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.

  • Priority Deadline: December 10
  • Final Deadline: February 15

Biology, Professor Margaret Goodman

Recipient will assist Dr. Margaret Goodman in her research on genetic comparisons within species to determine gene flow and genetic relatedness among populations. Potential species include salamanders (Eurycea bislineata and Eurycea cirrigera) and honey bees (Apis mellifera).

Biology, Professor Michelle McWhorter

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

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 the spotted turtle population numbers at fens in Clark County.

Biology, Professor Elizabeth Schultz

Recipient will assist Dr. Beth Schultz in understanding why and how biotic and abiotic factors contribute to variation in immune function in wild organisms, particularly multiple species of wild songbirds in central Ohio.

Chemistry, Professor Ray Dudek

Recipient will assist Dr. Ray Dudek in improving a current thermodynamics laboratory experiment that measures flame temperatures. The student participating in this project will learn some thermodynamics, spectroscopy, and data processing with Excel.

Computer Science, Professor Tyler Highlander

Recipient will assist Dr. Tyler Highlander in the ongoing research activities of the Conditional-Dilated Attention Tracking Model (C-DATM), an artificial neural network that uses small amounts of data to generically track objects in real-time.

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.

Physics/Environmental Science, Professor Elizabeth George

Recipient will assist Dr. Elizabeth George in an ongoing project to model streamflow in river systems using professional-quality hydrology software (HEC-RAS) to create computational models of the flow behavior of a local stream system (Buck Creek) that is undergoing restoration.

Physics, Professor Jeremiah Williams

Recipient will assist Dr. Jeremiah Williams 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

Political Science, Professor Heather Wright

Recipient will assist Dr. Heather Hadar Wright in her current research on political theory, political ideology, addiction, gender and film representation.

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. For more information about Dr. Davis’ recent research interests and activities, please visit

Religion, Professor Travis Proctor

Recipient will assist Dr. Travis Proctor in his research on early Christian depictions of Jesus of Nazareth, as understood through perspectives drawn from religious studies, gender studies, and the environmental humanities.

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