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Students win Outstanding Presentation Awards at Undergraduate Research Symposium

Friday, May 11, 2018

LAWRENCE — More than 900 students, faculty, staff and guests attended KU’s 21st annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 28 to hear student presenters share the results of their research and creative projects. The event took place in the Kansas Union, where more than 250 students from across campus presented their projects. 

Student presenters prepared for the symposium by attending workshops with staff from the Center for Undergraduate Research and working closely with their research mentors to refine their oral and poster presentations.  KU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium is sponsored by the Center for Undergraduate Research, Pepsi, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the KU Office of Research. 

Outstanding Presentation Awards

Volunteer judges selected 38 presentations to receive Outstanding Presentation Awards, listed below. Award recipients were recognized at the Symposium Banquet later that day and received a monetary award.

The 2018 Outstanding Presentation Award winners are listed by name, project title, and mentor:

Chloe Adams, "Investigating the Role of syg-2 in the GABAergic Motor Neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans," mentored by Brian Ackley, associate professor of molecular biosciences

Keelan Barger, "The Buck Stops Here: White-tail Deer Behavior and Population Density at KU Field Station," mentored by Bob Hagen, research associate and lecturer of environmental studies

Letty Beltran, "CRISPR dCas9: A new addition to the Chlamydial toolbox," mentored by Scott Hefty, professor of molecular biosciences

Emily Casteen, "The Role of Sunlight, Temperature, Humidity, and Rain in Summer Mood Decreases," mentored by Stephen Ilardi, associate professor of psychology

Helenna Chun, "Sexual Education as a Preventative for Sexual Violence for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities," mentored by Ivery Goldstein, visiting instructor of women, gender & sexuality studies

Brooks Danahy, "Characterization of Phase Change Behavior in Ionic Liquid + Compressed Gas Biphasic Systems," mentored by David Minnick, post-doctoral researcher of chemical & petroleum engineering, and Mark Shiflett, Foundation Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering

Arun Dayal, Madelin Lemus-Espinoza, Eric Marshall and Kimberly Goggles, "Lettuce Taco 'Bout It: Food Insecurity Amongst KU Undergraduate Students," mentored by Jay Johnson, professor, and Stephen Egbert, professor of geography & atmospheric science

Sofia de la O, "Investigation of Advanced Adsorbents for Removal of Excess Iron from the Body," mentored by Mark Shiflett, Foundation Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering

Mykelti Decker, "Women and Alcoholism," mentored by Ivery Goldstein, visiting instructor of women, gender & sexuality studies

Joseph Denning, Sergej Grunevski and Ellen Honas, "The Effect of Task Similarity on Stress and Performance," mentored by Evangelia Chrysikou and Sabrina Gregersen, psychology

Elizabeth Fentress, "It’s Rhyme Time: The Effect of Rhyming Storybooks on Chinese Vocabulary Learning," mentored by Holly Storkel, professor of speech-language-hearing

Alice Finley-Pyle, "Eating Green is a Black and White Issue: Analyzing Intersections of Race, Socioeconomic Status and Food Justice in Kansas City, Missouri Farmers Markets," mentored by Paul Stock, associate professor of sociology

Jacquelyn Flores & Brea Walkley, "Does Arm-span to Height Ratio Correlate with Sex and Ethnicity?" mentored by Victor Gonzalez, lecturer of biology, and Jeffrey Weinell, doctoral student in ecology & evolutionary biology

Elizabeth Friedeman, "Bombs, Billions, or Boy Bands?: South Korean Popular Culture as Soft Power in East Asia," mentored by Kyoim Yun, associate professor of East Asian languages & cultures, and Brian Lagotte, lecturer of global & international studies

Morgan Hannah, "#NeverthelessShePersisted," mentored by Beth Innocenti, professor of communication studies

Anna Harder, "A Cultural Comparison between Human Female Ovarian Function and Periods of High Environmental Stress," mentored by Sandra Gray, associate professor of anthropology

Judith Ikerionwu, "The Host-Virus Relationship of Drosophila innubila Nudivirus," mentored by Robert Unckless, assistant professor of molecular biosciences

Kylie Jennings & Lauren Lemke, "Athletes' Motivational Responses in a Zuni Youth Sport Program," mentored by Mary Fry, associate professor of health, sport & exercise sciences

Kaitlyn Johnson, "Linguistic Apartheid: The Politics of Language in Haiti," mentored by Brian Lagotte, lecturer of global & international studies

Ashwini Kamat, "The Effect of Familiarity on the Speech-to-Song Illusion," mentored by Michael Vitevitch, professor of psychology

Jordyn Koehn, "Proteo-Genomic Analysis of Butterfly Sperm Using Shotgun Mass-Spectra Data," mentored by James Walters, assistant professor of ecology & evolutionary biology

Daniela Langer, "Museum of Endangered Bee Colonies," Dallas, mentored by Kapila Silva, associate professor of architecture

Cadence Learned, "The Oracle: An Accumulation of Chance," mentored by Francisca Maria Velasco, professor of visual art

Madelin Lemus-Espinoza, "Latinx-identifying Millennials' Attitudes Toward the Midwest," mentored by Ivery Goldstein, visiting instructor of women, gender & sexuality studies

Lukas Lesslie, "The Dual Education Solution for Young Refugees in Germany," mentored by Lorie Vanchena, associate professor of Germanic languages & literatures

Danielle London, "From Burning Bushes to Burning Olive Branches: UN Resolutions, U.S. Foreign Policy, and Israeli Settlements," mentored by Anne Dotter, director of the University Honors Program, and Brian Lagotte, lecturer of global & international studies

Rebekah Manweiler, "Exploring the Network Structure of Child Directed Speech," mentored by Nicole Beckage, assistant professor of electrical engineering & computer science, and Jonathan Brumberg, assistant professor of speech-language-hearing

Taylor McMurtry, "Associations between Military Sexual Trauma and Eating-Disorder Risk," mentored by Kelsie Forbush, associate professor of psychology

Zalma Molina, "Evaluating Earthquake Location Accuracy of the Wellington Seismic Network," mentored by George Tsoflias, associate professor of geology, and Alex Nolte, doctoral student in geology

Natacha Namphengsone, "Do C. inaequalis Use Scent Markers to Determine Foraging Patterns?," mentored by Deborah Smith, professor of ecology & evolutionary biology

Erick Oduniyi, "Computational Stories Pt 1: Developing a Framework for Processing Language & Culture," mentored by Jon Brumberg, assistant professor of speech-language-hearing, and Folashade Agusto, assistant professor of ecology & evolutionary biology

Josh Rauch, "1.9 Miles and No Acknowledgement: The University of Kansas and Indigenous Peoples," mentored by Ray Pence, lecturer of American studies, and Devon Mihesuah, the Cora Lee Beers Price Teaching Professor in International Cultural Understanding

Caitlin Smith, "What's in a Name? Using the Name of Boko Haram to Provide Insight into the Organization's Ideology," mentored by Marwa Ghazali, doctoral student in anthropology

Eleanor Stewart-Jones, "Investigation of Oxygen Atom Transfer Reactivity for a Series of Manganese(IV) oxo Complexes," mentored by Tim Jackson, professor of chemistry

Elizabeth VanSant, "A Fidelity Study of the Therapeutic Function of Music for Toddlers at-Risk for Autism," mentored by Deanna Hanson-Abromeit, associate professor of music education & music therapy​

Alexis Villagran, "Tales from the Southwest: Hispanic Voter Barriers as Told by the Region -- A Data Triangulation Project," mentored by Shannon Portillo, associate professor of public affairs & administration

Kat Werner, "Stitching Trauma: Reflection and Recovery from Sexual Violence and Harassment through Quilting," mentored by Ivery Goldstein, visiting instructor of women, gender & sexuality studies

Zachary Wood, "Exerting Extreme π-acidity of isocyanoazulene ligands through Cyanation of the Aazulenic Scaffold," mentored by Misha Barybin, professor of chemistry.


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