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13 KU students receive Undergraduate Research Awards for Fall

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

LAWRENCE — This fall, 13 KU students received an Undergraduate Research Awards (UGRAs). Recipients are awarded a $1,000 scholarship as they work on mentored research and creative projects.

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 from the mentor.

“We are pleased to be able to support these students as they expand their learning beyond the classroom to engage one-on-one with faculty on creative and research projects,” said Alison Olcott, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research and associate professor of geology. “This experiential learning experience will allow students to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world problems, which will not only help them succeed at KU but will also help prepare them for what comes next.”

The Center for Undergraduate Research is currently taking applications for the Spring 2019 UGRA competition.  The deadline for student proposals is Nov. 1.  More information is available here.

Students receiving awards for the fall of 2018 are listed below in alphabetical order along with hometown, major, project title, mentor, and mentor’s department:

Taylor Axtell, a junior from Wichita majoring in behavioral neuroscience: “The Relationship Between an Infant’s Attention Shifting/Disengagement and Social Coordination of Attention,” mentored by Brenda Salley, assistant professor of pediatrics

Sydney Bannister, a junior from Manhattan majoring in public administration: “The Power Frontline Supervisors Hold: How Gender Frames the Management Style of Sergeants in Law Enforcement,” mentored by Shannon Portillo, associate professor of public affairs & administration

Kyley Burkey, a sophomore from Lincoln, Nebraska, majoring in chemical engineering: “Modulating Surface Properties of Naturally Derived Hydrogel Using a Pro-angiogenic Peptide,” mentored by Arghya Paul, assistant professor of chemical & petroleum engineering

Tatiana Doroskin, a junior from Chicago majoring in biology and psychology: “Systematics and Phylogenetics of the Philippine Snake Genus Oxyrhabdium,” mentored by Luke Welton, collections manager at the Biodiversity Institute

Erica Flores, a freshman from Nebraska majoring in psychology and music: “The Effect of Exercise Self Efficacy on Utilization of High Intensity Interval Training,” mentored by Steve Ilardi, associate professor of psychology

Shaun Kelsey, a senior from Parsons majoring in chemistry: “Interfacial Separation of Uranium via Surface Immobilized Ligands,” mentored by James Blakemore, assistant professor of chemistry

Sierra Mortimer, a sophomore from Bavaria, Germany, majoring in biology: “Identifying Genes Responsible for the Proper Migration of Neuroblasts in C. elegans,” mentored by Erik Lundquist, professor of molecular biosciences

Tanner Myers, a junior from Louisburg majoring in biology: “Using Morphology to Test Species Boundaries in the Polytypic Hispaniolan Lizard (Anolis distichus),” mentored by Rich Glor, associate professor of ecology & evolutionary biology

Nidhin Ninan, a sophomore from Cheppad, Kerala, India, majoring in aerospace engineering: “Visual-SLAM for Fixed Winged UAV Navigation in GPS Deprived/Degraded Regions,” mentored by Haiyang Chao, assistant professor of aerospace engineering

Michelle Oboro, a junior from Olathe majoring in psychology and applied behavioral sciences: “Improved Understanding of Addiction and Domestic Violence Attitudes Toward African American Women,” mentored by Carl Lejuez, professor of psychology

Joseph Pickert, a senior from Overland Park majoring in environmental studies: “Legacy Effects of Nitrate Contamination in a Prairie Riparian Ecosystem,” mentored by Pamela Sullivan, professor of geography and atmospheric science

Dania Shoaib, a sophomore from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, majoring in biology: “Genetic and Cell Biological Analysis of Eight Possible Alleles of Mcr in Drosophila,” mentored by Robert Ward, associate professor of molecular biosciences

Whitney Young, junior majoring in photo media: “Refrain,” mentored by Elise Kirk, assistant professor of photo media.