Undergraduate research inspires REU, Goldwater honor and graduate school
Brandi Pessman ’19 got her degree in biology and entered a Ph.D. program in animal behavior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This was a goal that came from her research with Chandreyee Mitra, her advisor. Mitra is an assistant professor of biology and one of the North Central faculty members with the most interest in research. At the symposium, Pessman gave a presentation on a research question about electrocommunication signals in Black Ghost Knifefish. Her project came started with a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Indiana University.
“The thirst for knowledge and curiosity for the unknown has fueled much of my research career, and it will continue to do so,” said Pessman, who earned a Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention in 2018. “Doing research at North Central, and presenting at the Rall symposium … demonstrated that I have the power to find answers to questions and solutions to problems.”
College Scholar Luke Musgrave ’19 explored a subject way outside his actuarial science major. He embraced his musical talents and decided to contrast traditional protestant hymns with contemporary praise and worship songs.
“I wondered if the lyrical content was significantly different between the two styles of worship. Since I couldn't find any specific studies on this subject, I decided to write my thesis on that topic,” said Musgrave, who began a career in actuarial science at Allstate in September 2019.