Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate research at Franklin College promotes deep learning by inviting students to be active participants in the process of discovery.

These mentored, self-directed projects involve inquiry, design, investigation, research, scholarship, discovery, application, writing, and performance. Students often present their work on a local, regional, and national level through conferences and publications.

Scholars’ Day

Each year, after months of detailed research under the direction of faculty mentors, students have the opportunity to showcase their work for faculty, staff, peers and guests on Scholars’ Day. Listed below are the 2019-2020 scholars and their research projects.


Video Games and the Effect They Have on Physical Health, Mental Health, and Academic Performance
Presenter/Major: Quenton Wellington, Sociology/Criminal Justice; Kimberly Hampton, Sociology/Criminal Justice; Aleigha Jones, Sociology/Criminal Justice; Grant Druckemiller, Sociology/Criminal Justice
Mentor: Zhenyu Tang

Examining Time Expenditure and Academic Performance of Franklin College Students
Presenter/Major: Mariah Weddle, Sociology; Mary Jeffries, Sociology; Austin Grunden, Sociology/Criminal Justice; Thomas Beckstein, Sociology
Mentor: Zhenyu Tang

Interest in Esports
Presenter/Major: Jordy Jackson, Sociology/Criminal Justice; Cole Daab, Sociology/Criminal Justice; Joey Crider, Sociology/Criminal Justice; Nick Wright, Sociology/Criminal Justice
Mentor: Zhenyu Tang

Video Gaming, Gender, and Academic Preference
Presenter/Major: Kassidy Andrews, Sociology/Criminal Justice, Philosophy; Gabrielle Terhune, Sociology; Kylie Paul, Sociology
Mentor: Zhenyu Tang

Philosophy and Religious Studies

The Conundrum of Blameworthiness and Psychopaths
Presenter/Major: Matthew Brown, Biology
Mentor: Nicole Dular

Climate Change: The Invisible Frankenstein
Presenter/Major: Matthew Brown, Biology; Jordan Cermak, Psychology
Mentor: Nicole Dular

Mathematics and Computer Science

Clinical Rotation Scheduling System
Presenter/Major: Thomas Akers III, Computer Science, Software Engineering
Mentor: Robert Beasley

Visionary Operations Tallying Environment
Presenter/Major: Elijah Beasley, Software Engineering
Mentor: Robert Beasley

Leadership Johnson County Driving Tour
Presenter/Major: Isiah Jones, Computer Science, Software Engineering
Mentor: Kerry Smith

Cleveland Cavaliers Rebuild
Presenter/Major: Brady Hale, Quantitative Analysis; Lindsay Freije, Math
Mentor: John Boardman

Curriculum Proposal System
Presenter/Major: Bryce Hale, Computer Science
Mentor: Robert Beasley

An Exploration of X-Matrices
Presenter/Major: Dylan Harker, Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Quantitative Analysis
Mentor: Dan Callon

Statistical Analysis of the Phoenix Suns' 2018-2019 Season
Presenter/Major: Dylan Harker, Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, Quantitative Analysis; Jack Heim, Quantitative Analysis; Michael Church, Applied Mathematics
Mentor: John Boardman

New York Knicks General Manager for the Day
Presenter/Major: Jacob Laub, Quantitative Analysis, Finance; Alex Bowers, Quantitative Analysis, Finance; Mac Howard, Applied Mathematics
Mentor: John Boardman

Exercise Science

KAATSU Training Effect on Lactate Levels
Presenter/Major: Luke Kraeszig, Exercise Science; Jacob Ferguson, Exercise Science; Sarah Yount, Exercise Science; Cody Coppess, Exercise Science
Mentor: Kyra Noerr

Virtual Reality's Effect on Cognitive Function
Presenter/Major: John McKinney, Exercise Science; Ben Woodward, Exercise Science; Jayla Callens, Exercise Science
Mentor: Kyra Noerr

Health and Mentality Meter (HAMM)
Presenter/Major: Tyler Majeski, Computer Science
Mentor: Mary Johnston

Economics, Business and Accounting

Teradyne Stock Pitch
Presenter/Major: Brady Hale, Quantitative Analysis; Medelyn Gary, Business; John Moranchel, Business
Mentor: Colleen Everts

Moderna Stock Pitch
Presenter/Major: Mitch Merica, Business: Accounting and Finance; Linday Freije, Applied Mathematics; Payton Mills, Finance
Mentor: Colleen Everts

Eli Lilly Stock Pitch
Presenter/Major: Jenna Gerth, Business: Finance, Marketing, Management; Dylan Graham, Applied Mathematics, Quantitative Analysis; Olivia Wolfe, Business: Finance and Accounting
Mentor: Colleen Everts

Blue Apron Stock Pitch
Presenter/Major: Angela Schumacher, Accounting; Melissa Beer, Applied Mathematics, Quantitative Analysis; Trevor Bray, Business: Finance and International
Mentor: Colleen Everts

Disney Stock Pitch
Presenter/Major: Dylan Harker, Pure Mathematics, Applied Mathematics; Jon Ross, Applied Mathematics, Quantitative Analysis
Mentor: Colleen Everts

Substance Over Form Explained: Rules, Consequences, and Cases
Presenter/Major: John Moranchel, Accounting
Mentor: Colleen Everts

Corporation’s State Tax of Indiana: What Every Corporation in Indiana Needs to Know
Presenter/Major: Wes Woodard, Accounting/Finance
Mentor: Colleen Everts

Alleviation of Multiple Taxation
Presenter/Major: Mitch Merica, Accounting/Finance                  
Mentor: Colleen Everts

Helping Small Businesses
Presenter/Major: Olivia Wolfe, Accounting, Business/Finance
Mentor: Colleen Everts

Tax Avoidance: Versus Evasion, Common Loopholes, and Ethics
Presenter/Major: Angela Schumacher, Accounting
Mentor: Colleen Everts

Under Armor Stock Pitch
Presenter/Major: Abby Sewell, Business: Finance, Marketing, Accounting; Adam Hedinger, Accounting; Weston DeShon, Business: Finance, Marketing
Mentor: Colleen Everts

Impact of Standard Corporate Tax Rate
Presenter/Major: Avery Hill, Accounting, Business/Marketing
Mentor: Colleen Everts


Spatial Analysis of Parcels Surrounding Hilltop Farm Nature Preserve, Dearborn County, Indiana
Presenter/Major: James Bailey-Smith, Biology Ecology/Conservation; Chad Mays, Biology Ecology/Conservation  
Mentor: Benjamin O'Neal

Presenter/Major: Kara Hawkins, Biology Ecology/Conservation; Abigail Voss, Biology Ecology/Conservation  
Mentor: Benjamin O'Neal

Land Parcel Analysis for the Oak Heritage Conservancy
Presenter/Major: Logan Vandermark, Biology; Bradley Wehus-Tow, Ecology/Conservation
Mentor: Benjamin O'Neal

Detecting a Protein-Microtubule Interaction
Presenter/Major: Erin Bradley, Biology; Landon Tak, Biology
Mentor: Amber Yount

Land Parcel Analysis for the Oak Heritage Conservancy
Presenter/Major: Matthew Brown, Biology; Payton Kittaka, Chemistry
Mentor: Benjamin O'Neal

GIS Assessment of Potential Conservation Projects Surrounding Webster Woods Nature Preserve
Presenter/Major: Jayla Stigall, Biology; Mahalah Griffin, Biology Ecology/Conservation
Mentor: Benjamin O'Neal

GIS Analysis of Tribbett Woods for Conservation Planning
Presenter/Major: Evan Hosea, Ecology/Conservation; Nick Burk, Biology
Mentor: Benjamin O'Neal

Monarch Meadows Land Restoration
Presenter/Major: Bridget Crews, Biology; Gunnar Dittrich, Biology
Mentor: Benjamin O'Neal

Mass Flowering of Aplectrum hyemale in Hougham Woods Biological Field Station in Central IN
Presenter/Major: Bridget Crews, Biology
Mentor: Alice Heikens

Replicating Social Hierarchies in Queer Spaces
Presenter/Major: Amber Ruble, Biology
Mentor: Cheryl Crane 

Municipal Mallards: Movement Ecology and Harvest of Urban Ducks
Presenter/Major: Bradley Wehus-Tow, Biology: Ecology/Conservation
Mentor: Ben O’Neal


A New Data Analysis Program for Dissociation Ion Imaging Experiments
Presenter/Major: Jade Harris, Chemistry
Mentor: Wei Wei


Rebel, Rebel: Exploring Music and Identity in Buddha of Suburbia
Presenter/Major: Allie Jones, English     
Mentor: George Phillips


Primary Pursuit: Hoosier History from the Governor Branigin Archives
Presenter/Major: Mackenzie Taylor, Elementary Education and History; Sam Loyd, English and History
Mentors: Meredith Clark-Wiltz & Jessica Mahoney

Completed Student Projects

  • Undergraduate Research Collection
  • Students regularly present at state, regional, and national conferences:
    • Natural Areas Association National Conference
    • Experimental Biology National Conference
    • National Undergraduate Research Conference
    • Chi Beta Phi National Conference
    • Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference
    • Indiana Academy of Science
    • Butler Undergraduate Research Conference
    • Midwestern Psychological Association
    • Mid-American Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference
    • Mathematical Association of America Indiana Conference
    • Indiana Chapter of The Wildlife Society
    • Southern Indiana Conservation Conference
  • Kenzie Glassburn

    Students wanting to get involved should not be afraid to ask about opportunities. As a new student at FC, I was timid, and the idea of asking a professor for an opportunity to do research seemed daunting, although it proved to be worthwhile. Many of the professors have projects that students may not be aware of and the only way to find out about them is to inquire. For those students just beginning their research, I would advise them to keep an open mind and stay consistent. Projects may seem less than glamorous at times and occasionally the lab work can seem tedious, but when you finally obtain data and see a question being answered or an answer being explained by your work, it’s all worthwhile. - Kenzie Glassburn '17

Did You Know?

Every Franklin College student completes a sequence of coursework in the major that develops their inquiry and analysis skills, culminating in a substantial scholarly project.