Freshman Scholars August 2013

Freshman Scholar 5

The 2014 Freshman Scholars and program faculty included, first row (l to r): Tonja Paceley, Alison Davis, Hannah Harris, Alicia Serna, Jasmine Brown. Rows staggered (l to r) behind first row: Sam Belcher, Megan Cramer (in pink), Bailey Cribbs (in teal), Daphne Hutchison (in sunglasses), Jessica Banton (in neon yellow), Tori Akers, Samantha Grandle, Wynn Hobbs. Staggered in back (l to r): Dr. Katie Goff, director of the Summer Scholars Program, Dr. Laura Grochowski, Dr. Todd Fredericksen, Dr. Megan St. Peters, Dr. Bryan Faulkner, Dr. David Nicholson, Dr. Angie Dahl, and Dr. Michaela Gazdik.

Two weeks of immersion on a new campus working closely with an unknown professor on a research project may seem daunting to some incoming freshmen. Not so for the select group of Ferrum College students accepted into the Freshman Scholars program. Connecting with fellow students and becoming acquainted with one’s new home for the next four years are just two of the advantages of the experience. The real advantage is earning three college credits before the semester even begins and working side by side with experienced faculty members on viable research projects—an unusual experience for undergrad students, especially freshmen.

What topics do these novices study? How about Buried Body Remains and Decomposition Rates, The Production of Biologically Active Compounds by Medicinal Plants of the Appalachian Mountains, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and Camp: Examination of a Possible Virulence Mechanism for this Deadly Pathogen, Development of an Animal Model for the Cognitive Deficits Observed in Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or Population of Structure of Pond Turtles and Relation to Urbanization? No trivial subject matter for these new college students.

Close interaction between professors and students is not uncommon at Ferrum College. Faculty are renowned for their dedication and the relationships they form with students. Freshman Scholars benefit earlier than most from this type of mentorship. They complete the program with an unexpected camaraderie with their classmates and, hopefully, an optimistic outlook as newly coined, lifetime members of the Ferrum family.


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