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06-18-2013

VFIC Grants Fund Student Science Research

The Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) has awarded two Virginia Wesleyan students with a Summer Undergraduate Science Research Fellowship grant. Junior chemistry major Alison Washington was awarded $2,500 to support her project “Kinetics of Release of Dyes and Pigments in Thermally Cured Poly(allylamine)/Poly(acrylic acid hydrochloride) Thin Films.” Under the supervision of Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Kevin Kittredge, Washington will prepare films and study the rates of release of a drug mimic, methylene blue, at physiological temperatures. She and Kittredge plan to present the work next spring at the Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (SERMACS). Senior biology major Andrea Slurff received $2,000 to support her research “Diversity of Ascoglossa (Mollusca: Gastropoda: Opisthobranchia: Ascoglossa) from the Florida Keys,” focusing on the biology, ecology, and biogeography of opisthobranch mollusks (sea slugs). Under the guidance of Batten Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Deirdre Gonsalves-Jackson, Slurff will spend 10 days at the Keys Marine Lab in Long Key, Florida collecting specimens, identifying species and documenting their developmental patterns. She will also be dissecting and preparing specimens for observation using VWC’s scanning electron microscope. Slurff plans to present her results at the April 2014 Association of Southeastern Biologists (ASB) meeting in Spartanburg, South Carolina, as well as at the Virginia Academy of Sciences (VAS) meeting at James Madison University next spring. These grants were awarded in conjunction with Virginia Wesleyan's Undergraduate Research Program, which supports student research in all disciplines, including funding for research presentations at regional, national, and international conferences. The program also sponsors an annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in April that showcases VWC students' research. For more information, contact Director of Undergraduate Research Sara Sewell at ssewell@vwc.edu.

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