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Students earn Drinko grants for art projects

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Posted on Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Two Westminster College students used grant funding from the Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research to strengthen their individual senior art projects.

Senior honors student Sophia Galietta, a fine art and psychology double major from Bethel Park, Pa., used the grant to produce her work, “Nurture vs. Nature.”

Galietta used hand-building clay, underglaze and stain to create hexagonal-shaped tiles. She also used embroidery floss, fabric and hoops for embroidery pieces.

“My interest in nature has greatly influenced my research in both the discipline of art and psychology,” said Galietta. “Earning a research grant has allowed me to create a body of artwork that will be beneficial to my portfolio. I was able to experiment with different materials without adding an extra financial burden.”

Grace Ryser, a senior in fine arts and biochemistry double major from Hubbard, Ohio, applied her grant toward her capstone exhibit, “Alanine Arginine Threonine”—ART in amino acide code.

“My inspiration comes from my biochemistry textbooks and the figures that are in them, as well as what I have seen in the laboratory throughout my time here. The goal is for my exhibit to look like a messy lab bench come to life,” said Ryser.

“I am super proud of what I have so far, and it would not have been possible without this grant,” said Ryser, who worked with clay and glazes for her project. “Being able to create freely allows me to expand my skill set in several different areas and it has allowed me to personalize a big project to achieve the look that I want.”

Both students were mentored by Summer Zickefoose, associate professor of art at Westminster College.

Westminster’s Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research financially supports undergraduate research through various grants aimed at either the undertaking of research and creative projects at Westminster College or the external presentation and dissemination of research and creative works at conferences.

For more information on the Drinko Center, contact director Dr. Patrick Lackey at

Learn more about Westminster’s art program here.