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KU, Haskell students present at diversity-based science conference

Friday, October 11, 2013

LAWRENCE — Thirteen University of Kansas and 17 Haskell Indian Nations University students attended the 2013 Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science conference earlier this month in San Antonio.

More than 3,000 students from across the country participated at SACNAS, and 1,300 students presented the results of their research projects. Alexandria Roy, junior in biology, received an award for her research, “Identification of miR-137 Targets in Colon Cancer.”

“This group represents some of the KU’s most recognized undergraduate researchers, with four of the six students that presented also receiving KU’s Undergraduate Research Award. Alexandria’s national award speaks to the quality of undergraduate research opportunities here at KU,” said John Augusto, assistant vice provost.

With this win, students supported from the Office for Diversity in Science Training have received recognition for outstanding research at the SACNAS annual conference for the past six consecutive years. Twelve of the students from the Office for Diversity in Science Training received a SACNAS travel scholarship. These travel scholarships are given to a select group of students to attend the conference with full sponsorship from SACNAS. KU’s Office for Diversity in Science Training provided additional support for the KU and Haskell student delegates.

SACNAS is a society of scientists dedicated to fostering the success of  Hispanic/Chicano and Native American scientists — from college students to professionals — to attain advanced degrees, careers and positions of leadership in science.

KU students who presented at the conference are listed below by hometown and level of school. Those listed in bold are in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Taylor Broadhead 
Title: “Acoustic Analysis of a New Species of Frog” 
Junior in ecology and evolutionary biology 
Mentor: Professor Rafe Brown 
Hometown: Topeka    

Kimberly Cole 
Title: “Rotary Task Movement Analysis of the Lower Extremity After Total Knee Arthroplasty”
Junior in chemical engineering 
Mentor: Professor Lorin Maletsky
Hometown: Wichita    

Marcus Florez 
Title: “Analysis of Mitochondrial Haplotypes, APOE and TOMM40 Genotype with Alzheimer’s Disease” 
Junior in chemistry 
Mentor: Professor Elias Michaelis   
Hometown: Wichita   

Alexandria Roy (winner, Undergraduate Poster Award in Biology) 
Title: “Identification of miR-137 Targets in Colon Cancer” 
Junior in neurobiology 
Mentor: Professor Liang Xu
Hometown: Shawnee    

Kayla Sale 
Title: “Physiological Responses to Global Change within an Ancient Montane Conifer Community” 
Junior in ecology & evolutionary biology and mathematics 
Mentors: Professor Joy Ward 
Hometown: Olathe    

Julia Yang 
Title: “Estimating Populations of Osha, Ligusticum porteri, an Important Medicinal Plant of the Southwest U.S.” 
Junior in ecology and evolutionary biology, environmental studies 
Mentor: Professor Kelly Kindscher
Hometown: Manhattan    

José A. Vélez González 
Title: “Till Layer Imaging Beneath the Jakobshavn Isbrae, Greenland” 
Doctoral student in geology 
Faculty Adviser: Dr. George Tsoflias
Hometown: Arecibo, Puerto Rico   

Luis G. Montalvo 
Title: “Diagenesis and distribution of diagenetic facies in the Mississippian of south central Kansas” 
Master’s student in geology 
Faculty Adviser: Luis A. Gonzalez 
Hometown: Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. 



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