Presenting Mentored Research

Photos by John Seyfried

Each summer, more than 100 students conduct research on campus under the auspices of the Oberlin Summer Research Institute, coordinated by the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR). Last weekend, eight of the students who took part in institute this past summer presented their work to members of the Board of Trustees. 

Faculty members and administrators chose the presenting students to represent their departments and the Oberlin Summer Research Institute at this event, which occurs each year during the board’s December meeting.

The presentations give trustees a chance to see firsthand the variety of research being conducted in Oberlin and to meet the students. The trustees take great interest in the students’ research and in the students themselves, says Randal Doane, director of OUR. They ask pointed questions about how the students select their areas of research, their conclusions, and the future directions of their projects.

“Mentored research is an essential part of an Oberlin education,” says Randal, “and is a key reason why so many Oberlin graduates successfully earn their PhDs and go on to make a living in higher education.”

The students who presented their research to the trustees, their mentors, and their project titles are:

George Allen, junior, environmental studies. Mentor: John Petersen. Title: “Three Years after Construction, Alternative Planting and Management Strategies in Experimental Marshes Induce Differences in Biodiversity and Heterogeneity, but not in Function.”

Cindy Camacho, junior, sociology. Mentor: Daphne John. Title: “Divergent Discourses: Medical and Cultural Understandings of Latina Reproductive Health in the Era of Gardasil.”

Hannah Fuson, junior, chemistry. Mentor: Manish Mehta. Title: “NMR Studies of Alanine- and Glycine-Containing Tripeptide.”

Sydney Harris, senior, physics. Mentor: Yumi Ijiri. Title: “Small Angle Neutron Scattering Study of Magnetic Nanoparticles in Dilute Solution.”

Pablo McConnie-Saad, senior, Hispanic studies. Mentors: James Millette and Sebastiaan Faber. Title: “Congo, Mobutu’s Zaïre: Conflict and Convergence.”

Caitlin O'Neill, junior, African American studies. Mentor: Meredith Gadsby. Title: “Talking Back: Autobiographical Testimonies of Purpose and Protest.”

Brittnei Sherrod, junior, geology. Mentor: Bruce Simonson. Title: “Black River Watershed: What Are You Drinking?”

Jamie Wagner, senior, biology. Mentor: Maureen Peters. Title: “Calcineurin homologous protein is required for defecation-associated proton fluxes in C. Elegans.”

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