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Hendrix Odyssey Program Announces Awards for April 2022 Funding Cycle

CONWAY, Ark. (May 12, 2022) – The Committee on Engaged Learning is pleased to announce $114,364.24 in Hendrix Odyssey Program funding to 27 projects which will allow Hendrix students to study topics that include the role of music in the Civil Rights Movement, the emotions of interpersonal hate, the cognitive effects of nature imagery, and more.

Odyssey funding will also support a number of students’ professional explorations through internships with local, national, and international entities. Since 2005, the Committee on Engaged Learning has awarded $4,785,084.26 in competitive Odyssey grants to support 1,484 projects by Hendrix students and faculty.

Artistic Creativity


Adaja Cooper ’23

Exploring Narrative through Content, Form and Color at Anderson Ranch

Supervised by Prof. Maxine Payne

In a 5-day immersive painting workshop, Adaja will gain artistic experience and develop techniques to explore the idea of ‘Narrative’ at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado. With the guidance of onsite painting instructors, the student will be challenged to think critically about what narrative means in the context of her work and find creative ways to develop a sense of story in her paintings. This intensive workshop with also enhance her decision-making process regarding form, patter, color choice and subject matter.


Global Awareness


Cierra Daniels ’24

Exploration into Wilderness Medicine in Costa Rica

Supervised by Dr. Rick Murray

Through a Wilderness Medicine & Global Health course from the University of Colorado, Cierra will participate in hands-on classes to complete a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Certification, gain an introduction to emergency medicine, and learn more about how to build a career in healthcare. The student will also learn about specific case studies, examine scenarios, and participate in demonstrations that include students acting as patients on the ground or as emergency responders.


Catherine Mariza ’23, Jean Claude Ntambara ’24, Renova Uwingabire ’23

Cultural Immersion with Rwandan Diaspora in Canada

Supervised by Dr. Anne Goldberg

Through this project, this group of students from Rwanda seeks to observe the experiences of Rwandan families living in Ottawa, and to compare and contrast those observations with their own experiences within the Hendrix community. They expect this to be an opportunity to identify shared challenges as well as differences between the U.S. and Canada.


Megan Pelley ’23

Immersion in the Medical Field and Culture of Mérida, Spain

Supervised by Dr. Jennifer Dearolf

Megan will travel to Mérida, Spain during Winter Break and will immerse herself in a different culture and spend approximately 20 hours shadowing doctors at the local hospital. The student will also explore Mérida and visit ancient Roman structures to experience Spain’s heritage jewels and grasp the importance of their culture.


Professional & Leadership Development


Lauren Allen ’24

Official Hendrix Internship: Rise House

Supervised by Dr. Brett Hill

Lauren will be a part of the advocacy team and receive training as a professional advocate at a local domestic violence non-profit shelter, serving women in Central Arkansas by advocating for and assisting survivors of family-based violence and sexual assault.


Kya Carroll ’24

Official Hendrix Internship: Conway Regional Physical Therapy

Supervised by Dr. Jennifer Dearolf

Through this internship, Kya will assist different therapy departments at the clinic with activities such as cleaning and organizing as well as communicating with patients and assisting them with their non-medical needs.


Oscar Davis ’23

Official Hendrix Internship: Children’s Advocacy Center

Supervised by Dr. Fred Ernst

Oscar will be responsible for administrative work and intake procedures, and will observe forensic interviews and learn from experienced team members the best courses of action for supporting children served by the organization. The student will be a part of the advocacy team and will help children and non-offending family members secure basic needs while they navigate the therapeutic and legal processes.


Ketsia Dusenge ’25

Official Hendrix Internship: MurakozeCoin Application

Supervised by Dr. Mark Goadrich

As an intern for WiredIn Company in Rwanda, Ketsia will work with the government institutions in charge of making policy regarding the cryptocurrency market and will also serve as a quality assurance tester developing automated tests and algorithms of integrating the cryptocurrency medium of exchange in the “Murakoze” App that will later serve as proof of concept application.


Chloe Griffith ’23

Official Hendrix Internship: Creating a Court Watch Training Program: An Internship with the Arkansas Justice Reform Coalition

Supervised by Dr. Delphia Shanks

Chloe will work to develop court watch training materials, coordinate with other court watch groups to standardize the program, and create a data base to track observations about defendants and judges. By the end of the internship, the organization will have the tools they need to start training court watchers and the student will be able to start the process of starting a court watch chapter at Hendrix College.


Magnolia Hammer ’23

Official Hendrix Internship: Arkansas Attorney General Office

Supervised by Dr. Daniel Whelan

As an intern, Magnolia will immerse herself in exploration of the legal and political fields, gain the corresponding skills required for success in later jobs, and build meaningful connections that could be instrumental in a future law career focused on women’s rights and domestic violence issues.


Grace Holmquest ’23

Official Hendrix Internship: Teton County Weed and Pest District Seasonal Crew Member

Supervised by Dr. Peter Gess

As a crew member for the Teton County Weed and Pest District in Jackson, Wyoming, Grace will survey landscapes, identify and spot spray weeds, and aid in mosquito management activities. This experience will help the student to discern if she would like a long-term career working in the outdoors, how well-suited she is to this type of physically arduous work. She will grow her ecological and plant-identification knowledge and apply knowledge gained through her ecological studies.


Swalat Issa ’25

Official Hendrix Internship in Human Resources and Talent Acquisition

Supervised by Dr. Fred Ernst

Swalat will gain experience in human resources management and explore her interest in the field while growing her leadership and professional skills, such as recruitment and data management, and applying concepts learned in courses as she prepares for a career after college.


Paloma Macarena ’23

Professional Field Experience: Data Fellow for the Arkansas Democratic Party Ahead of the 2022 Midterm Elections

Supervised by Dr. Delphia Shanks

In this experience, Paloma will enter data, complete dataset maintenance, and prepare mailing lists. With an interest in political advocacy, working as a Data Fellow will give the student her first experience in the field and in a professional workplace.


Elena Miller ’23

Professional Field Experience with Conway Children’s Advocacy Center

Supervised by Dr. Anne Goldberg

Elena will assist with family care, wellbeing, and the registration and documentation process and will have the opportunity to explore her interest in the field of social work, engaging in hands-on behind the scenes activism for children and their families, and to improve her professional communication skills.


Nard Mutayomba Keza ’25

Official Hendrix Internship: Rwanda Ministry of Public Service and Labor

Supervised by Dr. Mark Goadrich

Nard will be part of a project to modernize the Ministry’s recruitment processes and will focus on replacing existing methods and models with faster numerical/statistical simulations while enabling faster analyses of recruitment data. This internship will give the student hands-on experience in applying her technology skills.


Phillip Powell ’23

Activism in Central Arkansas (Official Hendrix Internship with ACADV/Professional Field Experience with DPA)

Supervised by Dr. Daniel Whelan

With an interest in developing leadership skills while learning about non-profit administration and electoral politics, Phillip’s combined internship and field experience project will split his time between the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Democratic Party of Arkansas. Through entry level work and shadowing professionals at both organizations, the student will explore potential career paths and strengthen his organizing, communication, research, and interpersonal skills.


Tajae White ’23

Official Hendrix Internship: Conway Regional Physical Therapy

Supervised by Dr. Maureen McClung

Through this internship, Tajae will gain a basic understanding of the primary equipment utilized within a physical therapy outpatient setting and learn more about the different modalities used in therapy. The student expects this experience to help in evaluating physical therapy as a potential career path.


Special Projects


Tanner Barrett ’23 and Will Sewell ’23

The Castelo de Cuncos Archaeological Project

Supervised by Dr. Chris Campolo

Will and Tanner will assist with the recovery and analysis of artifacts found at a Roman fortified settlement near Redondo, Portugal, learning how to classify and research findings with the guidance of certified archeologists. The students expect the project will help them understand how we create the stories of the past from finding and studying artifacts of material culture.


Prof. Rod Miller

Senior Art Major Trip to NYC

In conjunction with their required course, ARTH 430 Practicum: Senior Studio, students Grace Capooth ’23, Adaja Cooper ’23, Jalache Davis ’23, Zion Fletcher ’23, and Michaela Thaibinh ’23 will spend three days visiting New York City galleries and museums giving the students the chance to see works of art first-hand and grasp not only the difference between this and seeing them reproduced but also an understanding of how galleries work and display art in a variety of contemporary art galleries and modern/historic art museums. What they glean from the trip will contribute to their written research project in ARTH 430, their Senior Presentation, and their own art making and display for the Senior Art Show.


Josiah Vallone ’23

Finding Home – A Memoirist’s Search for Belonging

Supervised by Hope Coulter

With additional funding from the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation, Josiah will travel the Mediterranean and attend a writer’s workshop in Greece while continuing revisions on his memoir. The student expects the project will deepen his understanding of nonfiction, extend his creative writing portfolio, and enrich his overall liberal arts experience by gaining distance and new perspective on his origins. 


Dean Jim Wiltgen

Music and Civil Rights Movements

With assistance from two students, Garrett Collier ’23 and Adriana Rabell ’24, Dean of Students Jim Wiltgen will organize and conduct this Fall Break civil rights trip for 13 students. With a focus on the power of music and its impact on change in society, the group will visit sites in Alabama and in Memphis, Tennessee.


Undergraduate Research


Dr. Carmen Merrick

The ways we hate: Three studies on the emotion of interpersonal hate

Working with eight students (Natalie Aikman ’23, Gabriella Canova ’23, Anna Claire Franklin ’23, Andrea LaChance ’23, Trevor Larkowski ’22, Sierra Lubetkin ’25, Monica Ramos ’23, and Renova Uwingabire ’23), Psychology professor Carmen Merrick will study the topics of interpersonal, intergroup, and political hate, emotion theory, prosocial behavior and morality, and the distinction between types of hate and other emotions. Students will gain experience coding data, conducting literature searches, writing and presenting research summaries, and designing research studies. Findings will be presented by the students at the Spring 2023 Southeastern Psychological Association Meeting.


Tommy Caldarera ’25

Analysis of CB1 receptor-agonist molecular dynamics data to explain activation

Supervised by Dr. Caitlin Scott

Tommy will investigate the cannabinoid CB1 receptor, a protein that can be activated by the compound THC, which some hope could be activated by an FDA-approved pain medication without inducing the psychoactive side effects of THC. In this research project, the student will use computer software to determine the activation mechanisms of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in order to characterize its activated structure. The research will culminate into a presentation at the MERCURY Conference at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.


Maya Kreczmer ’23

Examining the Effects of Party Finance Regulations: A Summer Research Experience

Supervised by Dr. Kiril Kolev

Maya will examine how party finance regulations affect four broad governance outcomes: citizen engagement, electoral integrity, pluralism, and representation. She will update databases, review relevant literature, and perform quantitative and qualitative analysis on how party finance regulations affect three more specific outcomes of interest: representation of women and minorities, election competitiveness, and environmental policy. This project will inform the student’s senior capstone and findings will be presented at the Arkansas Political Science Association conference in 2023.


Thanaphat Seeboonruang ’24 and Yousef Zonfuly ’24

Synthesis of Noval Chalcones with N-sulfonamides moiety

Supervised by Dr. Latorya Hicks

Through this project, the students will synthesize chalcones with N-substituted sulfonamide moieties to test broad-spectrum antimicrobial efficacy. Chalcones are a compound of great interest due to their anti-hypertensive, anti-retroviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial, and anti-bacterial properties. The research experience will strengthen the students’ skills to work in a scientific environment and provide them with transferable skills that can be utilized in their future professional careers. The findings from this project will be presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society.


Mary Frances Shannon ’23

Researching the Cognitive Effects of Nature Imagery

Supervised by Dr. Lindsay Kennedy

As a Research Assistant at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, Mary Frances will work on a psychology study to measure the cognitive effects of nature imagery in comparison to urban imagery and nature immersion. The student will recruit participants, conduct an experiment, work with EEG (electroencephalography), collect and analyze data, and present the findings at the Summer Research Symposium for the Office of Undergraduate Research at the University of Utah.


Dr. Damon Spayde

Commission and Upgrade a Polarized Helium-3 Test Stand

Zach Bernheimer ’24 will spend the summer in the research laboratory of Physics professor Damon Spayde on a project to commission and upgrade an apparatus designed to polarize samples of helium-3 gas. Zach will work on a variety of projects ranging from hardware (implementing improved laser optics) to software (upgrade analysis and control software), work that will support a broader experimental effort (the NOPTREX collaboration) to find possible sources of time reversal violation which may be helpful in explaining the overabundance of matter vs. antimatter observed in our universe. The final work resulting from this UR project will be presented at either a local meeting of the Society of Physics Students, a NOPTREX collaboration meeting, or a national meeting of the American Physical Society.


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