i know what (research) you did last summer

Every year, the COE awards fellowships to fund summer research opportunities for Wesleyan students across all majors and class years. Most recently, the COE awarded 31 summer fellowships and 3 fall fellowships to Wes students. Learn a little bit more about each, below!

Erin Byrne ‘24 / SISP & Psychology: Worked with Forklift Danceworks in Austin, Texas, job-shadowing employees of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department to gain an understanding of their jobs and to build community connections.

Ellis Collier ‘23 / University Major: Completed initial dramaturgical research and writing for senior capstone project: “The King in Yellow,” an original experimental and immersive performance piece.

Ruby DiCarlo ‘23 / Archaeology & ENVS: Researched ecosystems of medicinal and aromatic plant species found in perfume containers at Tel Shimron, in Israel, with Kate Birney, associate professor of classical studies.

Solea Fiester ‘24, Grey Simon ‘24 and Nicholas Summerson ’23: Stewarded the land at Long Lane Farm. Read more about their summer in this article from the Middletown Press.

Vivian Gu ‘23: Worked in Professor Fred Cohan’s lab, studying genomes isolated from strains in Death Valley to develop a fine-level systematics of ecological diversity of bacteria related to Bacillus subtilis.

Leila Henry ‘23 / SISP: Used data from the Environmental and Health Data Portal, a subset of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to write accessible weekly journal articles to help educate New Yorkers about health concerns.

Nina Hirai ‘23 / Anthropology & Film: Worked with Kate Birney, associate professor of classical studies, and zooarchaeologists at the excavation at the site of Tel Shimron, Israel, to to study how animals were raised.

Avery Kelly ‘23 / Government & ENVS: Worked with an environmental consulting firm based in Denver, Colorado, interacting with different sectors and companies interested in renewable energy transitions.

Kiran Kowalski ‘23 / Biology & Anthropology: Assisted Professor Michael Singer in his insect ecology lab, studying mechanisms of tritrophic interactions in Central Connecticut forests.

Fletcher Levy ‘23 / Biology & ENVS: Conducted thesis research on the extent of convergent evolution in body plan between carnivorous marsupials (Dasyuridae) and carnivoran placentals (Canidae).

Lila Luthy ‘23 / English & ENVS: This fall, will undertake a forest stand dynamics study to predict the future forest composition of the Great Hollow Nature Preserve and Ecological Research Center in Fairfield, Connecticut and explore the effects of emerald ash borer on the ecosystem.

Samuel Marcus ‘23 / E&ES: Collected fracture orientation and density data using drone imagery to construct structure from motion models in order to identify a relationship between stress fields, topographic geometry, and fracture patterns.

Saira Mehra ‘24 / Economics and NS&B: Studied the role of running in regulation of brain capillary growth in mice, as a research assistant in Professor Janice Naegele’s lab.

Maggie Monaghan ‘24 / American Studies & ENVS: Conducted research on “Not in My Backyard” (NIMBY) to create a musical to draw the connection between colonization and modern-day environmental destruction.

Louisa Monahan ‘24 / Biology and Film: Researched transgenerational plasticity as a research assistant in Professor Sonia Sultan’s lab.

Jessica Moy ‘24 / Government & Sociology: Gained hands-on excavation and cataloging experience at Tel Shimron, in Israel, with Kate Birney, associate professor of classical studies.

Zach Murgio ‘24 / Art Studio & E&ES: Studied invasive species in Malta to research how to better incorporate them into local cuisine and diet.

Braden Myers ‘23 / E&ES: Collected waters, sediment cores, and vegetation samples along land-to-shallow sea transects in natural and restored mangrove and seagrass systems to determine the origin of buried organic carbon in these sediments.

Elizabeth Ouanemalay ‘23 / Biology & SISP: This fall, will work as a research assistant in Fred Cohan’s lab, comparing the germination and sporulation ability between wild and lab strain Bacillus subtilis.

Megan Perkins ‘23 / Psychology & ENVS: This fall, interning with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Law and Policy Section.

Ava Purdue ‘23 / Psychology: Investigated the care practices and critical decisions involved in rehabilitating wildlife for return to the wild at the Na’ankuse Wildlife Sanctuary in Windhoek, Namibia.

Cris Rodriguez ‘24 / Philosophy & ENVS: Traveled to the province of Sucúain the lower part of the Ecuadorian Amazon to research the philosophy of the Shuar tribe and how they understand the world.

Anoushka Saluja ‘24 / Psychology: Investigated community-based art approaches to environmental issues with Forklift Danceworks in Austin, Texas.

Stephen Vaughn ‘23 / NS&B: Worked in Professor Alison O’Neil’s lab to determine the mechanism by which cis-Chlordane, a potential environmental cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), can cause an ALS phenotype in an induced pluripotent stem cell derived motor neuron culture mode.

Will Wallentine ‘23 / Biology and E&ES: Interned at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston Texas, working on a project that could provide a better understanding of how Martian lake beds formed.

Ken Wu ‘23 / Film &ENVS: Gained hands-on experience working with plants in a controlled growth environment as a research assistant in Professor Sonia Sultan’s lab.

Bin Yun ‘23 / Physics: Assisted in Professor Renee Sher’s lab, helping to investigate the efficiency of different renewable energy materials.

Nélida Samara Zepeda ‘23 / Art Studio & ENVS: Volunteered with Lama Lama Ka Ulu, an Indigenous Hawaiian startup nonprofit organization focused on regeneratively providing food sovereignty for the Hawaiian people through ancient practices of organic agroforestry.