Allen Wins Research Symposium

Dr. Amanda Duffus, Preston Allen, Sara Croft, Ashley Dean.


Preston Allen garnered first place in the annual Gordon State College Undergraduate Research Symposium held Wednesday.

Allen's presentation, "The Effects of Craig Air Force Base on Selma, Alabama," was developed in cooperation with Dr. Christy Flatt, assistant professor of sociology.

The study details the initial impact of the closure of Craig AFB and compares four measures - unemployment rate, poverty level, education level, and median income - before and after the closure, showing the effect it had on the economy of Selma.

"I presented this information for the first time last Friday and I was more nervous presenting it in front of Gordon professors today," Allen said. "I am excited to have shared this research with the faculty and student of Gordon State College."

Allen, who is a senior human services major, has been accepted into the graduate program at Humbolt University where he will study sociology.

Also presenting were:

Sara L. Croft, a senior biology major, "Frequency of Endoparasites in Stray Canines and Felines of Spalding County." Croft investigated the frequency of occurrence of endoparasites in domestic dogs and cats from Spalding County.

Croft, who placed second in the Symposium, plans to attend veterinary school at the University of Georgia in the fall.

"I wasn't expecting to win anything, but I am happy with the outcome," Croft said. "I did this purely for the joy of research."

Ashley Dean, biology major, and Amanda Duffus, assistant professor of biology, "Ranavirus Phylogenetics Using Full Major Capsid Protein Sequences: A Comparison of Methods." Ranaviruses are globally emerging infections in ectothermic vertebrates. Much of our knowledge of the relationships between different strains and isolates of ranaviruses is based upon the phylogenetic analysis of partial or full sequences of the major capsid protein (MCP), which is highly conserved throughout the genus Ranavirus. Using 28 complete MCP sequences obtained from GenBank, Dean and Duffus compared three tree building methods.

Dean, who placed third, is completing requirements for admission to medical school.

"It has been a great experience presenting research again this year," she said.

Biology major Megan Dedge and Dr. Michael Bender, assistant professor of biology, "Assessment of the Macroinvertebrate Community in Potato Creek Following a Fish Kill." The study objective was to compare the macroinvertebrate community in Potato Creek to a reference stream with no known impairment. Dedge and Bender collected six samples from each stream and plan to continue monthly sampling for one year. Analyses of macroinvertebrate samples collected thus far suggest no significant difference between the two streams in regards to the composition and diversity of the macroinvertebrate community."

Ali Goode and Dr. Richard Schmude Jr., professor of chemistry, "Methyl Ketones in the Production of Idoform." The research explored the properties of methyl ketones when put through an iodoform test, or also known as the haloform reaction.