LMU Undergrads Shine as Ledford Scholars

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Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) proudly announces seven undergraduate students selected as 2024 Ledford Scholars by the Appalachian College Association (ACA). Among 48 scholars chosen from 20 institutions, LMU leads with seven outstanding recipients. These scholars will receive financial support totaling $32,133 to conduct research projects mentored by esteemed faculty members during the summer or fall 2024 terms.


“We are exceptionally proud of our 2024 Ledford Scholars,” says Natalie Sweet, LMU executive director of the Office of Research, Grants, and Sponsored Programs. “From a better understanding of cultural traditions, of social behavior, of health, and of nature, these students’ projects represent the high quality that can be found in an LMU education.”


From the Paul V. Hamilton School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences:

  • Erin Achauer, an Art major mentored by Dr. Abigail Heiniger, explores "Contemporary Folklore and Art in the Age of the Internet."
  • Terri Hamilton, an English and History major, investigates "Appalachian Women: Folklore, Superstition, and Tradition," under Dr. Abigail Heiniger's guidance.
  • Natalie Mueller, a Social Work major, researches "The Relationship between Predisposed Traumatic Factors and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Veterans' Post-Service," guided by Dr. Tracy Mims.


From the School of Mathematics and Sciences:

  • Spencer Baldwin, a Conservation Biology and Wildlife Management Track major mentored by Dr. Barbara Shock, investigates "Utilizing Presence Only Prediction to Model Morchella diminutiva Distribution."
  • Katilee Croft, a Conservation Biology major, collaborates with Dr. Whitney Kistler on "Developing Environmental DNA Protocol to Detect Populations of the Wehrle's Salamander (Plethodon wehrlei)."
  • Hannah Cure, a Pre-Veterinary Health Sciences Major, works on "Synthesis and Physiochemical Properties of Acetaminophen Derivatives with a Fluorine Substituent on the Aromatic Ring" under Dr. Thomas Shell's mentorship.
  • Christian Piercy, a Biology Pre-Health major, under Dr. Stan Kunigelis, investigates "Detection of Wnt and β-catenin Proteins in Labidocera Copepods."


The ACA will feature presentations of each scholar's findings on its website post-research. Previous LMU Ledford Scholars presented at LMU Research Day, the Blue Ridge Undergraduate Conference, and the Tennessee Academy of Sciences among other outlets.


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or email at admissions@lmunet.edu.

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