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Dr. Ted Lee and students
Dr. Ted Lee and students

Delanie Tunstall (center) and Amanda Roth, with SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Ted Lee, examine a Petri plate for E. coli and other intestinal bacteria. The plate contains bacteria from a water sample collected in Honduras where the students served on medical brigades in a J-Term study abroad program.

  • June 22, 2023
  • Marketing and Communications staff

Eight undergraduate and graduate students majoring in biological sciences at SUNY Fredonia have each been awarded $4,500 stipends to support individual research experiences this summer.

Endowments established in the Fredonia College Foundation are providing $36,000 to support the research activities.

SUNY Fredonia’s summer fellowship program allows students to remain on campus over the summer to continue their education through experiential learning opportunities, said Department of Biology Chair William Brown.

“By gaining this opportunity to focus on research in an immersive way, our students become better scientists, with better critical thinking and communication skills, and they become more attractive in the market for jobs and graduate programs,” Dr. Brown said.

The following students, including their year of study, major, hometown and research title, have been awarded grants funded by the Holmberg Foundation of Jamestown:

•    Raven Crossett, senior, Molecular Genetics, of Horseheads, “Sexual Cannibalism in Praying Mantis and Determination of Multiple Paternity in Ootheca by PCR of Microsatellite Loci.” She will be mentored by Department of Biology Associate Professor Scott Ferguson.

•    Sam Wilczynski, graduate student, M.S. in Biology, of Erie, Pa., “Effect of Sexual Cannibalism on Male Tenodera sinensis Mating Opportunities.” He will be mentored by Professor Brown.

•    Grant Scharmer, senior, Exercise Science, of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., “An Investigation of the Effects of Deliberate Cold Exposure on Resting Energy Expenditure in Humans.” He will be mentored by Associate Professor Todd Backes.

•    Amanda Roth, junior, Biology, of Silver Creek, “Identification of Bacteria in Drinking Water in Honduras.” Her mentor will be SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Ted Lee.

•    Joshua Walters, junior, Exercise Science, minor in Athletic Coaching, of Randolph, “An Investigation on the Utilization of Eccentric Nordic Hamstring Curls as Opposed to Traditional Hamstring Strengthening Exercises.” He will be mentored by Dr. Backes.

•    Delanie Tunstall, graduate student, M.S. in Biology, of Forestville, “The Honduras Drinking Water Project.” She will be mentored by Dr. Lee.

•    Kasey Crandall, graduate student, M.S. in Biology, of Stockton, “Effect of Harmful Algal Blooms in Zooplankton Communities in Chautauqua Lake, N.Y.” He will be mentored by Associate Professor Courtney Wigdahl-Perry.

Graduate student Kameron Finch, who is enrolled in the B.S./M.S. Biology multi-award program, of Kennedy, will undertake “Chautauqua Lake Ecology: Assessing the Effects of Chloride Pollution on Chautauqua Lake.” Mr. Finch will be mentored by Dr. Wigdahl-Perry. A $4,500 grant from the Joseph and Jane (Schuster) Falcone Endowment for Scholarship and Research, ’74 Fredonia alumni, will support his research.

Summer research experiences typically last 10 weeks and take place on campus and at off-campus research locations. Each grant provides a stipend of $3,500 to cover living expenses and $1,000 towards supplies needed for research activities.

Former students from the program have been very successful in obtaining positions in graduate school, professional school, and employment opportunities directly related to their educational experiences, Brown added. Zachary Bogosian, who did a summer fellowship in 2019 with Dr. Jon Kniss, is now pursuing his Doctor of Optometry degree at The Ohio State University and MaryAnn Mason, who had a fellowship the same year with Dr. Courtney Wigdahl-Perry, is employed by the Chautauqua County Health Department.

Each summer, with the exception of pandemic years, eight to 14 students typically perform summer research under the guidance of Department of Biology faculty.