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12 KU students receive Undergraduate Research Awards for Fall

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

LAWRENCE — This fall, 12 KU students will receive Undergraduate Research Awards (UGRAs). The recipients are awarded a $1,000 scholarship as they work on mentored research and creative projects. 

“We are pleased to support this group of students as they take advantage of one of the clear benefits of a KU education: the opportunity to engage in research and creative projects with our faculty,” said John Augusto, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research. 

Students apply for UGRAs by writing a four-page research proposal under the guidance of a mentor. Faculty reviewers evaluate the applications based on the merit of the applicant's proposal, the applicant's academic record and a recommendation letter from the mentor.

Students interested in applying for spring 2017 UGRAs can find more information and apply on the Center for Undergraduate Research website

Students receiving awards for fall 2016 are listed below in alphabetical order along with hometown, major, project title, mentor and mentor’s department:

Daiane Aizen, a senior from Montevideo, Uraguay, majoring in mechanical engineering: “Effect of Floor Stiffness on Standing Posture,” mentored by Sarah Wilson, mechanical engineering.

José Aldana, a senior from Tarija, Bolivia, majoring in finance: “Big Marketing on a Tight Budget: How Small Businesses Use Social Media,” mentored by Hyunjin Seo, journalism & mass communications.

Mario Balcazar, a junior from La Paz, Bolivia, majoring in physics and electrical engineering: “Design of Metamaterial Leaky-Wave Antennas for Radar Applications,” mentored by Alessandro Salandrino, electrical engineering & computer science.

McKenzie Butcher, a junior from Topeka majoring in speech-language-hearing: “Phonetic Convergence in English Monolinguals During Language Interactions with Spanish-English Bilinguals,” mentored by Navin Viswanathan, speech-language-hearing: sciences & disorders.

Rachel Carver, a senior from Kansas City majoring in metalsmithing: “A Study in Goldsmithing and Other Ancient Metalsmithing Techniques,” mentored by Gina Westergard, visual art.

Sebastian Huayamares, a junior from Lima, Peru, majoring in chemical engineering and mathematics: “Cryogel of Gelatin Methacrylamide (Gel-MA) as Sponge Scaffolds for Stimulation of Human Stem Cell Osteogenesis to Treat Bone Defect,” mentored by Arghya Paul, chemical & petroleum engineering.

Mitchell Newton, a senior from Overland Park majoring in history, chemistry and philosophy: “Historical Ontology and the Thought of Michel Foucault: Looking at  Foucault’s Final Lectures at the University of California, Berkley,” mentored by Benjamin Sax, history.

Nicholas Reiter, a senior from Overland Park majoring in psychology: “The Moderating Effect of Peer Victimization on the Relation Between ADHD Symptom Clusters and Forms of Child Aggression,” mentored by Paula Fite, applied behavioral science and psychology.

Shaina Stasi, a senior from Overland Park majoring in speech-language-hearing: “Effect of Glottal Source Characteristics on Speech Perception,” mentored by Jonathan Brumberg, speech-language-hearing: sciences & disorders.

Kevin Tenny, a senior from Leawood majoring in chemical engineering: “Cobalt-Deposited Carbon Nanotubes on Carbon Felt for Flow Batteries and Fuel Cells,” mentored by Trung Nguyen, chemical & petroleum engineering.

John (Ike) Uri, a senior from Concordia majoring in sociology: “Food Insecurity at the University of Kansas,” mentored by Tracey LaPierre, sociology.

Lindsey VanLooy, a senior from Wichita majoring in psychology and speech-language-hearing: “Insights from Pupillometry: Cognitive Effort in Normal-Hearing and Cochlear Implant Listeners,” mentored by Kostas Kokkinakis, speech-language-hearing: sciences & disorders.


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Research teaches critical thinking and problem solving — top skills sought by employers
The Research Experience Program has certified more than 2,000 students since 2005
KU is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research
More than 1,200 students have received Undergraduate Research Awards since 1986
More than 150 mentors sponsored undergraduate projects through the Center for Undergraduate Research each year
KU's first valedictorian, Flora Richardson, conducted research as an undergraduate before graduating in 1873
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Use research to apply what you learned in the classroom to a real problem
Students who perform research develop strong relationships with KU faculty
Research is a hands-on way to explore career options
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