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Undergraduate Research

Student Profiles

In any given year, there are at least a few hundred Winthrop undergraduates pursuing scholarly and creative research projects. They include students at all stages of their academic careers, from first-semester freshmen through graduating seniors, and represent every academic major and every demographic group you can imagine. Here are a few profiles of outstanding undergraduate researchers from different disciplinary fields.

Please also watch the video on our homepage to hear directly from several other research students.

Destinee Johnson (2014), Chemistry

Destinee began pursuing research in biochemistry as a freshman. After her junior year, she spent a summer doing chemical education research at Miami University of Ohio; her work there with Dr. Ellen Yezierski was published in a professional journal (pdf - 1.44 MB). During her time at Winthrop, Destinee traveled around the country to present her work at conferences; she also won several awards for her research, including first place for a presentation she gave at the Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Atlanta. Following graduation from Winthrop, Destinee pursued a master's degree in chemical education at Stanford University. In spring 2015, she won a prestigious Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KTSF) Fellowship, which will support her when she begins her teaching career in Anderson, SC.

Alex Muller (2014), English

Alex began an undergraduate research project in Dr. Matthew Fike's Shakespeare class. His essay, "A Lacanian Study of Signification and the Destruction of Self in Shakespeare's King Lear" (pdf - 474 KB) won the Frederic Fadner Critical Essay Award for the best essay in the 2014 volume of Sigma Tau Delta Review. Alex also won a prestigious Senior Scholarship awarded by Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society.

Christopher Smalls (2014), Fine Arts

Family Trust Credit Union commissioned Christopher to create art for their downtown Rock Hill office. Chris called upon the textile-to-technology shift as inspiration for his work. The layered art shown below will become a wall-mounted lighting piece. (Photo by Nicole Smith Chisari.)

Christopher Smalls Artwork

Hannah Swan (2014), Mathematics

Participating in Winthrop's McNair Scholars Program, Hannah used her undergraduate research experience to intertwine her interests in fashion and math, by constructing computer models of fabric drapery. Her work with her mentor, Dr. Joseph Rusinko, was published in a scholarly journal (pdf - 2.62 MB). She now uses these skills as a Ph.D. student in the School of Computing at the University of Utah, whose alumni include the founders of Pixar and Adobe. In 2015, Hannah was selected to receive a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship.

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