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Student Spotlight: Grayce Mores

OHC Student Experiencing Research Through an Interdisciplinary Approach

From presenting genetics research in California, to studying abroad in London and Edinburgh, to detecting fake news patterns for the 2020 election, Ogden Honors student and Hans and Donna Sternberg Scholar Grayce Mores is using her time at LSU to take advantage of the diversified programming and opportunities presented while embracing various lenses and disciplines.  

Mores, a Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts alumna, is a second-year LSU student pursuing a dual degree in microbiology and biochemistry. She started off her summer by traveling to California with her research mentor, Dr. Mark Batzer, to the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Mobile DNA Conference, where Batzer was the keynote speaker. 

Grayce presenting at the conference

Mores was thrilled to participate in this conference because she had the opportunity to present her research professionally, and to learn more about emerging mobile genetic technology. 

“I'm so lucky to be in Dr. Batzer's lab, as Dr. Batzer is an extremely dedicated mentor and has given me the opportunity to meet and network with scientists at the forefront of mobile genetics,” Mores said. “I've been in contact with several of the scientists, graduate students, and the friends I made at the conference, and I was even able to tour one of their labs at the University of Edinburgh while I was visiting on the LSU trip!” 

Grayce Mores_7After the conference, Mores crossed the pond to the United Kingdom to study Darwin, DNA, and Dolly the Sheep on an Ogden Honors College program abroad while visiting institutions where pivotal biological breakthroughs were discovered. 

Mores says that the ability to learn more about important biological discoveries while actually visiting the places where those discoveries happened was an unforgettable experience. The connections she made in London, Ambleside, and Edinburgh provided great opportunities to tour labs that she could one day apply to work in to earn her doctorate. 

Outside of the world of DNA and genetics, Mores found an unexpected passion in media and politics that led her to work with Professor Len Apcar and the Manship School of Mass Communication this summer as a student researcher.

After taking Professor Apcar’s HNRS 2033 class on misinformation and social media last semester, Mores found a new passion for the detection of fake news. She found the motives behind and ways people manipulate information intensely interesting, leading to her decision to work with him this summer researching methods to combat misinformation leading up to the 2020 election. To continue this work, she plans to update the Manship School of Mass Communication's "Detect Fake News" website with student-created resources and information from their course. 

“Grayce tells me she was not much of a news reader before the honors class in media,” Apcar said. “But her scientific curiosity came alive in the class and Grayce became a deeply curious, analytical media consumer and a tireless researcher on fake news, manipulated videos and foreign infiltration of our information flows.”

“I had little interest in politics or news before taking HNRS 2033, and I took Professor Apcar's class because I thought it would be interesting to learn about lies and hoaxes in history,” Mores said. “I ended up discovering a passion for learning about media and communications, and I've really enjoyed the chance to pursue my interests in humanities. His course gave me a new perspective on media and news, and I found that I was more aware of and interested in politics and news.” 

She found that as a STEM major her scholastic activity between labs and working within mass communication research gives her an opportunity to exercise different parts of her brain, allowing holistic academic enrichment. 

Mores further supports her love for the Ogden Honors College and her research disciplines in various manners. She is an Honors College advocate, where she has a chance to connect with peers and professors, help others in their transition into being an LSU student, and recruit new students through sharing her experience. Mores is also the vice president of communications for LSU Discover’s Undergraduate Research Ambassadors, and is part of the Distinguished Communicator and the Distinguished Undergraduate Research Programs. Being a part of these programs reinforces Mores’ belief that “communication is a crucial part of being a scientist,” and these opportunities are helping her develop her skills to the fullest extent. 

Mores has found fulfillment in each of the many opportunities she has had trough the Ogden Honors College, and she looks forward to developing her Genetics research even further. She plans on developing her research into her honors thesis, giving her the chance to refine and compile her research into a work of reviewed scholarship. 

If you are interested in joining the Ogden Honors College and having access to a multitude of similar opportunities, please visit honors.lsu.edu >Admissions.