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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2013 / 03 

Seven undergraduate students awarded 2012-13 ACC Creativity and Innovation Fellowships

March 5, 2013

Students win ACC Creativity and Innovation Fellowships
From left to right: Cameron Rose, Sydney Vaughn, Kristen Fread, and Brian Hess. Pictured below: Ashley Lohr. Not pictured: Doug Smith and Michele Anderson.

Seven Virginia Tech undergraduate students have been awarded the 2012-13 Atlantic Coast Conference Creativity and Innovation grants for undergraduate research and creative scholarship.

The grant program, coordinated by the Office of Undergraduate Research within the Division of Undergraduate Education, recognizes undergraduate students who are pursuing independent research projects or creative works under the mentorship of faculty. Selected scholars receive up to a $2,000 award that can be used as a stipend and/or direct support of research expenses such as supplies, travel, and use of specialized research services.

Students from all academic disciplines were able to apply to the program. The seven selected students were chosen from among 45 applicants representing six of the seven undergraduate colleges at Virginia Tech.

“The fellowship program allows talented students to dig deeper into their research projects while enhancing their critical thinking, communication, and analytic skills, making them more competitive for employment and graduate school admission,” said Tomalei Vess, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and current chair of the ACC Fellows Program in Creativity and Innovation Committee.

The 2012-13 ACC Fellows in Creativity and Innovation are:

  • Michele Anderson of McLean, Va., a sophomore majoring in biological systems engineering in the College of Engineering. Project title: “Utilizing microfiber-enabled lithography to engineer spatiotemporally-diverse tissue microenvironments.” Faculty mentor: Warren Ruder, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering.
  • Kristen Fread of Accomac, Va., a sophomore majoring in biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Project title: “Regulation of membrane trafficking adaptor proteins.” Faculty mentor: Daniel G.S. Capelluto, associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.
  • Brian Hess of Burke, Va., a junior majoring in apparel, housing, and resource management in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Project title: “The effects of music in retail environments.” Faculty mentor: Irene Leech, associate professor in the Department of Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management.
  • Ashley Lohr of Purcellville, Va., a sophomore majoring in wildlife science in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. Project title: “Evaluating the maximum lethal temperature of the brown marmorated stink bug.” Faculty mentor: Thomas Kuhar, associate professor in the Department of Entomology.
  • Cameron Rose of Richmond, Va., a sophomore majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science. Project title: “Pesticides and pollinators: An examination of pesticide sensitivity for managed honey bee colonies.” Faculty mentor: Troy Anderson, assistant professor in the Department of Entomology.
  • Douglas Smith of Bridgewater, Va., a junior majoring in psychology in the College of Science. Project title: “Using perception of time and self to discriminate cognitive constructs of impulsivity and mindfulness after meditation training.” Faculty mentor: Anthony Cate, assistant profess in the Department of Psychology.
  • Sydney Vaughan of Roanoke, Va., a junior majoring in biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Project title: “The role of fibroblast growth factor-10 in maintaining the neuromuscular junction.” Faculty mentor: Gregorio Valdez, assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences.

The Inter-Institutional Academic Collaborative of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACCIAC) financially supports the ACC Fellows Program in Creativity and Innovation as well as the ACC Meeting of the Minds Undergraduate Research Conference, among other scholarships and initiatives. The ACCIAC receives part of its funding from the ACC Championship Football Game.

Applications for the 2013-14 Fellows Program in Creativity and Innovation will be available next fall. Information will be released through Virginia Tech News.

More information on this program and additional undergraduate research opportunities is available through the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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