Grants Awarded for Research

Seven students, research, and a national convention all at Concordia.

Seven Concordia students’ research was awarded funding by Sigma Zeta.

Sigma Zeta National Science & Mathematics Honor Society is a national undergraduate honor society to encourage and foster scholarly activity and recognize academic scholarship in the natural and computer sciences and mathematics.

Dr. Graeme Wyllie, assistant professor of chemistry, is the national president of Sigma Zeta and Dr. Joseph Whittaker, associate professor of biology, is a national officer (publicity). 

In early November, the national officers of Sigma Zeta met to review the 22 research proposals received in 2019. Instead of funding a few to the full amount, they decided to fund as many as possible and funded 19 of the 22 proposals.

The following is a list of Concordia students and their research that received funding:

Lauryn Hinckley ’22 – “Determination of the Efficacy of Chitosan-Alginate Bioplastics as a Drug Delivery System,” $294 

Faith James ’21 – “Competition for Habitat and Space in Squirrels on the Concordia College Campus,” $290

Andre Schaum ’20 – “Detection and Determination of Neonictinoid Insecticides in Minnesota/North Dakota,” $500

Jessica Skindelien ’21 – “Analyzing Energy Allocation in Native and Invasive Elodea Species,” $300

Olivia Vergin ’21, Lauryn Petrich ’21, and Vanessa Petrich ’21 – “Differentiation of White Footed Mice from Deer Mice,” $500

“I had Dr. Whittaker for one of my classes and got to know him, and late last spring he invited me to join a group of students who were working on his research about mice saliva,” Vergin said. “This fall, Lauryn, Vanessa, and I were all interested in applying for a research grant through Sigma Zeta, so we applied together and ended up receiving the grant. We look forward to having the funds to continue the research during the spring semester.”

Some of the seven students will present their research at the 2020 national convention to be held at Concordia in March. 

“Concordia hosting a national meeting with the organization’s president and publicist on campus is pretty impressive for a small liberal arts school,” Whittaker said.

Vergin said having this many Concordia students getting awarded grants like these is a wonderful opportunity. It allows them to continue learning outside of the classroom, giving them the chance to see how research is done in the real world.

“It is a unique experience you cannot get just from being in a classroom every day,” she added.

Photo (l-r): Faith James, Olivia Vergin, Lauryn Petrich, Andre Schaum, Vanessa Petrich, Lauryn Hinckley, Jessica Skindelien