On Tuesday, May 6, Megan Garzón '14 received the 2014 Frontis W. Johnston Thesis Award at Davidson College. A neuroscience major from Ecuador, Garzón wrote her senior thesis on "Exposure to BPA Reversibly Decreases Tyrosine Hydroxylase Expression in Xenopus laevis Posterior Tuberculum."
Named for the first dean of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Davidson, the Frontis W. Johnston Thesis Award is awarded annually to the student whose thesis, in the judgment of the faculty of the center, is the most original work of scholarship among all the theses written, reveals breadth of learning as well as the advancement of a thesis, and is written in a style distinguished by its force and clarity.
Acting director Peter Krentz presented the award at the center's senior banquet. Krentz praised Garzón for designing her own research idea, identifying the parameters to investigate, designing every aspect of the experiments, working through procedural hurdles, and producing publishable results. Barbara Lom, chair of the department of biology and Megan's faculty advisor, describes Garzón as "the strongest center student I've ever had in my lab" and says that her research is so promising that the lab will continue it in the future.
The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies opened its doors in 1970 as the Honors College. Today, the center provides a route for students to complete a major not offered by an academic department. All center majors complete a two-semester thesis based on a research project.