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Hundreds attend Symposium to celebrate award-winning undergraduate research

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Over 325 people attended KU’s 17th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on Saturday, April 26 to hear student presenters share the results of their research and creative projects.  The event took place in the Kansas Union; 107 students presented their projects, representing 25 departments from across campus. 

“We had the largest event in the seventeen year history of the Symposium,” said John Augusto, assistant vice provost.  “We are thankful for the instructors that encouraged their students to attend and find out more about research, as well as for the high number of faculty members who attended to support their students.”

Student presenters prepared for the Symposium by attending workshops with staff from the Center for Undergraduate Research and working with their research mentors to refine their oral presentations, poster presentations, and performances.  Faculty and graduate student judges selected 20 presentations to receive Outstanding Presentation Awards, listed below.  Individual recipients of the Outstanding Presentation Awards were recognized at the Symposium Banquet on Saturday night, and will receive a $50 award.

KU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium is sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research and the KU Office of Research.  The full list of student presenters can be found on the Center’s website.

The 2014 Outstanding Presentation Award winners are:

Mackenzie Bloom, “Improving Transfection Efficiency via Nucleofection with Umbilical Cord Stem Cell Concentration”; mentor: Michael Detamore, Chemical Engineering.

Joel Bonner, “Bringing the Intellectual and Personal Benefits of Epic Literature to Children”; mentor: Giselle Anatol, English.

Maggie Boyles, “Women of the Yiddish Stage”; mentor: Renee Perelmutter, Slavic Languages & Literature.

Mugabi Byenkya, “No Man’s Land: An analysis of the sustainability of Uganda’s national parks system”; mentor: Byron Caminero-Santangelo, English, Environmental Studies.

Nicholas Colbert, “First Texans Museum - Dancing Informs Design”; mentor: Kapila Silva, Architecture.

Jeffery Durbin, “The Role of Morphemes in Novel Compound Recognition”; mentor: Robert Fiorentino, Linguistics.

Cori Fain, “Effects of ethynylestradiol on sea urchin embryonic development: adverse effects at relevant oceanic concentrations”; mentor: Paulyn Cartwright, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.

Ashley Farris, "A Comparison of Two Polymers for Application in 3D-Printed TMJ Implants"; mentor: Michael Detamore, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Jamie Fuller, Exploring discrepancies between development discourse and social realities in Dakar, Senegal; mentor: Kathryn Rhine, Anthropology.

Hannah Jayne, “Sex Education of the US Military: A Rhetorical Analysis of WWII Propaganda”; mentor: Rachel Vaughn, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies.

Clint Jensen, “Considering the Impact of Analogical Associations on Learning”; mentor: Evangelia Chrysikou, Psychology.

Ruben Medina, “Youngsters' Perceptions of the Motivational Climate in Their Recreational Exercise Classes”; mentor: Mary Fry, Health, Sport & Exercise Sciences.

Adam Miltner, “How MAB-5 Drives Posterior Migration of the Q Neuroblasts in the Model Organism Caenorhabditis elegans”; mentor: Erik Lundquist, Molecular Biosciences.

Seth Polsley, “Control System Based on Electromyography”; mentor: James Rowland, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science.

Elisa Rombold, “First Texans Museum”; mentor: Kapila Silva, Architecture.

Kayla Sale, “Evolutionary history underlies plant physiological responses to global change since the Last Glacial Maximum”; mentors: Joy Ward, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Perry Alexander, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science.

Merritt Schenk, “Behavioral Science Goes to the Arcade: A Translation of the Generalized Matching Law to Predict and Analyze Human Performance in a Simulated Environment”; mentor: Derek Reed, Applied Behavioral Science.

Bryce Tappan, “Reactivity and Photoluminescence Studies of Mercaptoazulenes and Their Complexes with Gold (I)”; mentor: Mikhail V. Barybin, Chemistry.

Christina Baker, Joseph Keusenkothen, Sam Oberkrom, Will Penner, & Reuben Worthington, “Where We’re Going we Don't Need Roads... We need Bike Paths!”; mentors: Johannes Feddema & Shannon O'Lear, Geography.



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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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Students who perform research develop strong relationships with KU faculty
Research is a hands-on way to explore career options
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