the many time constraints students have during the year, such as other classes, jobs and clubs,” Strasser said. “The SRF allows students to work full time on their project for 10 weeks, allowing them to have a more focused experience.

“The program follows the Ferris mission by preparing students for the opportunities they don’t even know are out there. Research is about asking good questions that can be addressed though experiments or investigation – skills that can be taken to any career they pursue in the future.”

Applications for Summer 2013 are expected to be available in September with a spring deadline to allow time for recruitment and planning. For more information about the SRF program, email Strasser at [email protected].

Student Research Fellows for 2012 are:

Caleb Archambault

Hometown: Fenton

Major: Chemistry /Industrial Chemistry Technology

Project: Development and improvement of protocols and methodologies for chemical analysis in the fermentation industry

Faculty mentor: Mark Thomson (Physical Sciences, College of Arts, Sciences and Education)


David Birdsall

Hometown: Lansing

Project: An investigation of the cocrystallization behavior of saccharin

Faculty mentor: Dan Adsmond (Physical Sciences, College of Arts, Sciences and Education)


Katie M. Boolman

Hometown: Cadillac

Major: Social Work

Project: Teaching racial tolerance

Faculty mentor: Michael Berghoef (Social Work, College of Arts, Sciences and Education)


Blake Bonkowski

Hometown: Owosso

Major: Pharmacy

Project: The synthesis of Novel PPAR delta agonists to better improve upon the clinically used gamma agonists; such as Avandia

Faculty mentor: Tracey Boncher (Pharmacy)


Donald Bucholz

Hometown: Weidman

Major: Architecture and Facility Management

Project: A comparative, case study analysis of industry standard sustainability assessment methods and their application to sustainable architecture and urban development in West Michigan.

Faculty mentor: Paul Long (Architecture, College of Engineering Technology)


Amber Carr

Hometown: Morley

Major: Biology Education

Project: Enrichment and isolation of novel bacteria from a Zodletone anaerobic spring

Faculty mentor: Anne Spain (Biology, College of Arts, Sciences and Education)


Lauren Clements

Hometown: Alto

Major: Biotechnology

Project: Determine if UVA or UVA induces DNA damage in melanocyte stem cells and whether that damage persists and results in mutations in regenerated pigment cells.

Faculty mentor: James Hoerter (Biology, College of Arts, Sciences and Education)


Sarah Gilbert

Hometown: Bruce Township

Major: Pre-Molecular Diagnostics

Project: Preparation of histological sections and histopathologic identification of microscopic structures that may result from exposure to selected UV wavelengths (UVA and/or UVB) in the dermal layers of the zebrafish (Danio rerio).

Faculty mentor: James Hoerter (Biology, College of Arts, Sciences and Education)


Jerry Kinsey

Hometown: Howard City

Major: Biology/Pre Med

Project: From Brown-Green: Wastewater Electricity

Faculty mentor: Anne Spain (Biology, College of Arts, Sciences and Education)


Daniel Langenburg

Hometown: Big Rapids

Major: Pharmacy

Project: Stability of extemporaneously compounded amlodipine suspension made from commercially available dosage forms vs. the pure USP drug compound.

Faculty mentor: Kim Hancock (Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy)


Kaylee Moreno

Hometown: Alma

Major: Social Work

Project: Motivation and communicative action in bullying

Faculty mentor: Stephanie Thomson (Communication, College of Arts, Sciences and Education)


Evan Weaver

Hometown: Rockford

Major: Architecture and Facility Management

Project: A comparative investigation of digital and physical architectural daylighting analysis methods: A proposed Ferris State University, Timme Center case study

Faculty mentor: Paul Long (Architecture, College of Engineering Technology)