Dyan Morgan
Center for Undergraduate Research

Nineteen students receive summer Undergraduate Research Awards

Mon, 06/02/2014

LAWRENCE — Nineteen University of Kansas students have received Undergraduate Research Awards. The recipients receive $1,000 to fund their faculty-mentored research and creative projects, which represent departments from across campus and explore a wide range of topics. 

Students apply for the award by writing a four-page research proposal under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Proposals are evaluated on the merit of the applicant's proposal, the applicant's academic record, and a recommendation letter from the faculty mentor.

Increased interest in the UGRAs this academic year resulted in a highly competitive selection process, with around 50 percent of proposals receiving funding.  “We continue to be impressed by the quality and quantity of Undergraduate Research Award proposals,” said John Augusto, assistant vice provost. “We are pleased that so many undergraduate students at KU are taking part in research, as we know it is a transformative educational experience.”

The UGRA competition is coordinated by the Center for Undergraduate Research and funded by a partnership among the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the Office of Research, Undergraduate Studies and the Office of the Provost. 

Students receiving awards for the summer of 2014 are listed below in alphabetical order.

Cameron Arnold, a freshman from Topeka majoring in petroleum engineering: “Measuring Rheological Properties of CO2 Foam for Enhanced Oil Recovery,” mentored by Reza Barati, chemical and petroleum engineering.

Taylor Atkinson, a sophomore from Owatonna, Minnesota, majoring in biochemistry: “Click, Click, Cyclize: Amino Ester-Derived β-Ketosultams via Dieckmann Cyclization of the Corresponding Methylsulfonamides,” mentored by Paul Hanson, chemistry

Thomas Boatright, a freshman from Lawrence majoring in interdisciplinary computing: “Surface Antenna Construction for Antarctic Neutrino Detection,” mentored by Dave Besson, physics & astronomy

Hannah Boyd, a junior from Tulsa, Oklahoma, majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology: “Click beetles of the Kosñipata Valley, Peru (Coleoptera: Elateridae),” mentored by Caroline Chaboo, ecology & evolutionary biology and KU Biodiversity Institute

Elizabeth Brock, a senior from Kansas City, Kansas, majoring in applied behavioral science: “Side Effects of Vicarious Positive Reinforcement,” mentored by Pamela Neidert, applied behavioral science

Ashley Farris, a junior from Wichita majoring in biochemistry: “Self-Assembled Liposomal Nanostructures as a Vehicle for Gene Delivery,” mentored by Michael Detamore, chemical & petroleum engineering

Haley Fetters Crouch, a junior from Overland Park majoring in industrial design: “Discovery of Materials, Culture, and Traditions of Products in Peru,” mentored by Lance Rake, industrial design, and Caroline Chaboo, ecology & evolutionary biology and the KU Biodiversity Institute

Jamie Fuller, a senior from Wichita majoring in anthropology: “A Place to Find Our Voice: Public Space and Protest in Dakar, Senegal,” mentored by Kathryn Rhine, anthropology

Nadia Hamid, a junior from Lawrence majoring in chemistry: “Exploring the role of lysosomal trapping in defining the duration of action of β2-agonists used in the treatment of COPD and asthma,” mentored by Jeff Krise, pharmaceutical chemistry  

Clint Jensen, a senior from Gladstone and Kansas City, Missouri, majoring in psychology and film & media studies: “The role of analogical transfer in categorical learning: Evidence from pupillometry,” mentored by Evangelia Chrysikou, psychology

Brendan Martin, a senior from Bonner Springs majoring in ecology & evolutionary biology: “The Effect of a Deep Water Algae Belt (DCM) on Benthic Invertebrate Distribution,” mentored by James Thorp, ecology & evolutionary biology and Kansas Biological Survey

Kristin Miller, a senior from Leawood majoring in applied behavioral science and communication studies: “Increasing Young Children’s Compliance with Essential-Routine Procedures: Acquisition, Maintenance, and Generalization,” mentored by Pamela Neidert, applied behavioral science

Paige Miller, a junior from Leawood majoring in biochemistry: “Survey of Mosquito Diversity in Peru,” mentored by Caroline Chaboo, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and the KU Biodiversity Institute.

Kathryn O'Nele, a senior from Lenexa majoring in chemistry: “Palladium and Iridium Catalyzed Carbon-Carbon Bond Formation via Radical Decarboxylation," mentored by Jon Tunge, chemistry

Samuel Parrilla, a junior from Kansas City, Missouri, majoring in music composition, music education and music theory: “Contributing to the Modern Wind Ensemble Repertoire,” mentored by Forrest Pierce, music theory & music composition

Mia Phillips, a junior from Lawrence majoring in ecology & evolutionary biology: “The Influence of Resource Distribution on Space Use in Little Scrub Island Ground Lizards,” mentored by Rafe Brown and Douglas Eifler, ecology & evolutionary biology and the KU Biodiversity Institute

Julia Reynolds, a sophomore from Knoxville, Tennessee, majoring in history of art: “Representations of the Magdalene in Medieval Sculpture,” mentored by Susan  Earle, Spencer Museum of Art, and Mary Klayder, English

Quincy Wofford, a sophomore from Lee's Summit, Missouri, majoring in interdisciplinary computing: “Radiowave Neutrino Detection with the Long Wavelength Array,” mentored by Dave Besson, physics & astronomy

Yichi Zhang, a senior from Wuhan, China, majoring in psychology: “Sleep Disruption as a Mediator between Test-taking Anxiety and Exam Performance," mentored by Nancy Hamilton, psychology.

With graduation just a few months away, James Robert Wilson, senior in sport management, took this photo of the Memorial Campanile while looking forward to KU commencement traditions. After walking through the campanile and down the Hill in May, Wilson plans to take a summer road trip, then pursue a master’s degree and help coach track and field. Wilson, who is from Abilene, Kansas, says, "Coming to KU has put me in contact with people from all over the world and opened my eyes to many new cultures.” His advice to all Jayhawks: "Make the most of your time here by trying new things.” Our advice to graduating Jayhawks: Enjoy your last semester. Where will your time at KU take you? Tags: #exploreKU #Graduation University of Kansas School of Education

Seniors - what are your thoughts on graduating? #exploreKU and reflect with @Jimjam _KU.
KU welcomes President Obama Jan. 22, 2015, was a historic day on the Hill: President Barack Obama visited the University of Kansas campus (, the first sitting president to do so in a century. More than 7,000 people — including many students and faculty who had spent hours in line to get tickets for the event — packed inside KU’s Anschutz Sports Pavilion to hear the president speak. Welcomed by Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little with “Barack Chalk, Jayhawk!” Obama told the gathering “I’m a Kansas guy,” because his mother was from Wichita and grandparents were from Augusta and El Dorado. In his 35-minute talk, the president discussed themes (see official White House transcript from his 2015 State of the Union address, including his goal to lower the cost of attending college.

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