The grants were available to undergraduates in all academic disciplines. Students apply and awards are given annually.  

“We are pleased to support the work of these undergraduate scholars, especially during the challenging times we are living through,” said Jane Greer, Ph.D., who directs the program.

Applicants were required to describe contingency plans for their projects in case COVID-19 disrupts campus operations.

Students gain many benefits by participating in meaningful undergraduate research experiences such as SEARCH projects, Greer said. Benefits include one-on-one interaction with a faculty mentor, practical experience using appropriate research methods, enhanced problem-solving and communication skills and opportunities to explore potential careers or graduate school opportunities. SEARCH Grant recipients and students who have participated in other undergraduate research experiences will showcase their work at the Symposium of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship on April 22, 2021.

Recipients of the 2020–2021 competitive grants and their faculty mentors are:

  • Austin Cartwright for “The Groupthink Theory’s Influence on Voting Patterns” (Debra Leiter, Political Science)
  • Ashley Cole for “TRIS-based Novel Catalytic Dendrimer: Preparation and its Application Toward Tandem Orthogonal Catalysis” (Shin Moteki, Chemistry)
  • Kara Costanzo for “In Silico Drug Docking to CFTR Protein Crystal Structure” (Ryan Mohan, Biology)
  • Amber Cunningham for “Development of Low-cost Breathalyzer for Noninvasive and Accurate Alcohol Testing” (Mohammad Rafiee, Chemistry)
  • Sahla Esam for “Flight Musculature in Dubia Cockroaches (Blaptica dubia)” (Rachael Allen, Biology)
  • Jennifer Fraley for “The Effect of Substitution on the Overall Twist of Longitudinally Twisted Acenes” (Kathleen Kilway, Chemistry)
  • Cece Miller for “Photogrammetry Inaccuracies” (Allison Graettinger, Earth and Environmental Sciences)
  • Zach Moore for “HDAC6 and FKBP39 as Members of BDBT, DBT and PER Pathway” (Jeffrey Price, Biology)
  • Timothy Nguyen for “Synthesis and Dynamic Studies of Isopropyl Longitudinally Substituted Acenes” (Kathleen Kilway, Chemistry)
  • Anthony Reddick and Connor Flathers for “Analysis of the Interactions between BDBT, DBT and an Endocytic Mechanism in the Circadian Clock” (Jeffrey Price, Biology)
  • Abby Strawn for “Exploring the Partisan Underpinnings of Conspiracy Theories” (Beth Vonnahme, Political Science)
  • Shreya Suri for “Investigating the Effect of the Urbanization on Precipitation” (Fengpeng Sun, Earth and Environmental Sciences)
  • Kyla Vazquez and Annika Smith for “Rlm1 Mutagenesis Screen” (Saul Honigberg, Biology)