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University Fellows Conduct Summer Research

Fifty-three St. Lawrence University students have been selected as 2013 University Fellows this summer. The program allows students to receive funding for specific research projects while conducting partnered with a faculty mentor.

Michelle Goldberg ’14 recently returned from a trip to the island-nation of Jamaica. However, Michelle didn't travel there for the all-you-can-eat buffets and cocktail specials. Instead, she was there to collect river silt and lagoon sediment samples from Discovery Bay for her summer research project on the deterioration of coral reefs.

Michelle, of Short Hills, N.J., who is majoring in geology, is one of 53 St. Lawrence University students selected as a 2013 University Fellow. University Fellows is a summer program that began 14 years ago and helps fund students researching along with a faculty partner. Students applying for fellowships identify a faculty mentor and develop their own research proposals prior to sumission.

Michelle partnered with Dr. Antun Husinec, an associate professor of Geology. Together, they are researching how increased levels of non-carbonate materials in river sediment might be contributing to the destruction of coral reefs in Jamaican lagoons.

“I collected several samples in the lagoon while I was there,” Michelle said. “I’m using hydrochloric acid to break down the sand and silt. Then, I'll look at the percentages of quartz, calcium and other carbonate minerals that are present. The only thing that should be in there are carbonate minerals. Any other materials must be coming from the river silt.”

Michelle, who received an eight-week fellowship through the Dr. J. Mark Erickson Geology University Fellowship, is hoping to present her findings through a poster presentation during a conference of the Geological Society of America in Denver this fall.

Another Unviersity Fellow, Madison Schoeberlein ’15, is an art major from Bloomfield, N.Y. She is researching street art in the 21st century as well as creating some of her own artwork. Madison, who received the Daniel F. ’65 and Ann H. Sullivan University Fellowship, explained why she believes street art is important today.

“Street art, which is a descendent of graffiti, is definitely more artistic,” Madison said. “It’s more like closing the gap between everyday life and the art one finds in galleries.”

Madison is working with her faculty mentor, Catherine Tedford, to put together her own exhibition at the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery in Spring 2014, which will incorporate creations using stencils, wheat paste, and faux wall designs. In the meantime, Madison will travel this summer to New York City and Montreal to find more examples of street art, artists and inspiration for her own work.

The entire list of 2013 University Fellows can be found here.

To view the photo gallery and to learn more about some of our Fellows, click here.