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Undergraduate Research Dinner Fall 2014

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in Activities, Feature, Social Sciences, STEM | Comments Off

Undergraduate Researcher of the Year finalists: Kaitlin Pegoda, Tara Lowe, Tina Johnson and Levi Ritchie. (Not pictured Christopher Campbell and Aric Tate.)

Undergraduate Researcher of the Year finalists: Kaitlin Pegoda, Tara Lowe, Tina Johnson and Levi Ritchie. (Not pictured Christopher Campbell and Aric Tate.)


Thursday, October 30, ACU undergraduate researchers and their mentors got together to celebrate research done by ACU students in the past year. Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker and Nigel Gwini talked about the importance they saw in undergraduate research.

Undergraduate Researcher of the Year Finalists and Winners were announced in two categories: STEM and Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

The finalists in STEM were Christopher Campbell (Engineering and Physics), Tina Johnson (Biology) and Aric Tate (Engineering and Physics). Tina Johnson was named 2014 STEM Undergraduate Researcher of the Year.

The finalists in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences were Tara Lowe (Teacher Education), Kaitlin Pegoda (Social Work and Communications & Sociology), and Levi Ritchie (Psychology and Management Sciences.  Tara Lowe was named the 2014 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Undergraduate Researcher of the Year.

The mentors for these students in order as listed above were Dr. Darby Hewitt, Dr. Joshua Brokaw, Dr. Rusty Towell, Dr. Andrew Huddleston, Drs. Stephen Baldridge and Lauren Lemley, and Dr. Ryan Jessup.

Pictures from the Dinner

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Biomedical Research Opportunities

Posted by on Oct 9, 2014 in STEM, Student Researcher, Summer Research Opportunities | Comments Off

The following link takes you to a pdf of many summer research opportunities in Biomedical Sciences and Allied Health Research. This was compiled by the Council of Undergraduate Research Division of Program Directors.

Internship Opportunities_Biomedical 2015

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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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