Students selected for summer research

Seven Northwestern College students have been selected to participate in off-campus research projects this summer.

Kathleen Ainslie, a senior biology health professions major from Rapid City, S.D., will be interning at the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. She will be working with Dr. SungWoo Kang in research on adolescents with severe behavioral disabilities.

Senior Andrea Davis, a psychology major from Orange City, will conduct neurotheology research with Dr. Nina Azari at the University of Hawaii–Hilo. Azari is an international leader in both meta-emotion (emotion about emotions) and research that relates neuroscience and religion. Davis will assist Azari’s lab team as they attempt to validate a pioneering survey that aims to quantify and assess meta-emotion.

Biology health professions senior Hannah Dyvig, Humboldt, Iowa, will conduct neuroscience research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dyvig, who has a career concentration in neuroscience and persons, will assist Dr. Brenda McKee, whose research on the molecular changes that occur in different areas of the brain during initial learning may lead to understanding and combating drug addiction. Dyvig’s program is funded by a Research Experience for Undergraduates grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

May graduate Jason Helmus will spend the summer as a research assistant at the University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center. Helmus, a biology health professions major from Rock Valley, Iowa, will join the team in Dr. Russell Anthony’s biomedical research lab. Anthony’s team studies placenta and normal fetal growth and development.

Emily Meyerink, a senior psychology major from Platte, S.D., will participate in the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Western Kentucky University. She will work with Dr. Pitt Derryberry in researching the moral development of adolescents and young adults.

Jessica Peterson, a senior chemistry major from Blue Earth, Minn., will be participating in an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates at the University of South Dakota. She will be conducting research related to photodynamics and nanoscience with Dr. Stanley May, a physical chemist.

Laura Rensink, a senior biology health professions major from Sioux Center, will conduct developmental biology research in the lab of Dr. Dale Redmer at North Dakota State University. She will assist a team investigating vascular growth in reproductive tissues.

Davis, Dyvig, Helmus and Rensink have all received funding from Northwestern’s $2.5 million Lilly Grant to provide support for their summer experiences.