Berry Students Receive Research Awards

Release Date: July 22, 2014

Two Berry College students have been named Synovus Scholars and received funding for their research.

Chandler Maddox, a rising junior biology major from Gainesville, Ga., and Rashelly Rusia, a rising senior psychology, marketing, and management triple major from Grayson, Va. are the 2014 Synovus Scholars.

The Synovus Scholar Program awards up to $2,000 to students and $500 for faculty or staff mentors to support projects related to the student's exploration of academic, research or growth experiences such as practicums, research, internships, entrepreneurial service or work projects, or artistic endeavors.

Maddox said her project focuses on evaluating cave biodiversity in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity to develop my potential as a future researcher; Berry has so many cool opportunities like Synovus,” said Maddox. “I am so lucky to have received this grant, and to have a mentor like Dr. Cathy Borer, who took the time to plug me in with connections and teach me how to write a proposal.”

During the 2014 spring semester Maddox started an internship with the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc., when  Borer mentioned the Synovus Scholar grant.

“This project has already begun to give me connections to researchers at universities that I am considering researching when I go to get a graduate degree. I’m excited to learn research methods outside of just lab classes, how to write a research paper, and how to present at a conference; these are all important skills for a successful researcher,” Maddox said.

Rusia said her project focuses on preschool children and their parents’ interactions during reading time.

“It's a great opportunity to delve into psychological research,” she said, adding that the most important part of being a Synovus Scholar is staying focused. Rusia plans to pursue a doctorate in industrial, organizational psychology after graduation. 

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Written by Student Public Relations Assistant Lindsey Dyches