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These grants support students in faculty-mentored, independent research experiences with up to $3,000 in funding for salary, research materials, or for travel to conduct research. Students who receive this award generally work 20 hours per week on their project for 8-10 weeks over the summer.

This year’s recipients are:
Kyle Clark  of Bloomington,  Kristen Lane  of Grand Ridge, and  Harsh Patel  Downers Grove, School of Biological Sciences, “Dopamine contributes to associative and non-associative memory in crayfish” with faculty mentor Dr. Wolfgang Stein.

Fawwaz Ali Chowhan  of Normal, School of Biological Sciences, “Genetic Screening of Drosophila Melanogaster to recover Hto inserts with distinctive subcellular localization patterns” with faculty mentor Dr. Kevin Edwards.

Brendan Czajka  of La Grange Park, Department of Physics, “Characteristics of Pair Creation” with faculty mentors Dr. Rainer Grobe and Dr. Charles Su.

Lylia Gomez  of Moline, Department of Physics, “Mathematical Modeling for Thermoreception in  C. elegans” with faculty mentor Dr. Epaminondas Rosa.

Alejandro Gonzalez-Jimenez  of Rolling Meadows, Department of English, “Secondary English Teachers’ Use of Writing and Conversation to Make Meaning of their Action Research Findings and Future Socially Just Instruction” with faculty mentor Dr. Danielle Lillge.

Katie Helmink  of Breese, Department of Chemistry, “Synthesis and reactivity of novel rhenium selenide cluster complexes containing alkyl ligands” with faculty mentor Dr. Lisa Szczepura.

Alma (Allie) High  of Bloomington, Department of Politics and Government, “Investigating Outcomes of STEM Summer Camps in Bloomington-Normal” with faculty mentors Dr. Will Lewis and Dr. Rachel Sparks.

L.T. Hodges  of Mahomet, Department of Special Education, “Technology Use in the IEP Process” with faculty mentor Dr. Kim Fisher.

Kiana Itschner-Washington  of Peoria, School of Biological Sciences, “Freshwater Soundscapes: Do fish howl at the moon?” with faculty mentors Dr. Bill Perry and Dr. Catherine O’Reilly.

Grady Jacobson  of Wentzville, Missouri; Department of Chemistry, “Characterization of the inactivation mechanism of the transcriptional repressor RcrR” with faculty mentor Dr. Jan-Ulrik Dahl.  

Brianna (Sage) Lauper-Cook  of Dalton City, Department of Chemistry, “Investigating the Reactivity of Cs[Re6Se8I3]” with faculty mentor Dr. Lisa Szczepura.

Amelie Mwilambwe  of Bloomington, Department of Agriculture, “Pollen diet diversity and its influences on bee microbiota and nutrition” with faculty mentor Dr. Ben Sadd.

Lane Nichols  of Farmer City, Department of Physics, “Block Copolymer Nanostructures Fabrication” with faculty mentor Dr. Mahua Biswas

Caroline Okleiteris  of Plainfield, School of Biological Sciences, “Intron analysis of the rfk-1 gene driver” with faculty mentor Dr. Tom Hammond.

Delaney Reynolds  of Kewanee, School of Biological Sciences, “Characterizing the Role of LXR in the Regulation of Maternal Glucocorticoid Exposure” with faculty mentor Dr. Ryan Paitz.

Lillian Ridinger  of Normal, Department of History, “Reconstructing Ancient Agricultural Economies and Trade Networks at Valle Gianni, Italy” with faculty mentor Dr. Kathryn Jasper.

Tyler Simpkins  of Murphysboro, School of Biological Sciences, “Effect of rcrB on antibiotic resistance in Uropathogenic  E.coli” with faculty mentor Dr. Jan-Ulrik Dahl.


FIREBIRD Spring 2023 Research Grant Winners

Key: Student Name/ “Title of Project”/ School or Department/ Faculty Mentor

  • Adeline Bowen "Internal Factors that Influence Overall Rock Strength: St. Peter Sandstone in Starved Rock State Park, Illinois" GEO/ Lisa Tranel.
  • Eaman Saleh "Evaluation of Dimethyl Fumarate and Sulfasalazine in Tandem with Electrical Stimulation on Glioma ROS Production" BIO/ Majorie Jones. 
  • Justin So "Leveraging Children's Oral and Gut Microbiomes" Nursing/ Susana Calderon. 

Previous FIREbird Grant Winners