2023 HIRS Students

The Honors Independent Research Study (HIRS) program offers a unique opportunity for students to conduct an original, engaging research project of their choosing. This summer, 13 members of the Class of 2024 began their research project by completing hands-on work in partnership with a community mentor who is an expert in the field. Director of Honors Independent Research Dr. Anna Bess Sorin organizes the program and helps guide the girls through their projects. 

We are happy to share the fascinating topics these students have researched this summer. They will report more about their experience before presenting their findings later this fall.  

Research project titles and mentors are listed below:

Josie Block
Weiss-Powell Vertical Jump Force-Displacement-Time Curve
-Dr. Douglas Powell, School of Health Sciences, University of Memphis

Ella Curlin
Health and Demographics of Freshwater Turtles Within the Memphis Zoo
-Dr. Lori Neumann-Lee and Jennifer Terry (Ph.D. student) from Arkansas State, in partnership
with the Memphis Zoo research division.

Isabel Cyriac
Neurological Development Outcomes in Preterm Infants with a Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
Dr. Ranjit Philip, LeBonheur Pediatric Hospital

Averie Howell
Financial Distress due to Gambling Addiction
Dr. James Whelan and Masters Student Halle Smith ’16, Psychology Department, University of Memphis

Isabel Isaacs
Investigating possible implementation of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) into Memphis
Schools. Additionally, assisting with the Pregnant Mom’s Empowerment Program
-Dr. Amanda Hasselle, Department of Psychology, University of Memphis.

Caroline Hunt
Radiology and Artificial Intelligence
-Dr. Xiaolei Huang, Department of Computer Science, University of Memphis.

Erica Ormseth
Using a Natural Language Processing Model to Improve Teaching Assistant Feedback on
CS students’ code.
-Dr. Amy Cook, Computer Science Department at the University of Memphis, and Dr. Alistair Windsor, Mathematical Sciences Department at the University of Memphis.

Anum Raza
The effect of Chronic Stress on male and female B6 and D2 mice.
-Dr. Melloni Cook, Psychology Department, University of Memphis

Ellis Rougeou
Testing Enantiomeric Favorability of Chiral Diols Made with Unique Chiral Chloroborane
-Dr. Charles Garner, Department of Chemistry, University of Memphis

Rebecca Schweitzer
Applying a critical lens to the use of research evidence in state policymaking while
examining the state legislature as a racialized institution.
-Dr. Courtnee Melton-Fant, School of Public Health, University of Memphis

Reeya Sharma
Social Interaction and Neural Dopamine Levels in Relation to Drug Addiction
-Dr. Deranda Lester, Psychology Department, University of Memphis

Emily Smith
The development and synthesis of novel catalyst architectures for important organic
-Dr. Timothy Brewster, University of Memphis

Mila Szatkowski
Marketing the Hurt2Healing Program
-Dr. Eraina Schauss, founder and director of BRAIN Center, University of Memphis and St. Mary’s Director of Communications Jennifer Parris

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