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Honors program encourages undergraduate research

August 01, 2017 11:00 AM
Mary Sparacello msparace@tulane.edu


Thanks to a Summer Honors Research grant, Izzat Shbeeb, a senior in the School of Science and Engineering, studied novel polymers in a chemistry lab. (Photo by Sally Asher)


Tulane University rising junior Hannah Kent is investigating the links between ancient Greek tragedy and modern combat veterans.

“The question is whether human experience is universal,” she said. “We live in a very different society from ancient Greece … But I think the classics do have a role in our lives. We can use these ancient texts to address stigmatized topics.”

Kent, majoring in classical studies in the School of Liberal Arts, is collaborating on a project conceived by Michael Brumbaugh, assistant professor of classical studies, to evaluate the pre-existing scholarship about modern and ancient war veterans in the context of Tulane and in New Orleans.

Kent is one of 21 undergraduates awarded summer research grants through the Newcomb-Tulane Honors Program to conduct studies alongside faculty members.

These opportunities were made possible by philanthropic support from generous Tulane donors, including Grace and F. Chapman Taylor, a 1982 Tulane graduate; Harold E. Glass, parent of Jesse Glass, a 2008 Tulane graduate; and Chris Austin, a 1980 graduate.

Undergraduates in a variety of majors and fields conducted research.

Rising senior Izzat Shbeeb studied the synthesis of novel polymers for use in cell transfection in the lab of chemistry professor Scott Grayson. Shbeeb, majoring in cell and molecular biology in the School of Science and Engineering, plans to attend medical school.

This summer, he mastered the skills of laboratory research, spending hours working with delicate scientific equipment. This level of laser focus would have been difficult during the hectic school year.

“I have full confidence in my abilities to carry out procedures on a day-to-day basis,” said Shbeeb. “It’s an empowering feeling.”

Other students awarded grants include:

Olivia Barnard
Emma Bortz
Claire Davis
Charles Ellsworth
Alejandra Gonzalez Vargas
Shahmeer Hashmat
Jiayu Huang
Rachel Israilivich
Jamin Kidd
Dylan Koester
Cameron Leahy
Amanda Lee
Rebecca Levy
Riley Loria
Andrew Markel
Nathan Nguyen
Taylor Selembo
Claire Sentilles
Weiyao Wang

Like this story? Keep reading: Tulane is a top producer of US Fulbright students