2019 Ledford Scholars Announced

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - by Merritt Jenkins, Lee University

Five Lee University students Andrew Franklin, Hannah Holley, Alissa Jackson, Paul Montgomery, and Rachel Wood were selected by the Appalachian College Association as Colonel B. Ledford Scholars.

The Colonel B. Ledford Scholarship offers financial assistance to eligible students who are conducting summer research at ACA member institutions.

Mr. Franklin is a sophomore mathematics major. His project is titled “Dendrite Formation in Lithium Ion Batteries.”

Mr. Franklin is working on his project from Oak Ridge National Labs, where Dr. Robert Sacci is the industrial liaison. Mr. Franklin’s project is about the modeling dendrite formation in lithium ion batteries. The eventual purpose of this research is to be able to forecast when a battery may reach failure (explode). His faculty sponsor is Dr. Debra Gladden, associate professor of mathematics at Lee.

Ms. Holley, a junior classics major, received the Ledford Scholarship to complete a Latin translation project of the writings of Lucifer of Cagliari, a less well-known Church father of the fourth century.  Lucifer wrote five treatises, none of which have ever been translated into English, that were directed against the Roman emperor Constantius II because of his support of those whom Lucifer considered to be unorthodox. 

Ms. Holley will make a first English translation with linguistic, historical, and literary notes. Dr. Aaron Johnson, associate professor of humanities and classics, will serve as her faculty sponsor.

Ms. Jackson is a junior biology and health science double major. Her project title is “Investigation of Novel Point Mutations in the TMEM67 Gene and Their Role in Joubert Syndrome.”

Joubert syndrome is a rare disorder that causes developmental delay and often premature kidney and liver failure. Ms. Jackson has identified a novel mutation in the TMEM67 gene in an adolescent female with Joubert syndrome. In this project, she will attempt to characterize this gene variant and study its function in a human kidney cell model.

“I am excited for the opportunity to mentor Alissa on this project,” said Ms. Jackson’s faculty sponsor, Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Jonathan Cornett. “She has impressed me so much with her hard work and eagerness to learn. She has a bright future ahead of her!”

Mr. Montgomery is a senior biology major. His project is titled “Conservation Ecology and Habitat Assessment of the Endangered Conasauga Blue Burrower Crayfish Cambarus Cymatilis,” and his faculty sponsor is Dr. Michael Freake, professor of biology.

Mr. Montgomery will survey known and potential sites to determine how wide the distribution of the terrestrial burrowing crayfish is and estimate the abundance of each population. The project is important in effective conservation and management of this crayfish, which is listed as a state endangered species, as many sites are impacted by urban and suburban development in the southeast.

Ms. Wood, a junior mathematics pre-engineering major, will utilize Principal Component Analysis to identify characteristics of fonts that make them pleasing or effective in various contexts, such as readability on an electronic device. Her goals are to use PCA to design better fonts and predict how favorably people might view a new font.

Her project is titled "Quest for the Mathematically Ideal Font Using Principal Component Analysis." Dr. Richard Moy, assistant professor of mathematics, is her faculty sponsor.

For more information about the ACA or the Ledford Scholarship, visit https://acaweb.org/.


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