present summer projects
LAKELAND, Fla. (Aug. 3, 2004) - Florida Southern College's 2004 Reuschling Scholars presented highlights of their summer research at a poster session held on campus July 15. The students were funded in part by a grant from the John A. Leighty Family Fund through the Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland to support undergraduate research and mentoring in science and technology.
The students formed three research groups, in chemistry, computer science and applied mathematics, and athletic training. Following is a brief description of their projects.
Sophomores Bradley West and Anastasia Vedenko worked with chemistry professor, Dr. Carmen Gauthier, to synthesized large supramolecular compounds using a process called crystal engineering. Crystal engineering involves the design and construction of large compound arrays by carefully controlling the geometry of basic chemical building blocks. These compounds are of great interest because of their potential applications in areas as diverse as pharmaceuticals, catalysis, magnetism, and optics. "We created two supramolecular compounds which in the future could be used as a way of storing toxic or flammable chemicals, or even better, a way to filter the poisonous gases that are emitted from the very cars we drive," said West, a chemistry major and son of Paul and Vicki West of Mulberry, Fla. Vedenko, a biology major, is the daughter of Valeriy and Oleksandra Vedenko of North Fort Myers, Fla. The results of their research will be presented next year at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Diego. This work is a continuation of research that was started at FSC in the summer of 2002.
Dr. Gwendolyn Walton, mathematics professor, oversaw Desirae Chamblin, Jeremy Martin and Daniel Sean Simms as they studied current research in the application of Markov chain usage models to support statistical testing of software. They applied published methods to model and test a commercial e-mail system. Then, building from the published research and their testing experience, the students developed the first increment of prototype software tools to support usage model analyses and test case generation, elaborated and demonstrated a procedure for developing multi-level Markov chain usage models, and began investigations of Markov chain convergence issues of potential importance to software testers. Chamblin, a senior computer science major, is the daughter of Delores Chamblin of Lakeland, Fla. Martin, a senior psychology major, is the son of Jerry and Barbara Martin of Lakeland, Fla. Daniel Sean Simms is a senior mathematics major and son of Elaine Simms of Pittsburgh, Pa.
Athletic training majors Amanda Wetherbee and Joni Roberson worked with J. Mick Lynch, M.D., athletic training professor, using electromyography (EMG) to study the electrical activity of the musculature of the lower leg while balancing on an unstable surface. The students used a balance box patented by Lynch to provide an unstable surface in a safe manner. Fifteen subjects were tested in four different stance states to determine which generated more muscle electrical activity. "Knowing how much the muscles work for different stances helps us to know where to begin certain rehabs," said Wetherbee, a senior and daughter of Robert and Dianna Wetherbee of Winter Haven, Fla. Joni Roberson, a junior, is the daughter of James and Julie Roberson of Lakeland, Fla.
About the Reuschling Scholars
Each year a number of outstanding students are named Reuschling Scholars in honor of past president Dr. Thomas L. Reuschling and his wife Dotty. Working closely with faculty mentors, Reuschling Scholars pursue scholarly and creative activities in the arts, humanities, social or natural sciences. The Reuschling Scholars Program evolved this year from a program begun in 2001 when Florida Southern College received a generous grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Religious, Charitable, and Educational Fund to create a summer student/faculty research experience. The proposal requested funding for a program that would assist students to "create
linkages between theory and application, extend investigative and interpretive skills, increase skill at communicating complex ideas, provide competitive portfolios for graduate school, and foster empathetic learning relationships with faculty."
About Florida Southern College
Founded in 1885, Florida Southern College is a private, comprehensive United Methodist college with a liberal arts core. The college maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 38 undergraduate majors and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 14:1 student/faculty ratio, provides strong student/faculty mentorship programs, boasts 24 NCAA Division II national championships, and is ranked by U. S. News and World Report as one of the top ten Southern Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelors. Located on scenic Lake Hollingsworth, Florida Southern is the home of the world's largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.