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Undergraduate Research Symposium celebrates 20th year

Thursday, May 04, 2017

LAWRENCE — More than 700 students, faculty, staff and guests attended KU’s 20th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 22 to hear student presenters share the results of their research and creative projects. The event took place in the Kansas Union, where more than 180 students from across campus presented their projects. 

Professor Emeritus of Chemistry K. Barbara Schowen, who spearheaded the effort to start the symposium in 1998 while serving as director of the University Honors Program, attended the event and shared remarks at the banquet dinner about the tradition of undergraduate research at KU.

“A lot of students know about KU’s traditions related to basketball, but not everyone realizes that KU has long been a leader in providing opportunities for undergraduates to conduct research,” said John Augusto, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research. “I’m excited to see the tradition of undergraduate research continue at KU and the incredible investment in undergraduate students from mentors, academic departments and university administration.”

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, Coca-Cola, the Self Graduate Fellowship, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the KU Office of Research. The full list of student presenters can be found on the Center’s website.

ACE Talks

The ACE Talks were the keynote presentations for the day. These talks showcased students presenting their research and creative projects in an (A)ccesible, (C)reative and (E)ngaging way. Students applied to give an ACE Research Talk by submitting an abstract of their work and a short video of themselves talking about their project. ACE Talk presenters each received $500 in addition to the featured speaking slot. The 2017 ACE Talk winners:

  • Elizabeth Phillips, McKinney, Texas, "The Perceptual Boundary Between Two Auditory Illusions," mentored by Michael Vitevitch & Nichol Castro, psychology
  • Karynn Glover, Olathe, "The Relationship between Motivational Climate and Objective Performance," mentored by Mary Fry, health, sport & exercise science
  • Billie Lubis, Overland Park, "X-ray Testing of Silicon Forward Pixel Modules, mentored by Alice Bean, physics & astronomy.

Outstanding Presentation Awards

Volunteer judges selected 33 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 2017 Outstanding Presentation Award winners are listed by name, hometown, project title, mentor, and mentor’s department:

Evan Barnes, Lawrence; "Examination of 100 Percent Orange Juice on Plasma Electrolyte Concentration and Rehydration following Repeated Endurance Cycling Exercise," mentored by Dawn Emerson, health, sport & exercise sciences.

Ansley Bender, Salina; "Connecting Attachment Style to Resilience: The Contributions of Self-Care and Self-Efficacy," mentored by Rick Ingram, psychology.

Matthias Bryson, West Cape May, New Jersey; "St. Winefride’s Well and the Preservation of Catholic Community in Early Modern England and Wales," mentored by Katherine Clark, history.

Zoe Bunton, Olathe; "Reworking the Digital Binary: Nonbinary Self-Representation in Video Game Avatars," mentored by Jenna Lyons, women, gender & sexuality studies.

Lawrence Chen, Lawrence; "Mechanical Properties of Double-Networked Hydrogels in Various Salt Solutions," mentored by Stevin Gehrke, chemical & petroleum engineering.

Cara Davis, Wichita; "Structural and Functional Characterization of a Yersinia pestis Opine Dehydrogenase Involved in Metallophore Biosynthesis," mentored by Audrey Lamb, molecular biosciences.

Abigail Fields, Minneapolis, Minnesota; "Man, Society, and Nature: A Rousseauist reading of Émile Zola," mentored by Christine Bourgeois, French and Italian.

Sophia Fortmeyer, Fairview; "Mining Transparency in Zambia and the DRC," mentored by Brian Lagotte, global & international studies, and Ebenezer Obadare, sociology.

Megan Fox, Wichita; "A Joke, Revolutionary, and Gillyweed Expert: Reading a Magical Gender Binary into Harry Potter Through Neville Longbottom," mentored by Giselle Anatol and Jonathan Lamb, English

Ricardo Gonzalez, Wichita; "Synthesis Of Cyclic Peptides and Expression of EC1 Protein To Study The Binding Affinity," mentored by Teruna J. Siahaan, pharmaceutical chemistry

Sekou Hayes, Kansas City, Missouri; "Dallas Museum of Queer Politics & Art: An Exploration of Museum Typologies Being Used as a Tool for Socially Conscious Architecture," mentored by Kapila Silva, architecture.

Andres Hernandez Guerra, Quito, Ecuador; "Target Location Using Ultrasonic Radar Systems," mentored by Christopher Allen, electrical engineering and computer sciences.

Mitchell Holmes, Woodbury, Minnesota; "Automotive Demand and Trade Policy," mentored by Myunghyun Oh, mathematics, and Donna Ginther, economics.

Caroline Huff, Aledo, Texas; "Digitalization of Incunabula," mentored by Lorie Vanchena, Germanic languages & literatures, and Isidro Rivera, Spanish & Portuguese.

Eli Hymson, Parkland, Florida; "Gender Disparities in Debate: How Gender Interactions Influence Subjective Competitor Evaluations," mentored by David Slusky, economics.

Evan Jackson, Portland, Oregon; "Automotive Demand and Trade Policy," mentored by Myunghyun Oh, mathematics, and Donna Ginther, economics.

Zachary Kelsay, Independence, Missouri; "Varying Experiences in the Cuban Dual-Currency System," mentored by Jennifer Foster, Spanish & Portuguese.

Zoe Lai, Wichita; "Patient Outcomes with an iPad Application for Home-based Therapy of Chronic Low Back Pain," mentored by Brittany Melton, pharmacy.

Chris Lansford, Overland Park, "Automotive Demand and Trade Policy," mentored by Myunghyun Oh, mathematics, & Donna Ginther, economics.

Jessica Larson, Lincoln, Nebraska; "Gender, Race, Erasure and the Ethics of Broadcast News Coverage: A Case Study on the Orlando Nightclub Shooting," mentored by Jenna Lyons, women, gender & sexuality studies.

Michael Long, Buffalo Grove, Illinois; "A Highly Efficient Protocol for CRISPR Mutagenesis in Drosophila virilis," mentored by Justin Blumenstiel, ecology & evolutionary biology.

Murphy Maiden, Overland Park; "Queering Protections: How Policies and Resource Allocations Shape Queer, Transgender, and Gender Non-Conforming Student Experiences on the University of Kansas Lawrence Campus," mentored by Sherrie Tucker, American studies.

Allie Mellor, Kansas City, Kansas; "Hooking-Up: A Generational Study on Commitment," mentored by Jenna Lyons, women, gender & sexuality studies.

Dean Merris, Roeland Park; "Attitudes Regarding Facebook's 'Legal Name' Policy and Effects on At-Risk Populations," mentored by Bill Staples, sociology.

Zalma Molina, Topeka; "Monitoring the Northerndvance of injection-induced Seismicity in southern Kansas, mentored by George Tsoflias and Alex Nolte, geology.

Emma Murrugarra, Kansas City, Kansas; "Looking at Differences in Female Mental Health: The Role of Menstrual Hormone Regulation," mentored by Ruth Ann Atchley, psychology.

Benjamin Naudet, Lake Ozark, Missouri; "Dallas Deaf Art Museum," mentored by Kapila Silva, architecture.

Halle Nick, Olathe; "The Speech-to-Song Illusion in (simulated) Cochlear Implant Users," mentored by Michael Vitevitch, psychology.

Danielle Peterson, Wichita; "Uncovering Biases in Edith Grossman's Translation of 'Don Quixote' by Miguel de Cervantes, mentored by Isidro Rivera, Spanish & Portuguese.

Marian Phillips, Washington, Pennsylvania; "From Therese to Nympho: The Power of Pornography in the 18th Century and the 21st Century," mentored by Ivery Goldstein, women, gender & sexuality studies.

Carla Rivas-D'Amico, Lawrence; "More Than You Know: Familial Support and Queer Relational Satisfaction," mentored by Jenna Lyons, women, gender & sexuality studies.

Sarah Schaefer, Overland Park; "The Development of HepG2 as a Fetal Liver Drug Metabolism Model," mentored by Michael Wang, pharmaceutical chemistry.

Daniel Theisen, Overland Park; "The Restless Monkey: Using Conceptual Metaphor Theory to Facilitate Mindfulness Meditation," mentored by Mark Landau, psychology.

Kimberly Young, Kansas City, Kansas; "Woodcut Illustrations Representing Love in Early Printed Texts," mentored by Isidro Rivera, Spanish & Portuguese.

Liran Ziegelman, Tel-Aviv, Israel; "The Impact of Classroom-based Physical Activity on Time-on-Task and Academic Achievement in Elementary School Children," mentored by Joe Donnelly, internal medicine.

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