University Community | Research and Impact

Student Enhancement Awards provide $119,537 in funding to 21 students

The Ohio University Student Enhancement Awards program has provided 21 students with a total of $119,537 in funding for their original research, scholarship and creative work this spring.

The Student Enhancement Awards are funded by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and administered by the Council for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity, which is appointed by Faculty Senate.

The program received 44 proposals with a total funding request of $239,990. Students may request up to $6,000 per proposal.

For more information about the program, visit

The 2021 recipients are:

Kyle Balzer (graduate student, History), “Reviving the West: James R. Schlesinger and the Main,” $6,000; Mentor: Ingo Trauschweiser

Ryan Brown (graduate student, Biological Sciences), “Assessing the Impacts of Water Quality on Recruitment of Eastern Hellbenders (Cryptobranchus a. alleganiensis),” $5,993; Mentor: Viorel Popescu

Cameron Dunbar (graduate student, History), “Sowing the Seeds of Distrust: Britain, the European economic community and the rise of Euroscepticism, 1970-1979,” $6,000; Mentor: John Brobst 

Tyler Goerge (graduate student, Biological Sciences), “Spatial Learning in a Warming World: The thermal sensitivity of cognition in tree lizards, Urosaurus ornatus,” $6,000; Mentor: Don Miles

Nicole Hess (undergraduate student, Honors Tutorial College, Biological Sciences), “Genetic Characterization of Protein Complex Involved in Hearing Loss in Mice,” $6,000; Mentor: Soichi Tanda

Andrew Howard (graduate student, History), “Fixing the ‘Happy Valley’: The era of British Preponderance in Kashmir, 1884-1905,” $6,000; Mentor: John Brobst

Nick Jackson (graduate student, Film), “Heel,” $5,986; Mentor: Lindsey Martin 

Dasmeet Kaur (graduate student, Environmental and Plant Biology), “Functional Roles for Arabinogalactan-proteins in Plant Reproduction,” $6,000; Mentor: Allan Showalter

Sabin Khadgi (graduate student, Biomedical Sciences), “Generation of Novel KIF26B-C Degradation Based on Reporter Cell Assays for Studying Non-Canonical WNT Pathway Activity in Urothelial Carcinoma,” $6,000; Mentor: Karen Coschigano

Jackson Krejsa (undergraduate student, Biological Sciences), “The Effects of Weight Cycling on the Intestinal Microbiome,” $6,000; Mentor: Ed List

DJ Morgan (graduate student, Biomedical Sciences), “Back to the Sea: Evolutionary convergence and constraint in the vasculature, brain and nasal cavity in extinct secondarily aquatic sauropsids, $5,874; Mentor: Lawrence Witmer

Avery Plummer (undergraduate student, Honors Tutorial College, Art History), “Re-imagining On Our Backs,” $5,241; Mentor: Avery Klein

Hoda Rahmani (graduate student, Industrial Systems and Engineering), “Gender Equity and Employee Turnover among Aging Female Faculty in STEM,” $2,319; Mentor: Gary Weckman

Mahima Sanyal (graduate student, Biological Sciences and Molecular and Cellular Biology Program), “Analysis of Differences in Mutational Patterns of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Different Environmental Settings,” $6,000; Mentor: Tomohiko Sugiyama

Courtney Silver-Peavy (graduate student, Biological Sciences), “Bioaccumulation of Imidacloprid in Hemlock Leaf Litter in the Hocking Hills and its Effects on Wood Frog Larvae,” $5,930; Mentor: Viorel Popescu

Abhijit Sukul, (graduate student, Chemistry and Biochemistry), “Examining the Role of Small RNA as a Regulator of Primary to Secondary Wall Transition,” $6,000; Mentor: Michael Held

Amid Vahedi (graduate student, Biomolecular and Chemical Engineering), “Studying the Interactions of Red Blood Cells with Monocyte-driven Macrophages,” $5,452; Mentor: Doug Goetz

Emily Watts (graduate student, Biological Sciences), “Range Limit Evolution in the Cumberland Plateau Salamander,” $5,700; Mentor: Shawn Kuchta

Megan Westervelt (graduate student, Media Arts and Studies), “Convergence of Technology, Communication & Culture: Digital storytelling for indigenous preservation and environmental conservation,” $5,860; Mentor: Saumya Pant

Shiyu Yuan (graduate student, Biological Sciences and Molecular and Cellular Biology Program), “Investigate the Role of Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP-2) in Osteoblastic Bone Metastasis Induced by Canine Prostate Cancer Cells,” $5,954; Mentor: Thomas Rosol

Yiyue Zhang (graduate student, Psychology), “Love Your Real Body: Examining the effect of body positivity marketing campaigns on body satisfaction among women,” $5,228; Mentor: Rosanna Smith (University of Georgia)

March 9, 2021
Staff reports