CLU students conduct research projects

30 undergraduates receive summer fellowships

Huong (Ivy) Nguyen, shown with faculty mentor Grady Hanrahan, is developing a model to assess pesticide exposure in Ventura County communities.

Photo: Brian Stethem

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Aug. 7, 2012) Thirty undergraduate students are conducting full-time research at California Lutheran University this summer with the help of more than $160,000 in grants.

A faculty committee awarded fellowships from the university, Amgen and the California Wellness Foundation based on students’ written proposals and academic performance. With guidance from faculty mentors, the students are working on a wide range of projects.

Sixteen students are conducting a variety of natural-science research under Swenson Science Summer Research Fellowships. Thelma Alvarez of Palmdale is studying the Western fence lizard's bite force and the effects of temperature on its performance curve. Andrew Anderson of San Bernardino is researching whether the abdominal patch on a lizard correlates with reproductive success. Tara Leach of Bakersfield is studying the properties of blood plasma proteins and factors in the formation of blood clots. Lyndsey Pugh of Tehachapi is crossing fruit flies with two genetic mutations to study the extra eye mutation. Jessica Reid of Medford, Ore., is testing the muscle-bone relationship in cyclists.

Two global studies students received Pearson Scholars Summer Program fellowships. One of them, Elizabeth Palko of Glendale, Ariz., is analyzing interchanges among Christians, Muslims and Jews as they discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to determine whether interfaith dialogue is a model for building peace.

Four students received Darling Summer Research Fellowships for computationally driven projects. They include Marilyn Arceo, an Artesia resident who is developing an algorithm to solve analytical chemistry problems by imitating biological processes.

Brittni Thomas of Oxnard received an Overton Summer Research Program in Economics fellowship to study the relationship between the amount of humanitarian aid received in conflict regions and improvements in education, healthcare, the food system, water and sanitation.

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships are funding projects in disciplines not supported by other university research programs for five students. They include Andrew DeGoede, a resident of Gig Harbor, Wash., who is studying Rembrandt’s artistic development and techniques the painter pioneered in order to reproduce self-portraits. Carla De Lira, a Los Angeles resident, is creating an interactive online archive of individuals' daily routes, and Jamie Morriss, a La Mesa resident, is interviewing Los Angeles and Ventura county interfaith leaders to develop websites.

Robert Springer of Rogers, Minn., received an Amgen Fellowship to characterize natural medicine products according to their reactive components. Huong (Ivy) Nguyen of Vietnam is developing a model to assess pesticide exposure in Ventura County communities with a fellowship from the California Wellness Foundation.