2010 Research Fellows
Michael Hamilton - Industrial Engineering

A PhD candidate in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Mississippi State University. His research is concentrated on Human Factors and Ergonomics, which focuses on studying the postural and range of motion effects caused by obesity in regards to workstation design guidelines. Michael is excited to be a part of this program because he has a passion of inspiring the youth to pursue higher education. He looks forward to learning more through interdisciplinary studies, while also passing such knowledge to the future leaders of America

Jed Leggett - Physics

Jed is currently working on a masters degree in medium energy particle physics and is involved with a U.S. led collaboration to search for a permanent electric dipole moment of the neutron. Through the INSPIRE program, Jed plans to introduce high school students to cutting edge physics research that is changing the way we think about matter. He also hopes to help students gain confidence in themselves and their abilities, so they will never be afraid to speak up when they have something important to say. Jed received a B.S. in physics and a B.A. in mathematics and philosophy from Mississippi State University in 2008.

Kim Leggett - Mechanical Engineering

A Mechanical Engineering student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Mississippi State University with research in the analytical and computational study of magnetostrictive composite sensors. As part of the INSPIRE GK12 program she hopes to make math and science fun for the students, so they will pursue careers in these type fields. Her undergraduate degree is a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State in May of 2009.

Will McBryde - Geosciences (Geology)

A geology graduate student in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University (MSU) with research interests in hydrogeology and is currently, working on a project for a proposed surfacewater reservoir. He is the MSU Student Chapter President for the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (2010-2011 term) and is an active member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. His undergraduate degrees are from Emory and Henry College where he received a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Geography.

Kylie Nash - Industrial Engineering

Holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from Jackson State University and is currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. Her research interests are in the area of Human Factors and Ergonomics with an emphasis in Cognitive Engineering and Technology. She hopes that experienced gained from the INSPIRE GK-12 program will help her become better prepared in academia as well as help K-12 students learn how to apply new concepts to real world problems and influence them of the importance of a pursuing degrees in higher education.

Lucas Pounders - Geosciences (GIS)

Currently pursuing a masters degree in Geospatial Information Systems in the Department of Geosciences. His area of research is wildfire prediction and prevention through the use of remotely sensed imagery. While fulfilling his place as a National Science Foundation GK12 fellow, he hopes to gain experience in teaching and educating others about research that will be applicable to a successful career.

Chris Ruhs - Geosciences (Geology)

Currently pursuing a M.S. in biogeochemistry and Geoscience Education under Dr. Karen McNeal in the Geoscience department of Mississippi State University. His current biogeochemistry research involves the development and evaluation of a novel biogeochemical analytical technique used in tandem with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry; current geoscience education research involves the development and evaltuation of a gas chromatography and mass spectrometry laboratory class taught at the undergraduate level.

Dustin Spayde - Mechanical Engineering

Received his bachelors of science degree in mechanical engineering from Mississippi State in May of 2009 and is currently enrolled in the mechanical engineering PhD program. His research is on the non-destructive evaluation of composite materials embedded with magnetostrictive particles. I applied for this program to make science less intimidating to others, and for the teaching experience. My future career goals include going into the composites industry and then possibly returning to academia in order to teach.

Rob Thorton - Geosciences (Meteorology)

Recieved a bachelor'sdegree from Texas A&M and a master's degree from MSU. After a 13-year TV meteorology career in Mississippi and Texas, he is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Science. His research concerns agricultural irrigation and its effects on groundwaterlevels in the Mississippi Delta. As part of the INSPIRE GK12 program he seeking to gain more experience in Geoscience education and teaching techniques.