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Supporting Undergraduate Research at Abilene Christian University since 2009

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Megan Cromis – Engineering and Physics

Posted by on Sep 22, 2014 in Feature, STEM, Student Researcher | Comments Off

Megan Cromis COMPASS

Megan working on building a drift chamber.


Name: Megan Cromis

Major: Engineering

Classification: Sophomore

Hometown: Corinth, TX

Mentor: Dr. Michael Daugherity

What I Study: Over the summer I worked for COMPASS, which is a fixed target nuclear physics experiment out of CERN. Five other undergrads and I built a drift chamber (a detector) to replace COMPASS’ older detectors. Our chamber will be used to help determine how much the quark angular momentum contributes to the overall mass of the proton.

Why I do research: It is an amazing experience! It felt great to be trusted to solve real world problems and to actually be able to solve them. It is also a great way to prepare for grad school and make connections with scientist across the United States.


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Josie Zack – Biblical Studies

Posted by on Sep 16, 2014 in Humanities, Student Researcher | Comments Off

Josie Zack


Name: Josie Zack

Major: Bible and Ministry

Classification: Sophomore

Hometown: San Antonio, TX

Why I’m interested in research: I highly value the importance of research and the ability of the process to develop new skills. Participation in research, particularly for an undergraduate student, facilitates a formof  growth which is unique when compared to the traditional experience of an undergraduate student participating in the basic forum of lecture and lab work in their classes. I am thrilled to serve on the Student Panel on Undergraduate Research.

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Alikay Wood – Language and Literature

Posted by on Sep 12, 2014 in Arts, Feature, Student Researcher | Comments Off


Alikay Wood

Name: Alikay Wood

Major: English

Classification: Senior

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Mentor: Debbie Spears

What I Study: My primary research centers on analyzing the context and parallels between authors of various time periods. I’m interested in the ways literature shapes culture and how culture influences the written hard.

Why I do research: Curiosity and a love of learning are core ideas behind research and I am exceptionally curious and eager to learn. My research is mostly done as a part of required coursework for my degree but I enjoy doing it because I it is the tangible application of my education. For me, research is not a chore but a process that allows me the opportunity to formulate my own ideas and study subjects that truly interest me.

Conference Presentations: ACU Undergraduate Research Festival

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Kaitlin Pegoda – Social Work

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in Feature, Social Sciences, Student Researcher | Comments Off

Kaitlin Pegoda

Kaitlin at the Eastern Communications Association Conference in Providence, Rhode Island

Name: Kaitlin Pegoda

Major: Social Work

Classification: Senior

Hometown: Huntsville, TX

Mentor: Dr. Stephen Baldridge

What I Study: I have previously researched the use of design as a form of therapy at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, TX using a rhetorical analysis framework. This research provided important insight as to how the design and communications through the use of space in a children’s hospital context can significantly impact the experiences and attitudes of the children undergoing treatment in those hospitals. Currently, I am researching the biopsychosocial factors impacting positivity and resilience in individuals currently undergoing cancer treatments and who are also enrolled in a palliative care program. This research, done in conjunction with Hendrick Medical Center and the ACU School of Social Work, has the potential to reveal important factors common among those who score as being resilient while undergoing cancer treatments. Knowledge and understanding of these factors will provide opportunities to include interventions and proactive measures of care of a person or family before or during cancer treatment, rather than reactive measures after cancer treatments are completed.

Why I do research: I research so that I can have the knowledge and skills to make a significant impact on the world I live in. I have a passion for researching in the medical field, but with a focus on the characteristics and dynamics of the human interaction of patients and staff within the healthcare system. Through my research I have been and will continue to be able to identify the gaps between the treatment of patients and their overall experience and ability to heal and thrive. I hope to make significant contributions to the field of medical social work and change the face of treatment, specifically cancer treatment, for each patient who walks through the doors of a hospital or healthcare facility.

Conference Presentations: Eastern Communications Conference in Providence Rhode Island (April ’14)
ACU Undergraduate Research Festival (April ’14)
Will be presenting at the Baccalaureate Program Directors Conference Spring ’15

Awards: The first annual Save the Humans Research Grant from the School of Social Work
2014-2015 ACU Pursuit Grant
2014 Outstanding poster Presentation in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities – ACU Undergraduate Research Festival

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Fall Travel Grants Due Sept 23 at 5 PM

Posted by on Sep 4, 2014 in Activities, Announcement, Conferences, Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM | Comments Off

Pursuit and Undergraduate Research Fall Travel Grant Applications will be due Tuesday, September 23 at 5 PM.
Pursuit Travel Funds are available for student travel with a faculty member to a conference to present and showcase scholarship. Funding has a maximum of $2000 ($1000 for the faculty mentor and $1000 for the student researcher(s)). To apply for Pursuit Travel Funds go to the Pursuit Travel Grant Application. For more information visit
The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) funds up to $500 for student travel to a conference to present and showcase scholarship. To apply for OUR Travel Funds go to the OUR Travel Grant Application. For more information visit the Conference Travel Grants Page.
You may apply for funding from both groups.

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Priscilla Clayton – Nutrition

Posted by on Aug 26, 2014 in Feature, STEM, Student Researcher, Summer Research Opportunities | 0 comments

Priscilla Clayton

Name: Priscilla Clayton

Major: Nutrition

Classification: Junior

Hometown: Arlington, TX

Mentor: Dr. Patricia Hernandez

What I Study: My research is observing fruit and vegetable consumption in children of low and high-income.

Why I do research: I do research for the experience for not just myself but for graduate school and the challenge it brings me.

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Summer 2014 Research Roundup

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Announcement, Feature, Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Student Researcher | 0 comments

ACU Undergraduate Researchers have been busy this summer working on a variety of projects. Over 50 students from more than 15 departments have participated in research this summer. Seventeen students participated in research through the McNair Scholars program. Other students and faculty were supported by Pursuit Research Grants and Office of Undergraduate Research Summer Stipend Grants.

Here are some of the things we know about (let us know what we are missing):

McNair Scholars: The McNair Scholars Program had a successful Summer Research Internship! 17 students participated and completed research on various projects in their disciplines. They will be presenting their work at national McNair conferences in the coming months.

Biblical Studies: Victoria Sun and Houston Heflin studied Student Engagement.

Biology: In the Huddleston lab 3 students have been working on knocking out genes they think to be essential to horizontal gene transfer in the bacterial genus Aeromonas.  They have also been looking for Aeromonas in rainwater.

Chemistry and Biochemistry: Ten students and 5 faculty members participated in on-going research projects in biochemistry, organic/medicinal chemistry, polymer science and organometallic synthesis.

Education: Ashley Towe, Kaitlin Sehres, and Jake Hall worked with Dr. Andrew Huddleston on a project entitled “Thou Read’st Black Where I Read White”: Understanding Pervasive Interpretive Pluralism of Biblical Texts through Louise Rosenblatt’s Transactional Theory of Reading.

Engineering and Physics: Hannah Hamilton, Ryan Pinson, Ramsey Towell, and Cecily Towell spent their summer at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, NY working with the PHENIX experiment along side Drs Michael Daugherity and Rusty Towell.  They helped operate a $200 million dollar detector and built a test stand for detector development.

Dr. Darby Hewitt and several students worked on optics, laser science, and spectroscopy research.

ACU Library Maker Lab:  Student Amy Carnagey worked with Dr. John Weaver to researchthe theory and practice of constructionist pedagogy (“inventing to learn”), and its present/potential impact on the design of learning experiences in the Maker Lab and elsewhere at ACU. They presented their research results at the 2014 Annual Conference of the American Theological Library Association (ATLA).

Language and Literature and Communications and Sociology: McNair Scholar Kendra Oregon (Dr. Ron Morgan’s student in Global Studies) worked with Drs. Cindy Roper and Paul Roggendorff on researching the interaction of Muslim, Jewish and Christian cultures in medieval Spain in her paper: “Tolerance in Toledo, Spain, Between Muslims, Christians and Jews, between 711 and 1031.” In her research, Kendra Oregon finds a valuable example for our times of peaceful coexistence in a radically pluralistic society.

Management Sciences: Levi Ritchie and Dr. Ryan Jessup were studying the effect of too much choice.

Check out some of the Summer Researchers




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