Your Hendrix Odyssey

February 2009 Odyssey Grant Recipients

Hendrix Odyssey Program
Project Funding
February 2009

The Committee on Experiential Learning has broken a major milestone: more than a million dollars in Odyssey Grants have been awarded for student and faculty projects since the program’s inception in 2005. With the February 2009 funding cycle awards of $139,614.57, the grand total is $1,118,278.13. This highly competitive cycle broke all previous records in both the number of requests and the dollar amount sought.  The total of 60 projects receiving support also represents a new record for the Odyssey Program.

This summer Hendrix students will bring the joy of sports to disadvantaged children, conduct research on Vikings in
Iceland and Greenland, assess water quality in Arkansas and global warming in Alaska, and explore the languages, cultures and histories of countries around the world.

The Odyssey Grant recipients include:

Rachel Achor
Orphanage Assistance in Nicaragua
Category: Service to the World
Sponsor: Dr. Sarah Lee

This summer, Rachel Achor will volunteer her time at an orphanage in Granada, Nicaragua. “All of these children have come from poor families and suffer from malnutrition and neglect,” Achor said. She will assist the staff in caring for the children and providing recreational and educational activities. Achor is currently enrolled in Spanish classes at Hendrix and anticipates that the experience will strengthen her language skills.

Taylor Adams
Adam Iddings
Summer Writer's Workshop
Category: Artistic Creativity
Sponsor: Dr. Tyrone Jaeger

Aspiring writers Taylor Adams and Adam Iddings will develop their creative skills at the University of Nebraska/Prairie Schooner Summer Writer’s Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska. The seminar focuses on rigorous writing workshops, including generative exercises, revising existing works, and discussing the works of other writers. Participants progress as writers as they learn from professionals in the contemporary writing world. “A week of intensive classes, lectures, discussion, and substantial amounts of independent reading and writing—to polish, refine, and energize my creative talents—will prove a lasting fingerprint on my development as a writer,” Adams said. These projects were underwritten by the generous support of the Hendrix Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language.

Meagan Alban
Warriors on a Mission
Category: Service to the World
Sponsor: Amy Weaver

Sometimes a game can brighten a child’s day—especially if it’s softball. Nine members of the Hendrix softball team and their coach Amy Weaver will volunteer for a week at the All Saints AIDS Camp in Nassau, Bahamas. The week will conclude with a softball clinic for the children and adults at the camp. “We will be bringing sports equipment for the clinic that we will be leaving behind for the community and the children to enjoy in the future,” Alban said. The camp provides housing and healthcare to individuals suffering from HIV infection and AIDS, and it is in desperate need of expansion and repair. The Warriors on this mission include Meagan Alban, Frances Goodrich, Sydney Selby, Ellen Burr, Amanda Dolph, Jessica Mabry, Brooke Monson, Jamie Sterrenburg, and Kaylen Stevenson.

Sarah Atchley
The Isle of Mann: Crossroads of Medieval Cultures and Languages
Category: Global Awareness
Sponsor: Dr. Sasha Pfau

The Isle of Mann is located in the Irish Sea between Scotland and Ireland, and it has been the home of an interesting blend of cultures: Irish, Welsh, Scots, Picts, Anglo-Saxon and Norse. Sarah Atchley will spend five weeks participating in a seminar that focuses on Manx history. Supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the seminar includes site visits to the island’s museums and an archeological dig at a monastery. Atchley will also spend a day examining Medieval manuscripts housed in the National Library of Scotland. “These manuscripts, collected from scribes and other scholars of the Medieval era, will be an interesting dive into regulations an a deeper understanding of the culture,” Atchley said.

Abby Blaney
An Internship Opportunity in the Field of Sports Psychology
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Trista Grieder

Sports Psychology is a relatively new field of study; it examines the psychological factors that may affect physical performance. Abby Blaney will delve into the subject in an internship with Terri Schneider in Santa Cruz, Calif. Schneider is an author and sports expert, and she’s a renowned athlete, motivational speaker and coach. Blaney will gain experience with the real-world application of sports psychology and insight into its impact on athletic performance. “It has been my goal for some time to find a way to combine my interest in sports with my academic interests in psychology,” Blaney said.

Kyle Bradbury
Summer Internship: Department of Education
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Trista Grieder

Kyle Bradbury’s internship will combine two areas of interest: public policy and education. At the Department of Education in
Little Rock, he will conduct public policy research on stimulus funds targeted at education, summer academic intervention programs and school choice laws. In addition, he will attend meetings at the capitol and assist with a news conference about the release of Benchmark scores for the state. “This internship will provide a well-rounded experience that will really give me a taste for what a career in educational public policy would be like,” Bradbury said.

Katy Brantley
Tennessee Parks & Greenways
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Joyce Hardin

Located in Nashville, the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation is an environmental non-profit organization that works to protect and preserve the natural beauty and native wildlife found in the state. This summer, Katy Brantley will use her knowledge of the technological age as an intern for the foundation, focusing on communication efforts through sites like Facebook and MySpace. “In this way, Tennessee Parks and Greenways will be able to reach my generation in perhaps a more effective manner than other means, helping spread the word on conservation projects and events,” Brantley said. She will also create an on-site butterfly/rain community garden, including designing the layout, selecting the plants, and involving volunteers with the project. She plans to incorporate local flowers, herbs, and possibly vegetables in the garden.

Lauren Bresler
Criminal Law Internship
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Bob Entzminger

This summer, Lauren Bresler will experience the legal and business aspects of a legal practice as an intern with Schwartz & Schwartz in St. Louis. It is a small firm, and its practice includes criminal law, business and franchise representation, and contract and civil litigation. “Working in a small firm with a diverse practice will help me determine which areas of law best match my skills and interest,” Bresler said. She will assist a lawyer, who will serve as her mentor, as he handles legal matters and deals with the administration of the firm.

Elizabeth Brooks-Tolley
Washington D.C. Summer Internship with U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Jennifer Peszka
and Cal Rose
Congressional Internship
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Jay Barth

Elizabeth Brooks-Tolley and Cal Rose will serve as interns for U. S. Senator Blanche Lincoln this summer. Brooks-Tolley is interested in Sen. Lincoln’s stance on healthcare and education, along with her experiences as a female leader. Rose will focus on how the United States Senate creates and implements public policy that shapes the lives of American citizens.

Claire Burns
Living, Working, Eating, Breathing: Insight into the Life of a Frenchman as Experienced through Agriculture
Category: Global Awareness
Sponsor: Britt Murphy

Through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, Claire Burns will spend this summer living and working at farms in three distinct areas of France. While increasing her knowledge about France, its language and its culture, Burns will also learn how to incorporate self-sufficiency and simplicity into her daily life. In addition, she will explore the connection between agricultural lifestyles and traditional cultural practices. Her immersion into the country will give her insight into these topics. “I will experience life as a Frenchman, not as a student studying abroad, or as a tourist on vacation. I will have an entirely unique perspective that may only be attained through living, working, eating, and breathing side-by-side with a local,” Burns noted.

Seth Caldwell
China: The Research of Foreign and Domestic Business
Category: Special Projects
Sponsor: Dr. Karen Oxner

Seth Caldwell will combine business with cultural immersion during his summer in China. He will travel from Hong Kong to Harbin, touring businesses as he makes his journey. During interviews with company managers and executives, he’ll research how Chinese businesses operate locally and internationally. His itinerary covers two different provinces and involves a wide range of companies, from manufacturing to consulting to service agencies. “In the end, this trip will give me amazing insight on Chinese business, help me develop business contacts that will be invaluable later in life, and allow me to experience the international interaction of foreign and domestic business in China,” Caldwell said.

Dana Callaway
Little Rock Zoo Internship
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Joyce Hardin

“Zoos all over the world are playing huge roles in the global efforts of conservation and endangered species protection,” Dana Callaway said. As an intern this summer, she’ll have an inside look at the Little Rock Zoo’s progress toward these goals. In 1926, the zoo had just two animals, and today it has grown to include more than 700 animals of 200 different species. Callaway will help prepare diets for the animals and clean exhibits. In addition, she will provide educational opportunities for the zoo’s visitors to learn about the animals, conservation issues, and ways to protect their natural habitats.

Colleen Daly, Kerry Evans, and Matt Lindsey
Mission Honduras
Category: Service to the World
Sponsor: Dr. Jennifer Penner, Dr. George Harper, and Dr. Jane Harris

Colleen Daly, Kerry Evans , and Matt Lindsey will join students from the University of Central Arkansas on a mission trip to Comayagua, Honduras. The trip is organized by Catholic Campus Ministry of Conway, which is a group of local college students of the Catholic faith. The Hendrix students will volunteer their time at the Association of the Franciscan Boys and Girls orphanage. They will do construction work at the orphanage and spend time in fellowship with the children. Daly, Evans and Lindsey will be challenged by the physical workload, and they anticipate growing emotionally and spiritually during the experience.

Eli Harpst
Alliance Francaise in Paris: Cultural immersion and short film reflection
Category: Global Awareness
Sponsor: Dr. Wayne Oudekerk

“The Alliance Francaise has an unrivaled reputation as a language and cultural institution,” says Eli Harpst. He’ll have the opportunity to experience it himself this summer. Founded in 1883 and located in Paris, the Alliance Francaise offers cultural education, immersion, and language instruction. Its goal is to share French culture and language with an international student body. Harpst will live with a French host family during the experience, and he’ll shoot and edit a short digital film that documents his time in Paris in an artistic and intellectual way.

Kim Herrington
Publishing a Future
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Dorian Stuber

“While the education at Hendrix has prepared me to understand many literary styles, an internship in publishing will allow me to apply these skills in my professional life,” said Kim Herrington. She hopes to be an intern with a publishing company in the Boston, Mass., area. Editing, publicity, marketing and sales, and production are all areas that interest her. This project was underwritten by the generous support of the Hendrix Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language.

Alex Holmes and Kelsie Holmes
Ridin' Dirty with Science
Category: Special Projects
Sponsor: Dr. Liz Gron

The innovative  “Ridin’ Dirty with Science” will be offered for the third year on the Hendrix campus. There will be two, two-day lab sessions at Hendrix in collaboration with the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Faulkner County. Coordinated by Alex Holmes and Kelsie Holmes, this outreach program offers fun, interesting, and interactive experiments that bring basic scientific principles to life for local middle school students.

Harmony Hudson
A Slow Food Adventure: Organic Farming Internship in Olivehill, Tenn.
Category: Special Projects
Sponsor: Dr. Stella Capek

Harmony Hudson is open about her interest in the techniques, lifestyle, and business of organic farming, which is a major component of the Slow Food movement. Founded in 1986, the group’s goals include promoting small organic farms, teaching individuals how to garden, lobbying against pesticides, and educating consumers about the environmental impact of fast food. Hudson will live and work on a small organic farm in Tennessee this summer, learning about native vegetables, organic fertilizers, farm equipment and ecologically sound food production techniques. “Hands-on-shovel experience is the most important way for sustainable farming to continue into many generations’ bodies and minds,” Hudson said. She will also participate in the business side of running the farm and researching Slow Food initiatives and policies.

Ryan Hughes and Terricka Thomas
Service Work in Malawi, Africa
Category: Service to the World
Sponsor: Dr. James Jennings

Ryan Hughes and Terricka Thomas will travel to Africa this summer to make a difference in the lives of the citizens in Malawi. Working with an organization called The Ministry of Hope, they will work as volunteers in an orphanage. They plan to include a sports camp focusing on soccer and basketball. “Through the sports camp, we seek to instill characteristics such as commitment, passion, teamwork, and hard work,” they said. Although children love sports, for many owning a ball or other equipment is financially impossible. Hughes and Thomas will donate supplies from the sports camp so the children will have a lasting foundation for large group games.

Rachel Kincannon and Staci Sutton
Bridging the Gap: Understanding through Service the Socioeconomic Disparity in the Bahamian Islands
Category: Special Projects
Sponsor: Rev. J.J. Whitney
The Bahamas is a place where one can see contrasts between the local life and the life of leisure. The island nation, despite its prominence in the tourism trade, has a population that suffers from poverty and hunger. Through a program called Island Journeys, Rachel Kincannon and Staci Sutton will volunteer at a mission in Tarpum Bay, one of the poorest areas on the island of Eleuthra. “We will thoroughly examine the poverty there through our volunteer work and interacting with the communities,” they said. They will also conduct research comparing Eleuthra with Nassau, which is known  to cater to tourists.

Lauren Klaskala
Studying Southern Pine Beetles and Fungus Mutualism in the South
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Matt Moran

In the natural world, sometimes you find species at war with each other, along with those that form mutually beneficial alliances. Lauren Klaskala will delve into the world of the Southern pine beetle, its fungus food source, an antagonistic fungus and a bacterial ally. “This is a project that is an intersection of ecology, evolution, genetics, botany, and zoology, where the ultimate goal is to gain understanding of the natural world—a project that will likely be similar to my future career work,” Klaskala said. The Southern pine beetle infests trees, so her research might help aid in forest management.

David Kolovson
International Student Assessment and Comparative Education Policy
Category: Special Projects
Sponsor: Dr. Peter Gess

David Kolovson will conduct research in Finland, Poland, and The Netherlands for the Institute for European Studies in Brussels, focusing on how international countries have utilized international benchmark tests to formulate policy outcomes and improve their education systems. He hopes to apply what he learns to the American education system. “The United States must be aware of the cross-national educational trends and be able to adapt successful international policies and programs into its decentralized educational structure,” Kolovson said.

Matthew Malecha and Tim Bryant
Life in an Ancient Empire: A Creative Reflection of Incan Society
Category: Artistic Creativity
Sponsor: Prof. Hope Coulter

Matthew Malecha and Tim Bryant will explore some of the most important and best-preserved Incan ruins in Peru, ranging from the city of Machu Picchu to the ritual bath-house of Tambomachay. They will collaborate on a creative journal inspired by their trip. “This journal will be written from the perspective of an Incan messenger in the 15th century, near the height of the empire, and will include personal observations, historically significant facts, and interesting scenarios which may have taken place,” they said. Their journal will also include their own conclusions about enigmatic structures along with analytical explanations of the ruins. This project was underwritten by the generous support of the Hendrix Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language.

Leanne Mathurin
Water Quality Monitoring: Assessing the impact of development and shale oil drilling
Category: Undergraduate Research
Sponsor: Dr. Liz Gron

Shale oil drilling is a hot topic in Arkansas. This summer Leanne Mathurin will use high-tech instruments to assess the water quality at Lake Conway and Lake Brewer. Lake Conway is a man-made lake in an area of increasing development, while Lake Brewer serves as the water source for the city of Conway. Lake Brewer’s water shed includes part of the Fayetteville Shale methane deposits. “There are shale oil drilling sites within the aquifer raising concerns about contamination from drilling chemicals,” Mathurin said. She will test water quality along with mud and organic material analysis.

William McCallum
Latin Inscriptions and Epigraphy: Museu Nacional de Arquelogica, Lisbon, Portugal
and Will Poff
Latin Epigraphy and Inscriptions in Portugal
Category: Special Projects
Sponsor: Dr. Rebecca Resinski

William McCallum and Will Poff will explore epigraphy in a workshop affiliated with the National Archaeology Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. Epigraphy is the study of inscriptions; the museum will make its collection of Latin inscriptions on ancient artifacts available to the participants. In some cases, the pieces were excavated long ago, but were stored without being translated. “I will have the rare chance to work directly from the inscription, without the translation in front of me. Mine could become the translation,” McCallum said. Poff added that original epigraphic materials are not easily available in the United States, and the artifacts in Lisbon will have a direct connection to the Romans. The project by William McCallum was underwritten by the generous support of the Hendrix Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language.

Mallory McElroy and LaRonda Mitchell
White Mountain Summer Dance Festival
Category: Artistic Creativity
Sponsor: Prof. Brigitte Rogers

Aspiring dancers Mallory McElroy and LaRonda Mitchell leapt at the opportunity to participate in the White Mountain Summer Dance Festival at Sarah Lawrence College. Open to dancers of all backgrounds and skill levels, the program offers students the chance to grow as artists. For three weeks, participants are immersed in classes on dance technique, theory, and performance—including sessions on the body and injury prevention. “The challenging yet nurturing environment that the program provides will equip us with the tools we need to explore dance as a lifestyle and a possible career in the future,” they said.

Hannah McGrew
Malnutrition Research and Community Health Work in Rural Guatemala
Category: Special Projects
Sponsor: Dr. Lilian Contreras-Silva

Malnutrition is a severe problem in Guatemala, where nearly 25% of the children under the age of five are considered to be underweight and almost half suffer from moderate to severe growth stunting. Through a community-based child heath care program in Guatemala, McGrew will research malnutrition as a volunteer on a team led by medical professionals.  “Over the course of about a month we will visit every house that has a child under the ages of five in Cuchicabal, Barrios La Libertad and El Progresso to administer questionnaires and to weigh and measure the children,” McGrew said. She will also help give basic nutrition counseling to families.

Conner McMains
Internship with Nichols and Simpson, Inc., Organbuilders
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Ansley Fleming

Nichols and Simpson, Inc., is a company dedicated to the building, repair, and renovation of pipe organs. As an intern with them this summer, Conner McMains will learn the fundamentals about organs, from design to building to operation. “In addition to learning the basics of organ building, I hope to learn more about the history of organ in America and the reasons and functions of its evolution,” McMains said. He is currently serving as the organist for a Presbyterian church.

Bernice McMillan
Social Work in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Category: Service to the World
Sponsor: Rev. J.J. Whitney

“Service to the community has always been an important aspect in my life,” said Bernice McMillan. This summer, she will be a volunteer in Siem Reap, Cambodia. McMillan will be partnering with Globe Aware, an organization that focuses on cultural awareness and sustainability through volunteer work. She will teach English to children and Buddhist monks and work with a center that rescues homeless youth from a life of drugs and prostitution. In addition, she’ll assemble and distribute wheelchairs to victims of landmine explosions in rural villages.

Megan Monks
Slovene Past and Present: The Cultural Relevance of Linguistic Tradition
Category: Special Projects
Sponsor: Dr. Alex

Megan Monks has a personal connection to the Republic of Slovenia in central Europe. Her grandmother speaks Slovene, the country’s major language, and has shared stories of how her own mother immigrated to America from Slovenia. Monks will learn more about the Slovene language and culture during a program offered through the University of Ljubljana. The program focuses on increasing language skills and provides workshops and excursions to immerse participants in Slovene culture. Monks also plans to practice her Slovene with relatives who still reside in the country. “This would not only encourage me to develop special relationships with my Slovene relatives, but it may also generate new levels of insight into my family history as well as that of the Slovene people,” Monks said. This project was underwritten by the generous support of the Hendrix Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language.

Brendan Moore and Meredith Strong
 Alaska: The Front Lines of Global Warming
Category: Special Projects
Sponsor: Dr. Matt Moran

The mayor of Homer, Alaska, has made combating global warming a top priority in his city. Brendan Moore and Meredith Strong will visit Homer to witness the effects of global warming and the preventative steps the community is taking. “We will not only be looking at the environmental effects of climate change, but how it is affecting the lives of the people who are experiencing it first hand and the steps they are taking to prevent it,” they said. They will talk with city officials, fishermen who deal with halibut and salmon, a resort that uses wind and solar power, and local biology professors.

Melanie Morse and Lilly Stewart
Gandhian Principles and Sustainable Communities in India
Category: Service to the World
Sponsor: Dr. Wayne Oudekerk

The United Sates Consulate in Chennai, India, will be home base for Melanie Morse and Lilly Stewart as they volunteer with organizations that have created small, sustainable communities through Gandhian principles. “The poor in urban and rural settings can gain a sense of dignity by developing psychologically satisfying, economically and environmentally sustainable communities,” they said. Morse and Stewart will work with the Assema Trust, which encourages the use of performing arts as tools of empowerment, and the Parikrma Foundation, which focuses on high-quality education for the poor.

Dzung Nguyen
Preliminary hands-on experience in Finance Internship with Deloitte & Touche in Singapore
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Karen Oxner

For eight weeks this summer, Dzung Nguyen will be an intern for Deloitte & Touche in Singapore. He will work with the M&A Transaction Services group, which provides high-quality comprehensive and strategically focused accounting, tax, and advisory services to buyers or sellers of business combinations throughout the region. Nguyen is an economics and business major with a concentration in accounting,; so this will be an opportunity for him to apply his study in the real-world context. “The fact that this internship is in a foreign country with a slightly different financial system would provide me with the most exciting and valuable knowledge and experiences,” Nguyen said.

Timothy Nichols
The effect of non-uniform spin dressing fields on polarization lifetime in helium-3 gas
Category: Undergraduate Research
Sponsor: Dr. Damon Spayde

This summer, Timothy Nichols will be on the cutting edge of physics as he designs, builds and commissions a test stand to get accurate measurements of Helium-3. He’ll use a technique called “spin dressing” to change the rate the nucleus gyrates around an external magnetic field. He will also assess how long the gas stays polarized. “This research project will provide ample opportunities to design, build, and test a sophisticated experimental apparatus, develop scientific software, analyze experimental results, and learn interesting new physics,” Nichols said. He also hopes that the test stand may eventually be used as a research tool in a variety of areas, including medicine.

Dmitriy Nurullayev
Global Awareness Camp with Emphasis on Climate Change and HIV/AIDS Education
Category: Service to the World
Sponsor: Dr. Daniel Whelan

“It is essential that the future generations around the world understand the challenges of the ongoing climate change. Uzbekistan is not going to be an exception,” said Dmitriy Nurullayev, a native of the Republic of Uzbekistan. This summer, he will organize a four-week camp for high school children in his homeland, focusing on global climate change and HIV/AIDS education. In the global warming sessions, the camp will cover the impact of declining water levels on the country’s agrarian economy, and the students will each plant four trees in their local neighborhoods. In addition, doctors and specialists on HIV/AIDS will assist in the creation of workshops for the camp, and the participants will travel to a local center to hear from those who are affected to learn from their experiences.

Steve Poth
Aquatic Conservation Internship with the Nature Conservancy in Arkansas
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Joyce Hardin

The Nature Conservancy program manages 35 preserves totaling 20,000 acres in Arkansas. As an intern this summer, Steve Poth will help with field data collection and analysis for conservation projects on several priority watersheds in the Ouachita and Delta Rivers Programs. “I will be working with biological sampling, field work associated with several stream restoration projects, storm-water sediment sampling, and collection of habitat and geomorphic data of several river systems in Arkansas,” Poth said.

Natalie Ramm
Internship with publishing/magazine/newspaper
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Alex Vernon

With career plans as a professional editor, Natalie Ramm will be blazing a trail as the first intern in the history of Sync Weekly. Founded in 2006, Sync Weekly is part of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “The weekly covers stories about politics, fashion, music, social issues, places to go for entertainment in Little Rock, and up and coming restaurants, among other things,” Ramm said. She’ll learn about editing, publishing, layout, and writing articles for the weekly. This project was underwritten by the generous support of the Hendrix Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language.

J.D. Recobs and Dan Fox
Prague Cup
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Eric Binnie

Hendrix lacrosse players J.D. Recobs and Dan Fox will explore their sport on the international level as they represent the United States at the ninth annual Prague Cup in the Czech Republic. “We are honored to be invited to compete in the Prague Cup event bases on our selection by a panel of college lacrosse coaches who have seen us play and are aware of our conduct and character on and off the field,” they said. Recobs and Fox will play with other Americans against teams from around the world, giving them the chance to observe different coaching styles and playing strategies. In addition, they will experience Czech culture and learn about the perceptions international athletes have about the sport that brings them together.

Katie Rice and Fátima Orozco
Spanglish: A Linguistic Study on the Texas-Mexico Border
Category: Undergraduate Research
Sponsor: Dr. Anne Goldberg

Spanglish is a hybrid language that combines English and Spanish, and the U.S.-Mexican border area is a linguistic melting pot. Katie Rice and Fátima Orozco will travel to Brownsville, Laredo, Eagle Pass and San Antonio, Texas, to learn more about Spanglish from those who speak it every day. They will observe its use in public areas and interview border residents about their word choices. “These interviews will give us a sense of how Spanglish is perceived in different border communities—as a manifestation of Mexican-American identity, as a debasement of Spanish, or as something else entirely,” they said. This project was underwritten by the generous support of the Hendrix Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language.

Sarah Richardson
Internship with Lifetime Networks--Publicity
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Lilian Contreras-Silva

Working with the Little Rock Film Festival opened Sarah Richardson’s eyes to the interesting possibilities of a career in the motion picture industry. Festival contacts led her to an internship with the publicity department of Lifetime Networks. This multi-media company offers entertainment and information programming geared toward and featuring women. It is one of the top-rated basic cable television networks.  “As I one day wish to play an integral role in helping Arkansas gain its own distinctive film identity, I will definitely apply this internship to my work with the Little Rock Film Festival,” Richardson said. When she returns, Richardson plans to apply her new public relations and marketing skills to help improve the cultural and economic community in Little Rock.

Ben Samuelson
Green Home Building
Category: Special Projects
Sponsor: Dr. Stella Capek

Ben Samuelson has a strong interest in the environment, and this summer he will explore the topic of ecologically constructed homes in California. Architects and builders who abide by the green home philosophy hope to demonstrate that a home can be built within a reasonable budget using local recycled products and energy efficient components. "I believe the houses I investigate will prove that much of the consumption of American homes can be easily avoided by mindful design and systems to capture the energy that abounds around us,” Samuelson said. By visiting construction sites at varying stages of completion and conducting a survey of methods used at each one, he will learn how to install rain collection and filtration systems, greywater systems, composting toilets, solar water heaters, energy efficient awnings and soy-based insulation.

Blake Smith
Chinese Orphan, French Bastards: Voltaire's "L'Orphelin de la Chine" and China in Ancien Regime Theater
Category: Undergraduate Research
Sponsor: Drs. Todd Berryman and Han Zhao

In 1755, the French version of the Chinese play The Orphan of Zhao had its debut. Translated by Voltaire, the play retained very little of the original’s plot, characters or setting. Voltaire’s agenda was to inform his countrymen about Confucianism while he introduced them to Chinese theatre. To understand why Voltaire’s version titled L’Orphelin de la Chine strayed so far from the original work, Blake Smith will travel to Bibliothèque National de France in Paris, the country’s most comprehensive library. In the archives, he will examine rare copies of seven other French plays of the era that featured Chinese elements. “While the success of these plays was linked to a growing scholarly interest in China, and the transmission of sinological knowledge to the general public, these plays aimed for entertainment rather than accurate depictions of the East,” Smith said. His research will focus on common themes and stereotypes that may show to what extent Voltaire was influenced by existing theatrical works concerning China. This project was underwritten by the generous support of the Hendrix Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language.

Rachel Smith
Telling the Stories of the “Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free”: An Internship at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Allison Shutt

Rachel Smith is preparing for a career as a public historian, and one important step along that path is her summer internship at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Ellis Island processed more than 12 million immigrants, and about 40% of Americans can trace their ancestry back to one of them. “My work would give me hands-on experience with museum collections, archives, research library, and oral history projects,” Smith said. She’ll learn preservation techniques, museum and archival cataloging systems, and procedures for recording oral histories.

Hunter Stoehr
Trip to Turkey with the Atlas Foundation for Interfaith Studies in May, 2009
Category: Global Awareness
Sponsor: Dr. Todd Berryman

The Atlas Interfaith Foundation, based in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, brings together young professionals with an interest in cross-cultural studies and interfaith dialogues. The foundation has invited Hunter Stoehr to travel to Turkey and experience Turkish culture firsthand. “This trip to Turkey will be my first foray into the Middle East, and I believe it will be an important step toward expanding my cultural awareness and furthering my passion for that part of the world,” Stoehr said. During the experience, participants will live with Turkish host families.

Jose Vilahomat and Peter Hiegel
Viking Explorers of Iceland and Greenland
Category: Undergraduate Research
Sponsor: Dr. Brett Hill

Jose Vilahomat and Peter Hiegel are heading for Iceland and Greenland to conduct research on ancient Viking explorers.  “It is our hypothesis that the Vikings had an important, lasting trade network connecting Northern Europe and the North Atlantic 200 years before Christopher Columbus set sail for the Americas,” they said. In Greenland, Vilahomat will focus on early cultural and trade interactions between the native peoples and the Vikings. Hiegel will concentrate on the economic system of the time in Iceland and how the country may have been a stepping stone for trade between Europe and other regions. A major component to this project is examining ancient manuscripts in The Culture House, a museum in Iceland. The documents, written by 12th and 13th century monks, deal with Viking exploration and settlements in Iceland and Greenland.

Ben Wadley
Clinton Presidential Library Internship
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Ralph Scott

The William J. Clinton Library in Little Rock includes both an archival research facility and a museum. “It is responsible for preserving and processing the official Presidential Records, audiovisual materials, and artifacts of the Clinton Administration,” said Ben Wadley, who will spend the summer as an intern at the library. He will help arrange holdings, perform basic preservation measures, prepare finding aids and indexes and undertake other curatorial duties. Wadley will be putting the skills and techniques he’s learned at Hendrix to real-world situations.

Haining Wang
Summer REU on Mathematics (Research Experience for Undergraduates)
Category: Undergraduate Research
Sponsor: Dr. Duff Campbell

Haining Wang intends to pursue his doctorate in mathematics. One important step toward that goal is a summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation. “They are among the most prestigious summer programs that an undergraduate can participate in,” Wang said. REU programs give undergraduates the opportunity to participate in research that deals with cutting-edge mathematics problems in a collaborative setting. The students work with a faculty mentor, and they are encouraged to submit their written results for publication or presentation at conferences.

Ben Warner
Transatlantic Program 2009--Immersion Seminar and Internship in Germany
Category: Global Awareness
Sponsor: Dr. Wayne Oudekerk

Since 2005, the Transatlantic Program has annually offered a select group of American students the opportunity to combine a total immersion experience with an individual internship in Germany. This year, Ben Warner has been accepted to participate in this prestigious program. As a group, the participants will have language-building sessions and intercultural training, along with discussions with high-ranking German business and politics representatives. Warner will also spend several months working as an intern for a German company, where he will gain professional skills and see the country’s business practices first-hand. “The program will allow for me to understand and appreciate the German work and business environment as well as the German culture,” Warner said. This project was underwritten by the generous support of the Hendrix Murphy Foundation Programs in Literature and Language.

Louis Weedman
Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camp-New York City
Category: Special Projects
Sponsor: Dr. Karen Griebling

Renowned fiddle player, violinist and composer Mark O’Connor has helped to bridge the gap between fiddling and classical music. Louis Weedman will attend the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp in New York this summer. During a week-long session, he’ll have intensive training in multiple string playing styles from Mr. O’Connor and several of the world’s finest performers and teachers in string music. “The concentration will not center on only one style of music, but rather several different styles from around the world all dealing with the violin,” Weedman said. He has been playing the violin since he was six, and he has a career goal of becoming a music teacher.

Corissa Wittholt
Moche Archaeological Field School
Category: Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor: Dr. Brett Hill

Field and laboratory work are critical components of archaeology. Corissa Wittholt will get plenty of both in Peru through the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Moche Archaeological Field School. “Peru is one of the premier archaeological locations in the world, as I can study in depth the rise of complex societies in ecologically challenging settings,” Wittholt said. She particularly hopes to investigate social class and its effect on nutrition, which can be studied through mortuary remains.

Dr. Andres Caro
Reactive oxygen species and CYP2E1-dependent oxidation of mitochondrial DNA in liver cells
Category: Undergraduate Research
Alcohol/CYP2E1-induced liver mitochondrial DNA damage
Category: Undergraduate Research

Dr. Andres Caro will work with Kerry Evans, Mike Weng, Tyler Lewis, and Jonathan Tackett to investigate the causes and mechanisms of damage to liver cells caused by ethanol and alcohol.

Dr. Courtney Hatch
Iron dissolution studies: Implications for mineral dust deposition to remote oceans
Category: Undergraduate Research

Dr. Courtney Hatch and Cameron Crane will conduct research on the impact of mineral dust deposition on ocean bioproductivity, which can influence the marine food chain and the Earth’s climate.

Dr. Robert Hessling
Research Apprenticeship in Social Psychology
Category: Professional and Leadership Development

Dr. Robert Hessling will give psychology major Dietlinde Heilmayr the chance to experience writing and publishing a research paper through an apprenticeship, teaching her the skills of an academic psychologist.

Dr. Todd Tinsley
Magnetic Enhancement of Neutrino Oscillations in Matter
Category: Undergraduate Research

Dr. Todd Tinsley and William Porter will use the techniques and practices of theoretical physics to measure the effect of magnetic fields on neutrino oscillations.

Dr. Leslie Zorwick
Stereotyping and Prejudice Research
Category: Undergraduate Research

Dr. Leslie Zorwick and Blair Sanning will examine the perception of men and women who use gender stereotypes and whether a stereotype-user’s sex influences how prejudiced they are perceived to be. Zorwick will also work with Dietlinde Heilmayr to collect data in Atlanta for a project about prejudice reduction.