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Ohio Wesleyan awards seven grants to support students’ academic, research and internship experiences

By Cole Hatcher

DELAWARE, OHIO – From completing community mapping work in Costa Rica to comparing life expectancies in Italy and the United States, students at Ohio Wesleyan University receive nearly $ 49,000 in new university-funded grants to support academic, research and internship experiences.

The Ohio Wesleyan today announced seven new theory-to-practice grants to enable 12 students and four faculty and staff mentors to complete the OWU connection experiments on campus; in Columbus, Ohio; and abroad in Costa Rica, Italy, Morocco and Northern Ireland.

Beneficiary of the previous grant Allisa schuller received theory-to-practice grants to support summer internships at Goodman Media International, a global public relations firm in New York, and at Spark Foundry, an international media agency in Seattle. Schuller, who is graduating this month, has been hired full-time by Spark Foundry.

“(At Spark) I was able to work with Starbucks, REI, AAA and many other top companies,” said Schuller, who majored in business administration and with a minor in accounting and religion. “I had the best experience of my life and made friends forever. At the end of my time at Spark, I received a full-time job offer, which I accepted, within the REI strategy team. …

“OWU supported, funded and encouraged me when I really needed it most,” said Schuller of Mansfield, Ohio. “I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without these theory-to-practice grants and the support I received from this school.”

The Ohio Wesleyan will be awarding three rounds of theory-to-practice grants this academic year – one in the fall semester and two in the spring. Here are the latest scholarship recipients and their projects:

  • “Understanding the presence of megaviruses in Iceland, enlarged”, submitted by a senior Delanie baker from Santa Paula, California. This project is an extension of independent research that Baker conducted in the summer of 2018, now incorporating new DNA sequencing techniques into his study of the Megavirales order of giant viruses. “We now have a unique opportunity to analyze all of the DNA from four of our samples, allowing the discovery of new species of bacteria,” said Baker, a microbiologist. She will be working on her expanded project on campus throughout the spring semester.
  • “Using Remote Sensing to Engage in Community Mapping and Citizen Science”, submitted by Nathan Rowley, Ph.D., assistant professor of geology and geography, with senior student Lucas Farmer from Warrenton, Virginia, and sophomore Austin riegel from Marion, Ohio. The group will travel to Bahia Ballena, Costa Rica for a week in March to help the community address environmental concerns. They will collect data via remote sensing techniques via a Phantom4 drone. Examples of the use of this data include urban planning (installation of utility lines) and resource management (mapping of local deforestation).
  • “” Free people “: the formation of identity among the Imazighen in Morocco”, submitted by a Milany Duarte from Bridgeport, Connecticut, with Alana guzman from El Paso, Texas. The students will travel to Rabad and Marrakech for almost two weeks in January. “The objective of our project,” says Duarte, “is to study the formation of cultural and ethnic identity among the urban indigenous populations of Morocco. We will focus specifically on the Amazigh community as it is a perfect example of a group of marginalized people with an endangered language. … To do this, we will conduct interviews and discussions on the ways in which the Amazigh community experiences cultural, political and linguistic marginalization.
  • “An exploration of some concepts of blue zones in community eating and physical activity environments in Umbria, Italy and central Ohio”, submitted by Christophe fink, Ph.D., associate professor of health and human kinetics, with junior Abby bowman from Delaware, Ohio and sophomore Emily sheridan of North Smithfield, Rhode Island. The group will travel to Italy for almost two weeks in May. There they “will use qualitative research methods, as well as health promotion and community theory to explore selected concepts of the blue zones, and how they appear in the lived experiences of individual actors in the contexts of food and drink. ‘physical activity “. Blue zones are areas of the world where people are said to live much longer than average.
  • “Performance and narration in the classical Spanish theater”, submitted by junior Sarah gielink from Twinsburg, Ohio, with junior Monty Almoro from Radnor, Ohio, and Glenda Nieto-Cuebas, Ph.D., associate professor of modern foreign languages. The funds will allow the group to bring the Spanish theater company Teatro Inverso to Ohio Wesleyan to lead students in workshops that will help them develop their own adaptation of a classic text. The theater company will also be giving an open performance to OWU and the community.
  • “History, Security and Peace: A Comparison of Sectarian Conflicts in Northern Ireland and the Middle East”, submitted by junior Ahmed Hamed from Hilliard, Ohio, with junior Noah Spice from North Reading, Massachusetts, and Lisa Ho, Deputy Director of International and Off-Campus Programs. The group will travel to Northern Ireland for a week in January to study sectarian conflict and ontological security from perspectives unique to each participant’s context. “Through interviews and interactions with individuals affected by the conflict and those seeking peace,” said Hamed, “this project will compare and contrast this sectarian issue in Northern Ireland with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict”.
  • “Jazz Arts Group Workshop”, submitted by Jasmine spitzer of Minot, North Dakota. The grant will allow Spitzer to do a summer internship with the Jazz Arts Group (JAG) based in Columbus, Ohio. The group’s mission is to “advance and celebrate the art of jazz through performance and education”. “Ultimately,” said Spitzer, “this opportunity will prepare me for success in my music career and my life after OWU.”

Once students have completed their OWU login experiences, they will prepare reports and presentations based on their goals and experiences.

OWU Connection, the university’s flagship program, is designed to help students think big (understand the problems of multiple academic disciplines), globalize (gain an international perspective) and become real (translate knowledge into class in real world experience). The OWU Connection includes theory-to-practice grants, travel learning courses, internships and more. Learn more about The OWU Connection at www.owu.edu/owuconnection.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate specializations and participates in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through the Ohio Wesleyan OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge from all disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world contexts. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in “Colleges That Change Lives” and is featured in US News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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