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Forty Four University Of Virginia Students Receive Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards

April 11, 2005 --Two Charlottesville residents were among 44 students who have received Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards at the University of Virginia.

Ellie Kates, of Charlottesville, a psychology major, has teamed with Andrea DeLeon, Manassas Park, Va., a political and social thought major, on “Research for Playing for Peace in Guatemala,”

Ruo Jia, of Charlottesville, a physics major, is researching “The role of Toll Like Receptors in the Pathogenesis of Spontaneous Ileitis for Samp1/YitFC, a Murine Model for Crohn’s Disease,”

The Harrison Awards, first presented in 2000 and funded by the family of David A.  Harrison III, support students who present detailed plans for independent-study research projects that have been endorsed by a faculty mentor. Students receive up to $3,000, and the faculty mentor, who oversees the project, receives $1,000.

Edward L. Ayers, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, and J. Milton Adams, vice provost of academic programs, unveiled the research awards-winners in a ceremony held today in the Dome Room of the Rotunda, kicking off Research Week at the University.

“The Harrison Awards are the flagship grants that enable undergraduates to incorporate research in their curricula,” said Nicole F. Hurd, assistant dean and director of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence, which serves as a clearinghouse for undergraduate research projects. “Research plays to the strength of the University. We are a major research University with an intimate learning environment.”his year, the Harrison Awards totaled $160,000, with the winners selected from a pool of 101 applicants. In the first six years of the program, 193 Harrison research grants have been presented.

“One of the strengths of the University is how many students are pursuing research, regardless of funding,” Hurd said. In the past five years, undergraduate research has tripled, according to Hurd.

Approximately 50 percent of U.Va.’s 13,140 undergraduates are engaged in some form of research, including classroom and independent work, said Hurd, who noted that students who conduct research make better candidates for fellowships, graduate and professional school admissions, and career placement.

“Research has been opening doors and advancing students in meaningful ways,” she said.

Although the traditional image of research involves white coats, laboratories and test tubes, many of the undergraduate research projects are based in the humanities.

“Unlike many of our peer institutions, U.Va. has a large number of students doing research in the humanities and social sciences,” she said. “We have had more Harrison Awards given out for humanities research than for the hard sciences.”

This year’s award-winners, hometowns,  majors and their research topics are:

Anthony Angell, Clifton Forge, Va., anthropology and Spanish, “The Merger of Two Worlds, Shamanism and Christianity in the Rainforest of Guyana.”

Ross Baird, Atlanta, Ga., history and politics, “A Culture of Engagement: Civic Participation in Democratic Societies,”

Rachel Beaton, Brights, Va., astrophysics and math, “Gravitational Harassment of our Dwarf Galactic Neighbors,”

Serena Bollinger, Rome, Italy, and Anna Popova, Manassas, Va., interdisciplinary, “Oral Tradition and Ritual Practice Relating to Medicinal Purposes in Paiute and Digueno Tribes,”

Ryan Carter, Winchester, Va., classics, “The Sources and Scope of Local Variance in the Cult of Demeter and Persephone,”

Victoria Chiou, Richmond, Va., human biology, psychology, “Illness Narratives and Medicine”

Elena Coyle, Vienna, Va., undeclared, “A Divided Ireland: Social Progress and the Politics of Identity,”

Jake Davenport, Atlanta, Ga., chemistry, “Biocompatible Polymeric Metal Complexes: Synthesis and Characterization of Luminescent Ruthenium Centered Poly(ethylene glycol)-b-Poly(lactic acid) Macroligands”

Andrea DeLeon, Manassas Park, Va., and Ellie Kates, Charlottesville, Va., psychology and political and social thought, “Research for Playing for Peace in Guatemala,”

Rebecca Elliott, Annandale, Va., anthropology, “Progressive Approaches to Gender Role and HIV/AIDS Education in Port Elizabeth, South Africa: The Union of Traditional Healing and Western Biomedicine,”

Jennifer Eudy, Poquoson, Va., neuroscience, “Searching for a Higher Code: Higher Order Processing in the Olfactory System,”

Ryan Fleenor, Durham, N.C., history, “Richmond 1865: Theologies of Trauma,”

Bethany Garrison, Summerville, S.C., religious studies, “The Catholic Church’s HIV-Prevention Programs in South Africa: An Examination of the Practical Applications of the Catholic Church’s Position of Artificial Contraception,”

Rachel Gittman, Prince George County, Va., environmental science,  “Variation in Foliar Nutrient Concentrations: A Comparison of Dominant Primary and Secondary Tropical Canopy Trees in Costa Rica,”

Catherine Hauptfuhrer, Bronxville, N.Y. ,politics/economics, “The IMF: Architect of Default in Argentina,”

Lisa Hermann, Annandale, Va., interdisciplinary, “The Clash of Cultural Relativism and Global Human Rights: Female Genital Mutilation,”

Ruo Jia, Charlottesville, Va., physics, “The role of Toll Like Receptors in the Pathogenesis of Spontaneous Ileitis for Samp1/YitFC, a Murine Model for Crohn’s Disease,”

Leland Jones, Carrollton, Ms., history, “The Royal Pardon and Crown Witness System in the Eighteenth Century English Legal System,”

Elizabeth Katz, Virginia Beach, Va., history, “African-American Slaves and Jewish Assimilation in the Antebellum South,”

Trevor Kemp, Portsmouth, Ohio, mechanical engineering,” Extrusion of UV curing polymers,”

Joshua King, Collinsville, Va., aerospace engineering, “Velocity Measurements in a Scramjet Engine,”

Yunqing Lin, Nanning, China, chemistry, “Dihapto-coordinated Carbonyl Complexes,

Chad Logan, Woodstock, Va., environmental thought and practice, “A Study of the Effect of Multiple Harvestings of a Monoculture Agroforest on Soil Nutrient Content and Productivity/Biomass,

Dustin McCracken, McLean, Va., history and economics, “The City of Malmo and the Rescue of the Danish Jews,

Derek Robert Miller, Forest, Va., anthropology, “Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Voices: European Imports and Their Significance Outside of the Palace Complex of Savi Benin, West Africa,”

Vivek Narayan, Hockessin De., neuroscience,  “Differential Innervation in the Anterior Olfactory Nucleus,”

Janine Oliver, Winchester, Va., chemistry, “Differential Osteoprotegerin (OPG) Production by Human Melanomas: Implications for Anti-tumor Immunity,”

 Johanna Peet, Wilmington, De,, political and social thought, “Resettling Refugees after 9/11,”

 Kathleen Pennock, Hendersonville, N.C., political and social thought, “A Comparative Analysis of American and British Critics of Global Capitalism,”

Aman Qadri, Fairfax Station, Va., neuroscience, biochemistry, “Chloride and Bicarbonade flux dependence on synaptically released GABA in Homarus Americanus,”

Sonal Sampat, Winchester, Va., biomedical engineering, “GATA-2 Transcription Factor-Regulation of GATA-2 Gene and Protein Expression in Human Endothelial Cells by Hemodynamic Forces,

Jessica Sheehan, Hampton, Va., mechanical engineering,” Comprehensive Study of the Heat Pipe System for the Jet Blaster Deflector Plate,”

Lee Skluzak, Chesapeake, Va., foreign affairs, “Chinese Energy Security and the Sino-Russian ‘Strategic Partnership’,”

 Maia Smith, York County, Va., government, Latin American studies, “Comedores Populares: An Introduction to Peruvian Political Society,”

Tyler Stall, Newport News, Va., neuroscience, “Characterization of a Mutant Insulin-Regulated Aminopeptidase,”

Yogi Surendranath, Kent, Ohio, chemistry/physics, “Tungsten-Promoted Dearomatization of Pyrimidines,”

Charles Taylor, Falls Church, Va., foreign affairs, economics, “An Investigation into Alternative Development and Bolivian Campesinos,”

Dustin Thompson, Forest, Va., interdisciplinary, “Ethno-Photographic Study of Contemporary Italian Society,”

Nina Vujovic, McLean, Va., neuroscience and biology, “Sympathetic Outflow from the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus and the Synchronization of Peripheral Circadian Oscillators,”

Jennifer Wang, Burke,Va., philosophy, math, “The Externalist Reply to Skepticism,”

William Yang, Centreville, Va., biomedical engineering, “Shape Modification and Dual Targeting Improves Binding of Ultrasound Contract Enhancing Microbubbles,”

Rosie Zhang, Shenzhen, China, economics, math, “China’s New Growth Strategy: Is the Korean Chaebol Model Transferable?”

Nicole F. Hurd, (434) 924-6082

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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