November 30, 2023

Summer Scholar’s program names recipients

Every year the Summer Scholar’s program offers a select group of students the opportunity to

Matt Heim

experience academic scholarship throughout the summer. The program lasts 10 weeks and covers the selected students cost of living, plus a stipend.

The six students chosen this year will be conducting research in a wide variety of disciplines.

 Matt Heim, a junior music technology major, will be studying cymatic, the phenomenon of visualizing sound through vibration within a medium.

Heim said he learned about this relatively unexplored area from watching a YouTube video. 

During his research, Heim plans to expand this field by developing a cymascope to help visualize these sounds.

“Though still in its very early stages, cymatic research is beginning to be linked to physical and mental healing, communicating with Dolphins, and even speech therapy for the deaf,” Heim said.

Angela Grate, a junior English literature and economic and political science major, is planning on using her opportunity as a summer scholar to analyze the ethics of the United State’s drone use and targeted killings abroad.

Angela Grate

Grate said she first learned about this topic during a high school debate about the ethics of targeted killing.


She plans on working with Jonathan Loopstra, assistant professor of history, and Nate Jackson, assistant professor of philosophy.

“I will work on the Middle East countries, the terrorist organizations present, and the targeted killings of the four terrorists I’ve selected and their relationship with the United States,” Grate said.

Jacob Kemery, a junior computer science major, will be creating an iPad app, that will let you present and play back drawings and diagrams during his time as a summer scholar.

“The main research is figuring out how to capture the information coming in from a stylus on the iPad, storing the information, then playing it back in a presentation,” Kemery said.

His academic adviser, David Reed, professor of mathematics, computer science and physics is the one who encouraged him to apply to the program.

Marisa Pesa, a junior professional writing and history major, is expanding her English 211 paper on David Foster Wallce’s “Infinite Jest,” for her summer scholars program. She will be working Kevin Griffith as her adviser.

Her work will be analyzing “Infinite Jest” alongside analysis of Gertrude Stine’s “Tender Buttons” and T.S. Elliot’s “The

Marisa Pesa


“I’ll be analyzing the text looking through thing theory, environmental theory, and trying to understand how subject-object  relationships change over a course of time,” Pesa said.

Marcie Blandford, sophomore creative writing and French major, will use her time this summer to visit asylums in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois and write horror stories. Blandford will be working with Griffith.

After getting into writing horror fiction last semester, she submitted a proposal to write a horror fiction genre book about fictional characters in actual Midwestern asylums.

“It means a lot to me,” Blandford said. “It’s really hard during school to find time to write your own stuff, so this is like me sitting down for the whole summer getting to write about things I find interesting.”

Jessica Berchtold

Jessica Berchtold, a sophomore English literature, professional writing, and creative writing major, will also be spending her summer contemplating David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest.”

She is expanding on a nine page paper she wrote for her 211 class in which she is trying to give the book a purpose. Griffith will be her adviser for this project.

“Lots of people say, ‘It’s this great book, but what does it actually mean?’ So I was trying to find a way to give it meaning,” Berchtold said.

Griffith, who teaches the critical writing course, considered this new way of reading the book fairly radical and encouraged her to join the program.


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