The Office of Research and Sponsored programs is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Provost Student Research Award (PSRA) Competition. The Provost Student Research Awards are designed to provide UTC’s Graduate and Undergraduate students with a special opportunity to participate in original research with faculty members.

These awards are highly competitive. We receive far more applications than we are able to fund. Proposals are reviewed, rated, and ranked by faculty panels of subject matter experts across campus. The winning projects are carefully designed, persuasively written, and clearly articulate the intellectual merit of the research and its practical application to the discipline.

UTC is fortunate to have funded 25 projects in 10 different disciplines this year. Please join us in congratulating the following students and their faculty advisors. Best wishes in conducting your research over the next year. We can’t wait to see your results!


Student Project Title Faculty Advisor Amount
Biology, Geology, & Environmental Science
Jessica Ammon Molecular Monitoring of MRSA:  Identification and Prevention in Healthcare Settings Dr. David Giles $565.80
Andrea Kur An Investigation of Southern Appalachian Pteridophytes Dr. Joey Shaw $836.00
Sara Grillo Effect of predation risk and prey boldness on prey stress response in a small mammal, Octodon degus Dr. Loren Hayes $1,000.00
Kirsten Hein Implementing Early Screening Methods on First-Backcross Chinese-American Chestnut Hybrids for Resistance to Phytophthora cinnamomi Dr. Hill Craddock $1,000.00
Chemical Engineering
Chris Purvis Studying Aeromonas salmonicida Growth and Membrane Permeability in Continuous Culture Dr. Bradley Harris $946.00
Cooper Thome Biodiesel Production in Microreactors using Heterogeneous Catalysis Dr. Bradley Harris $1,000.00
Chemistry & Biochemistry
Connor Frye Exploring the Potential of Cheap Cobalt Complexes as Homogeneous Catalysts for the Selective Oxidation of Hydrocarbons to Alcohols Dr. John Lee $1,000.00
Tyler Khan Study of the Photoacoustic Effect in Carbon Dioxide Dr. Han Park $1,000.00
Jacob Ewald Fluorescence Studies of Lysozyme Modifications Induced by Quinones Dr. Titus Albu $1,000.00
Neethu Kurien SDS-PAGE analysis of naphthoquinone-induced protein modifications and the effect of pH Dr. Jisook Kim $1,000.00
Will Robinson Bismuth Triflate-Catalyzed Evans-Tishchenko Reaction Dr. Kyle Knight $1,000.00
Civil & Chemical Engineering
Reed Boeger Studying Vibrio cholerae Adaptations to Improve Cholera Prevention Dr. Bradley Harris $1,000.00
Criminal Justice
Zachary Rush Examination of Millennials’ Perceptions of Corporal Punishment Dr. Christina Policastro $405.00
Health & Human Performance – Athletic Training
Damon Sowers Influence of concussion history on reactive agility performance among elite boxers and wrestlers Dr. Shellie Acocello $1,000.00
Alexandra Waters Electrical Conductivity Evolution Under Thermal Cycling in Novel Fe-Dy-Tb-O Thin Films Dr. Tatiana Allen $999.95
Margaret Dempsey The Twelve Tribes:  Ethnographic Conversion Stories of Current Members Dr. Ralph Hood $998.00
Jared Dirghalli Quantifying and Qualifying the Links that Bind:  A Conceptual Map of the Workplace Experience Dr. Christopher Cunningham $1,000.00
Jessica Hacker Motivation and Environmental Cues: Predictors of Prospective Memory Performance Dr. Jill Shelton $1,000.00
Amanda Schwartz Language Patterns and Invisible Disabilities Dr. Amye Warren $1,000.00
Drake Terry A Noble Task:  Work Stress, Sense of Coherence, and Work-Nonwork Conflict in Christian Ministers Dr. Christopher Cunningham $1,000.00
Amanda Warner Detecting Deception:  The Accuracy of the Good Judge Dr. Kate Rogers $1,000.00
Social Work
Kaila Northcutt Vicarious Trauma in Social Workers Dr. Morgan Cooley $667.00
Erin Thomas Improving No-Show Rates in a Community Health Clinic Dr. Morgan Cooley $827.00
Theatre and Speech
Joyce McPherson Shakespeare Pedagogy:  Active Learning in the Theatre Arts Dr. Anne Swedberg $1,000.00