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Bridgewater College recognizes academic achievement at ASPIRE

Bridgewater CollegeBridgewater College is recognizing academic achievement among students and faculty during a period of activities dedicated to showcasing excellence.

ASPIRE (A Celebration of the Arts, Scholarship, Performance, Innovation and Research Excellence) will be held April 12-16.

Due to COVID-19, the campus is closed to the public for ASPIRE events. But the public is invited to view research presentations online at

ASPIRE opens with the Senior Art Thesis exhibitions at various locations on the Bridgewater College campus.

Eight students will present artist talks at 7 p.m. Monday, April 12. Exhibiting works and giving artist talks are Avery Andrick of Rockingham, Va., Alexis Bragg of Lovingston, Va., Morgan Duncan of Salem, Va., Haylee Martin of Front Royal, Va., Ryan Mays of Bridgewater, Va., Claudia Scheeren of Waynesboro, Va., Danielle Soard of Rockingham, Va., and Ashton Young of Ararat, Va.

Twenty students will give research poster presentations Monday, April 12, through Friday, April 16, via a virtual gallery.

Kelsi Listman, a senior psychology and mathematics double major from Vienna, Va., will present “The Significance of a Viral Post on Social Media.” Jyailah Friendly, a senior biochemistry and applied physics double major from Manassas, Va., will present “Using Square-wave Voltammetry to Investigate Dispersive Electron Kinetics.” Britney Young, a sophomore biology major from Lyndhurst, Va., will present “Identification of Mutations in the phaZ Gene of Bald Mutants of Streptomyces sp. SFB5A.” Kenneth Williams, a senior computer science major from King George, Va., and Dr. Janne Flory, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science, will present “Future Improvements of Data Integration Models.”

Tyler Lynn, a junior biochemistry major from Manassas, Va., will present “Asymmetric Hydroboration-oxidation of Methylstyrene.” Youmna Moawad, a junior biochemistry major from Rockingham, Va., will present “Restoring Expression of the Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) Depolymerase Gene in a Bald Mutant of Streptomyces sp. SFB5A.” Haley Orebaugh, a junior biology major from Elkton, Va., will present “Cloning of an Endolysin Gene from Bacteriophage Brock into Escherichia coli.” Joshua Sprouse, a senior biology major from Charlottesville, Va., will present “Determining Gene Flow between Baldcypress and Pondcypress.” Tyler Deutsch, a sophomore biochemistry major from Bear, Del., and Mary Ruth Shifflett, a junior biochemistry major from Grottoes, Va., will present “Qualitative Measurements of Stability of ATP at Varying pH.”

Katherine Graybill, a global studies major from Columbia, Pa., will present “Policy Responses to Immigration in Latin America.” Lexia Werner, a senior liberal studies major with a minor in Spanish from McGaheysville, Va., will present “Strategies for English Language Learners in Literacy Instruction.” Kynah Walston, a senior psychology major from Fairfield, Pa., Melia Teixeira, a junior biology major from Yorktown, Va., Rebekah Vaughan, a senior psychology and Spanish double major from Harrisonburg, Va., Alexia Will, a senior psychology major from Grottoes, Va., Erin Voeghtly, a senior psychology major from Bedford, Va.,

Kaytie Perez, a senior psychology major from Gainesville, Va., and Kelsi Listman, a senior psychology and mathematics double major from Vienna, Va., will present “Saccharin Potentiates Oral Ethanol Self-administration in Male C57BL/6J Mice” and “Examining the Effects of Caffeine and Saccharin on Acute Ethanol Intake in Male C57BL/6J Mice.” Kayla Boswell, a senior biochemistry major from Hampstead, Md., will present “Development of a PCR Assay to Detect Plasmids in Antibiotic Resistant E. coli in the North River.”

Eleven students will give oral research presentations from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 13. Kylee Lorio, a senior political science and theatre double major from Newmanstown, Pa., will present “The Shape of Things: A Theatrical Examination of the Progression of Emotional Manipulation.” Tito Alcazar, a senior English major with an American studies minor from Purcellville, Va., will present “The Significance of American Epic Novels.” Cailyn Leo, a senior biology major from Pasadena, Md., will present “Sex Determination in Axolotls Using PCR.”

Ashley Sell, a senior English major from Hampton, Va., will present “To Read or Not to Read: Navigating Young Adult Literature in the Classroom in the Age of Trigger Warnings and Banned Books” and “Negative Impacts of the One-child Policy on Families with Two or More Children and Adoption in China: How the Strict Birth Planning Policy Failed Children and Their Families.” Grace Fotis, a senior health and exercise science major from Yorktown, Va., will present “Health and Physical Limitations Due to Complications with Diabetes.” Jacob Howard, a junior mathematics major from Ruckersville, Va., will present “A Compendium of Exact Sums of Infinite Series.”

Dareen Awwad, a junior applied physics major from Ramallah, Palestine, will present “Neural Network Analysis of Handwritten Astronomical Records.” Heather Renee Good, a senior professional writing and English double major from Stanley, Va., will present “Folklore of the Shenandoah Valley.” Kayla Cline, a senior business administration major from Boonsboro, Md., will present “Women in Accounting.” McKenzie Melvin, a senior global studies major formerly from Dover, Del., now living in Charleston, S.C., will present “The Clock is Ticking: Are the FARC’s Chances for Survival in Colombia Dwindling?” Anastasiya Kalyuk, a senior professional writing major from Grottoes, Va., will present “A Framework for Writing Self-efficacy: Students’ Belief in their Own Ability to Succeed in a Postsecondary Writing Classroom.”

Bridgewater College faculty research presentations will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 14. Dr. Tammy Sheehy, assistant professor of health and human sciences, will present “Exploring High Performance Coach Experiences of Sport Psychology Consulting for their Own Performance.” Dr. Ryan Keebaugh, assistant professor of music, will present “Music Found in Silence.”

Nine students will give oral research presentations from 3 to 4:40 p.m. Thursday, April 15. Marlee Carroll, a senior business administration major from Westminster, Md., will present “Accelerating Ahead of Trends: How Leadership Decision Making at Peloton Allowed the Company to Succeed in the Pandemic.” Erin Fitzpatrick, a senior political science major from Wyoming, Mich., will present “Campaign Messaging in Argentine Presidential Elections” and “Simulation of a Policy Proposal to the State of Virginia.”

Gemma Leonard, a senior health and exercise science major from Sterling, Va., will present “The Impact of Service Learning on the Success of Undergraduate Students in Health Positions.” Rachel Petterson, a senior health and exercise science and Spanish double major formerly from Lovettsville, Va., now living in Highland Park, Ill., will present “Moving Past the Binary: Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students Experiences of and Perspectives on College Campus Fitness Centers.” Elizabeth Gaver, a junior global studies and history and political science double major from Hagerstown, Md., will present “‘Household Manager’: The Issue of Women’s Employment in Contemporary Japan.”

Joshua D. Gibson, a senior applied physics major from Waynesboro, Va., will present “Dynamics of a Meteor.” Dan Hancock, a senior physics major from Ferrum, Va., will present “An Analytical Approximation of Gravitational Waves.” Anton Kopti, a sophomore computer science major from Beit Hanina, Jerusalem, will present “Using King Model Simulations to Refine Virial Cluster Mass Estimates.” Heidi Hull, a sophomore mathematics major from Churchville, Va., will present “Self-regulation in Secondary Education.”

Bridgewater College faculty research presentations will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 15. Dr. Verne Leininger, associate professor of mathematics and computer science, will present “Pair-wise Nontransitive Dice.” Dr. Curtis Bradley, assistant professor of psychology, will present “Investigating the Reinforcement Enhancing Effects of Caffeine on Saccharin and Ethanol Self-administration in Male C57BL/6J Mice.”

Team Solo Scholar was the winner of the 2020-21 Showker Prize from the Zane D. Showker Institute for Responsible Leadership. For several months, the interdisciplinary students have been using their expertise, creativity and passion to provide a solution to a challenging problem. For their effort, the Solo Scholar team will receive a cash award that will be divided among the members.

Solo Scholar team members included Katelyn Dear (team leader) a junior biochemistry major from Virginia Beach, Va.; Caroline Griffin, a sophomore health and exercise science major from Manassas, Va.; Anton Kopti, a sophomore computer science major from Beit Hanina, Jerusalem; Abigail Gaver, a junior computer science major from Hagerstown, Md.; and Elizabeth Gaver, a junior global studies major from Hagerstown, Md.

Bridgewater College is a private, four-year liberal arts college, located in the Central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Founded in 1880, it was the state’s first private, coeducational college. Today, Bridgewater College is home to 1,600 students.


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