PC Summer Fellows 2011

Kaitlyn O’Gorman, from Elgin, SC; Caitlin Basnight, from Columbia, SC; and biology professor Dr. Mike Rischbieter researched fossils in Wyoming and the Badlands of South Dakota. In addition, they had the opportunity to learn from experts in the field of archaeology.

Jordan Anderson, from Lancaster, SC, researced the multithreading of VP8, a high definition video format created by a company recently acquired by Google and is used by YouTube and Skype. “Multithreading entails designing a program to run different parts simultaneously,” according to Anderson. The computer major’s research and academic interests are geared towards gaining the widest education possible.  Anderson hopes to turn such an education to a career track to help support Christian missions, either through computer programming or financial support.

Drew Brandel, from Anderson, SC, studied correlations between reported self-esteem and academic records in the middle and high school students involved with PC’s CHAMPS program. Brandel hopes to study school psychology or school counseling in graduate school after graduating from PC. He enjoyed the experience and learning from psychology professor Dr. Brooke Spatta, the CHAMPS students, and the results of his research. He is also glad to be able to use the research to benefit the CHAMPS program by “empirically confirming the strengths of the program and possibly identifying areas that could improve.”

Caroline Burch, from Greenwood, SC, researched ways to find the best environmental and cost-efficient upgrades for houses. The math and physics double major plans to use her research after graduation by designing, building, decorating, or renovating houses or working in disaster relief. Burch says she enjoys seeing a project come to life and believes that her research with Dr. Chad Rodekohr will help her figure out which aspect of the housing industry she wants to pursue.

Kristin Rebecca Calandra, from Charleston, SC, researched parental attachment and self-perceived peer social competence in seventh through twelfth grade students. The psychology major and English and biology minor worked with students from the CHAMPS program, which serves unprivileged, at-risk students from Laurens County (SC) who show promising academic ability. After graduating from PC, Calandra plans to work as a psychiatrist specializing in youth.

Samantha Disharoon, from Blythewood, SC, considered the musical composition in philosopher Adam Smith’s “Theory of Moral Sentiments.” While Smith’s system is most often studied only through his “Wealth of Nations,” contrary to his intention, Disharoon focused on the implications on our current economic system since it was based so heavily on but a fraction of what Smith wished to be studied. Disharoon is majoring in philosophy and minoring in music, biology, and English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing.

Mary Ellis Glymph, from Clearwater, Florida, studied the historical development of the English language during the Early Modern English period. The English and French major and history minor examined great writers of that time, such as William Shakespeare, as well as their cultural influences, in order to determine why and how the English language exploded and changed so much during this era. After graduating from PC, Glymph plans to enter a doctoral program in English to study literature and linguistics. Her goal is to teach English at a small school like PC.

Jonathan Hammett, from Moore, SC, researched an infection known as toxoplasmosis, which is due to the parasite toxoplasma gondii, hosted by cats. The biology major chose to study the infection because of its lethal effect on an unborn fetus if a pregnant woman contracts it and on individuals who are immunodeficient, such as individuals with AIDS and those on immuno-suppressant drugs due to a transplant. Hammett’s research provided a relative population density of the parasite in the PC community and surrounding areas. After graduating from PC, Hammett plans to attend medical school and pursue a career in psychiatric medicine.

Buck Mosteller, from Woodruff, SC, researched new baseball regulations for aluminum bats in college baseball. The math major and pitcher on the Blue Hose baseball team looked to further his interest in statistics and mathematics and how they relate to real world situations. After graduating from PC, Mosteller plans to pursue a master’s in education and begin a teaching career.

Joanne Petz, from Greer, SC, researched toxoplasmosis in human beings. The biology major chose her summer research because of its medical relevance.  The parasite toxoplasma gondii is lethal to an unborn fetus when a pregnant female contracts it, and furthermore to any individual severely immuno-comprised, such as a transplant recipient on immuno-supressant drugs or an AIDS patient.  Petz’ research provided a relative population density of the parasite in the PC community and surrounding areas.  After graduating from PC, Petz plans to attend medical school.

Lindsay Rutledge, from Irmo, SC, studied the effects of compost on organic tomato plant health. The biology major particularly considered how the use of compost affects soil-nutrient composition and resistance to certain pathogens in tomato plants and linked her findings with sustainability at Presbyterian College. After graduating from PC, Rutledge plans to attend medical school.

Tripp Spradley, from Rock Hill, SC, researched representations of the U.S. South and Southerners in film and television. Spradley’s research allowed him to delve into his interest in the South and how others perceive it and how the film industry’s perception has changed over time. After graduating from PC, Spradley plans to pursue a master’s degree in either English or Southern Studies.

Amanda Sutker, from Irmo, SC, researched poetry, art, and nationalism in the work of Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali poet, novelist, musician, painter, and playwright. Sutker became interested in Tagore’s fusion of poetry and art after studying in India.

Tyler Todd, from Laurens, SC, researched the Confederate history in Laurens and how it shapes the city’s present. The political science and history major’s research topic was conceived during her History of the South class in which she read Tony Horwitz’s Confederates in the Attic. After graduating from PC, Todd plans to attend law school or graduate school for history.

James Wilson, from Camp Zama, Japan, is researching early gene identification in rana catesbiana, the North American bullfrog. Wilson induced an early metamorphic event in bull frogs and then determined which genes have been up-regulated during the event.  The genes also were annotated against a data base of similar genes including human DNA.  After graduating from PC, the biology major plans to attend the MUSC dental school to become a dentist in the state of South Carolina.

Ethan Woodard, from Columbia, SC, researched ways to find the best environmental and cost-efficient upgrades for houses. Woodard, who is working toward a physics and engineering dual-degree, believes that energy efficiency and energy conservation are two important issues that have significant effects on our global environment and economy. He chose the research because he felt it was important to create a resource that the public can use to save energy and money. After graduating from PC, Woodard plans to study electrical engineering.