LAWRENCE — Three undergraduate students in the University Honors Program at the University of Kansas were recognized at the 16th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium for their innovative research projects.
Joshua Dean, Alex Kong and Kayci Vickers all received the James K. Hitt Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Research at the symposium, which was April 27. The award is administered through the University Honors Program, and it comes with a $500 award.
The Hitt Awards are named in honor of James K. Hitt, whose leadership and dedication at the University of Kansas were evident as a student (as a Summerfield Scholar) and continued during his 32-year career as an influential and innovative administrator at KU, including serving as director of admissions and registrar for many years. The Hitt Awards are presented annually at the Undergraduate Research Symposium to three honors students who are engaged in outstanding research and scholarship.
“The Hitt family has provided a wonderful opportunity to highlight the outstanding research done by KU students in a variety of disciplines,” said Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett, director of the University Honors Program.
Joshua Dean, a senior from Overland Park majoring in economics, mathematics and political science, presented his research titled “Identifying Factors Affecting Student Transition from Primary to Secondary Education in Selected Developing Countries.” Dean has been working under the guidance of faculty mentor Elizabeth Asiedu, associate professor in economics, and will pursue graduate work in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, funded by a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation.
Alex Kong, a sophomore from Lawrence who has been accepted into the KU School of Pharmacy, discussed his research, “Evaluating the Mechanism of α-tocopherol-mediated Recovery of Lysosomal Impairments in Neurodegenerative Diseases.” Kong worked with mentor Jeff Krise, associate professor in pharmaceutical chemistry.
Kayci Vickers, a senior from Eudora majoring in behavioral neurosciences, presented “Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Over Prefrontal Cortex for Decision Making and Creative Problem Solving.” Vickers worked under the guidance of faculty mentor Evangelia Chrysikou, assistant professor in psychology, and will pursue graduate studies at Drexel University in the fall.