Luther Rice Undergraduate Research Fellowship


Luther Rice Fellow Abby Pepin, BS '17, working in a lab with Associate Professor of Chemistry Cynthia Dowd.

Luther Rice Fellow Abby Pepin, BS ’17, worked with Associate Professor of Chemistry Cynthia Dowd to find a cure for drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis.

Luther Rice Undergraduate Research Fellowships are part of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences comprehensive undergraduate initiative to promote discovery- and inquiry-based education throughout the undergraduate experience at GW. Luther Rice Fellowships offer support for student research carried out in collaboration with, and under the guidance of, at least one faculty mentor.

These fellowships offer substantial support for the promotion of working research alliances between students and faculty. The fellowships typically provide $3,000-$5,000 to the student for research-related expenditures, including summer living expenses, travel, materials and equipment. The faculty mentor receives up to $1,000 for salary or professional development.


Featured Luther Rice Fellows


Eligibility & Application Requirements


  • Must be a Columbian College sophomore or junior
  • Must have a full-time faculty mentor
  • Must have a minimum GPA of 3.4
  • Must have a declared major
  • Must have no judicial or disciplinary findings against them

Research Project

  • Must be undertaken during the junior or senior year (or the summer before the junior year)  
  • Should undertake a significant, focused examination of an idea or an area of inquiry and result in work that could merit presentation or publication in a scholarly venue


The application consists of two parts, a Student Application Form and a Faculty Mentor Form. For current forms and deadlines, as well as additional information on the program, visit the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships & Research.


Apply to be a Luther Rice Research Fellow


Katherine Bradshaw GW Columbian College Luther Rice Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Katherine Bradshaw

BA '16, Classical Studies & English
Two-Time Luther Rice Fellow

"GW's focus on undergraduate research is one of the things that sets it apart, and for which I'm very grateful."

Luther Rice Fellows

Ranjit Bhangu, Biology '18

  • Faculty Mentor: Robert H. Miller, Anatomy & Regenerative Biology
  • Project: The Effect of Oliodendrocyte Ablation on nflammation

Christabel Chan, Biology '18

  • Faculty Mentor: Javad Nazarian, Institute of Biological Sciences
  • Project: BioBanking Pediatric Glioblastomas

Irissa Cisternino, Psychology '18

  • Faculty Mentor: Katrina Pariera, Sociology & Communications
  • Project: Mommy, What is Rape? Sexual Assault and the American Family

Michelle Cohn, American Studies '18

  • Faculty Mentor: Gayle Wald, American Studies/English
  • Project: What Makes You Beautiful: A Critical Look at Boy Band Culture

Sarah Espinel, Psychology '18

  • Faculty Mentor: Paul Poppen, Psychology
  • Project: Young adults' attitudes towards and perceptions of sexually explicit internet material

Edward Farrow, Biology '19

  • Faculty Mentor: Chiara Manzini, Pharmacology & Physiology
  • Project: The Study of Missense CC2D1A Mutations in Connection to Autism Spectrum

Eva Gustafson, Political Science, Dance '18

  • Faculty Mentor: Dana Tai Soon Burgess, Theatre & Dance
  • Project: From First Ladies to Politicians: An Examination of Women in Politics

Gary Hovsepian, Biological Sciences '18

  • Faculty Mentor: Ioannis Eleftherianos, Biological Sciences
  • Project: Painful Protection: Uncovering the Role of Nociceptors in Host Defense

Helia Imany-Shakibai, Chemistry, Psychology '19

  • Faculty Mentors: Jakub Kostal, Adelina Voutchkova, Chemistry
  • Project: Investigating the Mechanism of Skin Sensitization by Hydrazide Chemicals to Develop an in Silico Model for Prediction of Sensitization Potential

Elina Kapoor, Biology '18

  • Faculty Mentors: Mollie Manier, Biological Sciences
  • Project: Characterizing the Role of the Gene fruitless 
    in Reproductive Success D.melanogaster

Steven Kelly, Political Communication '18

  • Faculty Mentors: Ethan Porter, SMPA
  • Project: Exploring the Impact of Partisanship on Critical Thinking Acuity

Camille Kim, Human Services, Social Justice '17

  • Faculty Mentors: Emily Morrison, Human Services, Social Justice
  • Project: Intimate partner Violence in LGBTQ Relationships

Pearl Kravets, Psychology '18

  • Faculty Mentors: Greg Wallace, Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • Project: Does olfactory and gustatory discrimination moderate the association between autistic traits and selective eating?

Yana Kropotova, Biology; Celullar and Molecular Concentration '18

  • Faculty Mentors: Sabyasachi Sen, Medicine
  • Project: Low Dosage Metformin Effect on Mesenchymal Stem Cell Mitochondrial Function

Logan Malik, Chemistry '18

  • Faculty Mentors: Miller Houston, Chemistry
  • Project: Light Field Imaging Tomography

Maeve McCool, Fine Art and Art History '18

  • Faculty Mentors: Lisa Lipinski, Corcoran School of Arts and Design
  • Project: For Artists, By Artists: Alternative Exhibition Spaces in Contemporary Art

Margaret McCool, German, History '18

  • Faculty Mentors: Mary Beth Stein, German
  • Project: A Critical Examination of East Germany's Stasi in History and Memory

Emily Mobbs, Biology, '19

  • Faculty Mentors: Damien O'Halloran, Biology
  • Project: Isolation of Genes that Regulate ncx-5

Christian Roatta, Economics, '18

  • Faculty Mentors: Herman Stekler, Economics
  • Project: Evaluating Forecasting Processes of the 1937-1938 Recession

Sheel Singh, Biological Anthropology, '18

  • Faculty Mentors: Brenda Bradley, Anthropology
  • Project: Exploring Potential Candidate Gene Variation in Chimpanzees

Corinne Tarantino, Biology, '19

  • Faculty Mentors: Scott Powell, Biology
  • Project: Testing trade-offs in locomotion performance across ecological contexts: turtle ant running speed in the complex canopy environment 

Shaylyn Quinn, Psychology, '17

  • Faculty Mentors: Peg Barratt, Psychology
  • Project: Effects of ethnicity on American children's attitudes abou mental illness

Margaret Benda, Psychology, English '18

  • Faculty Mentors: Myeong-Ho Sohn, Psychology
  • Project: Intercultural and Intracultural Difference in Emotion Perception

Madeleine Cook, Photojournalism '19

  • Faculty Mentors: Margaret Adams, Photography
  • Project: Seeking Refuge: A Multimedia Analysis of Refugee Resettlement in the U.S.

Jacqueline Dyer, Chemistry '18

  • Faculty Mentors: Akos Vertes, Chemistry
  • Project: Selective capture and metabolic profiling of cancer cells

Jamie Kleiner, Psychology '18

  • Faculty Mentors: Chet Sherwood, Anthropology
  • Project: The Evolution of Memory: A Comparison of Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis Across Primates

Acacia Ackles, Biology, Mathematics

  • Faculty Mentor: Patricia Hermandez, Biology
  • Project: The development of ceretobranchial 5 in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Nathaniel Bachtel, Chemistry, Biology

  • Faculty Mentors: Ioannis Eleftherianos & Douglas Nixon, Biology and Microbiology, Immunology & Tropical Medicine
  • Project: These Flies Make My Brain Hurt: A Genetic Approach Towards Characterizing Neuro-Immune Interactions

Henry Betts, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Amy Zanne, Biology
  • Project: The Impacts of Fungal Interaction on the Decomposition of Two Woods Substrates

Kathryn Cavanna, Biology

  • Faculty Mentors: Aleksandar Jeremic, Biology
  • Project: The Role of Proteasome in Human Amylin Degradation in Pancreatic B-Cells

Sharif Chebbo, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Mollie K. Manier, Biology
  • Project: Characterizing the Role of the Gene Ecdysone Induced Protein 74EF in the Length of the Seminal Receptacle of the Female D. malanogaster

Yeshwant Chillakuru, Biology, Economics

  • Faculty Mentor: Sally A. Moody, Anatomy and Regenerative Biology
  • Project: Assessing defects in ear and kidney development caused by mutations in the Six1 gene

Alexis Clark, Archaeology

  • Faculty Mentors: Jeffrey Blomster, Anthropology
  • Project: The Color of Influence: Style and Interaction in Postclassic Oaxaca

Susanna Israelsson, Biological Anthropology, French

  • Faculty Mentor: Sergio Almécija, Biological Anthropology
  • Project: An Analysis of Sexual Dimorphism in Extant and Extinct Hominoids through Pelvis Bone Morphology

Rachel Kahn, Human Services and Social Justice

  • Faculty Mentor: Daniel E. Martínez, Sociology
  • Project: Barriers to Higher Education in San Isidro, Arequipa, Peru

Yunjing Ke, Mathematics, Statistics

  • Faculty Mentor: Daniel Ullman, Mathematics
  • Project: Algorithms for Redistricting

Claudia Lamy, Fine Arts

  • Faculty Mentor: Douglas Boyce, Music
  • Project: JeJu LOVELAND Soundscape Social Science and Humanities Experiment

Sigmund Lilian, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Kenna D Peusner, Anatomy and Regenerative Biology
  • Project: Changes in the Vestibular System in Congenital Disorders

Julia Magliozzo, Chemistry, Environmental Science

  • Faculty Mentor: Adelina Voutchkova-Kostal, Chemistry
  • Project: Predictive tools for bioconcentration factor based on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopic data

Isvita Marfatia, Biological Sciences

  • Faculty Mentor: Mollie K. Manier, Biology
  • Project: Understanding the Effect of Cryptic Female Choice on Copulatory Behavior, Sperm Ejection Timing and Sperm Storage

Brianna Nobles, Sociocultural Anthropology, American Studies

  • Faculty Mentor: Melani McAllister, American Studies
  • Project: Keeping Up With the Appropriation

Sunny Patel, Religious Studies, Economics

  • Faculty Mentor: Paul Duff, Religion
  • Project: Sacred Intentions

Abigail Pepin, Environmental Studies

  • Faculty Mentor: Cynthia Dowd, Chemistry
  • Project: Enzyme Kinetics: Development of Novel Compounds for the Inhibition of the Proteasome Complex in Mycobacterium tuberculosis

David Plotnick,  Biophysics

  • Faculty Mentor: Peter Nemes, Chemistry
  • Project: Metabolite Measurement in Single Cells using capillary-micro sampling and single-cell CE-ESI-MS

Brandon Ritchie, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Colin Young, Pharmacology, Physiology
  • Project: The Role of Hypothalamic ER Stress in Transcription Factor Activation and Obesity

Linda Ryan, Dance

  • Faculty Mentor: Maida Withers, Theatre and Dance
  • Project: Posture as Performance Art: the Role of Persona in Louis XIV's Pursuit and Maintenance of Power

Paul Scotti, Psychology

  • Faculty Mentor: Sarah Shomstein, Psychology 
  • Project: The Effects of Real-World Objects on Attentional Selection

Fahim-Faraaz Syed, Chemistry

  • Faculty: Michael King, Chemistry
  • Project: Synthesis of potential anti-malarial agents: 4-iodo-isohistidine and 4-iodoisohistamine

Kathryn White, History, Archaeology

  • Faculty: Denver Brunsman, History
  • Project: George Washington and Commerce in 18th Century Alexandria through the Lens of Historical Archaeology

Kara Zielinksi, Biophysics

  • Faculty: Mark Reeves, Physics
  • Project: Expression of Amyloids in Secretory Granules of Insect Cells

Reem Al Shabeeb, Biology 

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mollie K. Mallier, Biology
  • Project: Characterizing candidate genes for giant sperm in Drosophila melanogaster

Katherine Aliotta, Chemistry and Political Science

  • Faculty Mentors: Dr. John Hawdon and Dr. Cynthia Dowd; Departments of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine; and Chemistry
  • Project: Fractionation and chemical identification of anthelmintic activity in extracts of the bitter melon Momordica charantia

Dara Baker, Computational Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sidney Fu, Department of Experimental Medicine
  • Project: School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Experimental Medicine

Andrée Beals, Communication and Dance

  • Faculty Mentors: Maida Withers, Theater and Dance
  • Project: Rite of Spring Riots: Creation of and Reactions to Dance Performances of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps in 1913 and 2013

Emily Bragg, Speech and Hearing Sciences

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Guangying Wu, Psychology
  • Project: Impact of Early Social Interaction and Aging on Mouse Vocalization

Nicole Cassanta, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Alexandros Tzatsos, Anatomy and Regenerative Biology
  • Project: Genome Editing of Human Pancreatic Cancer using CRISPR/Cas9 Technology

Audrey Anna Elliott, Religion and English

  • Faculty Mentors: Paul Duff, Religion
  • Project: Liberal Quakerism as a Religious Alternative

Jonathon Fields, Fine Art Photography

  • Faculty Mentor: Claudia Smigrod, Photography
  • Project: Kamra-e-faoree

Richard Fisher, Chemistry

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Cynthia Dowd, Chemistry
  • Project: Synthesis of Proteasome Inhibitors Against Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Klarissa Garcia Orellana, Psychology

  • Faculty Mentor: Huynh-Nhu (Mimi) Le, Psychology
  • Project: Postpartum OCD: Perspectives from mothers, health professionals, and policy makers

Allie Geoca, Chemistry

  • Faculty Mentor: J Houton Miller, Chemistry
  • Project: Lightfield Imaging of Flame Luminosity With Application To Black Carbon Emission From Combustion

Sydney Goldstein, Environmental Studies and Dance

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Melissa Keely
  • Project: Municipal Green Building: Development and Design Across the United States

Jacob Maibach, Math and Physics

  • Faculty Mentor: Joseph Bonin, Math
  • Project: Bounds Testing on Transversal Matroid Extensions

Esha Mehta, Undeclared

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gregory Wallace, Speech and Hearing
  • Project: Determining Longitudinal Cortical Thinning in Autism Spectrum Disorder verses Traditionally Developing Adolescents

Jennifer Nichols, Psychology

  • Faculty Mentor: Tara Behrend, Organizational Sciences and Communication
  • Project: Extrinsic and Intrinsic Variables in Internship Satisfaction

Kimberly Preminger, Speech and Hearing Sciences

  • Faculty Mentor: James Mahsie, Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • Project: Sentence Stress Production in Children

James (Alex) Randall, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Donaldson, Biology
  • Project: Enzyme Kinetics: Mitigating Oxidative Stress from Reactive Oxygen Species via Peroxisome Replication and Enzyme Cross-Linking

Rachel Smillian-Goldstein,  Journalism and Mass Communication

  • Faculty Mentor: Kim Gross, Media and Public Affairs
  • Project: Framing the feminist movement, 1960-2014

Ryan Tom, Criminal Justice

  • Faculty Mentor: Daniel DeWispelare, English
  • Project: The Effects of Eighteenth-Century English Literature on Crime Policy, Penal Policy, and the Justice System

Sara Wagner, Geology and Chemistry

  • Faculty Mentor: Richard Tollo
  • Project: Geothermometry of two-pyroxene and zircon-bearing mineral assemblages, Blue Ridge Province, Virginia: An investigation of the origin of charnockite and its role in the thermal evolution of a Precambrian mountain belt

Simon Wentworth, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Randall Packer, Biology 
  • Project: Genetic Responses to Changes in Environmental Conditions in the Gill Tissue of the Fathead Minnow

Hanchun (Rowland) Zhang, Economics and International Affairs

  • Faculty: Donald O. Parsons, Economics
  • Project: The Future of Money: Millennials and Bitcoins

Yoseph Aldras, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Damien O'Halloran, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Project: “Developing Caenorhabditis elegans as a novel in vivo model of human amylin toxicity”

Erik Bethke, Environmental Studies and Geography

  • Faculty Mentor: John Lill, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Project: “Phenology of Black Cherry and Eastern Tent Caterpillars: Understanding Synchrony and its Effects on Plant Quality”

Katherine Bradshaw, Classical Studies

  • Faculty Mentor: Alex Huang, Professor of English, Theatre and Dance, East Asian Languages and Literatures, and International Affairs
  • Project: “Changing Duties: Imagining Ancient Roman Pietas in Twenty-First-Century Adaptations of Shakespeare's Coriolanus”

Shreya Chaturvedi, Psychology

  • Faculty Mentor: Stephen Dopkins, Director, Undergraduate Psychology Advising; Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Project: “Determining The Complex Relationship Between Time and Acquisition of Knowledge”

Alexis Chen, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Patricia Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Project: “Muscle architecture and myosin profile of the cypriniform palatal organ”

Connor Delaney, Economics

  • Faculty Mentor: Irene Foster, Assistant Professor of Economics
  • Project: “Concept Maps as a Tool for Teaching and Learning: Experimental Evidence from Principles of Economics”

Jacqueline Drayer, American Studies

  • Faculty Mentor: Suleiman Osman, Associate Professor of American Studies
  • Project: “Shifting Cultural Perceptions of Miniscule Housing, from Alley Dwellings and Tenements to Modern Micro Housing”

Theodore Haines, Political Science

  • Faculty Mentor: Sarah Binder, Professor of Political Science
  • Project: “Outside Interests in U.S. Congressional Elections: Analyzing the Strategies and Impact of the Club for Growth”

Felisa Hsieh, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Alex Pyron, Robert F. Griggs Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Project: “Ecomorphotypes on Snakes: Comparing Ecomorphotypes at a Global Scale”

Rabia Idrees, Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Narine Sarvazyan, Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology
  • Project: “The Effect of Clinically-Relevant Doses of Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate on Cardiovascular Outcomes”

Alex Marchak, Biology and Economics

  • Faculty Mentor: Sally Moody, Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Project: “Identifying the Role of WBP2NL on Developing Neural Cells”

Emily Messing, Criminal Justice

  • Faculty Mentor: Daniel Martínez, Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Project: “Missing Migrants, Ambiguous Loss, & Immigration Reform”

Victoria Neiman-Vigo, Theatre and History

  • Faculty Mentors: Aleksandar Jeremic, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Robert Donaldson, Professor of Biology
  • Project: “An Insight into Diabetes: Thiol-senstive Mechanisms for Amylin Toxicity in Pancreatic Cells”

Joseph Nelson, Economics

  • Faculty Mentor: Irene Foster, Assistant Professor of Economics
  • Project: “Trade Restrictions and Economic Stability: A Case Study of the Republic of Malta and the Kingdom of Morocco”

Jay Pandya, Peace Studies and Biology

  • Faculty Mentor: Sally Moody, Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • Project: “Maternal mRNAs that Direct Neural Fate of Xenopus laevis”

Aaron Poliak, Biological Anthropology

  • Faculty Mentor: Brian Richmond, Associate Professor of Anthropology
  • Project: “Is there a right way to run? The influence of ground stiffness on habitual barefoot running form”

Sam Lyons, Psychology and Spanish

  • Faculty Mentor: Huynh-Nhu (Mimi) Le, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Project: “The Psychological Well-Being of Latino and African-American Adolescent Fathers”

Alana Rusonis, Psychology

  • Faculty Mentor: Sarah Shomstein, Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Project: “Exploration of Preserved Visual Features through the Use of Object-Based Attention Tasks in Integrative Visual Agnosia Patients”

Michael Smith, Women's Studies

  • Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Nash, Assistant Professor of American Studies
  • Project: “Lighting Up on Campus: Smoking, Identity and Politics at Universities in Washington, DC”

Jacqueline Sodano, Political Science

  • Faculty Mentor: Steve Balla, Associate Professor of Political Science, Public Policy and Public Administration, and International Affairs
  • Project: “Regulatory Gridlock”

Taylor Soja, History

  • Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Green-Lewis, Associate Professor of English
  • Project: “The Great War and the Surreal: The Early Work of Paul Nash"

Mariel Supina, Applied Mathematics

  • Faculty Mentor: Valentina Harizanov, Professor of Mathematics
  • Project: “Classical and Quantum Algorithms: Analysis and Comparison”

Bhairvi Trivedi, Speech & Hearing Sciences

  • Faculty Mentor: Malathi Thothathiri, Assistant Professor of Speech & Hearing Sciences
  • Project: “Neural Basis of Language”

Michael Velez, Psychology

  • Faculty Mentor: Narine Sarvazyan, Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology
  • Project: “Examining the effects of varied ratios of Ventricular Cardiomyocytes and Fibroblasts on propagation velocity and propulsion force in designed Venous Engineered Heart Tissue Cuffs to be used for cardiovascular repair”

Connor Woods, History

  • Faculty Mentor: Tom Long, Coordinator, Undergraduate Advising and Assistant Professor of History
  • Project: “Comparison of Irish Propaganda Literature in Ireland and the United States from 1910-1930”

Matthew Zahn, Economics and Political Science

  • Faculty Mentor: Tara Sinclair, Associate Professor of Economics
  • Project: “Improving Employment Measurement: A Temporal Disaggregation Approach”