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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. Only students who come to campus to participate in the Provost Scholarship Days will be considered for these awards.

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.

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 through thermal and spectroscopic measurements.

Communication, Professor Kelly Dillon

Recipient will assist Dr. Kelly Dillon in her research in cyberbullying, bystander intervention, and education of both phenomena. For more information about Dr. Dillon’s recent research interests and activities, please visit

Art History, Professor Alejandra Gimenez-Berger

Recipient will assist Dr. Alejandra Gimenez-Berger in her research on the impact of women in Renaissance art and architecture.​

Wittenberg Writing Center, Professor Michael Mattison

Recipient will assist Dr. Michael Mattison in a research project for the Writing Center that will focus on email responses to writers: what types of comments do writing advisors make through email sessions, and how do writers utilize those comments for their revisions.

Education, Professor Amy McGuffey

Recipient will assist Dr. Amy McGuffey in a research project that will investigate the updated Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) and its impact on student performance. The participant will assist in the development and analysis of a survey that gathers information from teachers from across the state of Ohio in regard to their teaching in relationship to the evaluation system.

Philosophy, Professor Nancy McHugh

Recipient will assist Dr. Nancy McHugh in her research on social justice and community health (health justice) as agreed upon in the FYRA Learning Contract. For more information about Dr. McHugh’s current research activities, please visit

Biology, Professor Michelle McWhorter

Recipient will assist Dr. Michelle McWhorter with ongoing research activities involving how environmental chemicals affect the development of animals.

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 spotted turtle population numbers at fens in Clark County. The recipient will also gain experience on several other projects (e.g. Kirtland’s Snake, American Kestrels, or mesocarnivores) as demands may change seasonally.

Geology, Professor John Ritter

Recipient will assist Dr. John Ritter in a new research initiative associated with detecting change in stream landforms (e.g., changes in stream bank location due to erosion or deposition) to complement and support on-going studies in the department on Buck Creek and Mad River. ‘Structure-from-Motion’ (SfM) is an emerging, low-cost photogrammetric method for high resolution topographic reconstruction.

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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