Morrow and Sheets receive 2021 Hope Scholars Award

Taylor Morrow and Tara Sheets

NOTE: This article was written by junior Shea Sutherland (Ark City, Kan.) for the Tabor College View. The publication offers students and faculty a window into the happenings on campus. Our student writers uncover stories behind the scenes, keep people updated, and inform with accuracy and clarity. Toby Penner (Whitewater, Kan.) is currently editor of the magazine and it is advised by Dr. Aleen Ratzlaff. The full edition of the magazine is also available.

Success is often accomplished by the work that is put in behind the scenes, or in other words, within the lab. Senior Taylor Morrow and junior Tara Sheets have been selected to receive the Hope Scholars Award for their collaborative research with Dr. James Titah, assistant professor of chemistry. 

“Although we have not discussed an official title for our research, it will be something along the lines of, ‘The Synthesis and Characterization of Schiff Bases from Amino Acids and their Metal Ligand Complexes,’” said Morrow

Titah first began researching this topic and came to several conclusions. Morrow and Sheets are taking the research a step further to determine if any of their results could potentially be used in pharmaceutical research or medications. 

“Through this research, we are hoping to find a new way that medications, specifically insulin, can be delivered into the body orally,” said Sheets.

Both Morrow and Sheets said they were interested in this research area because of their future endeavors. Morrow will be attending pharmacy school following her graduation in May, and Sheets also plans to attend medical school after graduation. 

When Morrow and Sheets are not attending class, studying, or participating in their extracurricular activities, they are in the lab completing their individual tasks. They each spend about two to four hours in the lab during each week to accomplish their set goals.

“By the end of this research, I hope to have written a research paper that is publishable, if not before I graduate, then following my graduation,” said Morrow. 

As the two women work toward their goal of publication, they plan to use this scholarship to fund their necessary tools.

“We will use this scholarship towards purchasing chemicals for the synthesis of our products and creating our final poster for presentation of our work,” said Sheets.

About the Hope Scholars Program

New Hope Mennonite Brethren Church (New Hope, Minn.) established a Legacy of Hope endowment to support scholarships at Tabor College.

Scholarship, as defined in this proposal, is informed by the late Dr. Ernest Boyer in his landmark study Scholarship Reconsidered (1997). According to Boyer, scholarship has two critical elements that make it a distinctive activity. First, scholarship involves the systematic study of a topic or issue. Secondly, scholarship must involve the public presentation of the results of that study. Both must be present. Either of these activities without the other, while worthy and possibly useful, does not constitute scholarship activity.

Support for the scholarship activities, funded by the Legacy of Hope endowment, falls into three categories: scholarship grants, innovative curriculum development grants and logistical scholarship support grants.