Wheaton logo 2020 color version also for mobile

Summer Research Program Awardees

Wheaton College’s 2020 Poster Session Awardees

In the fall, Undergraduate Research Fellows and Wheaton students who’ve conducted research at other institutions come together to showcase their research in our annual Poster Session.

The top research presentations and posters, as voted on by the Poster Session judges, are included below.

1st Place - Joshua Dunbar

Joshua Dunbar

The main objective of my research project was to synthesize and characterize the photophysics of one known chromium complex and two new chromium complexes.

Current career goals: I intend to pursue graduate chemistry studies this fall. Following that, I hope to work at a national laboratory in the area of nuclear fuel cycle technology.

Something I learned from conducting research this summer: I discovered my love for making new compounds and growing pure crystals of bright colors through my summer research experience.

Faculty Mentor - Dr. Benjamin Lovaasen, Chemistry

2nd Place - Izzy McNally

Izzy McNally

Current career goals: To be a part research and development within the food industry

Something I learned from conducting research this summer: I had a strong aversion to research until I was forced to take the course as it was a major requirement. Two years later and I’m still conducting the research! Hard work and perseverance pays off.

Faculty Mentor - Dr Nadine Rorem, Biology

3rd Place - Faith Gilbert

Faith Gilbert

The main objective of my research project was to assess the level of agreement between two heart rate variability analysis softwares, and determine the best procedure for collecting and analyzing heart rate variability data for the future.

Current career goals: I am hoping to pursue a career in neuroscience research

Something I learned from conducting research this summer: This summer, I learned that good research does not always mean new discoveries or interesting results. More often than not, good research means uncovering problems and learning how to think critically about methodology, so as to produce more accurate and valid results.

Faculty Mentor - Dr. Nate Thom, Biology

Honorable Mention - David Pineda Reyes

David Pineda Reyes

The main objective of my research project was to make an existing multi-channel security protocol (REMICSS) more flexible and adaptable to different kinds of attacks. That is, to update it so that trade-offs between data Confidentiality, Availability, and Integrity can be made on request.

Something I learned from conducting research this summer was how different works can come together to form new things. REMICSS was one example of that, since it combined techniques from Multipath networking and Secret Sharing to make something new.

Faculty Mentor - Dr. Devin Pohly, Computer Science

Honorable Mention - Luke Gentry

Luke Gentry

My research study hypothesis: Over the course of six weeks, tomato and bell pepper (Capsicum annuum) seedlings transplanted into soil inoculated with Bacillus spp. and grown in the environmental conditions of Northern Illinois, will experience an overall increase in plant growth and fruit production, when compared to transplants placed in soil absent of Bacillus spp. 

Current career goals: I'd like to do research of some kind, preferably with microbiology.

Something interesting about me: In addition to the experiment, Dr. Rorem and I also constructed the garden we conducted research in. So aside from what I learned from experiment, I can now start and maintain my own garden, which is something I could not say before. Additionally, I am on the wrestling team here at Wheaton.

Faculty Mentor - Dr. Nadine Rorem, Biology

Honorable Mention - Blake Andrews

Blake Andrews

Current career goals: Chemical Industry or National Lab

The main objective of my research project was to develop new synthesis methods for cyclic phosphonamides.

Something I learned from conducting research this summer: I learned that graduate school in Chemistry is something I want to seriously pursue. I was able to apply my chemistry in a way that goes beyond solving simple chemistry homework problems and planned lab experiments. I enjoyed the work of solving a problem that had never been solved before or trying to improve previously done methods in ways that haven’t been done before. I also enjoyed the collaborative aspect of brainstorming and problem solving in a group. Overall, it was an enlightening experience that solidified my previously known ambitions of wanting to pursue chemistry as a career.

Faculty Mentor - Dr. Allison Dick, Chemistry

Honorable Mention - John Colson

John Colson

The project’s main objective was to transcribe John Ogilby’s translation of the Iliad into a digitally readable form in order to compare it with other contemporaneous translations and to document any literarily important divergences.

I am currently pre-law and plan to work as a real estate and natural resources attorney.

Something interesting about me: I am an avid hunter, hiker, skier, photographer, and collector of first edition books.

Faculty Mentor - Dr. Richard Gibson, English