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Students will present work during research days at the Capitol

Monday, February 09, 2015

LAWRENCE — The value and benefits of research performed at the University of Kansas and the University of Kansas Medical Center will be highlighted at the state capitol of Kansas on Feb. 11-12 during the Kansas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol and the Capitol Graduate Research Summit.

The events are intended to raise awareness of the research conducted by undergraduate and graduate students at state universities and to highlight the importance of students’ research at these institutions.

“Our students are doing research that should be widely recognized for its important benefits — both now and in the future — for Kansas, the United States and the world,” said Michael Roberts, dean of graduate studies. “KU and KU Medical Center students are the next generation of scholars, and their work will continue to enhance our understanding of, and improve, our world.”

State lawmakers and the public are invited to learn about a wide range of research, including tissue engineering of heart valves for pediatric patients, the development of more effective vaccines, improving water and land resource management, the mysteries behind a sculpture of unknown origin and subject, and enhanced oil recovery methods.

On Wednesday, 12 KU and KU Medical Center undergraduate students will join their peers from other Kansas Board of Regents public four-year universities in Topeka for the third annual Kansas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the first-floor rotunda of the state Capitol building.

“Undergraduate research has a strong tradition here at KU and it’s a wonderful opportunity for our students to present their research at the state Capitol,” says John Augusto, assistant vice provost, Center for Undergraduate Research.

On Thursday, Feb. 12, eight KU graduate students from the Lawrence campus and five graduate students from the KU Medical Center will present research projects at the Capitol Graduate Research Summit from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the second-floor rotunda of the Capitol. The KU and KU Medical Center representatives will join graduate students from Fort Hays State University, Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University and Wichita State University at the event. See more at: http://graduate.ku.edu/2015-cgrs-presenters.

The presenters for both research events are listed below by name, degree, area of study, hometown and titles of their research projects.


From KU Lawrence



Cameron Arnold, junior in petroleum engineering, Topeka, mentored by Reza Barati, “Measuring Rheological Properties of CO2 Foam for Enhanced Oil Recovery.”

Caleb Bobo, junior in political science and African and African-American studies, Shawnee, mentored by Kala Stroup, “African-American Students at Predominately White Universities.”

Alex Kong, senior in pharmaceutical studies, Lawrence, mentored by Jeff Krise, “Evaluating Derivatives of Vitamin E as Therapeutic Agents for Alleviating Lysosomal Trafficking Defects Associated with Neurodegenerative Diseases.”

Annie Libeer, senior in speech-language-hearing: sciences and disorders, Lawrence, mentored by Kostas Kokkinakis, “Auditory Training to Increase Spatial Hearing in Aided Hearing-Impaired Listeners.”

Julia Reynolds, junior in art history, Knoxville, Tennessee; mentored by Susan Earle, “Object-based Research: Is It Mary Magdalene?”



Christina M. Amaro, master’s student in clinical child psychology, Berwyn, Illinois, “Correlates of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption in Low-Income Children in the Kansas City Area.”

Kelly Harrison, doctoral student in molecular biosciences, Stillwater, Oklahoma, “Development of Subunit Vaccines Using Fusion Proteins from Salmonella.”

LlynnAnn Luellen, master’s student in civil engineering, Lawrence, “Evaluation of Constructed Agricultural Wetlands for Sediment, Nutrient, and Volume Reduction from Tile Outlet Terrace Field Runoff.”

Cyrus Maleki, doctoral student in chemical and petroleum engineering, Lawrence, “High-Pressure Phase Equilibria of Compressed CO2-Saturated Alkanes for Carbon Capture and CO2-EOR Purposes.”

Joshua M. Nygren, doctoral student in history, Milwaukee, “Soil, Water, and the State: The Conservation-Industrial Complex and American Agriculture since 1920.”

Trey Ronnebaum, doctoral student in chemistry, Wichita, “Understanding the Molecular Functions of LOXL2 in Invasive Breast Cancer Cells.”

Corinne Schwarz, doctoral student in women, gender, and sexuality studies, Belleville, Illinois,

“Human Trafficking in the Heartland: Justice, Prevention, and Support in Kansas City.”

Mitchell C. VeDepo, doctoral student in bioengineering, Golden, Colorado, “Inter-species Variation in Decellularization of Aortic Heart Valves.”


From KU Medical Center



Stephanie Gass, senior majoring in nursing, De Soto, “Comparison of Reasons for Nurse Turnover in Magnet and Non-Magnet Hospitals.”

Samantha Johnson, senior majoring in nursing, Lawrence, “Communication With Residents and Families in Nursing Homes at the End of Life.”

Travis Martin and Emily Horstmeyer, seniors majoring in health information management, Bucyrus and Overland Park, “Prevalence of Exercise Induced Bronchoconstriction in College Athletes.”

Marvin Miller and Stacie Yang, seniors majoring in health information management, Kansas City, Kansas; “Predictors of Smoking Rate of Rural Populations, Education Index, and Median Earnings.”

Kelsea O’Neal, senior majoring in nursing, Kansas City, Kansas; “Pediatric Pain Management in U.S. Hospitals: Assessment Tools, Intervention Use, and Reassessment Rates.”




Ahmed H. Badawi, medical student, Overland Park, “Enhanced External Counterpulsation and its Effects on Vascular Hemodynamics in Cognitively Impaired Patients.”


Teresa A. Kilkenny, doctoral student in nursing practice, Shawnee, “Developing and Implementing a Circumcision Multimedia Decision Aid: A Quality Process Improvement Project.”


Asona Lui, medical student and doctoral student in molecular and integrative physiology, Topeka, “Overexpression of Interferon Stimulated Genes is Critical for the Survival of Aromatase Inhibitor-Resistant Breast Cancer Cells.”


Zaid Mansour, doctoral student in rehabilitation science, Amman, Jordan, “Structural Brain Differences in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain.”


Nathan Wilson, doctoral student in anatomy and cell biology, Kansas City, Missouri, “SPECC1L Modulation of Adherens Junctions and PI3K-AKT Signaling is Required for Collective Cell Migration in Facial Morphogenesis.”