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Undergraduate Students Pursue Research and Internships at MCBI as Muskie Fellows

Ciara Smith and Amy Santas
Ciara Smith and Dr. Amy Santas
Hands-on original research is a hallmark of a Muskingum University education and each year, an elite group of high-achieving undergraduates – the Muskie Fellows – have the opportunity to partner with a faculty member in collaborative original research or a collaborative creative endeavor.

Students are competitively selected to participate in the program and received a stipend and University housing for the summer. During the summer of 2016, the program supported 11 student-faculty collaboration projects and another four fellowships with the Muskingum County Business Incubator (MCBI), the regional incubator for entrepreneurs headed by Muskingum University graduate Larry Triplett. Each student received MCBI training and formed a collaborative partnership with an MCBI client business.

Levi Angel ’20, a mathematics major of Cambridge, investigated the notion of non-transitive dice. The idea of non-transitive dice was introduced by Martin Gardner in 1970 with an example of three dice labelled in a non-standard way. The overall goal of this project is to investigate sets of dice that have no strict ordering from the best die to the worst die. Angel is by advised by Assistant Professor of Mathematics Dr. Matt Davis.

Keri Hunt ’19, a conservation science major of Logan, and Johanna Whetstone ’19, a chemistry major of Millersport, were a part of a larger team of researchers who want to better understand the ecology of grassland birds living in areas adjacent to The Wilds wildlife preserve and research facility in Cumberland, Ohio. The students studied with Dr. James Dooley, the Bill and Martha Lovejoy Distinguished Professor in Biology; and Dr. Danny Ingold, the Homer A. Anderson Distinguished Professor in the Natural Sciences.

Brett Lenarz ’18, a business management major of Pleasant City, researched new ideas about student engagement, empirical evidence supporting the use of gamification and movement in the classroom and practical ideas for implementation in current coursework. Lenarz is advised by Kristine Pray, assistant professor of business.

John Raugh, Keri Hunt, Maria Thurston, and Johanna Whetston
John Raugh, Keri Hunt, Maria Thurston, and Johanna Whetston
Jessica Noll
Jessica Noll
Jessica Noll ’18, an environmental science major of Somerset, collaborated with the Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District to study agricultural nutrient efficiency by analyzing water, soil and plant samples in Muskingum County. Noll is advised by Associate Professor of Chemistry Dr. Lois Zook-Gerdau.

Ciara Smith ’19, a biology major of Lewisville, researched and studied the dystroglycan complex in the epidermis and provided a system to understand the function of the complex at a cellular level. Smith is advised by Dr. Amy Santas, associate professor of biology.

Quin Deng ’19, a mathematics major; Xinxin Wei ’18, a public accounting major of New Concord; Man Zhang ’19, a digital media design major; Ruizhen Zhang ’18, a business management major; and Xiaoxuan Zhang ’18, an accounting major, investigated how Chinese
firms are responding to the slowing economy. They researched how types of companies respond differently in part on their ability to access capital markets. This research has the potential to provide some predictive abilities as to the effect on the broader economy. These students are advised by Dr. Martin Brady, professor of accounting, and Dr. Walter Huber, professor of political science.

In addition, four students participated as interns through MCBI.
Josie Baum ’17, a psychology major of Garrettsville, was an intern at Shirley K’s Supply Storage Trays. Baum was responsible for market research focused on finding large distribution center and manufacturing plant leads.

Steven O’Hara ’18, an athletic training major of Beaver Falls, interned at Storied Rivals. O’Hara worked on projects for the creation, maintenance and marketing of the online apparel store.

Madison Stephen ’17, a business management major of Jerusalem, worked with Nothing But Chocolate. Stephen produced marketing material for in-stores and online and managed daily sales for accounting records.

Steven O'Hara, Sara Watson, Josie Baum, and Madison Stephen
Steven O'Hara, Sara Watson,
Josie Baum, and Madison Stephen

Sara Watson ’19, also a business management major of Gnadenhutten, was an intern at Ripple Rock Fish Farms. Watson performed chemical tests inside each fish tank to find data of the oxygen, pH and ammonia of the fish, researched and created marketing tools and assisted with the company’s online presence.