KU Celebrates Undergraduate Research | The University of Kansas


LAWRENCE — More than 215 undergraduate students participated in the 25e Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium this year at the University of Kansas. The symposium was entirely online and features oral and poster presentations as well as artist talks and creative exhibitions from many disciplines. Presentations can still be viewed on the Symposium website.

On May 4, the Center for Undergraduate Research celebrated the accomplishments of the symposium presenters and recognized the hard work and dedication of students and their mentors despite the challenges presented by the pandemic over the past few years.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many of the ways undergraduate students conduct their research and interact with their mentors,” said Alison Olcott, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research. “Nevertheless, students persevered and continue to pursue impactful research and creative endeavors across all disciplines at the University of Kansas.”

ACE Talks

The ACE Talks are the main presentations of the online symposium. These conferences present students presenting their research and creation projects in an (A)ccessible, (C)reative and (E)ngaging way. Students applied to give an ACE talk by submitting a summary of their work and a short video of themselves talking about their project. ACE Talk presenters each receive $500 and have a video of their presentation posted on the Symposium 2022 website homepage. ACE 2022 Conference winners:

  • William Davisa psychology major from Overland Park, “Psychological Correlates of Driving After Cannabis Use in American and Canadian Adults,” mentored by Michael Amlung, Associate Director of Education, Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction & Treatment.
  • Lily Nguyen, World and International Studies and Wichita East Asian (Japanese) Studies, “Expressions of Nationalism and Patriotism in Chinese Hip-Hop Lyrics,” mentored by Brian Lagotte, Assistant Professor, Center for Global & International Studies.
  • Giovanna PastorMajor in Global and International Studies from Asuncion, Paraguay, “Preparation and Access to College Education for Public and Private School Students in Paraguay,” mentored by Brian Lagotte, Assistant Professor, Center for Global and International Studies.

Outstanding Presentation Award

Volunteer judges selected 39 presentations to receive the Outstanding Presentation Awards, listed below. Winners each receive a $50 prize. The 2022 Outstanding Presentation Award winners are listed by name, hometown, specialty, presentation link, and mentor:

Chris AckerWichita economics student, “Do High Incarceration Rates Raise Unemployment?”, edited by economics professor Dietrich Earnhart.

Yasmine AdrianMajor in Global and International Studies from Arlington, Virginia, “Stories of Refugees: The Challenges of Integration in Germany,” tutored by Brian Lagotte.

Ahmad Baset Azizimajor in global and international studies from Kabul, Afghanistan, “The American War and the Withdrawal from Afghanistan”, tutored by Brian Lagotte.

Gabrielle BirneySedgwick design-photography major, “Searching”, supervised by Lilly McElroy, assistant professor of photography.

Jordan BrambleLeavenworth’s math major, “Spatial Patterns of Tick-Borne Diseases, Climate, and Geography in the United States: Identifying Clusters of States via Network Analysis,” mentored by Folashade Agusto, Assistant Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology.

Maura Cordiermajor in communication from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, “Layers of Electronic Intimacy in Americans’ Personal Networks”, supervised by Jeffrey Hall, professor of communication studies.

Nathan doWichita biochemistry major, “Determination of glycogen phosphorylase b activity with various effectors”, supervised by Roberto De Guzman, professor of molecular biosciences.

Abigail DriggersHillsboro Behavioral Neuroscience major, “Prediction and Integration in Listening Comprehension: A Pilot Study in Autism,” mentored by Meghan Davidson, Assistant Professor of Speech-Language Pathology-Hearing.

jack hartmajor in geography from Leawood, “The Ogallala Aquifer: Examining the Processes of Depletion Resulting from Governmental and Economic Policies”, supervised by Terrianne Lavin, assistant professor of geography and atmospheric sciences.

Amanda HertelShawnee Chemical Engineering major, “Tau and Lipid Dysregulation in Alzheimer’s Disease,” supervised by Prajnaparamita Dhar, Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.

madison hollowayOverland Park’s English major, “Web Dream,” tutored by Associate English Professor Megan Kaminski.

Jacques Jardonmajor in biochemistry of Lansing, “The interactions of Korean panax ginseng on glycogen phosphorylase b and its subsequent effect on enzyme kinetics”, supervised by Roberto De Guzman.

Nathalie Lambmajor in Psychology and Applied Behavioral Sciences from Olathe, “Perceptions of Earned Parental Leave for Adoptive and Biological Parents,” mentored by Monica Biernat, University Professor Emeritus of Psychology.

Alexandre Lamoureuxmajor in architecture from Murray, Nebraska, “The Museum of Vanishing Arts”, supervised by Kapila Silva, professor of architecture.

Wanheng LiMajor in Behavioral Neuroscience from China, “Assessing the evidence on Duchenne’s smile and the positive emotion felt”, supervised by Jeffrey Girard, Assistant Professor of Psychology.

Mikala Lileymajor in architecture from Jackson, Missouri, “Museum of Plant-Based Nutrition”, supervised by Kapila Silva.

Logan LongacreHaysville Atmospheric Science major, “Do Low Latitude Cloud Properties Change with Hadley Cell Expansion?”, mentored by Justin Stachnik, Assistant Professor of Geography and Physical Science ‘atmosphere.

Lauren Louise Stallingsmajor in environmental studies, “The Ogallala Aquifer: A Crisis in the Great Plains”, supervised by Ali Brox.

Chi Dung LuuLawrence biochemistry major, “Effects of matcha powder on glycogen phosphorylase b activity”, mentored by Roberto De Guzman.

Karlin McGarveyspeech pathology specialist from Ankeny, Iowa, “The influence of sample length on the reliability of language sample measurements for young children who are deaf and hard of hearing”, mentored by Jena McDaniel, postdoctoral fellow, Kansas Center for Autism Research & Training.

Alyssa Morelmajor in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering from Topeka, “Investigation of Female Predisposition to Musculoskeletal Diseases Using In Vitro Spheroid Models of Meniscal Fibrocartilage,” mentored by Jennifer Robinson, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.

neal niceswangerenvironmental studies major from Olathe, “The Ogallala Aquifer: A Crisis in the Great Plains,” mentored by Ali Brox.

Nathalie Nickelsmajor in archeology at Lenexa, “Establishment of protocols for the digital cataloguing, preservation and dissemination of 3D images in archeology”, supervised by Frédéric Sellet, associate professor of anthropology.

Morgan OlivierSpeech-Language Pathology major from Topeka, “The Influence of Sample Length on the Reliability of Language Sample Measures for Young Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children,” mentored by Jena McDaniel.

Rachell OrceGlobal and International Studies, Political Science Major and Manhattan German Studies, “Investigating Right-Wing Extremism in Former East Germany,” mentored by Andrea Meyertholen, Assistant Professor of German Studies.

Sophie Pascenteenvironmental studies and political science major from Crystal Lake, Illinois, “The Ogallala Aquifer: A Crisis in the Great Plains”, mentored by Ali Brox.

Charlie JarKansas City, Missouri photography specialist, “Red Album”, mentored by Lilly McElroy.

Lauren PrehnSpeech-Language Pathology Specialist at Overland Park, “A Comparison of Social Communication Ratings to Parents in School-Aged Children with ASD,” moderated by Meghan Davidson.

Sam Prusakmajor in geography and environmental studies from Montgomery, Illinois, “The Ogallala Aquifer: Examining the Processes of Depletion Resulting from Governmental and Economic Policies”, supervised by Terrianne Lavin, assistant professor of geography and atmospheric sciences.

Amy Qiangmajor in biochemistry of Lenexa, “The effect of honey on the regulation of the activity of glycogen phosphorylase b”, supervised by Roberto De Guzman.

Isabelle RadleyGlobal and International Studies and Geography Major from Prairie, Minnesota, “The Ogallala Aquifer: Examining Depletion Processes Resulting from Government and Economic Policies,” mentored by Terrianne Lavin.

carlos schwindtmajor in microbiology from La Crosse, “Understanding the Mask Mycobiome”, supervised by Benjamin Sikes.

Kaya ChaferLawrence’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, “F*** Me Like You Hate Me: Feminist Defenses of Submissive Sex,” mentored by Stacey Vanderhurst, Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies sexuality.

Gretchen SnyderMajor in Geography and Environmental Studies from Leawood, “The Ogallala Aquifer: Examining Depletion Processes Resulting from Government and Economic Policies,” mentored by Terrianne Lavin.

Nathan StandardEmporia Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, “Enby Expecting: Experiences of Non-Binary Pregnancy”, mentored by Stacey Vanderhurst.

Joshua WinscottShawnee Biochemistry major, “The Effects of Jet-Alert on Reaction Kinetics of Glycogen Phosphorylase b”, mentored by Roberto De Guzman.

Hunter Woosleymajor in biochemistry and physics from Leawood, “The effects of glucose 6-phosphate and the artificial sweetener Splenda on glycogen phosphorylase b”, tutored by Roberto De Guzman.

Kaci Zarekenvironmental studies, Norfolk, Nebraska, “The Ogallala Aquifer: A Crisis in the Great Plains”, mentored by Ali Brox.

Camron ZerrGeography major from Overland Park, “The Ogallala Aquifer: Examining Depletion Processes Resulting from Government and Economic Policies”, tutored by Terrianne Lavin.

Photo: ACE conference winners (left to right) William Davis, Lily Nguyen, Giovanna Pastore.


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