Gatton Academy Students Embark Upon Summer Internships and Learning

Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky students are continuing summer learning in modified internships and reimagined programs. While some are happening virtually, many are in-person at WKU, around the Commonwealth, and even global.

In addition to prestigious research internships through the National Science Foundation (NSF) and internships through The Gatton Academy’s public-private partnership program, the Gatton Sponsored Internship Program, this summer features virtual study abroad opportunities. 

“I am continually amazed by the resourcefulness and tenacity of our students,” says Cheryl Kirby-Stokes, Academic Opportunities Coordinator at The Gatton Academy. “Even in the midst of a continuing pandemic, Gatton students applied to and received numerous prestigious internships and summer opportunities, fostering their academic growth and preparing them for their chosen career fields. I could not be prouder.”

A list of grouped student summer plans appears below followed by individual student experiences. 

National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

The NSF funds many research opportunities for undergraduate students through its REU Sites program. An REU Site consists of a group of ten or so undergraduates who work in research programs of the host institution. Each student is associated with a specific research project, working closely with faculty researchers. Students are granted stipends, housing, and travel. The following students were selected for prestigious NSF REUs

Connor Flick, ’22 (Conner HS, Hebron) will conduct research on the Internet of Things in Orlando, Florida with the University of Central Florida.

Avery Lenihan, ’22 (Randall K. Cooper HS, Florence) will conduct research at Johns Hopkins University with the Platform for the Accelerated Realization, Analysis, and Discovery of Interface Materials (PARADIM).

Gatton Research Internship Grant

In its 12th year, the Gatton Research Internship Grant program creates summer research opportunities for rising seniors. The grants provide stipends, living expenses, and a small supplies fund for projects at WKU. Eleven students were chosen for summer 2021, conducting both face-to-face and virtual research.

Sahil Chhabra, ’22 (Bowling Green HS, Bowling Green) will direct mutagenesis using the bacteriophage MooMoo with Dr. Rodney King of WKU Biology.

Hithan Garla, ’22 (Western Hills HS, Frankfort) will mathematical model diabetic foot ulcers with Dr. Richard Schugart of WKU Mathematics.

Barrett Gibbs, ’22 (Corbin HS, Corbin) will create an ecotourism website for south-central Kentucky with Dr. Leslie North of WKU Earth, Environmental, and Atmospheric Sciences.

Harrison Gover, ’22 (Bowling Green HS, Bowling Green) will conduct knot theory work with Dr. Claus Ernst of WKU Mathematics.

Kentaro Kawata, ’22 (Larry A. Ryle HS, Union) will look at collagen concentration on beef emulsion stability and meat product quality with Dr. Luis Silva of WKU Agriculture and Food Science.

Allen Lin, ’22 (Larry A. Ryle HS, Union) will study prime numbers with the Dirichlet series with Dr. Dominic Lanphier of WKU Mathematics.

Marcus Negron, ’22 (Western Hills HS, Frankfort) will observe differences in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy with Dr. Cristi Galindo of WKU Biology.

Andrew Park, ’22 (South Oldham HS, Crestwood) will look at the circular form of RNA with Dr. Juw Won Park of the University of Louisville Computer Science and Engineering Department.

Angelo Matthew Pimienta, ’22 (Pikeville HS, Prestonsburg) will examine peptide identification through deep learning algorithms with Dr. Zhonghang Xia of the WKU School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Arivumani Srivastava, ’22 (Greenwood HS, Bowling Green) will develop proposed legislative changes on the road system in The Gambia with Dr. Edrisa Sanyang of WKU Public Health.

Nathan Turlington, ’22 (Central Hardin HS, Cecilia) will create a BioCloud Job Scheduler with Dr. Jeffrey Galloway of the WKU School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

WKU Sisterhood Research Internship Program

Made possible by a gift from the WKU Sisterhood in the fall of 2016, the WKU Sisterhood Research Internship Grant program offers internships for young women from historically underrepresented backgrounds between their junior and senior years. In its final year, these internships will support summer research at WKU.

Apirada Chetawatee, ’22 (Murray HS, Murray) will create an on-campus Virtual Reality Center with Dr. Jeffrey Galloway of the WKU School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Isabel Ocegueda, ’22 (Fort Knox HS, Fort Knox) will create an on-campus Virtual Reality Center with Dr. Jeffrey Galloway of the WKU School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Samirah Salifu, ’22 (Greenwood HS, Bowling Green) will create a BioCloud Job Scheduler with Dr. Jeffrey Galloway of the WKU School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Gatton Sponsored Internship Program

The Gatton Sponsored Internship Program works with Kentucky businesses and organizations who are interested in a taxdeductible, private-public partnership with our program by providing a project-based summer internship to a Gatton Academy student.

Carlson Software

Sachi Barnaby, ’21 (Bowling Green HS, Bowling Green)

Andrew Davison, ’21 (Rowan Co. HS, Morehead)

Catesby Pinney, ’21 (Montgomery Co. HS, Mount Sterling)

Dollar General/WKU Literacy Center

Sofie Farmer, ’21 (Danville HS, Danville)

Ella Sweeney, ’22 (Thomas Nelson HS, Coxs Creek)

General Motors/Mammoth Cave National Park

Shreeya Arora, ’21 (duPont Manual HS, Louisville)

Shaylyn Avery, ’22 (Hart Co. HS, Munfordville)

Jason Kash, ’21 (Greenwood HS, Bowling Green)

Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory

Krupa Hegde, ‘21 (Larry A. Ryle HS, Union)

Sarisha Lohano, ‘22 (Kentucky Country Day, Louisville)

 NCSSS Student Research Conference

The annual NCSSS Student Research Conference will be hosted virtually by the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts. The annual conference provides an opportunity for students in STEM schools to come together and collaborate on learning. Participating in the conference gives students the opportunity to present their original research and get hands-on experience with STEM technologies. 

Harrison Gover, ’22 (Bowling Green HS, Bowling Green)

Sahil Krishnani, ’22 (duPont Manual HS, Louisville)

Avery Lenihan, ’22 (Randall K. Cooper HS, Florence)

Sarisha Lohano, ’22 (Kentucky Country Day, Louisville)

Marcus Negron, ’22 (Western Hills HS, Frankfort)

Bella Norman, ’22 (Greenwood HS, Alvaton)

Andrew Park, ’22 (South Oldham HS, Crestwood)

Samirah Salifu, ’22 (Greenwood HS, Bowling Green)

Ari Srivastava, ’22 (Greenwood HS, Bowling Green)

National Security Language Initiative-for Youth (NSLI-Y)

NSLI-Y scholarships from the U.S. Department of State fund students for six to eight weeks of summer intensive study and immersion in a critical language. The programs are typically carried out through immersive study abroad, with participants taking intensive language courses, living with a host family, and visiting sites of cultural significance in their host nation. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, most summer 2021 programs are occurring virtually through online summer intensives. Exceptions are programs in South Korea and Taiwan, which will include the traditional study abroad immersion this summer. The following students received NSLI-Y Scholarships for summer language study.

 

Anaya Ali, ‘22 (Pikeville HS, South Williamson) will continue Arabic study this summer through the virtual Center for Language and Culture program of Marrakesh, Morocco.

 

Christine Belance, ‘21 (Fairdale HS, Louisville) will continue Arabic study this summer.

 

Morgan Burk, ‘21 (Franklin-Simpson HS, Franklin) will continue Russian study virtually this summer with American University of Central Asia (AUCA) in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

 

Sahil Chhabra, ‘22 (Bowling Green HS, Bowling Green) will study Hindi virtually this summer.

 

Ty Gordon, ‘21 (Mercer Co. HS, Salvisa) will continue Russian study virtually this summer with the College of Narva, Estonia.

 

Laura Hanna, ‘21 (Hazard HS, Hazard) will continue Arabic study virtually this summer with AMIDEAST.

 

Emma Harris, ‘22 (Hickman Co. HS, Clinton) will continue Chinese study traveling to the NSLI-Y program in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

 

Krupa Hegde, ‘21 (Larry A. Ryle HS, Union) was offered the NSLI-Y Turkish virtual program.

 

Jada Hunter-Hays, ‘21 (LaRue Co. HS, Hodgenville) will continue Chinese study traveling to the NSLI-Y program in New Taipei City, Taiwan.

 

Elizabeth Mikeworth, ‘22 (Rockcastle Co. HS, Mount Vernon) will continue Chinese study through the virtual Lanzhou, China program.

 

Kharley Redmon, ‘21 (Daviess Co. HS, Lewisport) declined the Arabic Virtual Summer Institute program in order to participate in the University of Mississippi’s Arabic Flagship program’s summer intensive program.

 

Seren Semrau,’21 (South Oldham HS, Crestwood) will continue Chinese study through the virtual Lanzhou, China program.

 

Emma Stone, ‘21 (Mason Co. HS, Ewing) will continue Russian study through the virtual summer intensive based in Kyrgyzstan.

 

Lauren Taylor, ‘21 (Campbell Co. HS, Cold Spring) was offered the NSLI-Y Arabic through the virtual Rabat, Morocco program.

 

Audrey Thacker, ‘21 (Eastern HS, Louisville) will continue Chinese study through the virtual Chinese program.

 

Satya Vangoor, ‘22 (North Oldham HS, Prospect) will study Hindi virtually.

 

Brendan White, ‘22 (Central Hardin HS, Elizabethtown) was offered the virtual NSLI-Y Russian.

 

Other Notable Individual Experiences

Nikhil Akula, ’22 (Western Hills HS, Frankfort) will participate in the REX Academy Coding Program based in Dallas, TX.

Christine Belance, ’21 (Fairdale HS, Louisville) will work with Louisville’s Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program and intern with Humana.

Morgan Burk, ‘21 (Franklin-Simpson HS, Franklin) will be the Assistant Project Manager for Scott Murphy Daniel Commercial Construction, a Project Manager at Burk Construction, and run her organic meat sales company in Bowling Green.

Nicholas Clevenger, ’21 (Paul L. Dunbar HS, Lexington) has an internship with the Jones Studio Music School and Recording Studio in Lexington and will be a Special Olympics Kentucky Athlete Ambassador at events across the state.

Sofie Farmer, ’21 (Danville HS, Danville) will intern with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

Christina Fizer, ’21 (Powell Co. HS, Ravenna) will volunteer with the Friends of Red River Gorge.

Gloria Huang, ‘21 (South Warren HS, Bowling Green) will participate in the Google Computer Science Summer Institute.

Justin Hunter, ’21 (Anderson Co. HS, Lawrenceburg) will intern with the civil engineering firm Civil Design, Inc.

Xander Jarvis, ’22 (Rowan Co. HS, Morehead) will participate in the Governor’s Scholars Program.

Margaret Jones, ’21 (duPont Manual HS, Louisville) will be a horticulture intern at the Baker Arboretum in Bowling Green.

Bella Karn, ’22 (Owensboro HS, Whitesville) will be continuing her research at WKU with Dr. Nahid Gani in the Department of Geological Sciences, while also pursuing new research with Dr. Allison Anoll of Vanderbilt’s Political Science Department.

Thomas Kolb, ’22 (Atherton HS, Louisville) will participate in the Louisville Science Pathways Program.

Sahil Krishnani, ’22 (duPont Manual HS, Louisville) will participate in the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs.

Avery Lenihan, ’22 (Randall K. Cooper HS, Florence) Lenihan will continue research with Dr. Seyed Allameh at Northern Kentucky University, testing fatigue properties of 3-D Welded Thin Structures. She is also working with the Greater Good Initiative, advocating for Green infrastructure.

Allen Lin, ’22 (Larry A. Ryle HS, Union) will participate in the Center for Excellence in Education’s Research Science Institute (RSI) with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) mathematicians, Dr. David Jerison, Dr. Ankur Moitra, Dr. Tanya Khovanova, Dr. Slava Gerovitch, and Elise Brown.

Reina Lykins, ’22 (Rockcastle Co. HS, Brodhead) will work at the Rockcastle County Veterinary Clinic in Vernon and will participate in the Pioneer Academics Research Program.

Donovan Marcum, ’22 (Oldham Co. HS, LaGrange) will intern with the Rawlings Group in LaGrange.

Ruby Mason, ’21 (Oldham Co. HS, Crestwood) will conduct biomedical research with the Kentucky Idea Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (KY INBRE) at the University of Kentucky.

Ashwin Menon, ’21 (Simon Kenton HS, Independence) will conduct research with Dr. Ali Oguz Er of the WKU Physics and Astronomy Department. He will also be a Red River Gorge Trail Ambassador.

Shaleena Millay, ’22 (Daviess Co. HS, Owensboro) will participate in the Governor’s School for the Arts.

Sanjana Nasta, ‘21 (North Oldham HS, Prospect) has an internship/shadowing experience lined up with the East Virginia Medical School for Speech Fluency.

Bella Noman, ’22 (Greenwood HS, Alvaton) will participate in the Governor’s School for the Arts.

Andrew Park, ’22 (South Oldham HS, Crestwood) will participate in the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs.

Chaney Robinson, ’22 (Calloway Co. HS, Murray) will conduct math research with Dr. Cynthia Kramer of Murray State University’s Mathematics and Statistics Department. 

Haven Romero, ’22 (Lafayette HS, Lexington) will participate in the Baptist Health VolunTeen Program in Lexington.

Mina Ryumae, ’21 (Larry A. Ryle HS, Union) will intern with the INTERalliance P&G Olay Ecommerce Data Team.

Ezekiel Salama, ’22 (Louisville Collegiate School, Shelbyville) will participate in the Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs.

Morgan Samples, ’21 (Estill Co. HS, Irvine) will intern with the Duke Department of Physical Therapy program and will work as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Baptist Health Hospital in Lexington.

Arivumani Srivastava, ’22 (Greenwood HS, Bowling Green) will participate in the Governor’s School for the Arts. He will also be a part of the Henry Clay Center High School Student Congress at the University of Kentucky.

Jackson Summers, ‘21 (North Hopkins HS, Madisonville) will be a summer assistant at Baptist Health Madisonville.

Madison Thacker, ’22 (Whitley Co. HS, Rockholds) will participate in the Governor’s School for the Arts.

Christina Tran, ’22 (duPont Manual HS, Louisville) will participate in Stanford University’s Summer Session Program.

Emily Tutt, ’22 (Jackson Co. HS, Annville) will be participating in the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)/Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Summer Math-Science-Technology Institute.

Bhavya Vyas, ’22 (duPont Manual HS, Louisville) will participate in the Sanskrit as a Foreign Language Program (SAFL).

Jason Zhang, ’21 (Bowling Green HS, Bowling Green) will conduct research with Dr. Rui Zhang of the WKU Chemistry Department. 

 

About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential two-year program for gifted and talented junior and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematical careers. The Gatton Academy has been named to Jay Mathews’ list of top-performing schools with elite students for eleven consecutive appearances and received the National Consortium for Secondary STEM School’s Innovation Partnership Award.

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