Research Archive









Anye Stewart

Anye Stewart ’23, a psychology major and an Arabic minor from Columbia, S.C., worked on a team that focused on retelling the story of Omar ibn Said, an enslaved Muslim man brought to the Carolinas in the 19th century. Stewart has a strong interest in the people, culture and history of the Middle East North Africa region. In her research, she linked the story of Said to current prejudices and injustices towards minority groups.

Carman Autry ’22, an international affairs major with a minor in Arabic from Youngsville, N.C., studied the life of Omar ibn Said, an enslaved Black Muslim in the Carolinas. During the five-week research project, she reviewed several works that had been written about Said, including his autobiography, “Life.” For her final product she created a brochure to accompany one of Said’s manuscripts that is located at the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, S.C. Her goal for the project was to bring awareness to his life and the importance of understanding the history of Black Muslims in America.

Carman Autry

Faculty collaborators and mentors: (Anye and Carman) Dr. Philip Dorroll, associate professor of religion; Dr. Courtney Dorroll, assistant of professor of religion; Professor Colleen Ballance, professor and theatre chair

Blair Brawley

Blair Brawley ’22, a biology major and a mathematics minor from Newport, Tenn., researched the glucose- 6-phosphate dehydrogenase enzyme and associated diseases. During her research, she and her faculty advisor aimed to analyze the structure and function of the enzyme to understand how mutations in the gene affect G6PD deficiency. During this experience, she learned a variety of lab techniques. She plans to attend medical school. Brawley is a biology and chemistry tutor on campus and a teaching assistant in the biology department.

Faculty collaborator and mentor: Dr. Ramin Radfar, professor of chemistry and biochemistry

Caroline Sargent

Caroline Sargent ’21, a chemistry and mathematics major from Easley, S.C., studied various properties of four geometric isomers of In2H2. Rigorous computational chemistry methods were used to find geometries at energetic minimums, as well as vibrational frequencies and thorough energy approximations. This project found that the isomers In2H2 are fairly similar to those of Ga2H2, with expected differences such as increased bond length due to the larger radius of the indium atom. Caroline is continuing her research of group 13 subhydrides with a chemistry honors course this year. She hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry with a focus in computational chemistry.

Faculty collaborators and mentors: Dr. Henry F. Schaefer, Graham Perdue professor of chemistry, University of Georgia; Dr. Zachary Davis, assistant professor of chemistry, Honors Thesis committee chair

Emily Rea

Emily Rea ’21, a biology and Spanish major from Charleston, S.C., continued a project that began the fall of 2019 focused on the causes and physiological mechanisms of coral bleaching. This was done with sea anemone aiptasia pallida as a model organism. The project’s experiments were intended to show coral bleaching with increased environmental temperatures, as well as bleaching in correlation with microplastic ingestion as a result of ocean pollution. Summer 2020 research hoped to find cell size discrepancies between phosphate replete and deplete cultures of the symbiont algae symbiodinium minutum and the use of silent interfering RNA to try and locate a gene for the algae’s ATPase protein. The team’s findings were slightly underwhelming, with little data to support its claims from last fall. However, Rea appreciated problem solving as a team.

Beth Diggle ’21, a biology major and native of Charleston, S.C., researched the impact increased seawater temperature and microplastics have on the symbiotic relationship between aiptasia pallida and dinoflagellate algae. She spent the summer running various experiments, analyzing data and brainstorming new approaches to experimentation. After graduation, she plans to take a gap year before attending medical school.

Beth Diggle

Faculty collaborators and mentors: (Emily and Beth) Dr. Geoffrey Mitchell, assistant professor of biology

Erin Mancini

Erin Mancini ’21, a history and art history major from Knoxville, Tenn., participated in two summer research projects. The first focused on the use of art to help children form the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Upstate to improve their ability to read and write. She developed nine adaptable education models that she will use for programming in the fall and spring. During the summer, some of those activities, crafts and art supplies provided learning opportunities for children. Mancini’s second project involved preparation for an exhibition at the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center of the Arts in the spring of 2021. The exhibition uses prints from the Wofford College Fine Arts Collection, Bob Jones University and other sources to teach the public about diverse printmaking methodologies. She gained insight on arts career paths during both projects.

Faculty collaborators and mentors: Dr. Youmi Efurd, museum curator, and Dr. Karen Hope Goodchild, Chapman Professor of Humanities and art and art history chair

Ethan DiBlasio

Ethan DiBlasio ’22, a chemistry major and computer science minor from Spartanburg, S.C., investigated the synthesis of new zinc aminotroponiminate (ATI) ligands. These ligands are known to perform intramolecular hydroamination of alkenes but intermolecular hydroamination of alkenes with these ligands has not been documented. The overall goal of the project is to develop ATI ligands that will result in intermolecular hydroamination of alkenes when used as a catalyst. DiBlasio is president of the Fly Fishing Club, service vice president of Wofford’s Alpha Phi Omega chapter and a member of the club tennis team.

Faculty collaborators and mentors: Dr. Robert. J. Harris, visiting assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. Jameica Hill, professor and chemistry chair

Hector Ortiz

Hector Ortiz ’22, a biology, philosophy and Spanish major with a concentration in medicine and liberal arts, collaborated with faculty members to study Latinx communities across South Carolina, including Spartanburg, to research reproductive and mental health. Ortiz assessed the impact of Adverse Childhood Experience training on educators in Spartanburg in a second project and analyzed sex hormones in local cardinals for a third research project.

Breana Dogan ’22, a biology major with a concentration in neuroscience from Spartanburg, S.C., participated in a project with a team of students and faculty to investigate the effectiveness of noninvasive sex hormone analysis in songbirds. She and her team spent the summer reading literature about many bird species, bird watching and collected samples for analysis. She hopes to continue research to understand how the concentration of circulating hormones can indicate the health of birds and their environment. Dogan is a first-generation college student, Bonner Scholar, Gateway Scholar, iCAN mentor, volunteer at St. Luke’s Free Medical Clinic, member of Wofford Women of Color, co-president of Amnesty International and a member of Tri-Beta Honor Society.

Breana Dogan
Rachael Karriker

Rachael Karriker ’21, a biology major and studio art minor from Gaffney, S.C., conducted research using non-invasive techniques to assess sex steroid hormone patterns in northern cardinals. Karriker hopes her research will establish a multi-year project to assess steroid hormone patterns of local resident species because birds are valuable indicators of habitat and ecosystem integrity. Karriker is a Wofford Scholar, president of the Pre-Dental Society and chairwoman of the Wofford College Honor Council. She plans to pursue a career in dentistry.

Mariana Gonzalez ’21, a psychology major and a sociology and anthropology minor from Hickory, N.C., has spent each of her summers as a Wofford student participating in community-based research projects in Spartanburg, S.C. This summer, she conducted interviews to better understand how the Resilient Schools training at the Child Protection Training Center has aided teachers. The training’s goal is to help teachers become aware of adverse childhood experiences and how to better help the children they work with and their needs. A second part of Gonzalez’s summer research was the creation of a podcast. Her team initiated a podcast on the Latinx 29303 community that had been done the previous summer. The podcast’s purpose is to disseminate the project’s findings. The team plans to continue this podcast throughout the year. Gonzalez is also a Bonner Scholar.

Mariana Gonzalez
Mayra Lomeli Garcia

Mayra Lomeli Garcia, a psychology and Spanish double major with a minor in business from Charleston, S.C., collaborated with a Spartanburg school district’s administrators and worked with the Resilient Schools program created by the Child Protection Training Center. The group gathered qualitative data and quantitative survey data. They conducted interviews and surveys with administrators that took the Resilient Schools training on how to treat childhood trauma. The information collected led to a collaborative report that is being prepared for publication. Garcia has spent three summers as a student researcher. She’s also been involved in three published articles on community-based research: “Inclusive Place- Making in Spartanburg, SC: Amplifying Latinx Voices through Community-Based Research,” “Contextualizing Kindergarten Readiness Data: A Qualitative Research Study of Forest Park Neighborhood in Spartanburg, S.C.” and “Out of School Time (OST) for Latinx Youth: A Qualitative Research Study in Spartanburg, S.C.,” which can be found in the college’s digital commons. She has worked as a fellow for the iCAN Spartanburg mentorship program.

Faculty collaborator and mentor: (Hector, Mariana and Mayra) Dr. Christine Dinkins, Kenan Professor of Philosophy, (Breana, Hector and Rachel) Dr. Lori Cruze, assistant professor of biology

Lucy Person

Lucy Person ’23, a psychology major from Charlotte, N.C., created a tour of Back of the College, an African American neighborhood that was located behind the Wofford campus. She drafted a script for future tours. Person is a member of Kappa Delta sorority, Orientation staff, the Wellness and Safety committee and the Wofford Live committee.

Matilda Redfern ’23, a sociology and anthropology major with a minor in business and philosophy from Atlanta, Ga., designed a tour of the Back of the College neighborhood, which was located where a large portion of Wofford’s campus is today. The tour can be incorporated into the college’s existing campus tour. Redfern also helped create a visual to accompany the tour with pictures from the neighborhood’s residents. She is a first-generation college student, a member of Orientation staff, Delta Delta Delta sorority, Wofford Sports Marketing and the Student Marketing Committee.

Matilda Redfern

Faculty collaborator and mentor: (Lucy and Matilda) Dr. Jim Neighbors, professor of English, and Dr. Kimberly Hall, assistant professor of English

Madeline Samson

Madeline Samson ’21, a Spanish and government major from Pass Christian, Miss., worked on the multi-modal dissemination of data regarding inclusive placemaking, out-of-school time and healthy eating and active living within Spartanburg’s Latinx community. She collaborated with a team of two other students to create visuals, podcasts and interactive formats for children, youth, and adults that focused on accessibility to higher education and health attainment. Samson is passionate about educational equity and believes that all children deserve the chance to reach their full academic potential.

Paola Cruz ’23, a sociology and anthropology and Spanish major, interned in the college’s Spanish department and focused on advancing participatory inclusion of Latinx residents in Spartanburg, S.C., through data dissemination that is both culturally and linguistically inclusive. The project’s goal is to open dialogue, equity and inclusion. Based off research done in 2018 to 2020, she was able to complete a series of projects highlighting information regarding health and education geared toward Latinx youth and adults.

Paola Cruz
Zoe Mullins

Zoe Mullins ’22, a Spanish and government major from Rock Hill, S.C., focused on improving inclusion and participation of Latinx members in Spartanburg County. The project, “Advancing Participatory Inclusion of Latinx Residents in Spartanburg, SC: Culturally and Linguistically Inclusive Data Dissemination for Dialogue, Equity, and Inclusion,” had goals to further empower the Latinx culture in Spartanburg and widen Latinx access to important resources. The research’s focus was to connect with organizations such as the Mary Black Foundation, Partners for Active Living and Spartanburg Academic Movement to create bilingual informational products for the Latinx population. Over the 10-week period, Mullins produced different graphics to highlight the importance of healthy eating and active living (HEAL) to both adults and children. She also helped produce first-grade level activity units focused on healthy eating and embracing cultural diversity in food choice. In addition to her research, Mullins interned at a criminal defense law firm.

Faculty collaborator and mentor: (Madeline, Paola, Zoe) Dr. Laura Barbas Rhoden, professor of Spanish

Russell Kibbe

Russell Kibbe ’21, a first-generation college student, chemistry major and religion minor, focused on organometallic chemistry and air-free chemistry to synthesize zinc and aminotroponimine ligand complexes to be used as catalysts for intermolecular hydroamination reactions on allenes and alkenes. This work is significant to the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and biological industries. It allows hydroamination to take place in a more atom economical way while producing less byproducts and chemical waste. Kibbe plans to attend graduate school for chemistry and earn a PhD.

Faculty collaborators and mentors: Dr. Robert. J. Harris, visiting assistant professor of chemistry and Dr. Jameica Hill, professor and chemistry chair

Savannah Bryant

Savannah Bryant ’22, a mathematics major with minors in computer science and philosophy from Clover, S.C., researched the methodology behind programming code used to determine outbreaks of diseases in certain spatial locations. She hopes this research will produce a statistical model that will allow more preparation for disease outbreaks. She plans to continue her research in the fall of 2020. Bryant is a Bonner Scholar, an iCAN mentor, a first-generation college student, a Wofford Ambassador, a Greek life participant and a member of the college’s female acapella group.

Faculty collaborator and mentor: Dr. Deidra A. Coleman, assistant professor of mathematics

Savannah Talledo

Savannah Talledo ’21, a chemistry and theatre major from Spartanburg, S.C., aimed to synthesize zinc catalysts that could perform intermolecular hydroamination reactions on both alkenes and allenes. Her specific project focused on synthesizing a mixed ligand derived from acetylacetone that when bound to zinc will form a catalyst whose effectiveness will be studied through intermolecular hydroamination reactions of alkenes.

Faculty collaborators and mentors: Dr. Robert. J. Harris, visiting assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. Jameica Hill, professor and chemistry chair