Ferrum College senior, STEM scholar, and Franklin County native Brooke Turner has been named an Appalachian College Association (ACA) Ledford scholar for 2021. Turner received a $1,000 stipend to fund her undergraduate research project, titled “Using Approach-Avoidance to Study Addictive Behavior in Snails.”
Turner will use the scholarship money to study the addictive behavior of pond snails by injecting the snail’s food with nicotine. “In psychology, approach-avoidance is known as a conflict because the goal is both appealing and unappealing,” she explained. “I will use approach-avoidance to observe if the snails approach or avoid the nicotine. By observing the behavior of the snails, I will be studying the addictive effects of nicotine.”
In September 2021, Turner will submit her research findings and a video recording of her final project presentation which will be posted on the ACA website.
Turner has been working with Dean of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Chemistry and Physics Jason Powell on this project for over a year. “The pandemic delayed her work, but the Ledford award she received from the Appalachian College Association will mean that she is able to continue her work into the summer,” said Powell. “I am honored to have been able to help shape her research question as she pursues this independent research project.”
“I hope to finish my research over the summer and publish my findings in an undergraduate research journal,” said Turner.
Turner will graduate a semester early, in December 2021, when she will earn a Bachelor of Science in pre-professional health sciences with an emphasis in pre-medicine. She is triple-minoring in biology, chemistry, and psychology.
According to the ACA website, “the Ledford Scholarship, named for Colonel Lee B. Ledford, offers financial assistance for summer research projects to undergraduate students enrolled at ACA member institutions. Undergraduate students from all disciplines, applying various methodologies, are eligible.”