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41 KU students receive Undergraduate Research Awards for spring

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

LAWRENCE — This spring, 41 KU students will receive an Undergraduate Research Award. UGRA recipients are awarded a $1,000 scholarship as they work on mentored research and creative projects.  

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 and a recommendation from the mentor.  

“Undergraduate research allows students to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world problems, and experiential learning opportunities like these add richness to their educational journey at KU,” said Alison Olcott, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research and associate professor of geology.  

The Center for Undergraduate Research is currently taking applications for the Summer/Fall 2021 UGRA competition.  The deadline for student proposals will be March 25. More information can be found here: www.ugresearch.ku.edu/ugra  

Students receiving awards for the spring of 2021 are listed below in alphabetical order, along with their academic level, hometown, project title, mentor and mentor’s department: 

Aylar Atadurdyyeva, a senior from Bothell, Washington: mentored by Michael Wuthrich, political science. 

Ashmika Behere, a senior from Lawrence: “A Comparative Look at Anolis Dewlap Color for Evidence of Adaptation,” mentored by Rich Glor, ecology & evolutionary biology.  

Jessica Blom, a senior from Lenexa: “The Role of Emissions Trading in Climate Change Policy in Transitioning Economies,” mentored by Brian Lagotte, global & international studies.  

Connor Bryant, a sophomore from Topeka: “Does Food Stress Reduce Courtship Success in Drosophila Sturtevanti?,” mentored by Jennifer Gleason, ecology & evolutionary biology.  

Emma Cosner, a junior from Lawrence: “Examining the Influence of a Redox-Active Phosphine Ligand on H2 Evolution by Organometallic Cyclopentadienyl-Rhodium Complexes,” mentored by James Blakemore, chemistry.  

Courtney Cruickshank, a senior from Lawrence: “Exploring the Stigma of Boredom,” mentored by Mark Landau, psychology.  

Ella Davids, a senior from De Soto: “Bisexuality Stereotypes in Straight, Lesbian, and Gay Populations,” mentored by Monica Biernat, psychology. 

Saron Demeke, a senior from Lawrence: “Change in Hyper-Palatable Food Prevalence in US Food Environment over 30 Years,” mentored by Tera Fazzino, psychology. 

Dannie Dilsaver, a senior from Lincoln, Nebraska: “The prevalence of Hyper-Palatable Foods Served in Meals in U.S. Public Schools,” mentored by Tera Fazzino, psychology.  

Katie Donnelly, a junior from St. Louis: “Microfluidics Chip Design Validation for High Throughput Analysis,” mentored by Jennifer Robinson, biomedical engineering.  

Grace Fawcett, a senior from Lawrence: “The Unhoused,” mentored by Joshua Miner, film & media studies.  

Hanah Glimpse, a senior from Lawrence: “Gender and Clothing Expression Through Theatre,” mentored by Kelly Vogel, theater & dance.  

Josh Goering, a senior from Fairway: “Local Clay Discovery and its Application in the Ceramic Arts,” mentored by Marshall Maude, visual art.  

Mackenzie Greckel, a junior from Elkhorn, Nebraska: “Cicada Camp Company Omaha Fashion Week Fall 2021,” mentored by Brandi Lee Cooper, visual art.  

Jade Groobman, a senior from Boulder, Colorado: “Jews of Color: Experiences of Exclusion and Inclusion,” mentored by Sarah Deer, women, gender & sexuality studies.  

Reed Hersma, a senior from Naperville, Illinois: “When Granting Autonomy Works: Spanish Response to Catalan Independence,” mentored by Brian Lagotte, global & international studies.  

Amanda Hertel, a senior from Shawnee: “Tau Protein and Lipid Membrane Disruption: Potential Role in Alzheimer’s Disease Progression.,” mentored by Prajna Dhar, chemical & petroleum engineering.  

Madeline Holland, a senior from Ottawa: “Articulated Abstractions,” mentored by Margaret Jamieson, film & media studies.  

Mason Hussong, a senior from Lawrence: “The Question of Prestige - Language Curricula in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan,” mentored by Brian Lagotte, global & international studies.  

Kylie Kimrey, a senior from Tonganoxie: “Social Media use and Digital Stress Before and After the COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Orders of 2020,” mentored by Ric Steele, clinical child psychology. 

Anna Krause, a senior from Lawrence: “The Physical Signature of Climate Change: Adaptation in A. distichus Along a Climate Gradient,” mentored by Rich Glor, Biodiversity Institute.  

Quinn Lee, a senior from Halstead: “Legislative Participation Concerning the US-China Trade War,” mentored by Jack Zhang, political science.  

Rachel Manweiler, a senior from Lawrence: “Disruption Trials and Genomic Analysis of Ophryocystis elektroscirrha,” mentored by James Walters, ecology & evolutionary biology.  

Daphnis McPherson, a senior from Lawrence: “Digital Doubles: The Implications of Reconstructing the Self Digitally,” mentored by Anna Pope, psychology.  

Amber Mikkelsen, a senior from Lawrence: “Examining the Origin of 'Island Effects' in Complex Sentence Comprehension,” mentored by Robert Fiorentino, linguistics.  

Aisha Mohammed, a junior from Lagos, Nigeria: “The Effects of Neocolonialism on the Political Economy and Socioeconomic Status of Senegal from 1980-2000,” mentored by Gillian Weatherley, French, Francophone & Italian studies.

Alyssa Morrell, a sophomore from Topeka: “Female Predisposition to Musculoskeletal Disease Through Histological Characterization of Meniscus Derived Spheroids,” mentored by Jennifer Robinson, biomedical engineering.  

Sara Mulneix, a senior from Lawrence: “Humor and Transgender Identity,” mentored by Philip Duncan, linguistics.  

Leo Niehorster-Cook, a senior from Leawood: “Class Stratification's Effects on Disease Transmission Dynamics: Extending a Computational Study,” mentored by Jiin Jung, psychology.  

Nathan Ohl, a sophomore from Conway Springs: “Effect of Electrospun Mesh Fiber Diameter on Human Meniscal Cell Viability, Proliferation, and Gene Expression,” mentored by Jennifer Robinson, chemical & petroleum engineering.  

Peyton Panovich, a sophomore from Shawnee: “Developing 3-D Models of Thumb Carpometacarpal Joints from MRI Images to Analyze Arthritic Impact of Pipette Operation,” mentored by Kenneth Fischer, mechanical engineering 

Katherine Patz, a senior from Tulsa, Oklahoma: “Analyzing Syntactic Structure of Question Sentences by Simultaneous Bilingual Children Acquiring English and Japanese,” mentored by Utako Minai, linguistics.  

Laura Phillips, a senior from Perry: “Drought Tolerance on B73 Maize in Response to Microbiome Inoculations,” mentored by Maggie Wagner, ecology & evolutionary biology.   

Katherine Price, a senior from Lawrence: “The Everyday Negotiation of Citizenship in the French Empire,” mentored by Andrew Denning, history.  

Savannah Price, a junior from Lawrence: “Assessing the Effectiveness of France's Volont'R Program in Facilitating Refugee Integration,” mentored by Brian Lagotte, global & international studies. 

Madison Rice, a junior from Bixby, Oklahoma: “Evaluating the Impact of Burial Settings for Ground-Penetrating Radar Detection,” mentored by Blair Schneider, geology.  

Megan Schulte, a senior from Lawrence: “Emotional Reduction and Amplification as Predictors of Self-Reported Health and Sleep Quality in College Women,” mentored by Nancy Hamilton, psychology. 

Mary Sevart, a junior from Wichita: “Producing Biochar from Post-Oil Extraction Hemp Biomass Through Thermochemical Processing,” mentored by Susan Stagg-Williams, chemical & petroleum engineering.  

Logan Stuart, a senior from Coralville, Iowa: “The Belt and Road Initiative in Central Asia,” mentored by Shahnaz Parsaeian, economics.  

Erin Sturd, a senior from Overland Park: “Creation of Novel Mixed-Matrix Membranes,” mentored by Mark Shiflett, chemical & petroleum engineering.  

Liana Tauke, a senior from Wichita: “The Relationship between Infant’s Emerging Preverbal Communication and Social-Emotional Competence,” mentored by Brenda Salley, pediatrics.  


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