Honors News Room

2017 Honors Summer Research Fellows

Rachael Arnwine

For my honors research project in Exercise, Sport, and Movement Sciences, I will be studying the relationship between foot structure and lower limb biomechanics (including joint kinematics and kinetics) during dynamic movements. As part of the study, I will identify the efficacy of common clinical interventions in altering lower extremity biomechanics including shoe type, orthotic intervention and ankle bracing during athletic movements.

  Rachel Arnwine    

Nicholas Bronson Bradley

The goal of this project is to catalogue the history of interactions and conflicts between political activism and police surveillance in Memphis, and to make this information accessible to the public. The final product will be a website that contains an interactive timeline of such events. This research is intended to create a resource that can grant greater transparency to our understanding of our history and of the history of our city.

  Nicholas Bradley

Chelsea Jones

For my undergraduate honors thesis in psychology, I will be examining a particular form of MBSR, mindfulness-based stress reduction. In particular I will examine body scanning, a type of internal guided mindfulness meditation to see if it has an effect on anxiety. I will also be comparing this mindfulness approach with a guided meditation that is only focused on external perceptions contrasting the internal mindfulness technique. This will seek to examine if not only body scanning has an effect on anxiety, but if the internal aspect of mindfulness is key to it having an influence on anxiety.

  Chelsea Jones

Clare Lynn Morris

The effects of a nutritional supplement on the symptoms of patients with ulcerative colitis, a form of Intestinal Bowel Disease (IBD), will be observed in this project. The goal is to help reduce the symptoms of IBD through the use of this supplement, which will be composed of a soluble fiber, an omega-3 fatty acid, vitamin D, and zinc. Through the observation of blood and stool samples of patients taking this supplement, the effectiveness of the supplement in reducing the symptoms of ulcerative colitis will be determined.

  Clare Lynn Morris

Peyton Murin

My project consist of two parts: The first part of my project consists of literature review, in an attempt to compile a data base of host associations between longhorn beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and plants. The second part of my project consist of producing and analyzing DNA sequences of the cytochrome oxidase 1 gene of various species of longhorn beetle. These data will then be combined with additional publicly-available data from the same gene (for additional longhorn beetle species), allowing for the identification of larvae (which are otherwise almost impossible to identify) and reconstruction of a phylogenetic tree showing how the various species of longhorn beetles are related.


Jordan T Papineau

The project I am researching is existential in nature. I am inquiring into, particularly, the question "Who am I?" or, in other words, what it means to be as it pertains to my modern context. I am utilizing hermeneutics to analyze this question within three separate domains. First, I am evaluating the conception of what it means to be, or answers to the question "Who am I" from a Judeo-Christian perspective. Then, I am taking the same question, "Who am I" and asking it from a post-Darwinian lens. In other words, being devoid of religiosity. Instead, the question is asked within a pure biological, evolutionary framework. Finally, I am inquiring into Heideggerian conception of being where being is neither religious nor scientific but, instead, sui generis.

  Jordan Papineau

Aston Patrick

For my research I will be analyzing naturally occurring data from online gaming streaming for the purpose of assessing communicative strategies in multimodal contexts with a focus on gender and identity. Since gaming has been a male-dominated field since its inception, female streamers are forced to either conform to their male audience's stereotypical image of a "female gamer" or be willing to suffer harsh criticism and hateful comments. By comparing the comments on streams of male and female gamers, I hope to determine how gender affects the language that is being used about or towards the streamer.


Aaron Michael Persinger

For my Honors research fellowship, I will be looking into how a diet supplemented with Leucine affects mitochondrial biogenesis in a cancer patient model. We will have four groups of mice: one with a regular diet, one with cancer and a regular diet, one with a leucine supplement diet, and one with cancer and a leucine supplement diet. Through leucine supplementation, we hope to diminish muscle atrophy in the cancerous mice. We believe this will happen because leucine is shown to increase protein synthesis.

  Aaron Persinger

Lauren Sobral

Faculty Mentor: Dr. James T Campbell, Mathematical Science

For my honors thesis in mathematical science, I will be exploring the probability of a lightning strike through discrete models simulating the formulation of lightning. The research is based upon a formulated model and a basic question which each have many variables and variations. Our basic model, created through a malleable computer simulation, is a grid of size m x n sectioned into smaller cells with random integers from 0 to k placed in each cell. The path is determined by the following rules: an adjacent cell is visited if the integer in that cell is less than or equal to the current integer; a cell can not be entered more than once; and if there are multiple adjacent cells available, all of them are entered. Our basic question is: what is the probability of success; that is, what is the probability the path reaches the bottom of the grid resulting in a lightning strike. As we create multiple simulations with different variables and variations, we hope to analyze the probability of a lightning strike.

  Lauren Sobral

Carter Wenger

My project reexamines the canonical significance of Samuel Beckett's dramatic works. I am arguing that, as a young playwright, Beckett foresaw the complications posed by the fourth wall's removal, and demonstrated the challenges that metatheatre poses to narrative development. Galvanizing the fourth wall in his later, one-actor pieces, Beckett denies his isolated characters the ability to martyr themselves before a witnessing (that is, an enabling) audience, improving upon the cultivation of tragedy and the production of solitary suffering in late modernist theatre. Indeed, Beckett straddles the partition between modernity and postmodernity, but his primary contribution to postmodern theatre did not develop through his adoption of the radicalizing dramatic conventions employed by his contemporaries. Rather, Beckett stages modernity's finalizing fallout with cosmopolitan ideals in solitude, without the cosmopolis. As opposed to appealing to the gallery's shared custody of the singular stage, Beckett progressively appeals to the gallery's shared custody of distinct, intimate, and irreconcilable bodies.

  Carter Wenger


Posters at the Capitol, 2017

Each year some of our undergraduates get the opportunity to take research on the road! This year we are proud to be sending 7 students to Nashville to present their research and meet with legislators. Check out their projects here.