Cydnei Mallory, Penn State School of Visual Arts Student, is a recipient of a 2014 Undergraduate Summer Discovery Grant in support of her research project Digital Technologies in the Foundry Process. The Summer Discovery Grant program is a resource that helps students take advantage of Penn State’s research environment. Supported by an endowment from the Penn State Alumni Association and funding from the Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education and several colleges, the purpose of these grants is to promote faculty/undergraduate collaboration as students engage in original research, scholarship, and creative work during the summer under the direct supervision of a faculty member.
Below, SoVA Associate Professor Cristin Millett describes her experience with Cydnei and why she is deserving of this opportunity:
I am delighted to have Cydnei as a student and rely on her dedication to her education to set an exceptionally high standard in my courses and our program. In addition to working with Cydnei in my classes, I invited her to serve as my teaching assistant for Art 331: Metal Casting and Moldmaking last fall. Cydnei excelled in assisting and presenting demonstrations, and contributed significantly to the success of the class because of her enthusiasm, energy, and her extensive knowledge of the subject matter, essential qualities for a good teacher. Furthermore, she independently rebuilt a kiln used for melting wax out of molds for lost wax casting. At the start of the fall semester, I asked her to research methods for building kilns, determine needed materials and source suppliers, and complete the work under a tight time schedule (we needed the kiln for the course). She followed through with little assistance or supervision and did a fantastic job. Cydnei’s project, Digital Technologies in the Foundry Process, involves printing three-dimensional forms in plastic using rapid prototyping technology. She hypothesizes that these plastic forms can replace the waxes used in the traditional lost-wax process, and the plastic can be melted out and replaced with molten bronze or aluminum. If the results of her hypothesis are successful, the potential impact on the current methods used in art foundries is significant.
Cydnie is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Sculpture. Discovery Grant recipients who are enrolled at Penn State in spring 2015 are asked to present their projects at the annual Undergraduate Exhibition in April.