Virginia Commonwealth University


Undergraduate Summer Fellows

Undergraduate Summer Fellows

Students and mentors collaborate on research.

Virginia Commonwealth University has awarded grants to 17 students in the first Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Summer Fellowship Program, which is designed to support research and encourage an interest in active learning.

To participate in the program, undergraduate students formed a relationship with a faculty mentor in the student’s field of study or from another department. The student and mentor now will collaborate on a research project over the summer. Fellows will receive a $3,000 stipend and participating faculty members will receive $500.

The summer fellowship opportunity attracted 83 student applications, representing 31 areas of study.

“It was difficult to decide because so many of the applications were of high quality. It’s exciting to see the kind of research ideas being generated by quality undergraduates,” said Earl Dowdy, Ph.D., department of psychology.

Dowdy is part of a faculty advisory committee created by Provost Stephen D. Gottfredson and Francis L. Macrina, VCU’s vice president for research. The committee created the summer fellowship program in response to VCU’s 2020 strategic plan.

The following 2009 Undergraduate Student Fellows and faculty mentors received grants:

  • Kanwar Bir Anand, a financial technology major, and Leslie Stratton, Ph.D., associate professor of economics

  • Kevin Bussing, a chemical and life science engineering major, and Stephen Fong, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemical and life science engineering

  • Phillip Cardwell, a jazz studies and performance major, and Adam Larrabee, trainer and instructor of music

  • Blue Clements, a sculpture and extended media major, and Mary Eisendrath, assistant professor of sculpture and extended media.

  • Cole Cridlin, a world studies major, and Kathryn Murphy-Judy, Ph.D., associate professor of French in the School of World Studies

  • Bennett Fallow, who is majoring in exercise science and health and human performance, and Robert “Lee” Franco, instructor of health and human performance in the School of Education

  • Bonnie Gabel, who is majoring in theater and political science, and Noreen C. Barnes, Ph.D., director of graduate studies, Department of Theatre

  • D’Anne Graham-Remocaldo, an English major, and Karen A. Rader, Ph.D., associate professor of history

  • Mathew Harris, who is majoring in political science and Spanish, and Judyth Twigg, Ph.D., associate professor of political science

  • Nathan Hilbish, an electrical engineering major, and Afroditi Filippas, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical and computer engineering

  • Elizabeth Martorell, a psychology major, and Joseph Porter, Ph.D., professor of psychology

  • Aaron Pierce, a mechanical engineering major, and James McLeskey, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering

  • Melanie Seeger, a craft /material studies major, and Miriam Ewers, instructor of painting and printmaking

  • Todd Teigeler, a chemistry major, and Vladimir Sidorov, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry

  • Laura Thomas, a biology major, and James Vonesh, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology

  • Audrey Walls, who is majoring in English and women’s studies, and Margaret Altonen, instructor of English

  • Charles Wingfield, who is majoring in physics and applied math, and Massimo Bertino, Ph.D., associate professor of physics

“What we hope that the students will gain from this is knowledge of how to do the kinds of things that are done in scholarship and in research and that they will make the decision to pursue that as a career. What we will see as an outcome from this is more students at VCU going on to graduate and professional school,” Dowdy said. “There is funding to allow us to do this again next year, which is very positive.”

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Updated: 06/09/2009