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Hendrix Odyssey Program Announces First Grants of 2018

CONWAY, Ark. (April 11, 2018) – With the February 2018 funding cycle complete, the Hendrix College Committee on Engaged Learning has now awarded $3,940,921.88 in Odyssey grants to Hendrix students and faculty since the Odyssey Program’s inception in 2005. In this cycle, 40 projects received a total of $156,327 in grants to help Hendrix students conduct research, learn new skills, and explore their interests around the world. Also, see below for this year’s recipient of the Robert F. Baker Prize in Economics.

Read the full project descriptions here.

Students Receiving Odyssey Grants

  • Elijah Ballard ’19 – Characterization of Bearded Seal Locomotor Muscle (Undergraduate Research)
  • Lindsey Barrett ’19 – Fiber-type Composition of Bearded Seal (Erignathus barbatus) Locomotor Muscle (Undergraduate Research)
  • Megan Bellfield ‘20 – Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty (Professional and Leadership Development)
  • Gwen Boone ’21 – Ozark Mission Project College Staff (Professional and Leadership Development)
  • Aleck Bratt ’20 – Icelandic Populist Environmentalism (Special Projects)
  • Jackson Bridges ’19 and Kirstyn Baker ’21 – Development of a Kinetic Model for the Formation of Supported Lipid Bilayers (SLBs) (Undergraduate Research)
  • Rachel Chenault ’21 – My Farewell to Arms: Bringing the Works of Ernest Hemingway to Life (Special Projects)
  • Savannah Draud ’19 – Characterization of the Muscle Tissue in Atlantic Spotted Dolphin Diaphragms (Undergraduate Research)
  • Olivia Eddings ’21 – The Green Program-Iceland Renewable Energy and Sustainability (Special Projects)
  • Connor Griffin ’19, David Jiang ’20 and Journey Eubank ’19 – An Investigation of the Chinese Health Care System with Regards to Modern and Traditional Chinese Medical Treatment (Global Awareness)
  • Chloe Harris ’20 – Behind a Surgical Mask (Special Projects)
  • Sara Hoopchuk ’20 and Portia Renee ’21 – From Molecular to Behavioral: A Study of C. elegans (Undergraduate Research)
  • Kathryn King ’19 – My History, Arkansas History (Special Projects)
  • Robbie Kiss ’20 – “There is no higher standard than the assent of the relevant community”: A Lab-based Case Study on the Development of Scientific Paradigms (Undergraduate Research)
  • Allison Long ’21 – Optimization of the Expression, Growth and Purification of Toxoflavin Lyase (Undergraduate Research)
  • Mallory Magruder ’21 – Cameroon Mission Initiative (Service to the World)
  • Brendan Midkiff ’19 – Oxidative Potential of Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Vocal Muscles (Undergraduate Research)
  • Inaya Molina ’20 – Development of a Novel, Fluorescence-Based Method for Detecting Phase Changes in DNA (Undergraduate Research)
  • Mary Nail ’20 – Bringing Learning to Life (Professional and Leadership Development)
  • Rebecca Parham ’21 – Interactions Between Water and Aerosols: Unveiling the Mysteries of Climate Change (Undergraduate Research)
  • Eliot Peterson ’20 – Single Pitch Guiding Course and Certification (Special Projects)
  • Emma Reynolds ’20 – Thyroid Cancer Research (Undergraduate Research)
  • Kennedy Reynolds ’20 – Rewriting Gerda Taro: Glamorization of Life and Erasure of Legacy (Undergraduate Research)
  • Grace Rogers ’21 – Ozark Mission Project College Staff (Service to the World)
  • Maddie Rowe ’19 – Physical Therapy Internship at Conway Regional (Professional and Leadership Development)
  • Kyle Rutherford ’21 – Summer Internship with the Democratic Party of Arkansas (Professional and Leadership Development)
  • David Samuel ’20 – Homecoming: An Ethnographic Study of the Parsee Community (Special Projects)
  • Rachel Stacks ’20 – An Engineered Law Internship (Professional and Leadership Development)
  • Daniel Sweeney ’19 – Applied AI: Realistic Game Simulation (Undergraduate Research)
  • John Tran ’19 and Christy Tran ’21 – Immersion in the Culture of Immigrants (Global Awareness)
  • Haley Whitson ’19 – Isla Mujeres Field Experience (Professional and Leadership Development)
  • Adam Williams ’19 – Learning from Earle: Best Practices for Rural Education Policy (Special Projects)
  • Eberle Yarborough ’19 – Cheetah Outreach: A South African Conservation Initiative (Special Projects)
  • Alec Zills ’19 – Law in Little Rock (Professional and Leadership Development)

Faculty Receiving Odyssey Grants

  • Dr. Andres Caro – Chronic Ethanol Consumption and Oxidative Stress in the Liver (Undergraduate Research); will work with students Grishma Patel ’19 and Diego Valdivieso ’19  
  • Dr. Heidi Dahlmann – Chemistry Inspired by Nature: Organo Catalysts and Nucleoside Analogs (Undergraduate Research); will work with students Hayden Criswell ’20, Evan Glassford ’20, and Shawqi Musallam ’19 
  • Dr. David Hales – Exploring the Role of Proline in Peptide Folding Through Ion Mobility Spectrometry and Mass Spectrometry (Undergraduate Research); will work with students Kameron Molloy ’21 and Connie Zhang ’21 
  • Dr. Rod Miller – Week in Florence 2018 (Undergraduate Research); will work with students Emilia Dennis ’20, Nick Hancock ’19, and Myca Treat ’21 
  • Dr. Andrew Schurko – Using CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing to Study DNA Repair in Bdelloid Rotifers (Undergraduate Research); will work with students Chelbi Gilmore ’20 and Connor Onitsuka ’20 
  • Dr. Damon Spayde – MOLLER at Hendrix (Undergraduate Research); a Hendrix student will perform computer simulations and data analysis in experimental nuclear physics for the MOLLER collaboration at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, Va., with Dr. Damon Spayde.

Economics Prize Yields Odyssey Credit

Melissa Pizza ’19 is the recipient of this year’s Baker Prize in Economics for her project “Evaluating the Ecological Services of Bats using Economic Models”; the completed project will earn her an Odyssey credit in Undergraduate Research. Pizza will examine the economic benefits of insect­eating bats by looking at the market benefits in the agricultural sector. Her goal is to is to give a monetary value to the services bats provide, and in doing so, generate evidence of the importance of bat conservation. Prof. Haden Chomposy will supervise Pizza’s work on the project, which will include disseminating the results in a manner accessible to the public. 

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit