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Gatton Students Persist With Summer Learning

By Tommy Newton

Bowling Green, KY - In spite of recent global events concerning COVID-19, students from The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky have continued summer learning in virtual internships, reimagined programs and, in some cases, in-person at WKU, around the Commonwealth, and around the globe.

In addition to prestigious research internships through the National Science Foundation (NSF) and internships through The Gatton Academy's new public-private partnership program, the Gatton Sponsored Internship Program, this summer also features virtual study abroad opportunities.

Gatton Academy students from the local area include:
  • Elizabeth Cook, Adair County High School class of 2021, who was selected to research Synthesis of semiconductor nano-particles in ionic liquids with Dr. Lawrence Hill of the WKU Department of Chemistry.

  • Elisha Fletcher, Russell County High School Class of 2021, who was selected to study Piranha Bite Force and Morphometrics with Dr. Steve Huskey of the WKU Department of Biology.

  • Samuel Leveridge, Russell County High School class of 2021, who had been selected for a study abroad partnership with Harlaxton College in Grantham, Englad, and will instead be studying Honors: Introduction to Literature with Drs. Dawn Hall and Ted Hovet of the WKU Department of English
"Gatton Academy students actively seek opportunities to continue their learning and contribute to their communities year-round. This summer is no different as they are continuing research and internships online, learning critical languages, and working in family businesses and local grocery stores," director Dr. Lynette Breedlove said. "I admire our students' dedication as they contribute to local economies, as well as state and national scientific advances."

A list of grouped student summer plans appears below followed by individual student experiences.


NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)
The following students were selected for prestigious NSF REUs:
  • Hannah Leibman, '20 (North Oldham High School, Prospect) The Plant Genome Research Program at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) is having a virtual Undergraduate Professional Development series. Leibman is taking an online course through BTI at Cornell, learning about the Institute's research and building connections with other researchers.
  • Grace McClurg, '20 (Ludlow High School, Fort Wright) McClurg is working virtually on Neurotechnologies to Help the Body Move, Heal, and Feel Again through the University of Houston. This opportunity is a research program that allows students to work with neural engineers and neuroscientists at the NSF BRAIN Center in the development of neural technologies that can function as diagnostic tools, neural interfaces, or medical robots.
  • Laurel Philpott, '20 (Nelson County High School, Bardstown) Though canceled for this year, next summer Philpott will study how the growth of certain extinct crops influenced the migration of early humans at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. The REU will include field work in Oklahoma to collect samples, visits to Washington University to utilize their biology labs, and weekly meetings at the botanical garden to discuss graduate school and research presentations.

Gatton Research Internship Grant Recipients
In its 11th year, the Gatton Research Internship Grant program creates summer research opportunities for rising seniors. Thirteen students were chosen for summer 2020, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, funding was suspended this year. In some cases, recipients are able to continue their research virtually:
  • Ahmad Ateyeh, '21 (Western Hills High School, Frankfort) Simulating high-speed metal-forming processes with Dr. Morteza Nurcheshmeh of the WKU School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
  • Sachi Barnaby, '21 (Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green) Investigating C-Robotics with simulations and programming with Dr. Ali Buendia of the WKU School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
  • Elizabeth Cook, '21 (Adair County High School, Columbia) Synthesis of semiconductor nano-particles in ionic liquids with Dr. Lawrence Hill of the WKU Department of Chemistry.
  • Elisha Fletcher, '21 (Russell County High School, Russell Springs) Piranha Bite Force and Morphometrics with Dr. Steve Huskey of the WKU Department of Biology.
  • Nathaniel Gillispie, '21 (West Carter High School, Grayson) Manipulating knots in virtual reality with Dr. Claus Ernst of the WKU Department of Mathematics.
  • Benjamin Handshoe, '21 (Hazard High School, Hazard) Determining the incoherent nullification numbers of knots with Dr. Claus Ernst of the WKU Department of Mathematics.
  • Laura Hanna, '21 (Hazard High School, Hazard) Oral Microbial Profile among Different Ethnic Backgrounds with Dr. Luciana Shaddox of the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry.
  • Krupa Hegde, '21 (Larry A. Ryle High School, Union) Identifying genetic screen to investigate genes that may be involved in the pathogenesis of ALS through the use of D. melanogaster with Dr. Ajay Srivastava of the WKU Department of Biology.
  • Calvin Higdon, '21 (Daviess County High School, Philpot) Studying the Incoherent Nullification of Knots with Dr. Claus Ernst of the WKU Department of Mathematics.
  • Gloria Huang, '21 (South Warren High School, Bowling Green) Aging and the visual perception of rotation with Dr. Farley Norman of the WKU Department of Psychological Sciences.
  • Diksha Satish, '21 (Western Hills High School, Frankfort) Research on carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae with Dr. Simran Banga of the WKU Department of Biology.
  • Abdallah Sher, '21 (The June Buchanan School, Hazard) Evaluating the effects of aging upon texture-defined shape perception with Dr. Farley Norman of the WKU Department of Psychological Sciences.
  • Jason Zhang, '21 (Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green) Photocatalytic Reactions for Organic Synthesis with Dr. Yongming Deng of the WKU Department of Chemistry.

Gatton Sponsored Internship Program
The Gatton Sponsored Internship Program works with Kentucky businesses and organizations who are interested in a tax-deductible, private-public partnership with our program by providing a project-based summer internship to a Gatton Academy student.

Interapt
Louisville-based Interapt is excited to partner with the General Assembly to deliver a comprehensive internship program for students between the ages of 16 to 21 with an interest in marketing and technology. The internships are entirely remote. The six-week paid internships offer nearly 30 hours of online learning sprints led by highly respected industry experts in the consumer insights, creative development, channels and execution, measurement and analytics, and marketing technology.

Gatton Academy participants follow:
  • Shreeya Arora, '21 (duPont Manual High School, Louisville)
  • Samuel Chang, '21 (Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green)
  • Krupa Hegde, '21 (Larry A. Ryle High School, Union)
  • Gloria Huang, '21 (South Warren High School, Bowling Green)
  • Chloe-Lin Jaiswal, '20 (Pendleton County High School, Butler)
  • Jason Kash, '21 (Greenwood High School, Bowling Green)
  • Aarini Panzade, '21 (duPont Manual High School, Louisville)
  • Uria Park, '20 (South Oldham High School, Crestwood)
  • Laurel Philpott, '20 (Nelson County High School, Bardstown)
  • Tucker Ramage, '21 (Madisonville-North Hopkins High School, Madisonville)
  • Olivia Sharp, '21 (Henry Clay High School, Lexington)
  • Abdullah Sher, '21 (The June Buchanan School, Hazard)

Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory
Gatton Academy participants are attending the virtual Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, participating in textbook and journal clubs, and interacting with a full complement of weekly guest speakers. Instead of doing a lab experiment, the following interns are doing a thought experiment designing an experiment to address a provocative question posed by the National Cancer Institute.
  • Norman Chan, '20 (Conner High School, Hebron)
  • Ashwin Menon, '21 (Simon Kenton High School, Independence)
NCSSS Student Research Conference
The annual NCSSS Student Research Conference was hosted virtually by the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics. The annual conference provides an opportunity for students in STEM schools to come together and collaborate on learning. Participating in the conference gives students the opportunity to present their original research and get hands-on experience with STEM technologies.
  • Sarah Hartman, '21 (Allen County-Scottsville High School, Scottsville)
  • Ashwin Menon, '21 (Simon Kenton High School, Independence)
  • Sanjana Nasta, '21 (North Oldham High School, Prospect)
  • Aarini Panzade, '21 (duPont Manual High School, Louisville)
  • Mina Ryumae, '21 (Larry A. Ryle High School, Union)
  • Diksha Satish, '21 (Western Hills High School, Frankfort)
  • Jackson Summers, '21 (North Hopkins High School, Madisonville)
  • Jason Zhang, '21 (Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green)

Friends of Red River Gorge
This is a National Geographic iNaturalist project focused on pollinators and supported by Pollinator.org.
  • Morgan Burk, '21 (Franklin-Simpson High School, Franklin)
  • Raychel Kool, '21 (Campbell County High School, California)
  • Hannah Leibman, '20 (North Oldham High School, Prospect)
  • Starr May, '21 (Woodford County High School, Versailles)
  • JT Reagor, '20 (Campbell County High School, California)
  • Jackson Summers, '21 (North Hopkins High School, Madisonville)
  • Darby Tassell, '20 (Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green)

Experiences Abroad

National Security Language Initiative-for Youth (NSLI-Y)
NSLI-Y scholarships from the U.S. Department of State fund students for six-to-eight weeks of summer intensive study and immersion in a critical language. The scholarship covers all program costs, travel to-and-from the host country, tuition, housing with a host family, activities, and more. The following students received NSLI-Y Scholarships for summer language study, which are being conducted virtually because of COVID-19:
  • Cat Appelman, '20 (Elizabethtown High School, Elizabethtown) Appleman is a graduating student in The Gatton Academy's STEM + Chinese track taking Chinese classes in WKU's Department of Modern Languages.
  • Michael Givens, '20 (Green County High School, Greensburg) Givens was selected for a summer scholarship to study the Chinese language.
  • Melanie Grimm, '21 (Paul G. Blazer High School, Ashland) Grimm was selected for the Korean language for a NSLI-Y Virtual Summer Intensive.
  • Margot Hare, '20 (Rowan County Sr. High School, Morehead) Hare will continue her study of the Russian language through her award this summer. She is a graduating student in The Gatton Academy's STEM + Russian track taking Russian classes in WKU's Department of Modern Languages.
  • Krupa Hegde, '21 (Larry A. Ryle High School, Union) Hegde will study Turkish through her NSLI-Y Virtual Summer Intensive.
  • Jada Hunter-Hays, '21 (LaRue County High School, Hodgenville) Hunter-Hays will continue her study of the Chinese language this summer. She is a first-year Gatton Academy student studying Chinese through the STEM + Chinese track.
  • Lauren Taylor, '21 (Campbell County High School, Cold Spring) Lauren Taylor will continue her study of the Arabic language this summer. She is a first-year student in The Gatton Academy's STEM + Arabic track taking Arabic classes in WKU's Department of Modern Languages.
  • Sasha Taylor, '21 (Dixie Heights High School, Crestview Hills) Sasha Taylor was selected to continue her study of the Russian language. She is a first-year Gatton Academy student studying Russian through the STEM + Russian track.
  • Janessa Unseld, '21 (South Warren High School, Bowling Green) Unseld will continue her study of Chinese this summer. She is a first-year student in The Gatton Academy's STEM + Chinese track taking classes in the Chinese Language Flagship program at WKU.
England
For a 10th straight year, The Gatton Academy was once again going to partner with Harlaxton College in Grantham, England for a study abroad course. However, this year's program was canceled due to COVID-19. As a consequence, the following students are studying Honors: Introduction to Literature with Drs. Dawn Hall and Ted Hovet of the WKU Department of English:
  • Isaac Anderson, '21 (Calloway County High School, Dexter)
  • Sachi Barnaby, '21 (Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green)
  • Christine Belance, '21 (Fairdale High School, Louisville)
  • David Boils, '21 (Clinton County High School, Albany)
  • Nicholas Clevenger, '21 (Paul L. Dunbar High School, Lexington)
  • Caleb Collins, '21 (Fulton County High School, Fulton)
  • Elizabeth Cook, '21 (Adair County High School, Columbia)
  • Evelyn Dukes, '21 (McCracken County High School, Paducah)
  • Sofia Farmer, '21 (Danville High School, Danville)
  • Caleb Fields, '21 (Fulton County High School, Hickman)
  • Lincoln Fuller, '21 (Woodford County High School, Versailles)
  • Nathaniel Gillispie, '21 (West Carter High School, Grayson)
  • William "Ty" Gordon, '21 (Mercer County High School, Salvisa)
  • Benjamin Handshoe, '21 (Hazard High School, Hazard)
  • Laura Hanna, '21 (Hazard High School, Hazard)
  • Sarah Hartman, '21 (Allen County-Scottsville High School, Scottsville)
  • Natalie Heath, '21 (Graves County High School, Mayfield)
  • Samuel Hoffman, '21 (Knott County Central High School, Hindman)
  • Gloria Huang, '21 (South Warren High School, Bowling Green)
  • Cody Humphrey, '21 (Spencer County High School, Mt. Eden)
  • Jada Hunter-Hays, '21 (LaRue County High School, Hodgenville)
  • Samuel Leveridge, '21 (Russell County High School, Jamestown)
  • Steven Lunsford, '21 (Elizabethtown High School, Elizabethtown)
  • Joseph Lyvers, '21 (Bardstown High School, Loretto)
  • Caden Maners, '21 (Harrison County High School, Cynthiana)
  • Emily Mikovch, '21 (South Warren High School, Bowling Green)
  • Jazmine Moore, '21 (Elizabethtown High School, Elizabethtown)
  • Sanjana Nasta, '21 (North Oldham High School, Prospect)
  • Olufunmilola Obielodan, '21 (The Frankfort Christian Academy, Frankfort)
  • Aarini Panzade, '21 (duPont Manual High School, Louisville)
  • Aarohi Panzade, '21 (duPont Manual High School, Louisville)
  • Travis Peden, '21 (Glasgow High School, Glasgow)
  • Keegan Pendleton, '21 (Hopkinsville High School, Hopkinsville)
  • Jackson Powers, '21 (Breckinridge County High School, Hardinsburg)
  • Matthew Poynter, '21 (St. Francis DeSales High School, Louisville)
  • Tucker Ramage, '21 (Madisonville-North Hopkins High School, Madisonville)
  • Mina Ryumae, '21 (Larry A. Ryle High School, Union)
  • Morgan Samples, '21 (Estill County High School, Irvine)
  • Anabeth Sharpe, '21 (Whitley County High School, Williamsburg)
  • Isabella Smith, '21 (Bullitt East High School/Bullitt Advanced Math and Science (BAMS), Mt. Washington)
  • Brannon Spalding, '21 (Scott County High School, Georgetown)
  • Treyden Stansfield, '21 (Martha Layne Collins High School, Shelbyville)
  • Matthew Street, '21 (Paul G. Blazer High School, Ashland)
  • Alexandra "Sasha" Taylor, '21 (Dixie Heights High School, Crestview Hills)
  • Audrey Thacker, '21 (Eastern High School, Louisville)

BP Global STEM Academies
BP Global STEM Academies are four-week programs connecting STEM through solving global issues with a hands-on curriculum. Summer 2020 Academies consist of a virtual experience with online group challenges, discussions, and mentorship. Summer 2021 will be the study abroad portion.
  • Gloria Huang, '21 (South Warren High School, Bowling Green)
  • Diksha Satish, '21 (Western Hills High School, Frankfort)

Other Notable Individual Experiences
  • Shreeya Arora, '21 (duPont Manual High School, Louisville) Arora is virtually attending the Conference on National Affairs (CONA), Black Mountain, NC. CONA offers opportunities for young people to do research in areas of national and international concern; to organize this information into a documented proposal; to engage in intensive discussion; and to debate these proposals with understanding young people from other states. The top 25 youth and government students are chosen from every state to attend. Arora was chosen from 8,000 youth and government students in Kentucky.
  • Morgan Burk, '21 (Franklin-Simpson High School, Franklin) Burk is virtually attending the Governor's School for Entrepreneurs at Northern Kentucky University. It is a three-week opportunity for 70 high school entrepreneurs to team and build business plans and models.
  • Samuel Chang, '21 (Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green) Chang is working remotely on research with Dr. Kam Chan of the WKU Finance Department. The research is over the impact of financial literacy levels on graduate school attitudes. They are hopeful the research will be ready for publication in the fall.
  • Arian Chopra, '21 (Louisville Male High School, Louisville) Chopra is working virtually with the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center (KSCIRC) Summer Internship through the University of Louisville's Frazier Rehab Center.
  • Evelyn Dukes, '21 (McCracken County High School, Paducah) Dukes is working with West Kentucky Aquaponics in Draffenville.
  • Will Fowler, '21 (Bethlehem High School, Lebanon) Fowler is participating virtually in the Yale Young Global Scholars program, a two-week academic summer enrichment program.
  • Krupa Hegde, '21 (Larry A. Ryle High School, Union) Hegde is presenting her WKU Department of Public Health mentored research at the July Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Hegde is presenting her work virtually.
  • Gloria Huang, '21 (South Warren High School, Bowling Green) Huang is virtually teaching three STEMThink Camps, focusing on web/app development and mental health. They will also be hosting a hackathon, HackSTEMThink, taking place in August.
  • Catherine Huddy, '21 (Homeschool, Lewisport) Huddy is conducting research virtually with Dr. Ozkan Ozer in WKU's Department of Mathematics on the control of vibrating smart materials.
  • Chloe-Lin Jaiswal, '20 (Pendleton County High School, Butler) Jaiswal is the recipient of a DAAD RISE internship in Kaiserslautern, Germany at the University of Kaiserslautern in the Laboratory of Engineering Thermodynamics. The program was canceled because of COVID-19.
  • Nathan Jones, '20 (Owensboro High School, Owensboro) Jones was accepted to audition to the Brevard Music Center's Summer Festival on violin, a competitive, five-week orchestral and solo music festival for high school and college students. The festival was canceled due to COVID-19. Jones is working on a publication with Dr. Claus Ernst of WKU's Department of Mathematics.
  • Ethan Kelly, '21 (Daviess County High School, Owensboro) Kelly is continuing his WKU-mentored research in theoretical physics with Mr. Tony Simpao.
  • Gabriella Lynn, '20 (University Heights Academy, Hopkinsville) Lynn is working at the Mansfield Animal Hospital in Hopkinsville.
  • Mina Ryumae, '21 (Larry A. Ryle High School, Union) Ryumae received the Olay Internship in Cincinnati. Ryumae is working remotely as a paid INTERalliance intern at Olay for 10 weeks.
  • Diksha Satish, '21 (Western Hills High School, Frankfort) Satish is participating virtually in a bioinformatics workshop with Dr. Mark Farman at the University of Kentucky. The workshop training leads to a research project with Dr. Claire Rinehart of WKU's Department of Biology focusing on an aspect of fungal genomes.
  • Treyden Stansfield, '21 (Martha Layne Collins High School, Shelbyville) Stansfield is participating virtually in a bioinformatics workshop with Dr. Mark Farman at the University of Kentucky. The workshop training leads to a research project with Dr. Claire Rinehart of WKU's Department of Biology focusing on an aspect of fungal genomes.
  • Jackson Summers, '21 (North Hopkins High School, Madisonville) Summers is participating virtually in the Climate Change Reality training workshop. He is also working as the Social Media Director for the student-run, online magazine Jayzoq Media.
  • Darby Tassell, '20 (Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green) Tassell is job shadowing with veterinarian Dr. Lindsey Petty-Dixon at Smith County Animal Clinic in Carthage, Tenn.
  • Elisha VanZant, '20 (Henry Clay High School, Lexington) VanZant is participating virtually in the Summer Health Professions Education Program (SHPEP) at the University of Louisville.
  • Austin White, '20 (Daviess County High School, Owensboro) White is presenting his WKU School of Engineering and Applied Sciences research work at the July 2020 World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Applied Computing in Las Vegas, NV. White will present his work virtually.
  • Luke Wilson, '21 (Greenwood High School, Bowling Green) Wilson is interning at the Baker Arboretum working in horticulture.
  • Sierra Wyllie, '20 (Henry Clay High School, Lexington) Wyllie is an electrical engineering intern at Space Tango, a Lexington company which makes autonomous lab modules to run experiments on board the International Space Station.
  • Jason Zhang, '21 (Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green) Zhang is presenting his WKU Department of Chemistry research work at the August American Chemical Society National Meeting in San Francisco, Calif. Zhang will present his work virtually.


About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky's first residential two-year program for gifted and talented high school junior and seniors. The Gatton Academy's students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematical careers. The Gatton Academy has been named to Jay Mathews' list of top-performing schools with elite students for ten consecutive appearances.


This story was posted on 2020-07-07 14:04:24
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