Supporting research, scholarship and creative activity

Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity: Statesboro Campus


View Undergraduate Research & Creative Activity at the Armstrong Campus

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.

Apply for travel funding by visiting the funding tab above.  Please apply at least 45 days in advance of your travel.

Why do Research/Creative Activity?

* 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
* 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

What do Undergraduate Scholars do?

Check out these students that were funded in FY17!

David Moore (center in green shirt)

David Moore at 2017 IEEE Southeast Conference 

David Moore presented at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers South East Conference in Charlotte, NC in March of 2017. David enjoyed his experience at IEEE immensely; this was his first professional conference. He appreciated the time he spent with his professors and other professionals in a more relaxed and social environment. David presented with a fellow student, Collin Daly, on the first day of this conference. His favorite session to attend during the conference was given by Texas Instruments, Inc; the subject matter was “Internet of Things.” The presenters handed out TY launchpads for the audience to explore and learn to use during the presentation. David hopes to give more presentations in the future to a larger audience.

Lalar Hannas

Lalar Hannans at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research

In April, 2017 Lalar Hannas attended the national Conference on Undergraduate Research that was held in Memphis Tennessee. The research that she presented was titled “Effective Learning Styles and Perceptions of Success in Millennials.” Lalar studied the body of research that states millennials learn differently than baby boomers. She took this information and created a survey to measure preferred learning strategies. Lalar found that the majority of millennials are kinesthetic learners. At the conference, Lalar was excited to see how many students and professors were interested in her research. Traveling to this conference to present her research has inspired Lalar to continue on with her research topic and attempt to explore new variables!


Ashley Whittemore (far right) and Emily Arnold

Ashley Whittemore and Emily Arnold at the Theodore Clevenger Undergraduate Honors Conference (UHC)

The Southern States Communication Association (SSCA) holds their annual Theodore Clevenger Undergraduate Honors Conference (UHC) every April. This past year Ashley and Emily had the pleasure of attending in Greenville, SC. Emily presented a paper on love portrayed in romantic movies. Emily loved that atmosphere of the conference because the whole point of the conference is to help students become better presenters, researchers, and writes in the field of communication studies. Ashley presented a rhetorical analysis of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign tweets – coinciding with the SSCA’s theme for the 2017 conference. Ashley and Emily both had a great time exploring Greenville and viewing other presentations. They both really enjoyed presenting their research to a room full of people that also enjoyed the discipline and listening to their various research topics. Both women agree that this past year in Greenville was one they will always cherish! 

Rebecca-Rose Hill (far right)

Rebecca-Rose Hill at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research

In April 2017, Rebecca-Rose Hill traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to present at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. While in Memphis, Rebecca-Rose had an awesome time exploring the city. She also loved getting a tour of the University of Memphis, where the conference was hosted. Rebecca-Rose said this opened up the potential of attending graduate school for her at UM. Rebecca-Rose presented alongside a group of students and said this opportunity was so important because they all want to publish research in the future. The Undergraduate Research fund made this trip possible for Rebecca-Rose and she is thrilled she was able to present at her first professional conference!

Cody Stephan

Cody Stephan at the 253rd American Chemical Society National Meeting 

Cody Stephan got the chance of a lifetime to present at the 253rd ACS National Meeting in San Francisco in April 2017. Cody loved being surrounded by his fellow peers and professionals because they all shared the same interests. Cody presented data on the spectroscopic data of three different noble gas proton bound complexes. This data was collected by using computational quantum mechanical methods and provides insight in the possibility of the molecules detection in the interstellar medium or in a lab setting. Cody really enjoy exploring the city of San Francisco and attending the many conference events. While enjoyed all the chemistry sessions, he also really appreciated all of the sessions about graduate school and all the various paths he could take in the chemical field. Cody is so grateful that he got to attend this information packed conference! 

Second from the left, Tony Hudson and Carolynn Nixon

Tony Hudson and Carolynn Nixon at the 58th Annual International Studies Association Convention 

Tony Hudson and Carolynn Nixon attended the 58th Annual International Studies Association Convention in Baltimore, Maryland thanks to funding for undergraduate research. Carolynn presented her undergraduate thesis titled “Helping Ourselves First: Conflict Management Strategies of Regional IOs.” She was on a panel with three professors and a graduate student. Although she was nervous, she did a wonderful job and is happy she got the chance to pursue this wonderful opportunity. Tony Hudson also presented his research on domestic terrorism in the United States. He appreciated that he received such great feedback from the panel he presented on and from other scholars at the conference.  Overall, this was a wonderful learning experience for both Georgia Southern students that they will both always remember!

Second from the left, Chelsea Rodriguez

Chelsea Rodriguez at the National Collegiate Research Conference

Chelsea Rodriguez got the opportunity to travel to Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the National Collegiate Research Conference in January 2017.  Chelsea spoke on a panel about ethics in research, specifically, ethical issues raised when people are involved as subjects in a study. She also went to several incredible key note sessions and panels that were incredibly informational. She also got the chance to visit Harvard Medical School and listen to Dr. Li’s research on maximal running shoes. On the final day of the conference, Chelsea presented her research in a poster session. Chelsea loved getting to explore the  city and visiting “Little Italy” in Boston.

Maggie Howard

Maggie Howard at the Association of Southeastern Biologists

This past March Maggie Howard had the opportunity to attend the Association of Southeastern Biologists conference in Montgomery, Alabama. Maggie was able to attend many of the oral sessions and poster sessions at this conference. Each session included so many different areas of biology Maggie felt that she gained a wealth of knowledge after attending. Maggie was also able to present her own research on the Brown Widow Spider. Maggie loved getting to present and receiving feedback from professionals and scholars all over the country. She knows that this feedback is valuable as she continues to work on her undergraduate thesis!

Previous Award Recipient Testimonials


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

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.




Helen Barrett - Nursing

Helen Barrett – Nursing

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

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.

To'Meisha Edwards

To’Meisha Edwards, Psychology

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.



Stephanie Cheng

During 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.

How do I get a Research Position?

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

conference 3

COUR Research Symposium

Creating an engaging poster (traditional science)
PosterTemplate (non-discipline specific)
Research Support Henderson Library


The Office of Research is offering a limited number of travel grants, up to $1,500 each, for undergraduate students presenting original research at regional, national, and international conferences.  Group travel inquiries should be submitted to

Award recipients are required to provide a summary of their experience together with their abstract no later than one month after attending the conference.  This material may be featured on the research website and/or printed materials.

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.


Apply for funding here.


Application Deadlines:

Month of Travel: Latest Submission Date:
September July 15
October August 15
November September 15
December October 15
January November 15
February December 15
March January 15
April February 15
May March 15
June – August April 15

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!




The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) has selected Kennesaw State University to host the 2019 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). This esteemed event brings together more than 3,000 students and their faculty mentors for a three day conference. NCUR provides students with the opportunity to present their scholarly research in a professional setting and interact with their peers, in addition to meeting with graduate school and corporate recruiters. The event will take place in Kennesaw, GA, from April 11-13, 2019.



Last updated: 9/27/2018

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