Breanna Lee
Biology

"Assembling a Transcriptome of Genes in Embryonic and Post-Embryonic Hemidactulium Scutatum Tails"

Faculty Mentor: Sharon Babcock

Vertebral segmentation throughout the life cycle is a feature unique to the salamander taxon (Amphibians: Urodeles). The molecular mechanisms of post-embryonic segmentation has been illusive thus far, however, a thorough investigation of the genes active during tail development throughout the Hemidactylium scutatum life cycle, may shed some light. Using the SOLiD transcriptome analysis method, a transcriptome from cell populations located in the tail for all life stages will be created and examined. It is suspected that genes active during embryological segmentation may be responsible for segmentation post-embryonically, therefore some key genes that influence somite formation and development are expected to be found in the tails throughout the life cycle. Once the molecular players are uncovered, further exploration of the segmentation mechanisms used by adult salamanders may offer insights on ways to stimulate adult segmentation in other vertebrates, such as humans.

Haley Winter
Modern Foreign Languages (Spanish)

"Great by Comparison, but Social Inequalities Still Persist"

Faculty Mentor: Anthony Tongen

As a global citizen, I view my responsibility as serving others, not just those who happen to reside in my same country. I believe that there should not be any more loyalty to helping another, solely because of their area of residence. I aim to aid the global community by providing my services to a social work organization that strives for the protection and development of at-risk children. By working with a Chilean organization, I hope to implement and improve my Spanish speaking skills and gain insight into the working of an international non-profit. Voluntarious de la Esperanza (VE) Global is an organization that accepts international volunteers to come work in orphanages and community outreach programs in Santiago, Chile. VE Global makes a greater impact on the community than most organizations because they spread their resources and time through many different outlets.

Claire Elverum
International Affairs

"Dunia Moja, Mazingira Moja (One World, One Environment)"

Faculty Mentor: Besi Muhonja

My project will involve working with students at Mwasama School’s Darasa Shamba (Garden School) in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. The goal is to translate a physical environmental innovation and learning site/school into an online site. This site will allow the students at Mwasama to network with other children globally, starting with two partner schools in Virginia. Through this network, the children will share their innovations and experiences towards environmental protection and development. Genres on the site will include pictures, videos, poetry, essays, quotes, and anecdotes. I will partner with Barbet’s Duet, JMU’s Center for Instructional Technology, Mwasama Primary School, Norfolk Collegiate, and Oscar Smith Middle School.

Read more about Claire's project.

Rosealie Lynch
Anthropology

"Studying Yoga: Practice, Language, and Philosophy in Mysore, India"

Hinshaw-Daniel Scholarship

Faculty Mentor: Liam Buckley

Yoga plays a major role in my life as a conduit for personal growth through physical training, intellectual stimulation, and self-discovery. I wish to spend 6 ½ weeks studying yoga in Mysore, India. My stay will be from July 1-2014-August 14, 2014. At Anantha Research Foundation, I will take classes in Sanskrit, the ancient language of yoga, and deepen my understanding of yoga philosophy through the practice’s foundational teachings of Patanjali. In addition, I will use the resources at the Foundation to conduct an independent study of the Hindu/Yogic chakra systems that play an integral role in yoga. Supplementing these efforts, I will practice Ashtanga yoga daily at the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. I will be practicing and studying in an enriching community of intellectuals and serious yogis, while experiencing a foreign country with a very different culture from my own.

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