Published: Fall 2014 in College News

Students Report on Their Summer Research Projects


Christopher Sue presents his chemistry research

Twenty student researchers, who worked during the summer with their professors in the fields of art, biology, chemistry, physics and psychology, presented their findings Sept. 11 at Westmont’s annual Summer Research Celebration, co-spon-sored by the Office of the Provost and the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts.

The celebration began with a reception and poster display. Students explained their research to people attending the event. The projects featured a range of topics, including Rembrandt and the Jews in 17th century Amsterdam, the effect of drought on blood glucose levels in garter snakes, anxiety and the effect of education on older adults’ cognitive abilities and generating a DNA vaccination against herpes simplex virus 1.

A panel discussion featured professors Michael Everest (chemistry), Frank Percival (biology), Steve Contakes (chemistry), alumnus Luke Patterson ’14 and two student researchers, Jacob Warren ’15 and Elizabeth Simoneit ’15.

Westmont has a long tradition of providing opportunities for students to partner with their professors on cutting-edge research.

“Just as internships in fields like business or medicine give students real-world experience that prepares them for future study or careers, research with faculty gives them a taste of collaborating with peers to solve real problems that matter to their disciplinary communities,” says Patti Hunter, vice provost and chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. “The skills they develop equip them to work in teams, talk with others about their ideas and tackle unsolved problems.”

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