Our 2018-2019 Student Highlights


Erin Crater
Polymer Science B.S.

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 B.S.

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 B.S.

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 B.S.

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 B.S.

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 B.S.

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 B.S.

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 B.S.

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 B.S.

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 Martin
Polymer Science B.S.

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 the January 2013 Issue of Coatings Tech, pp 40-44