186 South College

grab your coffee, sit back and hang out with the UD Honors Program for a while

Month: December 2012

In the [research] Trenches 12.4.12

As the semester finishes up we get an update from Alexandra Bayles and Matthew Sinnott on their senior theses.

Alexandra Bayles: “Morphological Responsiveness of Anisotropic Partially Crystalline Emulsion Colloids”


The thing that I find most exciting about the research I’m doing for my thesis is that the work has relevant, practical implications outside of the academic world. I’ve been incredibly fortunate over the past 1.5 years to collaborate with researchers in industry throughout my work. Throughout the collaboration, we have drawn from one another’s results to advance both the physical understanding of the PCE phenomena and ultimately utilize this understanding to engineer products.

The most challenging part about the research I’m doing is finding the time to go into lab and conduct experiments. The fall semester of senior year is particularly busy for many seniors–not only do we have difficult capstone classes within our major, but many of us are also applying for graduate fellowships and research programs. There are many days where I wish I could forgo doing coursework and writing applications and instead spend the entire day in lab. By writing a thesis, I expect to learn how to better communicate my experimental results to audiences both familiar and unfamiliar with my field of research.

After graduating, I intend to go to graduate school to complete a PhD. Writing this senior research thesis not only improves my chance at being accepted into top graduate programs, but has also given me a preview of the work that I will do while in graduate school.

Matthew Sinnott: “Damage sensing in composite structures for the development of a health monitoring system and sensing self-healing capabilities”

I am excited to continually learn more about my research by reading articles and discovering what is done as other universities. Because the field is emerging into an area where there are new projects being explored everyday the scope of my project is constantly changing. The most challenging part of the research that I am doing is organizing all of my data and information nicely. There is a lot of different data that I am collecting with every test that needs to be evaluated and interpreted.

I am hoping to have a better understanding of how a final report should look before submitting it for publication. Writing a thesis should help me improve my technical writing skills and be better prepared for graduate school After graduation I am hoping to get a job in industry and work towards my master’s degree as a part time student. During interviews a lot of potential employers question me about my experience as an undergraduate researcher. After writing a thesis I have a better understanding of the small details of my project and feel comfortable explaining these details in a professional setting.

Honoring the Unidel Foundation

On Friday November 16, the University of Delaware Honors Program held a reception to recognize and thank of the Unidel Foundation. The newest beneficiaries—The 18 Eugene duPont Memorial Scholars of the class of 2016—received a book about the Foundation’s history that so generously funds their education.

The reception began with an introduction by Honors Program Director Michael Arnold followed by remarks from the Secretary and Treasurer of the Unidel Foundation and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Public Policy, Dr. G. Arno Loessner. Quoting the Rev. Francis Alison, Prof. Loessner reminded the Eugene duPont Scholars that to “those whom much is given, much is expected” and encouraged them to be “engaged leaders on campus and in the broader community”. Interim Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Interim Deputy Provost Ann Ardis, Associate Provost Peggy Bottorf, and 27 upperclassmen Eugene duPont Scholars were also in attendance.

Eugene duPont Scholars John Klodnicki, Rachel Iberz and Laura Powell were impressed with the story of the Unidel Foundation and of the generosity of Miss Amy DuPont. “[Hearing the story] you realize that they were actual people” comments John. “We’re a small part of that [legacy]…someday we’ll be a big part!” Events like this are appreciated by the Eugene duPont Scholar community as the students are spread out in many majors across all seven colleges at the University. “We don’t always get to see each other that often, so it was nice to get together” said Laura.

Eugene duPont Scholars like John, Rachel and Laura represent some of the University’s best and brightest and are the recipients of what Prof. Loessner called “one of the most generous scholarships in higher education today”. Thanks to the generosity of the Unidel Foundation, The Honors Program will continue to be a talent magnet for many years to come.

John Klodnicki, Rachel Iberz and Laura Powell cat [DSC01043] ch up over snacks at the Unidel ReceptionSecretary and Treasurer of the Unidel Foundation and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Public Policy, Dr. G. Arno Loessner speaks to Eugene DuPont Scholar

Eugene DuPont Scholars chat with UDHP Associate Director Kristin Bennighoff

Secretary and Treasurer of the Unidel Foundation and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Public Policy, Dr. G. Arno Loessner speaks to Eugene DuPont Scholars


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