Student HighlightsSponsored by PCI Magazine.jpg

Did you know that all proceeds from our Symposium go to fund our students and Polymer Science program at USM?  Your continuing support and participation at our symposium supports the FUTURE of the polymer science industry. 

Meet some of our polymer science students who portray the intellectual potential, strength of character, and love of learning that has exemplified the University of Southern Mississippi's School of Polymers and Engineering since 1969.

We are proud to offer the first in a series of student highlights that enables you to interact and see the students and their work.  We encourage feedback and suggestions as we build this program.

2018-19 Student Highlights

Erin C..jpg

Erin Crater

Polymer Science BS

Erin is a Junior student in the Azoulay Research Group and her current research focuses on highly sensitive, conjugated polymer-based sensors capable of selectively detecting phosphate in complex aqueous environments. Erin has received several awards for her poster presentations. She was also awarded The University of Southern Mississippi’s Outstanding Freshman for 2017 as well as being honored as the 2017-2018 Woods Presidential Scholar. 

Alexandra Garrett

Polymer Science BS

Alexandra is a Junior student in the Simon Research Group. Her current focus involves the study and synthesis of the co-assembly of bottlebrush amphiphilic triblock with the goal to further understand how multi triblocks interact in a singular polysome. She has achieved Academic Excellence for both the fall and spring semesters, and plans to continue on to earn her doctorate degree.


Dane Wedgeworth

Polymer Science BS

Dane is a Senior Student in the Thames/Rawlins Research Group. His current work involves studying the initiation of corrosion on steel panels via fluorescent probes. These probes will be able to sense the generation of the iron (II) ion at anodic corrosion sites on the panel, and he will be able to track this fluorescence with a confocal microscope. Dane has been awarded the Shelby F. Thames Polymer Science High Ability Scholarship, the Honors College Keystone Scholarship, the University Scholarship, and the Sidney Lauren Memorial Scholarship.


Jordan Winetrout

Polymer Science and Engineering BS

Jordan is a Senior Student in the Wiggins Research Group. His research includes the study of fully cured epoxy-amine microspheres which are synthesized using isophorone diamine (IPDA) and the following epoxides: TGDDM, Araldite 510, Araldite 610, DGEBA, DGEBF, EPONEX 1510. Jordan has be co-authored on several publications, and he has been awarded the Toyota-Haley Barbour Scholarship, Honor's Keystone Scholarship, Academic Excellence Scholarship and the USM Grant.


Brittany Thompson

Polymer Science and Engineering BS

Brittany is a Senior Student in the Patton Research Group. Her research encompasses surface-grafted polymer brushes for the rational design of surfaces exhibiting multifunctional chemistries and tunable morphologies (i.e. microscopic form and organization of polymers) across multiple length scales. Brittany has been co-authored on two publications and has been awarded the Golden Opportunity Scholarship as well as the Women in Science and Engineering Travel Scholarship. 


Dakota Ehlenburg

Polymer Science and Engineering BS

Dakota is a senior student in the Gu Research Group. He currently helps with multiple projects for his lab group on projects such as creating new instrumentation via CAD software. He also helps to run small and wide angle x-ray scattering characterization. He has received the Donald Drapeau Undergraduate Research Prize , and has one current publication.


Elina Ghimire

Polymer Science BS

Elina is a Junior student in the Simon Research Group. Her current research focuses on investigating the co-assembly behavior of linear amphiphilic triblocks in the fabrication of polymersomes. Elina has won many awards and is the recipient of the 2016-2020 Golden Opportunity International Scholarship as well as the 2018-2020 Honors Keystone Scholar Award Scholarship. She is also a member of USM’s WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Organization.


Lauren Gonce

Polymer Science BS

Lauren is a Junior student in the Azoulay Research Group. Her research focuses on the investigation of catalyst and monomer scope for homogeneously gold catalyzed polyhydroarylations and refinement and optimization of said procedure. These polymerizations consist of commercially available comonomers, consisting of an arene and alkyne, and should function under mild reaction conditions and exhibit tolerance to oxygen and water. Lauren is the recipient of the USM Presidential Scholarship and plans to pursue her PhD in Polymer Science.

Roger Dias

Polymer Science BS

Roger is a Senior student in the Wiggins Research Group. His research focuses on the synthesis of controlled polyacryonitrile precursor for carbon fibers through RAFT polymerization. He was awarded 1st place in the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division at the 2017 Mississippi Academy of Sciences Symposium, and is also a Presidential Scholar.

William M..jpg

William Martin

Polymer Science BS

William is a senior student in the Patton Research Group. His current research focuses on the synthesis of degradable        thiol-ene thermosets with incorporation of antimicrobial aldehyde containing essential oils. He won first place in the Waterborne Symposium Student Poster Competition in 2016, and placed third in the same competition in 2017. He was awarded second place in the 80th Annual Mississippi Academy of Sciences Undergraduate Poster Competition as well as The USM Undergraduate Research Symposium Poster Competition in 2016.

For more information how you can get involved, please contact: 

Melanie Bryan: 601-266-4475

CoatingTech's Spotlight on USM's Polymer Science and Engineering Students

Originally Appeared in January 2013 Issue of Coatings Tech, pp 40-44