Wofford College is hosting the Southern Conference Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF) this Friday and Saturday in the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts and in the Chandler Center for Environmental Studies. This year’s SURF conference will be one of the largest since it was first established in 2016.
The forum provides an opportunity for students attending the 10 colleges and universities competing athletically in the Southern Conference (SoCon) to share on the academic and creative arts fields. Approximately 150 students from eight of the SoCon’s 10 institutions will present during the forum.
“I’m very proud of our student researchers and I’m excited for them to have a unique opportunity to share their work with a larger community of scholars,” says Dr. Ramón Galiñanes Jr., Wofford’s director of undergraduate research and post-graduate fellowships.
The forum will begin Friday evening with a keynote address by Dr. Anne Catllá, associate professor of mathematics and associate provost of curriculum and co-curriculum. A reception will follow. Student presentations will take place Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Twenty-nine Wofford students will present during the forum.
“With an increase in interest in undergraduate research at Wofford it is only natural that more students are wanting to present at SURF and other regional and national conferences,” Galiñanes says. “Presenting at a conference is an important part of the research process for students to learn and grow and be recognized publicly as scholars.”
Sarah Buckmaster ’24 and Callie Henline ’23 will present “A mixed-methods study of the impacts of abandoned and condemned properties on neighborhood wellness in Una, Saxon and Arcadia.” Their faculty mentors are Dr. Alysa Handelsman, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology, and Dr. Jennifer Bradham, assistant professor of environmental studies.
Willow Conley ’25 will present on “Queer space and time among werewolves in Gail Carriger’s parasol protectorate.” Her faculty mentor is Dr. Natalie Grinnell, Reeves Family Professor in Humanities.
Emily Lang ’23 will present on “Successful aging in Spartanburg County.” Her faculty mentor is Dr. Kara Bopp, professor of psychology.
Hayden Fredericks ’24 will present on “Synthesis and characteristics of end-group modified poloxamers.” Her faculty mentor is Dr. Robert Harris ’09, assistant professor of chemistry.
Samantha Carter ’24, Hayden Jones ’25, Emily Arnold ’23, Sarah Owens ’23, Noel Tufts ’23, and Tiana White ’23 will present on “Climate stories.” Their faculty mentors are Dr. Christine Dinkins, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Philosophy, and Dr. Laura Barbas Rhoden, professor of Spanish.
Breelyn Grooms ’25, Kimberly Cao ’23, Cole Carroll ’23, Tucker Couch ’24 and Carson Harrell ’24 will present on the “Reproductive output and success of cavity nesting birds.” Their faculty mentor is Dr. Lori Cruze, associate professor of biology.
Brady Wolfe ’23 will present “The indoctrination of health: How Americans religiously disseminate health information to children.” His faculty mentor is Dr. Dan Mathewson, professor of religion and associate provost for faculty development.
Colin Dral ’23, is presenting “Design and synthesis of a new aminotropinimate supported zinc complex for hydroamination.” His faculty mentor is Dr. Robert Harris ’09, assistant professor of chemistry.
Maddie Glidden ’24, Carson Archie ’24, Jill Hethcox ’24, Megan Santos ’23, Dr. Mac Gilliland, assistant professor of chemistry at Furman University, Nelson Rivera, library annex manager at the University of South Carolina, and Dr. Heileen Hsu-Kim, associate professor of environmental sciences and policy, will present on “Measuring lead in soil: A journey to find the right instrument,” “Lead concentrations in Spartanburg city playground soils” and “Bioaccessiblity of lead in Spartanburg, SC soil.” Dr. Jennifer Bradham, assistant professor of environmental studies, and Dr. Grace Schwartz, assistant professor of chemistry, are the faculty mentors.
Katharine Spence ’24 will present on “Sexual dimorphism in the musculoskeletal system in domestic cats.” Her faculty mentor is Dr. Jeremy Morris, assistant professor of biology.
Latavia Foster ’23 and Katharine Spence ’24 will present on the “Anatomical and performance traits that predict fighting success in male fall field crickets.” Dr. Jeremy Morris, assistant professor of biology, is their faculty mentor.
MauriAnna Richardson ’25 will present on “Folate Receptors: A Study of Proteins and Cancer Cells.” Her faculty mentor is Dr. Ramin Radfar, professor of chemistry.
Lizzie Richards ’23 will present on “Helen Dupré Moseley: Painter, Author, Roller-Coaster Fan and Air Stewardess on Flying Saucers.” Dr. Karen Goodchild, Chapman Family Professor of Humanities (Art History), and Dr. Youmi Efurd, Wofford’s museum curator, are her faculty advisors.
Isaiah Franco ’23 will present on “Seeds of Conflict: Relationships Between Conflict, Seed Acquisition and Crop Diversity in Uganda.” His faculty mentors are Dr. Daniel Tobin, assistant professor of community development and applied economics at the University of Vermont, and Dr. Travis Reynolds, associate professor of community development and applied economics.
Nathan Faulstich ’23 will present on “Evidence for phosphorous-dependent control of symbiont cell growth.” His faculty mentor is Dr. Geoffrey Mitchell, associate professor of biology.
Wallace Chapman ’24 will present on “Measuring the expression rate of phosphate signaling genes in the symbiotic dinoflagellate Symbiodinium minutum.” Dr. Geoffrey Mitchell, associate professor of biology, is his faculty mentor.
Sarah Owens ’23, Hayden Jones ’25, Tiana White ’23, Emily Arnold ’23, Samantha Carter ’24 and Noel Tufts ’23 will present on “Climate Stories in South Carolina: Amplifying Voices in Spanish and English.” Dr. Christine Sorrell Dinkins, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Philosophy, and Dr. Laura Barbas Rhoden, professor of Spanish, are their faculty mentors.