Summer Scholar Research Highlights

by kmainsah on August 29, 2019

Isabel Hildesheim ‘20

Major: Biology

Title: Using Bryophytes for Stronger Quantification of the Effects of Air Pollution in Habitat

Abstract: This project will work to develop a method for using mosses to quantitatively assess air pollution. Moss will be fumigated with SO2 in the lab. The morphology, physiology, and cytology of these mosses will be observed, and polar auxin transport, photosynthesis, and respiration rates will be measured pre and post fumigation. Moss will be placed at three locations within Southwestern Virginia along a pollution gradient. Every three months for a year, the number of moss species present at these sites will be counted and samples of the moss specimens placed in the field will be collected for observation and analysis.

Something about the scholar: Isabel is Biology major who is passionate about conservation. She is an avid hiker and her hobbies include identifying plants and animals, spending time outdoors, reading, and learning about the world around her. She is dedicated to finding ways to improve the environment and educate others about how important the environment is. Her long-term goal is to go to graduate school and eventually get a job as a National Park Ranger performing conservation ecology field research. 


Emma Howard-Woods ‘20

Major: Sociology

Title: Barriers to Healthcare Access: How Socioeconomic Status Affects Perceived Access to Healthcare

Abstract: The goal of this project is to assess different barriers to healthcare access within the Roanoke Valley. This project will begin with the selection of three clinics within the Roanoke Valley, each serving a distinct socioeconomic population. From there, each clinic will receive two sets of questionnaires, one to be distributed to the patients, and one to the healthcare providers that work there. The questionnaires are designed to gauge the extent to which participants from each clinic perceive different barriers to healthcare access. Participants will also have an opportunity to participate in an optional interview.

Something about the scholar:  Emma was raised in Roanoke, Virginia. She graduated from William Byrd High School in 2016. She is now a junior at Roanoke College and is majoring in Sociology with concentrations in Anthropology and Peace and Justice Studies. She is active in the Honors program as well as the Student Peace and Justice Association and Alpha Kappa Delta. After Roanoke, she plans to go to graduate school to study public health, public policy, and law. She hopes to someday have a career in healthcare policy where she can make healthcare more equitable.

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