Institute Report, April 2008
By Wendy Lovell
The Summer Undergraduate Research Institute selection committee has accepted a record number of 40 proposals for VMI’s 2008 program, which runs from May 20 to July 26. The awards are supported by the Jackson-Hope Fund and VMI Research Laboratories, and they represent nearly all majors and support faculty in various stages of their careers and students in different years of their cadetship.
The program promotes educational development through the close association of faculty mentors and their students.
“We’re very excited about the quantity and quality of the submissions this year, and we really appreciate the continued and generous support of the Jackson-Hope Fund and VMIRL,” said Maj. Elizabeth Baker, assistant professor of economics and business. “With the new 2.5 cumulative GPA requirement, we received more and better submissions, and it’s exciting to see an increase in submissions having to do with environmental sciences, mathematical modeling and leadership research areas, all areas we are proud of here at VMI.”
Baker serves as co-chair of SURI along with Maj. Leah Stands, assistant professor of biology. Patricia Hardin, an instructor in modern languages, is SURI director.
The following cadet-mentor pairs will pursue research in biology: Col. James Turner and cadets Scott Owen, Joshua Kenny, Alex Houser and Anna Marie DeFrank, and Stands and cadets Lance Long and Sean McCoy.
In civil engineering, Lt. Col. Charles Bott and cadets Mark Miller and Celine Ziobro, and Lt. Col. Daren Timmons and cadets Audrey Falconi, Jeffrey Cooper and Zachary Tharp. Bott has received external funding to partially support these projects.
Col. Myke Gluck and Cadet Thelmar Rosarda will pursue research in computer science.
In electrical engineering, Col. David Livington and Cadet Robert Allen; in English and fine arts, Col. Robert McDonald and Cadet Even Rogers, and Lt. Cmdr. Alexis Hart and Cadet Jonathan Nelson; in history, Col. Malcolm Muir and Cadet John Curtis; in international studies and modern languages and cultures, colonels Rick Kilroy and John Cerkey and Cadet Philip Pohlman; and in international studies, Maj. Jason Kirk and Cadet Hunter Cantrell, and Kilroy and Cadet Jacqueline Briski.
Mathematics and computer science research will be conducted by Col. Vonda Walsh and Cadet Christopher Leach, and Maj. Leah Lanz and Cadet Marshall Jarrett. Lanz has been awarded external funding to support projects with cadets Jasmine Walker, Stephen Rhodes, Kittisak Siripollawat and Sang Hun Lee, as well.
Mechanical engineering projects will be pursued by Col. Joe Blandino and cadets Scott McDonald and William Quarles, Cmdr. Robert McMasters and cadets Kyle Braun and Hsin-Sheng Lee, and Col. Wayne Neel and Cadet Matt Englehart; in modern languages and cultures, Hardin and Cadet Charles Range, and Dr. Mohamed Taifi and Cadet Daniel Johnson; in psychology and philosophy, Dr. Duncan Richter and Cadet Asia Pastor, Maj. Glenn Sullivan and cadets David Staab and Robert Morris, and Col. James Gire and Cadet Michael Johnson.
Physics and astronomy research will be conducted by Maj. George Brooke IV and cadets James Ray and Berley Rister, Maj. Daniela Topasna and Lt. Col. Greg Topasna and Cadet Frank Powell, and Col. John Thompson and Cadet Henry Baker.