Dyan Morgan
Center for Undergraduate Research

52 students receive Undergraduate Research Awards for spring

Thu, 01/18/2018

LAWRENCE — This spring, 52 KU students will receive Undergraduate Research Awards (UGRAs). UGRA recipients are awarded a $1,000 scholarship as they work on mentored research and creative projects.

“We are pleased to support this group of students as they take charge of their own learning and pursue projects that will enhance their educational experience at KU,” said John Augusto, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research. 

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.

Students interested in applying for summer or fall 2018 UGRAs can find more information and apply on the Center for Undergraduate Research website:

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

Mona Ahmed, a junior from Lawrence majoring in journalism, political science, and history: “The Kiss of the Rhinelander: A Trial on Race, Class, and Love,” mentored by Maryemma Graham, English

Kathryn Ammon, a junior from Fort Worth, Texas, majoring in history, political science and women, gender & sexuality studies: “’And Nobody Knows Where’: Legacy, Memory and the Seattle General Strike of 1919,” mentored by Jonathan Hagel, history

Londonne Ayers, a senior from Fresno, California, majoring in psychology and applied behavioral science: “Demand for Fake IDs Among College Students,” mentored by Derek Reed, applied behavioral science

Mario Balcazar, a senior from La Paz, Bolivia, majoring in electrical engineering and physics: “Development of Toggling-Loop Tracking System for Radar Applications,” mentored by James Stiles, electrical engineering & computer science

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

Derek Barnes, a sophomore from Olathe majoring in mechanical engineering: “Advanced Passive Thermal Management of Lithium-Ion Batteries Operating at Various Environmental Temperatures,” mentored by Xianglin Li, mechanical engineering

Emily Boyd, a junior from Moran majoring in chemistry: “Development of a Model System for Proton Transfer in Catalytic Fuel Production,” mentored by James Blakemore, chemistry

Grace Carlson, a senior from Kansas City, Missouri, majoring in speech-language-hearing: “Does the Ventriloquist Effect Alter Intelligibility in Speech-in-Speech Recognition?” mentored by Navin Viswanathan, speech-language-hearing: sciences & disorders

Alejandra Carrillo, a junior from Colima, Mexico, majoring in applied behavioral science: “Using the Reinforcement Pathology Model to Diagnose and Treat Obesity in the U.S. Hispanic Population,” mentored by David Jarmolowicz, applied behavioral science

Emily Casteen, a junior from Topeka majoring in behavioral neuroscience: “The Effect of Sunshine and Rain on Summer Mood Decreases,” mentored by Stephen Ilardi, psychology

Kelby Clements, a senior from Wichita majoring in psychology: “Self-Complexity Theory and How We Can Predict Depression Using Network Science,” mentored by Mark Landau, psychology

Vincent Czerwinski, a senior from Fairway majoring in molecular, cellular & developmental biology: “Role of Cadherins in C. elegans Neuron Migration,” mentored by Erik Lundquist, molecular biosciences

Spencer Dang, a junior from Shawnee majoring in mathematics: “Shock Formation of the Compressible Euler Equation,” mentored by Geng Chen, mathematics

Beth Fentress, a senior from Caney majoring in speech-language-hearing: “Rhyming, Storybooks, and Chinese Vocabulary Learning,” mentored by Holly Storkel, speech-language-hearing: sciences & disorders

Rachel Fosselman, a junior from Prairie Village majoring in qrchitecture: “Thermadapt: A Revolution in Kinetic Art and Architecture,” mentored by Jae Chang, architecture

Emily Freeburne, a junior from Olathe majoring in molecular, cellular & developmental biology: “Identification of Three Genes Required for RNAi in C. elegans,” mentored by Lisa Timmons, molecular biosciences

Sarah Freeburne, a junior from Olathe majoring in chemical engineering: “Elucidating the Structure-Function Relationship of Antimicrobial Peptides,” mentored by Candan Tamerler, mechanical engineering

Tracey Funk, a junior from Topeka majoring in ecology, evolution & organismal biology: “Effects of River Hydrogeomorphology on Invertebrate Food Web Structure,” mentored by James Thorp, ecology & evolutionary biology

Sergej Grunevski, a junior from Skopje, Macedonia, majoring in behavioral neuroscience: “Investigating the Complex Relationship Between Personality, Self-Perception and Texting Dependency in College Students,” mentored by Bruce Liese, psychology

Erik Gunderson, a senior from St. Joseph, Missouri, majoring in psychology: “Mindfulness (Meditation): A Review and Redefinition,” mentored by Stephen Ilardi, psychology

Evan Hatley, a senior from Overland Park majoring in psychology: “The Effects of Emotional Arousal on the Speech-to-Song Illusion,” mentored by Michael Vitevitch, psychology

Nicholas Hodges, a senior from Manhattan, majoring in human biology: “Anatomically Preserved Seed Ferns from the Triassic of Antarctica,” mentored by Brian Atkinson and Rudolph Serbet, ecology & evolutionary biology

Morgan Johannesen, a junior from Overland Park majoring in chemistry and geology: “Examination of Microbial Preservation and Associated Biomarkers in Gypsum,” mentored by Alison Olcott Marshall, geology

Ashwini Kamat, a senior from Overland Park majoring in behavioral neuroscience: “The Effect of Familiarity on the Speech-to-Song Illusion,” mentored by Michael Vitevitch, psychology

Justin Kim, a senior from Derby majoring in anthropology and visual art: “On Discovering Lithographic Printing Techniques and Practices,” mentored by Yoonmi Nam, visual art

Quinn Maetzold, a senior from St. Michael, Minnesota, majoring in economics: “How Political Control Shapes Environmental Efforts and Polluters’ Compliance,” mentored by Dietrich Earnhart, economics

Ario Maleeq, a junior from Jakarta, Indonesia, majoring in mechanical engineering: “Linearization of Soft Manipulators' Deformation,” mentored by Thomas DeAgostino and Dongkyu Choi, mechanical engineering

Brianna Marsh, a junior from Wildwood, Missouri, majoring in neuroscience: “The Role of the CNV in Intent to Speak,” mentored by Jonathan Brumberg, speech-language-hearing: sciences & disorders

Rachael McCormick, a senior from Broomfield, Colorado, majoring in Spanish and human biology: “Healthcare and Latina Immigrant Women: An Ethnographic Approach,” mentored by Kathryn Rhine, anthropology

Taylor McMurtry, a junior from Kansas City, Missouri, majoring in psychology: “Variations in Military Sexual Trauma and Their Unique Associations with Risk of Eating Disorders,” mentored by Kelsie Forbush, psychology

Haylee McNay, a senior from Quincy, Illinois, majoring in petroleum engineering: “Testing of the Viability of Conodonts as a Geochronometer Using Kansas Core and Outcrop Samples,” mentored by Andreas Moeller, geology

Chad Miller, a senior from Lansing majoring in psychology: “Being Gay or Homosexual: The Effects of Labels on Stereotypic Endorsement,” mentored by Monica Biernat, psychology

Will Moore, a junior from Prairie Village majoring in chemistry: “Rational Design in Storage of Renewable Energy: Multielectron Chemistry for Hydrogen Fuel Generation,” mentored by James Blakemore, chemistry

Emma Murrugarra, a senior from Kansas City, Kansas, majoring in human biology, psychology and philosophy: “Embodiment in Signed Language: What ASL Can Teach Us About Emotion and Metaphor in Language,” mentored by Ruth Ann Atchley, psychology

Tanner Myers, a junior from Louisburg majoring in ecology, evolution & organismal biology: “Does Precipitation Affect the Size of a Scales in a Species of Dominican anole?” mentored by Rich Glor, ecology & evolutionary biology

Putu Gita Nadinda, a senior from Denpasar, Bali, majoring in psychology: “Evaluating the Relationship Between Social Media Usage Through Delayed Discounting and Narcissistic Personality,” mentored by Ruth Ann Atchley, psychology

Ami Nanavaty, a senior from Overland Park majoring in American studies and microbiology: “Unraveling Whiteness (1857-1924): The Common Thread,” mentored by David Roediger, American studies

Tyler Nguyen, a sophomore from Kansas City, Kansas, majoring in chemistry: “A Model System for Fundamental Investigation of Nanoscale Protein-Surface Interactions: Putrescine Oxidase Immobilization on Gold Nanostructures,” mentored by Cindy Berrie, chemistry

Margarita Alely Nuñez Arroyo, a senior from Compton, California, majoring in journalism: “The Translation of the Transition into Academia for a First-Generation Latina Woman,” mentored by Darren Canady, English

Alex Ogan, a senior from Topeka majoring in psychology and accounting: “Action Identification and How People Create Meaning in Light of Mortality Awareness,” mentored by Mark Landau, psychology

Emma Piazza, a junior from Iola majoring in women, gender & sexuality studies and music composition: “From Marginalization to Liberation: A Study on STI Destigmatization in the Gay Male Community,” mentored by Stacey Vanderhurst, women, gender & sexuality studies

Gavin Portman, a senior from Manchester, Missouri, majoring in psychology and English-creative writing: “Journey into Fiction: Explicit Description and Narrative Transportation in the Judgment of a Character’s Moral Behavior,” mentored by Christopher Ramey, psychology

Emily Smith, a sophomore from Gardner majoring in biochemistry: “Dimerization Partners of HAF ABCB Transporters,” mentored by Lisa Timmons, molecular biosciences

Samuel Steuart, a sophomore from Topeka majoring in American studies and biochemistry: “Optimization of Nanoscale Particle Lithography on Silicon Substrates and Protein-Surface Interactions,” mentored by Cindy Berrie, chemistry

Aubrie Stricker, a junior from Gardner majoring in biology: “The Effects of rho-1 and rhgf-1 on Growth Cone Outgrowth and Microtubule Distribution in the UNC-6/netrin Pathway in C. elegans,” mentored by Erik Lundquist, molecular biosciences

Elizabeth VanSant, a senior from Dardenne Prairie, Missouri, majoring in music therapy: “A Theory Based Therapeutic Function of Music and Fidelity Study of Original Compositions for Infants and Toddlers at-Risk for Autism,” mentored by Deanna Hanson-Abromeit, music therapy

Alexis Villagran, a senior from Garden City majoring in political science: “Tales from the Southwest: Hispanic Voter Barriers as Told by the Region – A Data Triangulation Project,” mentored by Shannon Portillo, public affairs & administration

Elizabeth Waldberg, a senior from Overland Park majoring in psychology, philosophy and Slavic languages & literatures: “The Relationship Between Facial Feedback and Emotional Cognition,” mentored by Ruth Ann Atchley, psychology

Kelly Werther, a junior from Dallas majoring in English- ceative writing: “Messick Story: A Novel,” mentored by Mary Klayder, English

Niall Whalen, a senior from Wescosville, Pennsylvania, majoring in geology and ecology & evolutionary biology: “Analysis of Dinosaur Coprolites for Amoebic Cyst Material,” mentored by Alison Olcott Marshall, geology

Jinni Yu, a senior from Zhejiang, China, majoring in psychology: “The Association between Cultures and Objectification Level,” mentored by Omri Gillath, psychology

Holden Zimmerman, a senior from Lawrence majoring in history and Germanic studies: “Dropping Right in from Heaven to Hell: Interned Soldiers in Switzerland During WWI,” mentored by Andrew Denning, history.

RT @kulifespan : KU research project awarded five-year CDC-funded grant to study youth violence in Kansas City Metro Area. @KUCommHealth ht…

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