Supporting research, scholarship and creative activity

Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity


Deadline: This funding opportunity been closed. The opportunity will re-open August 2017. Please apply by May 15 for all summer conferences.

Georgia Southern University is an emerging research institution that not only depends on the expertise of the faculty researchers but also the dynamic ideas and creativity of its students.  Undergraduate students engage in experiential learning across the Institution, assisting faculty in research efforts.  Students have opportunities to take advantage of individual research projects in their area of interest, execute research projects as part of their class curriculum, or do support research efforts of faculty members.  Being involved helps students gain both technical and non-technical skills such as lab techniques, how to accomplish worthy and accurate data analysis and interpretation, team building skills, time management and communication skills. There are countless opportunities in each college and department to be involved in the innovative research happening at Georgia Southern University.

Attend the Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference!

Go to the website for more information.


For more information, contact:

Lisa Bridges
Georgia Southern University



* Apply what you have learned in the classroom

* Provides insight into your chosen field of study

* Hands-on experience is much better than theoretical one

* Learn new technical and non-technical skills

* Develop a one-on-one mentoring relationship with a professor

* Find out what you like, not like

* Learn about what a professional in your area of interest does

* Get contacts and references, improve your CV

* Work in a team

* Learn how to present your data

* Learn better problem-solving skills

* Learn better time-management



* Are academically motivated in ANY discipline

* Are interested in taking an active approach to your education

* Want to develop professional, technical and non-technical skills

* Are curious about original research/creative activities on campus


Mikaela Shupp

Mikaela Shupp, Human Ecology

In the 1960’s, Walter Mischel performed a series of delayed gratification studies by offering a child the choice to be given one marshmallow immediately or to be given two marshmallows if the child waited until the experimenter returned. With the help of Dr. Maurer and Dr. Kropp, I am hoping to recreate this experiment with the children at the child development center on campus. However, we are using Wrigley, an animal assisted therapy (AAT) dog, to model good behavior for the experimental group. The utilization of a model, specifically a therapy dog, has never been attempted in relation to delayed gratification studies. We are hoping to make an impact on AAT and delayed gratification research.

Michael Melvin, Chemistry

Michael Melvin, Chemistry

Gold nanorods are an attractive material for medicinally driven applications owing to their interesting optical properties, long-term stability, and non-cytotoxicity.  My current work centers around the conjugation of derivatized porphyrins to the gold nanorod surface resulting in a novel cancer fighting composite.  Under irradiation at the appropriate wavelength these composites significantly heat up resulting in death of temperature labile cancer cells.  In parallel I am working on improving the efficiency of our synthetic approach for the preparation of gold nanorods.



Briana Miller, Biology, COUR Scholar 2013

Briana Miller, Biology, COUR Scholar 2013

Briana Miller, senior biology major, presented her research findings at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas in January 2014.  This experience was funded by the COSM COUR Fall 2013 Travel Awards program.  The research she completed was done in Juneau, Alaska through the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. This is a ten week summer internship funded by the National Science Foundation. Her project allowed her to study the concentrations of ecdysteroids and vitllogenins in the three sexual stages of the spot prawn (Pandalus platyceros) under the direction of faculty mentor Dr. Sophie George.


Kyle Mahoney_2

Kyle Mahoney, Human Ecology

I am analyzing the responses from physics and child and family development students to a pre/post-test questionnaire regarding the extent to which they committed to personal learning commitments and how those commitments affected their overall learning experiences. I am analyzing these responses qualitatively using open and axial coding in an attempt to find a teaching method that would best benefit the students by helping them identify which areas they need to address academically.


Vanessa Arendt, Chemistry, COUR Travel Scholar

Vanessa Arendt, Chemistry, COUR Travel Scholar

My research consists of the carbon analysis of the soil samples in which switchgrass seeds were planted with and without pine trees.  The analysis consisted of a Total Organic Carbon Solid Sample Module at Georgia Southern University in addition to an isotopic analysis that preformed on the Thermo Flash elemental analyzer coupled to a ThermoFisher Delta V plus isotope ratio mass spectrometer at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Savannah.  With the help of COSM COUR funds, I presented this work at the 46th Annual Southeastern Undergraduate Regional Conference (SURC) at Knoxville, TN in January of 2014.

Alexius Coleman, Child & Family Development

Alexius Coleman, Child & Family Development


Helen Barrett - Nursing

Helen Barrett – Nursing

My name is Alexius. I am a senior Child and Family Development major. This summer, I worked along with Dr. Hall in collecting data at the local summer camp, Camp Adventure. The purpose of the research was to see if children’s perceptions of program staff changed over time and if their perceptions were related to program quality. Our findings were that the younger (Pre-K) children had more positive perceptions of the program, whereas the older children (4th and 5th) were more average. This implies that the staff should try harder to connect and build relationships with the older children, whom may have attended previous summers.



I, Helen Barrett, am conducting analysis on qualitative data using a Grounded Theory approach. The 2012-2013 FYE: Animal Assisted Therapy class was required to write blog posts about their service-learning experiences with either therapy dogs and their handlers or a therapeutic horseback riding program. Through analysis of the students’ individual and collective experiences, I am finding three possible truths: 1) Service-learning provided the students with the knowledge to identify the influences of animal-assisted therapy on human rehabilitation, 2) Blog post writing forced students to recall the details of what they had learned through their experiences outside the classroom, and 3) Animals themselves can be utilized as therapy mechanisms.

Lillian Morgado

Lillian Morgado, Foreign Languages

Dr. Amarie and I are analyzing the Jacques Roubaud’s collection of unconventional sonnets. In our paper ​​we try to find an underlying structure to how the book is arranged. I look at it from the game and mathematical view, and Dr. Amarie looks at it from a more narrative and literary view. I hope to present the paper at the Council on Undergraduate Research Conference this summer.







Alyssa Hutcheson

Alyssa Hutcheson, Psychology

To'Meisha Edwards

To’Meisha Edwards, Psychology

The Belmont Report was created to ensure ethical conduct while conducting research, and at universities, institutional review boards (IRBs) evaluate the ethics of proposed studies. Based on prior research on ethics and gender, we would expect proposals by female researchers to be rated as more ethical than those by male researchers. In the present study, participants reviewed one of four fabricated IRB proposals that had either a female or male researcher and either contained references or no references within the literature review (as an indication of thorough research for the proposal). After reading the proposal, participants rated several aspects of their perceived ethics of the study and indicated whether or not they would approve the study. We predicted that the proposal with references and a female researcher would be perceived as the most ethical. Indeed, participants were more likely to view projects as ethical when written by female researchers.  When references were used, the male-female effect was eliminated. Our results indicate that IRB proposals should be blind-reviewed to remove bias. In addition, the use of references likely indicates a well-researched proposal and abolishes the effect of researcher gender.



Julie Odom Dixon

Julie Odom-Dixon, Psychology

Dr. Nicholas Holtzman and Julie Odom-Dixon have teamed up to study the relationship between personality and the way people present themselves. More specifically, the research team aims to answer a simple question: Compared to someone with a less deviant personality, will a person with a more deviant personality be more inclined to “dress to impress”?





Glorhea Sherman, Psychology

Glorhea Sherman, Psychology

I am Glorhea Sherman, undergraduate Psychology major. I am enrolled in Research Experience under Dr. Amy Hackney. Currently, I am working with two students in the doctoral program here at Georgia Southern University under Dr. Hackney. Through working with them, I have discovered a new interest in understanding perceptions of marital rape in jury decision making.  My research will include factors that influence these jury perspectives such as age, gender, social class, religion, culture, experience and other potential factors. I intend to begin by observing and getting a general idea of attitudes toward marital rape from my peers and then my next step is to create the survey. My goal is to gain an understanding of how marital rape cases would generally be ruled in court and why.



Natasha Laballe, Psychology

Natasha Laballe, Psychology

Dr. Nielsen and I are currently in the process of devising the methodology for a research project examining the benefits of religious fundamentalism. The research will allow for us to study religious fundamentalism as it relates to participants’ doubt, optimism, locus of control, and other valuable components of their personal experience. We are intending to use experimental conditions to manipulate the fundamentalist mindset of participants so as to better establish causation rather than merely correlation. Our current research will hopefully contribute to a better understanding of religious fundamentalism, which is a subject that has become particularly relevant in our times.

Testimonial-Stephanie-Cheng-Univ-250x166During the summer of 2014 I was granted the opportunity to take part in the National Science Foundation Undergraduate Research in Green Engineered Transportation Technologies (NSF REU URGENTT) at the Georgia Southern University Campus under Dr. Valentin Soloiu. For those who know Dr. Soloiu, it is no surprise that the experience exceeded all my expectations.

Over the course of about two months, I was introduced to an abundance of technologies and methodologies that have opened my eyes to the world of automotive engineering. As a student whose career path is still open to many possibilities, gaining experience in a multidisciplinary, professional engineering environment has been one of my favorite aspects of the program. The hands-on experience provided to both undergraduate and master’s students at GS is a rarity and something I have come to truly appreciate. The experience I have gained from working with all the students and faculty involved in the program has reawakened my desire to learn as much as I can about the world around me.

I must also mention the great group of people I met over the course of the program. I can honestly say I have never met such an amazing group of students and I look forward to maintaining the friendships I have developed with them. Finding professors, who are as dedicated to their students as Dr. Soloiu is, will be a difficult task. I hope that the future students who have the opportunity to engage in this program are able to appreciate the great opportunity that the NSF REU URGENTT program has to offer at Georgia Southern.

A big ‘Thank You’ to all the people who made this wonderful experience possible. I look forward to reuniting with you in the future.

Stephanie Cheng
University of Miami





Start by answering:
* What are you interested in studying?
* What areas, programs or departments might be related to your interests?
* What are your goals?
* Why are you interested in getting involved in research?

Do your homework:
* Read up on faculty and learn about their research
* Talk to undergraduates already working with the faculty member
* Research available opportunities
* Make an appointment to talk to faculty

Still not sure what to do – contact us!
Lisa Bridges

conference 3

COUR Research Symposium



Creating an engaging poster (traditional science)

PosterTemplate (non-discipline specific)

Research Support Henderson Library


Taylor Vail, Abel Sualevai and Andrew Waters, award winning presentation and accompanying paper, Civil Engineering & Construction Management majors, GA Undergrad Research Conference, Columbus State University 1/25/14

Take any opportunity to showcase your research:
Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference 2015
Coming Soon, Georgia Southern University

Computer Science student Bradford Bazemore won 2nd place and a $500 check in the Student Paper Competition at the IEEE Southeastcon 2014 held in Lexington KY on March 13-16. Brad's paper was entitled a "Low Power Cluster Development System". The project was funded through a student research grant from the College of Engineering and Information Technology.

Computer Science student Bradford Bazemore won 2nd place and a $500 check in the Student Paper Competition at the IEEE Southeastcon 2014 held in Lexington KY on March 13-16. Brad’s paper was entitled a “Low Power Cluster Development System”. The project was funded through a student research grant from the College of Engineering and Information Technology.



GURC - winning paper/presentations

GURC – winning paper/presentations

COUR Research Symposium

COUR Research Symposium





The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development is offering a limited number of travel grants, up to $2,000 each, for undergraduate students presenting original research at a regional, national, and international conferences.

Award recipients are required to provide a summary of their experience together with the winning abstract no later than one month after attending the conference.  This material may be made public in the new undergraduate research journal.


Eligibility Criteria:

  • Students must be an undergraduate and enrolled continuously before and during the time of award and travel; if the student is a senior, travel must be completed within three months of graduation.
  • GPA of 3.0 or better
  • The primary research mentor must be a GA Southern faculty member


Application material (see form below):

  • Electronic application form, including abstract, explanation of benefit and budget
  • Letter of support for cost-sharing, if applicable
  • Letter of support from faculty advisor
  • Copy of unofficial transcript



The Undergraduate Research Council will choose the awardees based on the merit of research and benefit to the student.




All reimbursement material, receipts etc. need to be received no later than 2 weeks after return.



Deadline: This funding opportunity is closed.  The opportunity will re-open August 2017.



This space is devoted to your success stories, so tell us about your research and presentations at conferences.

Two undergraduate students in Human Ecology presented their research at the SoTL Commons Conference in Savannah. Shannon Rhodes (Honors Chemistry Major) presented a poster as part of a project she did collaboratively with Dr. Trent Maurer (School of Human Ecology), Dr. Diana Sturges (Health & Kinesiology) and Dr. Shainaz Landge (Chemistry).

Shannon Rhodes presenting her poster.

Shannon Rhodes presenting her poster.

Helen Barrett (Honors Nursing Major) delivered a first-author paper as part of a project she did with Dr. Trent Maurer and Dr. Jerri Kropp (School of Human Ecology). This conference was one of the two major international conferences on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; it is very rare for undergraduates to present work there. Helen was the first to present a first-author paper.

Helen Barrett presenting her research.

Helen Barrett presenting her research.

As an outcome of their contributions, the two students gained the following publications:

Barrett, H., Maurer, T. W., & Kropp, J. (2014). Blogging about service-learning experiences. Paper presented at the 2014 SoTL Commons: A Conference for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Savannah, GA.

Landge, S., Sturges, D., Maurer, T., & Rhodes, S. (2014). Assessing an elaborate visual analogy in an undergraduate chemistry course. Paper presented at the 2014 SoTL Commons: A Conference for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Savannah, GA.

Do you have a recent PUBLICATION?

Have you PRESENTED your research at a conference recently?

Have you received an AWARD recently?

Or would you just like to SHARE your research experience with others?

We want to HEAR FROM YOU!

Please send your information to
Lisa Bridges


Last updated: 4/10/2017

GS Research • P.O. Box 8140, Statesboro, GA 30458 • (912) 478-8641 •