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Summer Scholars

Would you rather flip hamburgers (or paint houses or mow lawns) or spend a summer on the Roanoke campus using your mind? Would you like to get a package worth more than $5,000 for feeding your curiosity?  Summer scholars are paid $2,500, receive summer housing (valued at $1,400), and a summer course credit.

Roanoke's Summer Scholar Program is designed for serious students who want to use their summers wisely and work one-on-one with faculty. Every year, students compete for selection to receive one of the summer scholarships. Faculty from across the college review student research proposals and decide these prestigious awards.

For Summer Scholars, the experience continues into the fall, as every student presents their project during Family Weekend. A good salary. A mind-expanding summer. A chance to strut your stuff. It all adds up.

Recent Summer Scholars Projects (2016)


  • Taylor Briese. From Roanoke to East Lansing: Charlie Thornhill and Football's "Underground Railroad". (Faculty mentor: Ivonne Wallace Fuentes, History)
  • May Pwint Thair Chu. Origin of Civilizations and Religions in Egypt and Myanmar: How do Religion and Ruling Elites Shape Each Other?  (Faculty mentor: Leslie Warden, Fine Arts)
  • Maggie Fitzgerald. Alliance and Alienation: The Dialogue between White Liberalism and Black Consciousness in the Demise of the Apartheid State. (Faculty mentor: Jesse Bucher, History)
  • Brieanah Gouveia. Slaves, Foreigners, Barbarians: Class and Ethnicity in Athenian Law and Life. (Faculty mentor: Jason Hawke, History)
  • Daniel Osborne. A Creative Collection from Brushwood, U.S.A. (Faculty mentor: Anita Turpin, English)
  • Joseph Statler. Transforming Text to Image: Illustrating a Children's Story. (Faculty mentor: Kate Shortridge, Fine Arts)

Social Sciences

  • Shannon Barter. The Socioeconomic Barriers that Limit the Use of Intrauterine Devices and other Long Acting Reversible Devices. (Faculty mentor: Lane Destro, Sociology)


  • Jacob Barfield.  Modeling the Effect of Riluzole on Bursting in Respiratory Neural Networks.  (Faculty mentor: Daniel Robb, Physics)
  • Caitlin Donahue. Development of a Glutamate Biosensor. (Faculty mentors: Tim Johann and Richard Keithley, Chemistry)
  • Abigail Hobby. Application of Sports Analytics: Efficient Forms of Offense in the Women's Soccer Game versus the Men's.  (Faculty mentor: Roland Minton, Math).
  • Rebecca Hudon. Generating a star (steroidogenic acute regulatory protein) mutant zebrafish to study human steroid deficiencies.  (Faculty mentor: Chris Lassiter, Biology)
  • Thane Jones. Thermal Self-Healing Polymers Based on the Diels-Alder Reaction. (Faculty mentor: Gary Hollis, Chemistry)
  • Hanna Lyle. Exploring the geology of Mars through analysis of Mossbauer spectroscopy data collected by NASA's Mars rovers.  (Faculty mentor: Rama Balasubramanian, Physics)

Roanoke students also frequently present their research work at regional and national professional conferences.  Most summer scholars present their work at such conferences in addition to the on-campus Showcase of Experiential Learning.

For more information contact the Director of Undergraduate Research (