Summer Scholars 2018

Research Continues for Largest Field of Summer Scholars in GWU History


The Gardner-Webb University Undergraduate Research Scholars program is funding a total of 13 students during the summer 2018 terms, which represents the greatest number of scholars in the program’s history. As part of their research projects, scholars spend five weeks on campus working on his/her topic for 40 hours a week. At the same time, students are mentored by a dedicated faculty member providing information and guidance to ensure a successful research experience for the scholar. The program is directed by Dr. June Hobbs, who oversees GWU Undergraduate Research and serves as a professor of English for the Department of English Language and Literature. Students taking part in Summer Term II research include:

Damian Hutchins will conduct a literature review of scholarship on Human Growth Hormone. His project’s goal will be to provide many examples of its importance in the human body to corroborate the theory that HGH hormone replacement is essential for adults who do not produce it and may possibly be used in future treatments on diseases that have yet to be cured. Hutchins is a senior biology major with a concentration in biomedical sciences from Cherryville, N.C. His mentor is Dr. Meredith Rowe.

Savannah Hollifield will direct exercise laboratories and collect data to assist in completing a normative fitness database for the ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, Eleventh Edition (GETP11). This first-of-its-kind project is part of a nationwide effort to establish normative data for the American College of Sports Medicine, the national gold standard organization for sports medicine professionals. Hollifield is a senior exercise science major from Forest City, N.C. Her mentor is Dr. Jeff Hartman.

Jacob Jackson plans to further the vermicomposting initiative at Gardner-Webb by using past research data, in conjunction with current research, to create a new vegetable waste disposal process at the University. A key objective this summer will be to obtain a thorough three-dimensional temperature profile within the vermibed. Jackson is a senior biology major from Tryon, N.C. His mentor is Dr. David Judge.

McKenzi Sexton will study insect pollinators to 1) determine the local insect assemblage responsible for pollinating campus plants and 2) observe the effect the absence of insect pollinators has on the biological fitness of these plants. Sexton is a senior biology major from Hickory, N.C. Her mentor is Dr. Joseph Oyugi.

With a vision to offer increasing opportunities for Gardner-Webb’s undergraduate students, Undergraduate Research Director Dr. June Hobbs hopes to facilitate the program’s continued expansion. “Without question,” she shared, “these projects are a very important way we can add value to the overall educational experience for our students.”

For more information on the Undergraduate Research Program at Gardner-Webb, email Dr. June Hobbs.