ISU undergraduate research and creative expression symposium set for April 16

Symposium Logo

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University undergraduates will share their research and creative endeavors during the seventh annual Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression. More than 100 students will present research on topics ranging from architecture to zebrafish.

The symposium will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 16 in the Memorial Union. Students, faculty, staff and members of the Ames community are invited to learn about the broad range of undergraduate research activities taking place on the ISU campus. The symposium is free and open to the public.

The event gives undergraduates from all academic disciplines an opportunity to share their research with the university community, families and other guests through conference-style oral presentation sessions.

The day’s events will begin at 9 a.m. (following registration) in the Pioneer Room with opening remarks by David Oliver, interim vice president for research and economic development. Concurrent presentation sessions will run throughout the day. A mid-day break will feature undergraduate artists whose works are part of the FOCUS Exhibit.

A detailed schedule of the day's events and presentations, as well as the students' research abstraxts, is available online at

Examples of presentations from each college are listed below.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Sean Lundy and Brian Castro, both seniors studying nutrition and global resources systems, will discuss their field research in Panama on the "Impact of Dairy Goat Milk on Childhood Undernutrition." Ted MacDonald, adjunct assistant professor of horticulture, advised their work.

Heather Sanders, junior in animal ecology, will present, "Preparing for the Advance of White Noise Syndrome in Iowa." Julie Blanchong, assistant professor of natural resource ecology and management, advised her project.

During Session IV (2:15 – 3:30 p.m.), all presentations in two sections (“Biology, Ecology and Evolution” and “Animal Science and Medicine") will be by students from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

College of Business

Farica Lomas, senior in marketing and supply chain management, will present "Who’s Cooking? Gender Roles Portrayed." Lomas’ research mentor is Samantha Cross, assistant professor of marketing.

Roberto Orozco, senior in marketing/international business, will share his research, "Racial Stress, Acculturation, and Social Support for Latino/as in PanHellenic Organizations Within Predominantly European American Collegiate Institutions," advised by Loreto Prieto, director of Iowa State’s U.S. Latino/a Studies Program.

Tucker Carrell, sophomore in pre-business, and William Emory, sophomore in software engineering, will present "Real Savings with Real Ice," a study related to the ISU/Ames Ice Arena. Their mentor is Alan Murdoch, assistant professor of kinesiology.

College of Design

Ashley Olson and Erica Riha, both seniors in interior design, will present “How and Where We Live” based on their award-winning Vitality Assisted Living Facility design. Their work was advised by Lee Cagley, interim associate dean, College of Design.

Guillermo Thompson, integrated studio arts senior, will discuss his "Dancing with Light" photograph, a project advised by Mark Chidister, associate professor of integrated studio arts. 

A session on “The Built Environment” includes presentations by both architecture and civil engineering students.

The symposium’s midday break (12:15 – 12:45) will feature the undergraduate artists in this year’s FOCUS Grant-supported works, which are on exhibit in the Pioneer Room. FOCUS is an annual exhibit of the arts, featuring student work made possible by small grants from the Lectures Program and the Student Union Board.

College of Engineering

Prasad Raman, senior in aerospace engineering, will present his research, "Understanding and Exploiting the Effects of 3D Surface Disturbances on Boundary Layer Flow," which was mentored by Alric Rothmayer, professor of aerospace engineering.

Christian Setzer, senior in aerospace engineering, will present "Particle Object Generation for Disruption of Asteroids Modeled Using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics." His research mentor was Bong Wie, professor of aerospace engineering. 

Casey Fangmann, senior in industrial engineering, will discuss the "Department of Residence Recycling Program."

Rachana Kaul, senior in electrical engineering, will present "Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation" research, which was advised by David Jiles, Distinguished Professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering.

College of Human Sciences

Kelly Wagner, senior in dietetics, will present her "Children’s Cookbook: During and After Cancer Treatment." Wagner's work was advised by Ruth MacDonald, professor and chair of food science and human nutrition.

A team of students will present "Effects of AOM Dosage on Pre-Cancerous Colorectal Lesions in an A/J Mouse Model." They were mentored by Diane Birt, Distinguished Professor of food science and human nutrition.

Molly Charipar, senior in apparel merchandising, design and production, will present "Saving the Customer from Themselves: Mass Customization in Children’s Wear." Her mentor was Sarah Bennett, lecturer in apparel, events and hospitality management.

Ashlyn White, senior in apparel merchandising, design and production, will discuss "In Living Color: Natural Dyeing in Textiles." Her mentor was Sarah Bennett, lecturer in apparel, events and hospitality management.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Sam Condon, senior in biochemistry, will present "Environmental Triggers Help Regulate Hydrocarbon Biosynthesis in Maize Silks." His research mentors were Basil Nikolau, professor, and Marna Yandeau-Nelson, associate scientist, biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology.

Raeann Shimak, senior in biochemistry, will present "Development of a FRET Assay for MP1-p14 Binding Interaction." She was advised by Christine Petersen, associate professor of veterinary pathology.

Jared Knight, senior in political science, will present "The Debt Effect: Is Student Debt Creating Ex-Iowans?" Knight’s research mentor was Peter Orazem, University Professor of economics.

Deepak Premkumar, a senior in economics and global resource systems, will share "A Geospatial Analysis of Resource Access Influences on Livelihood Outcomes." Dorothy Masinde, lecturer in agricultural education and studies, was the research mentor.