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.


Jewel Edwards

Jewel Edwards,

fine arts 

Jewel Edwards’ inspiration for her undergraduate research began in a chair of her local hair salon at a young age. As she was flipping through the pages of beauty magazines, she saw the emphasis hair has in society. From that point on, she began to question why “hair is everything” and why it is “such a big deal.”

As a Winthrop fine arts major, Edwards began research on the origin and influence of beauty standards. Through paintings, mixed media and sculptures, she presents her findings in hopes of sparking conversation with those in the community about how they feel about stereotypes and bias. “My undergraduate research shows that you can take various small details and explore them in different ways. People just think hair is hair, but hair is culture, it defines who a person is,” Edwards said. 

She will graduate in 2022 but will remain at Winthrop to receive her Master of Arts in Teaching. One day she hopes to teach art at a public elementary school.

Jasmine MoydJasmine Moyd, mathematics

Jasmine Moyd found inspiration for her undergraduate research amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic. “As a student during the pandemic, I experienced the surprising benefits and obvious frustrations of virtual learning,” Moyd said. 

The South Carolina native, who is a senior mathematics major with a minor in educational studies, is studying “STEM Educator Experiences During the Pandemic.” She is seeking to discover if there are any possible relationships between teacher preparation and teacher effectiveness concerning the use of technology for instruction. She is gaining insight by measuring how teachers are prepared for teaching (for example, knowing how to use an electric calculator) versus their perceived effectiveness (how prepared they feel they are). 

Upon graduation in 2022, Moyd hopes to remain at Winthrop to receive her Master of Arts in Teaching. After that she would like to teach high school math for a few years before she returns to school to earn a Ph.D. 

Ashley Wood

Ashley Wood, biology

Ashley Wood is a sophomore undergraduate student who is majoring in biology with a chemistry minor. As part of her research on antibiotic resistance, Wood is focusing on tetracycline, an antibiotic commonly used to treat a variety of infections. Her research looks for ways for the antibiotic to work on resistant cells. 

In addition to her coursework at Winthrop, Wood decided to pursue undergraduate research to gain new experience and knowledge in the field of scientific research. She earned an Undergraduate Scholar Award for 2021.

Originally from Richburg, South Carolina, Wood grew up on a farm, surrounded by animals of all sorts. Living on a farm ignited a passion for animals and inspired her to pursue a degree in biology which she hopes will eventually lead to veterinarian school.

Bobbie Owens

Bobbie Owens, environmental studies and sociology 

Bobbie Owens is a senior working to earn a degree in environmental studies and a second in sociology with an anthropology concentration. As a McNair Scholar, her research focuses on the perceived factors contributing to the success or failure of grassroots movements in the Rock Hill area. In Owens’ own words, the environmental grassroots movement is “an initiative started on a community level with an aim towards making positive changes in the community focusing on environmental agendas.”

Owens’ inspiration to begin her research came from her involvement with the Student Environmental Action Coalition. While trying to rebuild the structure of the club, she became determined to figure out how this happens in similar situations and, most importantly, how to prevent it in the future.  

Upon her graduation in 2022, Owens’ dream is to attend Oxford University to receive her master’s in international development. One day she hopes to work for the United Nations in its sustainable development program to prevent world hunger.