Kent State Receives Multiple Research Experiences for Undergraduates Grants From NSF | Kent State University

Kent State Receives Multiple Research Experiences for Undergraduates Grants From NSF

Several Kent State University professors in the College of Arts and Sciences have been selected to receive Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). REU grants are designed to provide faculty with funding to create research positions and experiences specifically for undergraduate students. These students typically come from two- or four-year institutions that may not provide access to many research opportunities.

Torsten Hegmann, Ph.D., a professor at Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute®, and Mike Tubergen, Ph.D., a professor and chair in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, were awarded $360,000 by the NSF in March for the support of an REU Site in liquid crystals and advanced materials at Kent State. The three-year award started June 1, 2017, and ends May 31, 2020.

“The goal of this NSF-REU project is to provide a diverse group of undergraduate students with a comprehensive learning and career-building experience that has advanced materials chemistry at its core, yet seamlessly crosses the disciplinary boundaries among materials science, biology and chemical physics,” Hegmann explained. “Undergraduate students will conduct research in Kent State’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, as well as the Liquid Crystal Institute, which are recognized centers of excellence in advanced materials, technology and education.”

The NSF also offered an REU Site award of $259,200 to Evgenia Soprunova, Ph.D., and Mikhail Chebotar, Ph.D., both in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Kent State, for undergraduate research in geometry, algebra and analysis. This award started May 1, 2017, and ends April 30, 2020.

Chebotar, whose students will be studying the interaction of linear algebra and ring theory, has had previous success with REU grants.

“So far, I have supervised 15 REU students, and they’ve published seven research papers,” Chebotar said. “Six of them were published in Linear Algebra and Its Applications, the top journal in the area of linear algebra, and one in Involve, a journal that showcases and encourages high-quality mathematical research involving students from all academic levels.”

In addition to these faculty awards from the NSF, Taylor Michael, a biological sciences major at Kent State from Mantua, Ohio, is one of eight undergraduate students selected for the Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory 2017 REU Scholarship Program.

The five-week program is a competitive, comprehensive research internship that gives students the chance to conduct scientific research in the field alongside top scientists at Stone Laboratory, Ohio State’s island campus on Lake Erie.

REU students receive a full scholarship to Stone Lab, including lab fee, room and meals, in-state tuition for the 2-credit research experience and a 4-credit, five-week course. The program runs concurrently with Stone Lab’s five-week summer term. Students spend their nonclass days focused on research, working closely with their supervisors to design an experiment, collect samples and analyze data. At the end of the program, they give a final presentation to their peers and the public.

This year’s program was held June 18 through July 22. Michael studied field zoology.

More information about Stone Lab’s REU program can be found at

For more information about Kent State’s College of Arts and Sciences, visit

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