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Summer Opportunities Abound with Research Projects, Internships for Eckerd Students

posted on 08/06/2013

Eckerd College students stay active year round, especially during the summer. We are pleased to share the activities of 15 students whose majors and interests are being facilitated through fellowships and scholarships and cultivated through summer research projects and internship opportunities.

EC Elise Barnes '14

Anna Elise Barnes '14 (above), who is majoring in anthropology and minoring in biology, was one of only eleven students nationwide to receive the Jane C. Waldbaum Archaeological Field School Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 for summer research. Elise was one of six Eckerd students to join Eckerd Associate Professor of Anthropology Scott Burnett, Ph.D., and Troy Case, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology at North Carolina State University, for five weeks to excavate the site of Promtin Tai in central Thailand. The site spans both historic and prehistoric periods, and was used as a cemetery during the Iron Age. The international team's primary goal was to analyze human remains and mortuary goods from the site to reconstruct human health and behavior in the past.

Thea Bartlett '16, who is majoring in marine chemistry and minoring in mathematics, and Corday Selden '14, who is majoring in biology, are working with Eckerd Professor of Marine Science and Chemistry David Hastings, Ph.D., on marine sediments affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Thea's research specifically addresses trace metal levels in the sediments of the Gulf of Mexico to determine reduction-oxidation reactions which may have occurred after the oil spill. Corday is looking at the foraminifera in the sediments, and seeing if the changing oxygen conditions in the mud has changed the abundance of foraminifera. Low or no oxygen might kill these microscopic, one-celled marine organisms. This research will likely lead to a senior thesis.

Ford Apprentice Scholar Maria Castro '14, who is majoring in literature and philosophy, is doing most of her research and writing for her Ford Summer Project, "El Duende and the Work of Federico Garcia Lorca" on campus. Her related research includes attending Freefall Theatre's musical version of Lorca's The House of Bernarda Albe last spring, and visiting the "Poet in New York" exhibition honoring Lorca at the New York Public Library. Working with Eckerd Professor of Literature Julie Empric, Ph.D., Maria's project is focused on Lorca's theory of El Duende and its presence in his tragedies and poems. It will explore different functions of El Duende, including its use as a touchstone for the depths of philosophical and aesthetic purpose in Lorca's plays. 

EC Kyle Cosentino '14 and Dr. Joseph Magee of NIST
Dr. Joseph Magee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology congratulates Kyle Cosentino '14 on his Outstanding Presentation Award for his Hollings Scholar research

At the recent Boulder Laboratories Postdoctoral Poster Symposium, Kyle Cosentino '14 (above), was recognized with an Outstanding Presentation Award for his Hollings Scholar research presentation, "Characterizing Solar Wind Shocks to Improve Space Weather Forecasting" (with co-author Michele Cash). Kyle, who is double majoring in marine science and American studies, was named a NOAA Hollings Scholar in 2012 and conducted his summer project with the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center. This recognition was selected by senior scientists who circulated through the poster session and noted outstanding quality in both preparation of a poster and its oral presentation.

Biochemistry majors Jeremy Hoppe '15 and Elizabeth Rechenberg '14, two of 22 student participants in the Eckerd-funded Natural Sciences Research Program (NSSRP), conducted research in the James Center for Molecular and Life Sciences entitled "Synthesis of a Potent STAT3 Inhibitor as an Anti-Cancer Agent." The NSSRP was created as part of a grant the College received from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).  Since its inception in 1994, the program has provided funding for student-faculty research in the sciences every summer.

Creative writing major Davis Johnson '15 is an intern at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Read his review of 2 Guns, the action flick starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg as well as his take on "gross points" and how lucrative deals have shot Hollywood actor Robert Downey, Jr. to the top of the highest-paid list.A Simple Theatre

Three student interns worked on Good Egg, A Simple Theatre's first production in Bininger Theater – Marielle Michel '14 was the assistant director, Colin LaValle '15 was on the run crew, and Cassie Ochoa '14 was the sound board operator. All three students are majoring in theatre. Good Egg received positive reviews from local theater critics at Creative Loafing and the Tampa Bay Times.

EC Kristina Petraites '14

Last spring, Kristina Petraites '14 (above) was awarded the Galbraith Fellowship for a 10-week summer internship at Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS). She has been working with Dr. Eric Hochberg on how optics can be used to determine coral pigmentation changes and correlate these changes to the health of the coral. Said Kristina, "The lab is also working on mapping the reefs of Bermuda - specifically, determining the different coral and fish species and other things that live on the different reefs." Kristina is majoring in marine science with a concentration in biology and a minor in Italian.

Olivia Sadler '14, who is double majoring in human development and psychology, is working on a collaborative project under the direction of Dr. Karen Zabrucky (Georgia State University, Department of Educational Psychology & Special Education) and Dr. Rebecca Bays (Skidmore College). As part of her human development internship, Olivia is studying the effects of imagination and type of imagery instruction on false memories for autobiographical events.

Hannah Shapiro '14, who is majoring in marine science, is conducting research at USF St. Petersburg College of Marine Science, where she is measuring total carbon, total inorganic carbon and total organic carbon in ocean sediment cores from the Northern Atlantic. This study provides insight into past changes in biological productivity in the ocean as well as clues to changes in climate over the past 25,000 years. 

Chantal Van Ginkel '14 and EC Prof. David Hastings
EC Professor of Marine Science and Chemistry David Hastings and Chantal Van Ginkel '14 discuss different algorithms to use in MATLAB to interpret her acoustic signals between bottlenose dolphin mother-calf pairs. Dr. Hastings used his time in Woods Hole, Mass., to write up his research results on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

Chantal Van Ginkel '14, who is double majoring in marine science (biology track) and French, was the recipient of a Summer Student Fellowship at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Woods Hole, Mass.). Under Dr. Darlene Ketten, Chantal analyzed whistles between bottlenose dolphin mother-calf pairs in Sarasota, FL. This research will allow for a more clear idea of mother-calf communication in the wild.

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