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Ashley Urban
Office for Diversity in Science Training
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KU, Haskell students to present research projects at 19th annual symposium

Mon, 04/15/2019

LAWRENCE — Research relating to cancer, developmental genetics, microbiology, behavior in model organisms, enzymes and proteins, soils and Native American communities will be among student research presented at the 19th annual University of Kansas-Haskell Indian Nations University Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Twenty-nine students will present posters of their science and engineering research from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in Tecumseh Hall at Haskell Indian Nations University.

The Office for Diversity in Science Training (ODST) is led by Estela Gavosto, director. The symposium presenters include undergraduate and graduate-level students from both universities supported by the ODST. They are scholars in programs funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that support and give opportunities to underrepresented students to pursue research careers in biomedical and behavioral sciences, including 500 Nations Bridge Collaboration: Haskell Indian Nations University / University of Kansas (Gavosto, KU-PI, and Melissa Holder, Haskell-PI), the KU Initiative for Maximizing Student Development Program (Gavosto and P. Hanson, co-PIs) and the KU Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program (V.G. Blanco and Gavosto, co-PIs).

Participants are listed below alphabetically.

Sumer Al-Ahdali, of Denver, is a junior at Haskell Indian Nations University studying American Indian studies. Al-Ahdali is a scholar in the Bridge Program, and she is mentored by Nancy Jo Kepple, assistant professor of social welfare. Al-Ahdali is affiliated with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Tribe.

Zachary Arquette, of Wapato, Washington, is a student at Haskell Indian Nations University studying environmental science. Arquette is mentored by Bill Welton, an environmental science instructor at Haskell Indian Nations University. Arquette is affiliated with the YakamaTribe.

Anna Barreda, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, is a junior at KU studying chemical engineering. Barreda is a scholar of the IMSD Program, and she is mentored by Belinda Sturm, associate professor of biomolecular engineering.

Siam Boyd, of Eudora, is a student at Haskell Indian Nations University studying environmental science. Boyd is mentored by Dan Dixon, associate professor of molecular biosciences. Boyd is affiliated with the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo Tribe.

Alejandra Carrillo, of Colima, Mexico, is a senior at KU studying applied behavioral science. Carrillo is a scholar in the IMSD program, and she is mentored by David Jarmolowicz, assistant professor of applied behavioral science.

Emily Casteen, of Topeka, is a senior at KU studying behavioral neuroscience. Casteen is a scholar in the IMSD program, and she is mentored by Stephen Ilardi, associate professor of psychology.

Andrea Darby, of Las Vegas, has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Darby is a scholar in the PREP program, and she is mentored by Robert Unckless, assistant professor of molecular biosciences.

Jonathan Davidson, of Kansas City, Kansas, is a sophomore at Haskell Indian Nations University studying engineering physics. Davidson is mentored by Andrew Williams, the Charles E. and Mary Jane Spahr Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Davidson is affiliated with the Citizen Band Potawatomi Tribe.

Deanna Diaz, of Emporia, is a junior at KU studying chemical engineering. Diaz is a scholar in the IMSD program, and she is mentored by Cory Berkland, the Solon E. Summerfield Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and of chemical & petroleum engineering.

Mariah Dray, of Dillingham, Alaska, is a student at Haskell Indian Nations University studying environmental science. Dray is mentored by Bill Welton, an environmental science instructor at Haskell Indian Nations University. Dray is affiliated with the Manokotak Village Tribe.

Marissa Duckett, of Oklahoma City, is a junior at KU studying microbiology. Duckett is a scholar in the IMSD program, and she is mentored by Jennifer Roberts, professor of geology and geomicrobiology.

Alix Fisk, of Topeka, is a junior at KU studying applied behavioral science and public administration. Fisk is a scholar in the IMSD program, and she is mentored by Derek Reed, associate professor of applied behavioral science.

Alex Fulk, of Overland Park, is a senior at KU studying mathematics. Fulk is a scholar of the IMSD Program, and he is mentored by Estela Gavosto, associate professor of mathematics, and Weizhang Huang, chair and professor of mathematics.

Anna Goddard, of Lincoln, Nebraska, is a junior at KU studying mathematics and molecular & cellular developmental biology. Goddard is a scholar of the IMSD Program, and she is mentored by Maria Orive, associate professor of ecology & evolutionary biology.

Amen Hailmariam, of Lawrence, is a junior at KU studying biochemistry. Hailmariam is a scholar of the IMSD Program, and she is mentored by Brandon DeKosky, assistant professor of pharmaceutical chemistry and chemical engineering.

Briana Marsh, of Eureka, Missouri, is a senior at KU studying neuroscience. Marsh is a scholar in the IMSD program, and she is mentored by Jonathan Brumberg, assistant professor of speech-language-hearing sciences.

Josie Muskrat, of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is a student at Haskell Indian Nations University studying environmental science and anthropology. Muskrat is a scholar in the Bridge Program and is mentored by Dennis O’Rourke, Foundation Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, and Jennifer Raff, assistant professor of anthropology. Muskrat is affiliated with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma of Tribe.

Isaac Nevarez-Saenz, of Kansas City, Kansas, has a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical studies from KU. Nevarez-Saenz is a scholar in the PREP program, and he is mentored by Teruna Siahaan, Aya and Takeru Higuchi Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

Joshua Ng, of Overland Park, is a junior at KU studying human biology with a concentration in psychology and Spanish. Ng is a scholar in the IMSD program, and he is mentored by Michael Vitevitch, professor of psychology.

Erick Oduniyi, of Wichita, is a senior at KU studying computer engineering. Oduniyi is a scholar in the IMSD program, and he is mentored by Folashade Agusto, assistant professor of ecology & evolutionary biology.

Rayanna Otterholt, of Gatesville, Texas, is a student at Haskell Indian Nations University studying environmental science. Otterholt is mentored by Rafe Brown, professor of ecology & evolutionary biology. Otterholt is affiliated with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Tribe.

Dennis Pérez-López of Moca, Puerto Rico, has a bachelor’s degree in industrial microbiology from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. Pérez-López is a scholar in the PREP program, and he is mentored by Joanna Slusky, assistant professor of molecular biosciences.

Jacoby Robinson, of Abilene, is a senior at KU studying biology. Robinson is a scholar in the IMSD program, and he is mentored by P. Scott Hefty, professor of molecular biosciences.

Amanda Smith of Ganado, Arizona, is a student at Haskell Indian Nations University studying environmental science. Smith is mentored by Bill Welton, an environmental science instructor at Haskell Indian Nations University. Smith is affiliated with the Taos Pueblo Nation of Navajo Tribe.

Sophia Sanchez, of Derby, is a senior at KU studying psychology. Sanchez is a scholar in the IMSD program, and she is mentored by Adam Smith, assistant professor of pharmacology & toxicology.

Jill Vesta, of Clay Center, is a senior at KU studying mathematics. Vesta is a scholar of the IMSD Program, and she is mentored by Agnieszka Miedlar, assistant professor of mathematics, and Paul Cazeaux, visiting assistant professor of mathematics.

Olivia Whiting-Tovar, of Kyle, South Dakota, is a student at Haskell Indian Nations University studying environmental science. Whiting-Tovar is mentored by Matt Gillispie, clinical associate professor of speech-language-hearing. Whiting-Tovar is affiliated with the Oglala Sioux Tribe.



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