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First Year Research Awards

First Year Research Awards are scholarships designed to match outstanding students with Wittenberg’s award-winning faculty. Students selected for First Year Research awards will work closely with a faculty member while pursuing exciting research opportunities in the first year at Wittenberg.

The First Year Research Awards are for $2,000 ($1,000 per semester) for the student’s first year only. This is a non-renewable award. Students can only receive one First Year Research Award and one will be awarded per area listed below. First Year Research Awards can be combined with other Special Interest Awards.

Deadline to Apply: February 15

Philosophy, Professor Julius Bailey

Recipient will assist Dr. Julius Bailey, Associate Professor of Philosophy, in an examination of fear, love and spirituality through various of African American cultural forms. For more information about Dr. Bailey’s current activities, please visit

Biology / Environmental Science, Professor Amber Burgett

Recipient will assist Dr. Amber Burgett, Assistant Professor of Biology in her research quantifying populations of amphibians in urban, suburban and agricultural habitats around Clark and Green counties. Specifically, projects will examine (1) the effects of contaminants on growth and behavior of salamander larvae and fish, and setup and (2) the impact of algae management strategies on aquatic communities.

Archaeology, Professor Darlene L. Brooks Hedstrom

Recipient will assist Dr. Darlene L. Brooks Hedstrom in (1) work with archaeological materials excavated from the two historical archaeology projects (Project A: The Gammon House - Underground Railroad House in Springfield, Ohio and Project B: The 525 N. Wittenberg House - a Campus Archaeology Project) and (2) the survey and design a heritage management plan for two new locations in Springfield.

Chemistry, Professor Kristin Cline

Recipient will assist Dr. Kristin Cline in identifying distinguishing characteristics of polymer films that can be used for identification, which is important for forensic investigation and in the industry.

Psychology, Professor William Davis

Recipient will assist Dr. William Davis in his research in psychology and well-being, including topics such as authenticity and meaning in life. Click Here for more information about Dr. Davis' recent research interests and activities.

Wittenberg Writing Center, Professor Michael Mattison

Recipient will assist Dr. Michael Mattison in developing a research project for the Writing Center. Possible areas of study include measuring incoming students' understanding of and reaction to the Writing Center; studying the use of questions in Writing Center sessions; exploring the feasibility of audio/video conferencing; or analyzing how advisors work with different student populations (first-generation students, non-traditional students, ELL writers).

English, Professor Kate Polak

Recipient will assist Dr. Kate Polak in her research project on Holocaust memorialization in the digital age.

Biology/Marine Science, Professor Kathy Reinsel

Recipient will assist Dr. Kathy Reinsel in understanding the influence of agricultural herbicides such as Roundup and Dicamba that farmers use to control weeds in their fields have on the behavior of marine invertebrates such as fiddler crabs and mud snails when these herbicides can run off into estuaries near coastal regions.

Mathematics, Professor Adam Parker

Recipient will assist Dr. Adam Parker on a project generalizing a classic algorithm for approximating square roots that was known to the Greeks.

Biology, Professor Richard S. Phillips

Recipient will assist Dr. Richard Phillips in consultation with the Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, in developing and evaluating survey techniques to document either the spotted turtle population numbers at fens in Clark County or the Kirtland's snake. The recipient will also gain experience on several other projects (e.g. American Kestrels, or mesocarnivores) as demands may change seasonally.

Physics, Professor Jeremiah Williams

Recipient will assist Dr. Jeremiah Williams, Associate Professor of Physics, in the ongoing research activities of the Wittenberg University Plasma Laboratory (WUPL). The specific project will be determined based on student background and the current research priorities of the laboratory. For more information about the current research activities in the WUPL, please visit

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