Press Release

Science Symposium

September 11, 2020 – by Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan Students to Present Summer Research Results Sept. 21 in Online Event

DELAWARE, Ohio – Nineteen Ohio Wesleyan University student-scientists will share the results of their 10-week summer science research projects at the university’s first online and 28th annual Patricia Belt Conrades Summer Science Research Symposium.

During the event, students will present information about their projects and answer questions about their findings in live, interactive video sessions accessible at owu.edu/ssrp. The symposium will be held from 12:40 p.m. to 1:20 p.m. Sept. 21 and archived online afterward.

“While so many things have changed in the past few months, one constant is the talented science students at Ohio Wesleyan and their meaningful contributions to scientific research and connection to their faculty mentors,” said Laura Tuhela-Reuning, director of OWU’s Summer Science Research Program (SSRP).

“This summer, students had the opportunity to work with OWU faculty mentors both on campus and remotely,” said Tuhela-Reuning, Ph.D. “Advances in technology allowed for off-campus students to remotely operate the telescope at Perkins Observatory and to analyze data from colleagues in France.

“Careful preparation and appropriate precautions while on campus – wearing facial coverings and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance – allowed students to collect data at Ohio Wesleyan,” she said. “In both cases, authentic research is quite different from classroom labs – more challenging, more creative, more frustrating, and ultimately, more rewarding.”

Ohio Wesleyan students participating in this year’s Summer Science Research Program (SSRP) and their projects and mentors are:

  • Emma Blackburn of Frederick, Maryland, studied “Probing Molecular Organization of Atmospherically Relevant Interfaces Using Surface-Tension Techniques” under the mentorship of Bethany Rudd, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry.
  • Alyssa Blake of Ravenna, Ohio, explored “The Effects of Enrichment on a Selected Captive Tiger” under the mentorship of Shala Hankinson, Ph.D., associate professor of zoology.
  • Joy Buraima of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Isabelle Rodriguez of San Antonio, Texas; and Navami Shenoy of New Delhi, India, studied “Examining Cognitive and Brain Functions through Video Games” under the mentorship of Kira Bailey, Ph.D., assistant professor of neuroscience and psychology.
  • Hanna Cao of Changsha, Hunan, China, explored “Estimation and Interference for Correlation Under Censoring” under the mentorship of Scott Linder, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and computer science.
  • Alejandra Coronel-Zegarra of Hollywood, Florida, and Bryce Wittman of Nashville, Tennessee, completed an “Investigation of Dipyrrin Ligands for the Activation of Oxygen” under the mentorship of Allen Pistner, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry.
  • Ross Eggleston of Lancaster, Ohio, studied “Predator Defense and Reproductive Success in House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon)” under the mentorship of Dustin Reichard, Ph.D., assistant professor of zoology.
  • Mark Frawley of Toronto, Ohio, explored “Estimating Supraglacial Melt Lake Volume Using Remote-Sensing in Western Greenland” under the mentorship of Nathan Amador Rowley, Ph.D., associate professor of geology and geography.
  • Davis Graham of Canton, Ohio, studied the “Relationship Between Steroid Receptor Coactivators and Tumor Tissue Composition” under the mentorship of David Lonard, Ph.D., and Bert O’Malley, M.D., Ph.D., of Baylor College of Medicine’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology.
  • Sakshi Gupta of Navi Mumbai, India, and Kaito Iwasaki of Sendai, Japan, studied “Starspots on LO Pegasi, 2014-2020” under the mentorship of Robert Harmon, Ph.D., professor of physics and astronomy.
  • Holly Keating of Strongsville, Ohio, examined “Seasonal Song Variation in Carolina Wrens (Thryothorus ludovicianus)” under the mentorship of Dustin Reichard, Ph.D., assistant professor of zoology.
  • Chase Patton of Delaware, Ohio, studied “Measuring Household Urban and Suburban Sustainability Initiatives” under the mentorship of Ashley Allen, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of geography.
  • Hanh Phan of Vinh City, Nghe An, Vietnam, explored the “Artificial Intelligence of Modern Board Games” under the mentorship of Sean McCulloch, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and computer science.
  • Dave Shaibe of Palo Alto, California, studied the “Synchronization of Locally Coupled Josephson Junction Squid Arrays in an External Magnetic Field” under the mentorship of Brad Trees, Ph.D., professor of physics and astronomy.
  • Sierra Spears of Bowling Green, Ohio, examined “Oxygen’s Effect on Thermal Physiology in the Common Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)” under the mentorship of Eric Gangloff, Ph.D., assistant professor of zoology.
  • Princeton Vaughn of Bowie, Maryland, researched “How Morphological Mechanisms Affect the Performance of the Common Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis)” under the mentorship of Eric Gangloff, Ph.D., assistant professor of zoology.

Tuhela-Reuning encourages everyone who watches the Sept. 21 live symposium to get involved and learn something new.

“Be brave! Ask a question!” she said. “Our research students are eager to interact with you and answer your questions about their work.”

For more information about OWU’s Summer Science Research Program, visit owu.edu/ssrp. For information about majoring in the sciences at Ohio Wesleyan, visit owu.edu/academics.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at owu.edu.