UNCW Undergraduates Recognized for Scholarly Research

Friday, December 18, 2015

The work of two University of North Carolina Wilmington students is featured in the latest volume of a journal that highlights undergraduate research. William D. Fetzner ’16 (biology and psychology with university honors) and Jack Cushman Koch ’15, (marine biology with university honors) had their research included in Explorations: The Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities for the State of North Carolina.

Fetzner’s research was entitled, “Rapid Acquisition of Preference in Concurrent Chains: Effects of Morphine on Sensitivity to Reinforcement Amount.” His faculty mentor is professor of psychology Raymond Pitts. The topic of Koch’s paper was “Together is Better: The Importance of Heterotrophy and Photoautotrophic Symbiosis for Growth of the Sea Anemone Aiptasia pallida.” Joe Pawlik, professor of biology and marine biology, served as his mentor.

“It is a significant accomplishment for an undergraduate student to be the author of an empirical paper,” said Kate Bruce, professor of psychology and director of the Honors College. “UNCW students made an excellent showing at this year’s symposium, and we are proud that the university is able to offer many opportunities for undergraduates to produce high-level research."

Explorations is the companion journal of the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium (SNCURCS). It publishes original research and creative scholarship of students at two- and four-year institutions in North Carolina.

This year’s symposium was held Nov. 14 at High Point University. UNCW sophomore biology major and Honors Scholar Maya Drzewicki was awarded a 2015-16 George Barthalmus Grant for her research, “The Role of Mechanosensitivity in Regulating Predator Evasion Behaviors of Favella sp.” Her mentor is Alison Taylor, professor of biology and marine biology.

The symposium featured 400 student presentations, including 13 presentations by 16 UNCW students in the following subject areas: Samantha Farquhar, biology/marine biology; Christian Roberts, sociology and criminology; Avery Dominguez, biology and marine biology; Alexander Pearson-Moyers and Brett Pinnix, exercise science; Grace Candler-Miller, exercise science; Patrick Saracino, exercise science; Kaitlyn Jackson, biology and marine biology; Alexander Schomo, psychology; Stephanie Perez Robles, biology and marine biology; Megan Shannahan, psychology; David Billups, biology and marine biology; Cheyenne Wagi, anthropology; Taylor Harbold, Michelle Page and Courtney Rasmussen, mathematics and statistics.

-- Tricia Vance