student and professor working together in a lab

Under­graduate Research

Conduct relevant under­graduate research even in your first year.

Join the faculty-student collaboration initiative at Florida Southern College! Our passion is helping you apply your learning to real life.

100%
of freshmen biology students conduct antibiotic research

$60k
in annual funds to support student-faculty research

200+
students travel annually to professional meetings

From business to the sciences to the humanities, Florida Southern College thrives on research.

Because the College is a teaching institution, its emphasis on engaged learning across departments encourages students to inquire, research, reflect, and think critically about their subjects.

Gianna Appolonia

GIANNA APPOLONIA '20

 

Conference

The American College Dance Association Southeast Conference

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Gianna created her choreographic work "Vide Noir" during DAN 3663 Choreography III to reflect the vastness of space and the unknown in life. To begin her research she posed questions to the dancers and began forming their responses into movement. Her outside inspiration came from the work of Ohad Naharin and the Batsheva Dance Company and used movement workshopping methods to create choreography that relayed deep meaning and emotional content. To set this tone, Gianna chose not to set the piece to traditional music and instead use a recording of electronic sounds that resemble the wind howling through trees. Through her research, Gianna created a sophisticated and well-designed piece of choreography that not only reflects a mood and tone but also demonstrated how movement alone can communicate ideas, emotions, and aesthetics in a surprising and innovative manner. 

As a tribute to her success, one professor said, "Gianna's created a very strong choreographic work. Her project grew tremendously from the initial proposal to the final performance due to Gianna's research about her topic and creativity using already established and newly created choreographic methods. She has an aptitude for choreography and the research required of dance artists."  
 

Alec Bigness

ALEC BIGNESS

 

Conference

The American Chemical Society National Meeting

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

During his freshman and sophomore years, Alec worked with professors on computational chemistry.  This work resulted in a peer-reviewed publication in a peer-reviewed journal (Bigness A, Montgomery J. The Design and Optimization of Plasmonic Crystals for Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Using the Finite Difference Time Domain Method. Materials. 2018;11(5):672. doi:10.3390/ma11050672) and an oral presentations at regional meeting.  Alec has not only conducted research at FSC but was also selected to participate in two REUs: Florida State University (summer 2017) and Toulouse Universite Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, Occitanie, France (summer 2018).  In the spring of his junior year, he joined my research group to develop his honors thesis. Alec wanted to blend his computational experience to optimize metal organic materials (MOMs) with the aim to seek applications on drug delivery.  He has synthesize three new MOMs and is studying theirs stability and will use a model pharmaceutical compound to test the ability of these compounds as drug delivery agents. ± 2.30 in. There was no significant relationship between BF% and VJ (r = -.050) or FMS and VJ (r = -.246). Freshman had lower BF% than returners. Movement quality scores indicate athletes achieved composite scores above injury risk. Vertical jump ability was higher in returners yet both freshmen and returners had lower than recommended reactive power. BF% or movement quality did not correlate with VJ performance.
 
Alec is one of the most talented and creative students I have had the privilege to work with. He is an independent thinker capable of bridging several areas of chemistry and science in general.
Charles Gotsch

CHARLES GOTSCH  '19

 

Conference

Academy of Business Research Fall Conference

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The expansion of nontraditional equity investing platforms and peer-to-peer lending platforms has created a financial disruption the private sector’s financial services industry. As the practice and number of platforms continue to expand, so do the associated concerns and reservations about supply-side investor risk, fraud, and money laundering. Charles' research focuses on conceptualizing and scrutinizing online equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending utilizing data about investor perception of risk. His analysis will quantify investor risk  perception about the different conceptual spaces within the business life cycle in addition to the ease of entry and convenience associated with the practices. Also, it explores the current regulatory environment and use the critical application of accounting principles for an  examination of fraud and culpability concerns within online equity crowdfunding and peer-to peer (P2P) lending structures.

Research Questions: 
1. Does the stage of business development lifecycle affect microinvestor perception of risk?  
2. Does ease of access/convenience of nontraditional business investments decrease risk aversion?  
3. Does regulatory oversight have a positive effect on nontraditional business microinvestor risk assessment?  
4. Is there sufficient legal oversight of microinvestor activities? 

As a testament to his success, one professor said, "Charles' work is unique and has leveraged interest from Linkedin Influencers on the topic of micro and peer to peer lending.
 

Anna Griessler

AnnA GRIESSLER '19

 

Conferences

Southeast American College of Sports Medicine Regional  Conference (SEASCM);
American College of Sports Medicine National Conference (ACSM-National)

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

THEME:  
The Physical and Athletic Performance Characteristics of Division II Collegiate Women Soccer Players.

QUESTIONS:  
1. Is an athlete’s body composition related to her expression of power (i.e. a higher percent of adipose tissue correlates with a lower power output)?  
2. Is an athlete’s movement quality score related to her expression of power (i.e. higher movement quality correlates with a higher power output, etc.)?  

TECHNIQUES:  
1. Body fat percentage (BF%) was measured utilizing air plethysmography and Bioelectrical Impedance.  
2. Vertical jump and reactive power was measured using a Just Jump Mat.  
3. Functional movement screening (FMS) was measured using an FMS kit.  
4. Data was assessed using SPSS software (version 25.0).  

RESULTS:  
Team BF% was 19.99 ± 4.39% with freshman (n=10) BF% recorded at 18.73 ± 5.07% and returners (n=12) at 21.0 ± 3.62%. 95% of the team achieved a 15 or higher composite score on FMS screening. Team VJ was 19.28 ± 2.61in with freshman VJ of 18.56 ± 2.88 measuring lower than returners VJ of 19.88 ± 2.30 in.  There was no significant relationship between BF% and VJ (r = -.050) or FMS and VJ (r = -.246). Freshman had lower BF% than returners.

Anna found that movement quality scores indicate athletes achieved composite scores above injury risk. Vertical jump ability was higher in returners yet both freshmen and returners had lower than recommended reactive power. BF% or movement quality did not correlate with VJ performance. 

As a tribute to her success, one professor said, "Anna is the first student in the Exercise Science Program program to be accepted to the SEACSM regional conference- this is setting a tremendous example for younger majors about the value of research and presenting your work professionally. Over the course of the past two years she has been involved in research projects involving women’s soccer that have resulted in four abstract acceptances for regional, national, and international meetings. She is intellectually curious."  
 

Kenzie Hurley

KENZIE HURLEY>

 

RESEARCH

Kenzie worked with the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) June 2018 on a project to help identify the characteristics of sexual harassment perpetrators. As part of a joint FSC-DEOMI research team, Kenzie helped develop a survey instrument which was administered to FSC students as part of a pilot study. Kenzie was instrumental not only in the creation of that survey instrument, but also in obtaining approval from the military to conduct the research, and with the data analysis and report writing. In fact, Kenzie took the lead in analyzing the data (N = 1,850) that was collected from military members from September – October 2018. Kenzie also helped present the results of the FSC pilot study at both the Southern Criminal Justice Association and the Southeastern Psychology Association annual conferences, and submitted the results for publication at the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychologists conference. Importantly, Kenzie’s research continued through the Summer of 2019. Kenzie was selected for a prestigious internship through the Office of Naval Research and spent her summer studying sexual harassment issues. Kenzie is now attending the University of West Florida for her graduate studies. 

As a tribute to her success, one professor said, "Kenzie is the most impressive student I have ever worked with in almost 13 years of teaching. She is the epitome of a well-rounded student having an outstanding GPA while serving as the Secretary and, then, the President of Psychology Club. In a short two year period of time she has published in a peer-reviewed journal, presented 18 posters at regional and national conferences, and was selected for a prestigious research internship through the Department of Defense." 

Ann Kast

Ann KAST

 

Conference

National Association of Professional Development Schools

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Ann's project dealt with how to increase writing proficiency for students with reading difficulties. She developed five different lessons where she used art to develop students writing. The students are in sixth grade at the Roberts Academy. The results showed that the students writing was enriched with descriptive language.  

As a tribute to her success, one professor said "Ann Kast has presented at NAPDS for the past two years. She has also presented at Fiat Lux, in 2018 and her poster, on using graphic novels to increase fluency in reading was displayed in Convo. She is a Southern Ambassador and shows leadership and creativity in everything she does." 

James McKenna

JAMES MCKENNA

 

PUBLICATIONS

Jim's work has been featured and published in a number of literary journals, both those aimed at undergraduates and others which accept work from writers at all stages of their careers. 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Jim has been working with me for a year on generating a manuscript of original poetry partially focused on his own navigations of racial identity and sexual politics. A number of his poems have been accepted or are under consideration by nationally-recognized literary journals, and he has applied to a number of graduate programs to continue this work after his graduation from Florida Southern.

As a tribute to his success, one professor said, "In addition to his personal accomplishments in his own field, Jim has been a tireless ambassador for FSC since his first year on campus. He leads tours, meets with prospective students, assists professors with academic showcases and meetings with interested students and family members, manages the literary magazine (a powerful recruiting tool for students), and will represent the college extremely well as he moves forward with the next phases of his academic and artistic career."  
 

Our Faculty Share Their Insights

In every field of study, our students and professors are working together to make the world a better place.

FSC marine biology students with Dr. Jason Macrander (center) at the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Annual Meeting.

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Dr. Gabe Langford launches the Trident ROV for its inaugural voyage.

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From left to right: Professor Daugherty, Dr. Wolovich and Dr. Kjellmark exploring the uses of GIS technology at the Sea Grant UF training program.

New Geographic Information System Lab at FSC

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