Summer Scholars 2017

Research Begins for Largest Field of Summer Scholars in GWU History

The Gardner-Webb University Undergraduate Research Scholars program will fund a total of 10 students during the summer 2017 terms, which represents the greatest number of scholars in the program’s history. As part of their research project, scholars will spend five weeks on campus working on his/her topic for 40 hours a week. At the same time, students will be mentored by a dedicated faculty member providing information and guidance to ensure a successful research experience for the scholar. The program is directed by Dr. June Hobbs, who oversees GWU Undergraduate Research and serves as a professor of English for the Department of English Language and Literature.

Dalton Blackmon will research black economic life in Reconstruction Era Atlanta (1865-1877). His mentor will be Dr. Joseph Moore. Dalton is a senior majoring in history with a social science minor.

Sarah Branch will assess sustainability practices at Gardner-Webb University to learn how we are protecting the environment in a long-term, cost-effective way while discovering further steps we might take. Her mentor is Dr. Stefka Eddins. Sarah is a senior majoring in missiology with a minor in environmental science.

Caroline Burnette plans to examine the correlation between gender roles and the treatment of mental illness in women in the Victorian Era through critical analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper." Her mentor will be Dr. June Hobbs. Caroline is a senior majoring in English literature with a pre-law concentration.

Summer Byers will begin composing a Young Adult science fiction novel. She hopes to begin an engaging work for young people and to make the genre more inclusive since many women do not write science fiction. Her mentor is Prof. Matthew Duffus. Summer is a senior English major.

Eli Hardin will research and develop a scholarly article on the response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and examine factors that led to the problems encountered after the disaster. His mentor will be Dr. Joseph Moore. Eli is a senior political science major with a minor in biblical studies.

Aaron Hilton plans to study dystopian/apocalyptic fiction and produce an original piece of genre fiction. His mentor will be Dr. Chris Davis. Aaron is a senior majoring in English with a minor in philosophy and ethics.

RuthAnne Lievsay who will create an art portfolio of psychological portraits of individuals with developmental disabilities. RuthAnne intends to use watercolors, pastel, acrylic paint, collage, and possibly even sculpture for her portraits. Her mentor is Prof. Susan Bell. Ruthie is a senior majoring in psychology with a minor in art.

Rachael Meachem will do a service-learning project at Graham Elementary School that focuses on the challenges poverty creates in the education of children and the local and global impact those educational challenges present for people of color. Her mentor will be Dr. Tom LeGrand. Rachael is a junior majoring in public relations with a minor in sociology.

Mallory Moore will research and analyze English-language films from the late 1980s to the present (those produced during the lifetime of the millennial generation) that depict women and girls with depression and/or suicidal ideation. Her mentor will be Dr. Teresa Phillips. Mallory is a senior majoring in English with a music minor.

Ethan Ramsey will conduct a detailed examination of the Committees of Safety and Correspondence in western Massachusetts during the Revolutionary period to uncover the role the committees played in organizing anti-British sentiment across the countryside in support of the city of Boston. His mentor will be Prof. Donna Schronce. Ethan is a senior majoring in history with minors in education and social science.

With a vision to offer increasing opportunities for Gardner-Webb’s undergraduate students, Undergraduate Research Director Dr. June Hobbs hopes to facilitate the program’s continued expansion. “Without question,” she shared, “these projects are a very important way we can add value to the overall educational experience for our students.”

For more information on the Undergraduate Research Program at Gardner-Webb, email Dr. June Hobbs.