ACC-IAC Fellowships awarded to two Wake Forest students

Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the ACC-IAC Creativity and Innovation Fellowships:  Kristiana Chan, a studio art major, and Anna Grace Tribble, an anthropology major!  Their projects are titled “Investigating Social Entrepreneurship, Female Empowerment, and the Power of Story in the Nepalese Himalayas,” and “Tuberculosis Education of Community Health Workers in Nepal.”Anna Grace TribbleKristiana Chan

The ACC-IAC Creativity and Innovation Fellowships, funded by the ACC academic collaborative, support independent projects proposed by Wake Forest students. Proposals are selected by Wake Forest’s URECA Center based on the criteria of originality, creativity, innovation, experimentation, and intellectual risk.  Both Kristiana’s and Anna’s projects surely exceed these criteria. This fellowship program, which is supported by money provided by the ACC Athletic Conference, is designed to provide students at Wake Forest (and all ACC schools) with the opportunity to participate in intensive scholarship under the mentorship of a faculty member across the summer months.  This program also allows talented students to dig deeper into their research projects while improving on their critical thinking, communication, and analytic skills, making them more competitive for employment and graduate/professional school admissions. It also directly connects undergraduate students to core Wake Forest mission of creativity and innovation and represents the university’s excellence in, and commitment to, quality undergraduate education.

Last year’s fellowship winners have completed their projects and submitted their reports.  Each of these four brilliant students were guided by some of our finest faculty mentors: Dr. Steven Folmar of the College’s Anthropology Department; Dr. Zheng Cui, Professor of Pathology-Tumor Biology, Wake Forest University, School of Medicine; Associate Professor Craig A. Hamilton of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Wake Forest University, School of Medicine.Anthropology major

  •  Alisha Giri, a junior majoring in Anthropology. Project title: The Manifestation of Gender Differences in Tibetan Buddhism.  Alisha traveled to Nepal to study gender differences in the meditation practices of  Buddhist monks and nuns. Visiting four monasteries, Alisha interviewed nuns and monks,  audited the pujas (Buddhist philosophy debates), studied history, and traveled with tantric monks to learn about Buddhist culture and contemporary practices.  She explored reactions by nuns to what is known as the Ashta Guru Dharma, or the eight rules that were established after the controversial ordination of the first Buddhist nun, rules that were created to make certain nuns were subordinate to monks.  Alisha presented her findings at a meeting of Wake Forest’s Board of Visitors and is also scheduled to present her work this April at the ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference in Pittsburgh, PA and at Wake Forest’s Women’s Gender and Sexualities Studies Symposium.  Click here to read Alisha’s ACCIAC Report. Dineth Bandarage and Andy Vuong
  • Dineth Bandarage and Andy Vuongjuniors in Psychology and Biophysics respectively. Project title: Examining the combinatorial effects of plant-derived substances on lifespan and tumor growth of Sarcoma 180 cells in mice. Inspired by their service work with cancer patients and by David Servan-Schneider’s book, Anticancer: A New Way of Life, Dineth and Andy infected mice with Sarcoma 180 and then treated them with different plant-based substances; their goal was to measure their life  span against those of a control group of healthy mice.  At summer’s end, their findings astonished both student researchers and mentors.  The cancerous mice who were treated with  a combination of Epigallocatechin Gallate (an anti-oxidant found in green tea) and Curcumin (derived from turmeric) did not die.  After 42 days, there was no sign of tumor growth and the infected mice outlived their non-infected counterparts. Click here to read Dineth and Andy’s ACCIAC Report.
  • Timothy Lee, a sophomore Chemisty student. Project title: The Medical Implications of Robotics with Painting. Timothy received an ACC-IAC award to build a robotic arm, capable of painting with a paintbrush. HeTimothy Lee came to Wake Forest with strong interests in art and medicine.  Particularly interested in the future of robotic surgery, Timothy proposed that he create a robotic arm.  Rather than perform surgery on living beings with his newly designed arm, he wanted to replicate the motions the human arm and fingers made as they painted different kinds of brush strokes with different kinds of brushes.  After spending a week observing the surgeries performed by Wake Forest’s Da Vinci robot, Timothy spent three weeks at Wake Forest’s MRI Center where he designed and built both the hard and software for his robotic arm.  Once he had created his arm, he visited faculty at Wake Forest’s Innovations Quarter to learn more about the biomechanics of the human arm, to improve his hardware, and work on timing. Timothy’s robotic arm is capable of a range of movements, similar to those of the Da Vinci robot. Click here to read Timothy’s ACCIAC Report.

I am proud of our scholars! Congratulations to this year’s award winners, Kristiana and Anna!  And, congratulations also to last year’s winners, Timothy, Alisha, Dineth and Andy for their innovations, creative endeavors and explorations.  Thank you to all of the faculty members who support and mentor our fine students!

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