Eight rising juniors from the College of Arts & Sciences have been chosen as new Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholars.
The Rawlings scholars program supports a select group of undergraduate students, from all colleges and many disciplines, by providing resources for and promoting sustained engagement in research in close relationship with faculty and other mentors.
The majority of scholars are selected as incoming freshmen, but up to 25 are selected each year as rising juniors. Scholars collaborate with faculty mentors—of their choosing—in designing and carrying out an individualized program of research.
Magnifying the power of this dynamic student-faculty partnership, the program provides each scholar with a generous research support account ($8,000 for scholars admitted as freshmen; $5,000 for those admitted as juniors) and an annual need-based loan replacement of up to $4,000.
This year’s new scholars from Arts & Sciences are:
- Muhammad Ali ’19, a double major in sociology and biological sciences, whose research could improve blood flow and cognition in patients with Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Sean Cronan ’19, a College Scholar focusing on Asian studies and comparative literature, whose research centers on the structure of modernity and the question of empire in Asian intellectual history.
- Alex Hutchins ’19, an Asian studies and religious studies double major, who is studying organic farmers in rural Japan and their responses to the current Japanese political climate and nuclear policies in the wake of the recent tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
- Karen Loya ’19, a sociology major, who is studying civic involvement of Mexican and Mexican American parents at the U.S.-Mexico border and how that involvement affects their children’s educational outcomes.
- Archana Podury ’19, a major in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, who studies neural circuits underlying trial-and-error learning in zebra finches and mice as a way to uncover the nature of motor learning. The mechanisms of motor learning underlie neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's and Huntington's disease.
- Amith Punyala ’19, a biological sciences major, who is studying a gene that is more highly expressed in the process of myelin sheath repair following multiple sclerosis (MS). His research could discover new molecular targets for the treatment of MS.
- Celina Scott-Buechler ’19, a College Scholar focusing on marine science and coastal environmental justice studies, who is studying the correlation between environmental variables and disease prevalence in a species of Caribbean sea fan coral.
- Darby Tarlow ’19, a College Scholar studying psychology and applied mathematics, whose interests lie in human-robot interaction and studying psychological mechanisms underlying social/moral attributions.