62 Iowa State undergraduate students presenting research at national conference

NCUR 2018

ISU students pose for a photo at the 2018 National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Photo provided by Svitlana Zbarska. Larger image.

AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University undergraduate students will head south this week to share their research and scholarship with their peers from across the nation.

The 33rd annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research takes place April 11-13 at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. About 4,000 undergraduate students from across the U.S. present their research at this annual conference, the largest undergraduate research conference in the country.

This is the third year ISU students have attended NCUR. Iowa State’s 62 students representing 30 different majors marks the university’s highest level of participation yet. In addition to presenting their research and scholarship, these students also will have networking and professional development opportunities.

Iowa State students worked hard to fund their attendance at the conference, said Svitlana Zbarska, coordinator of the Undergraduate Research Program. Zbarska said the outstanding support of faculty mentors, departments, colleges, the Undergraduate Research Program, University Honors program, IINSPIRE LSAMP program, Division of Student Affairs and the McNair Scholars Program all helped these students plan their path to the conference.

“NCUR is so beneficial for these students because it empowers them as scientists. It gives them an opportunity to present their research at the national level and attend one of the biggest graduate school fairs in the U.S.,” Zbarska said. “ISU students have attended this conference three years in a row, and I hope our undergraduate research will continue to be represented at the national level in the future.”

Iowa State students selected to present their research at NCUR, along with their hometowns, majors and research titles are:

  • Sabrina Ash, Des Moines, psychology, “The Relation Between Media Violence Exposure and Finding Humor in Media Violence” and “Exploring Relations between Dark Personality Traits, Media Violence Exposure, and Finding Humor in Media Violence”
  • Zahra Barkley, Center Junction, biology, “Regulation of Autophagy by Glutathione Through the SnRK1 Signaling Pathway in Plants”
  • Hannah Baysinger, West Des Moines, global resource systems, environmental studies and Spanish, “The Impacts of Diverting Water by Hand-Dug Channels in the Nile Watershed on Agriculture and Food Security in the Kamuli District of Uganda”
  • Courtney Beringer, Asbury, mechanical engineering, “Exploring Wearable Technology: Prototyping of Solar Powered Book Bags”
  • Jacqueline Blaum, Bettendorf, physics, “Mining Big Data over the Entire Infrared Sky: Improved Photometric Classification of Infrared Sources through Machine Learning”
  • Theresa Brehm, Durango, global resource systems, “Using Decomposition of Household Items as an Indicator of Soil Health and Educational Tool in Kamuli District, Uganda”
  • Shelby Bruun, Ankeny, world languages and cultures and international studies, “Tracking Second Language Phonetic Learning in Spontaneous Speech”
  • Angie Burke, Denver, Iowa, biological systems engineering, “Examining Implications of Climate Change for Food Security in the U.S. Midwest: A Geospatial Analytics Approach”
  • Jiu Cao, Shanghai, China, art and design, “Erwin Panofsky’s Iconography in the Interpretation of the Sixth Patriarch Chopping Bamboo”
  • Summer Castillo, Rockford, Illinois, animal science, “Effect of Two Dietary Copper Treatments on Implant Performance Response and Carcass Characteristics of Finishing Beef Steers”
  • Miranda Clausen, Indianola, animal science, “In Situ Fiber Digestibility of Soybean Meal and DDGS Pelleted with Corn Stover Compared to Pelleted Corn Gluten Feed for Dairy Cows”
  • Eric Diaz, Arden Hills, Minnesota, mechanical engineering, “Empathy in Design: How Does a Persona Influence Creativity?”
  • Anne Dinges, Byron, Illinois, agronomy, “Assessing Transferability of Microsatellite Markers for Genetic Diversity Studies in Wild Potato Species in Uruguay”
  • Tyler Donovan, Carlisle, agronomy, “Are Yield Increases in Fertilized Biomass Crops Worth Reductions in Water Quality?”
  • Jacqueline Ehrlich, Holy Cross, agricultural biochemistry, “Characterization of XXT1 Modes of Substrate Binding and XXT5 Structure-Solubility Relationship Using Site-Directed Mutagenesis”
  • Sehba Faheem, Huntley, Illinois, biological systems engineering, “Course-Based Research: Optimization of L-Lactic Acid Production in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae”
  • Emery Farmer, Strawberry Point, materials engineering, “Development of Copper Based Elastocaloric Materials”
  • Talen Fisher, Des Moines, computer science, “Solution for X3P File Manipulation”
  • Ashley Garrin, assistant director of the McNair Scholars Program, and Lynn Lundy Evans, graduate writing consultant for the McNair Scholars Program, “Effective Pedagogy for Teaching Research Methods: A Progress Driven Design for Preparing Undergraduate Researchers for Graduate Level Research”
  • Mohamed Gesalla, Ames, electrical engineering, “Identifying Cancerous Images Using Neural Networks”
  • Olivia Gray, Adams, Minnesota, biochemistry, “Determination of Apo and Inhibitor Bound Mycobacterium Thermoresistibile B-Clamp Protein Structures”
  • Haley Grote, Carroll, industrial design; and Mary Murphy, Decorah, industrial design, “Co-Creating Sketchnote Visuals with Honors Students”
  • Kelly Guerin, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, industrial design; and Colette Kocek, La Grange Park, Illinois, industrial design, “Discovering the Role of Empathy in a Course Redesign Process”
  • Emily Haberlack, Burnsville, Minnesota, environmental science, “Assessing the Role of Empathy in Persuasive Environmental, Health and Risk Communication”
  • Hannah Hegwer, Eagan, Minnesota, microbiology, “Identification of Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex E1 as Potential Protein in Non-Typeable Haemophilus Influenzae Vaccine”
  • Madelyn Huinker, Coralville, communication studies, “Understanding the Role of Trust and Credibility in Public Understanding of Science and Attitudes Toward Scientists”
  • Nayely Hurtado, Osceola, political science, “Blackness in Latin America: Racial Discourse and the Role of the Census”
  • Erika Johnson, Waukon, animal science, “The Effects of Dietary Protein Oxidation on Growing Pigs”
  • Kylee Joiner, Cincinnati, Iowa, kinesiology and health and global resource systems, “Peer Health Coaching for Physical Activity, Self-Efficacy, and Stress in College Students”
  • Modeste Kenne, Nevada, computer engineering, “Investigating and Modeling a Network of Embedded Systems”
  • Avery Korns, Richardson, Texas, animal science, “Lean Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Impacts Ovarian Gap Junction Protein Expression”
  • Samuel Leonard, Jordan, Minnesota, physics, “E8 Dispersion”
  • Peiyang Li, Yantai, China, biological systems engineering, “UV Light Treatment of Barn Inlet Air to Mitigate PRRS Transmission”
  • Natalie Lohmann, Denver, Iowa, biology, “Synthesis of a mRNA vs Protein Vaccine: A Possible Treatment to Prevent Human Parainfluenza Virus in Children”
  • Jessica Lundberg, Williamsburg, dietetics, “Defining Dairy Consumption in Pregnant Women Living in Central Iowa”
  • Rami Mannan, Doha, Qatar, architecture, “Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar by Pei: Tradition and Modernization in Islamic Architecture”
  • Brennan McBride, Altoona, chemistry, “Synthesis and Structure of Ternary Rare Earth Silicon Pnictides”
  • Lucas McPherren, Storm Lake, mechanical engineering, “Effect of Airbrush Attachment Geometry on Speckle Pattern Characteristics for Application with Digital Image Correlation”
  • A’lece Moore, Omaha, Nebraska, biology, “Does Corn Production Enhance Soil Organic Matter Loss?”
  • Monika Moore, Pleasant Hill, political science, “Outbreaks, Epidemics, and U.S. Immigration Policy”
  • John Park, Seoul, South Korea, computer science, “Characterization of Malicious URL by Using Machine Learning”
  • David Reynolds, Grand Island, Nebraska, mechanical engineering, “The Development of a Microengineered Human Blood Brain-Barrier to Discover the Effects that Xenobiotic Compounds are Having on the Brain’s Blood Stream”
  • Kendall Reynolds, Overland Park, Kansas, industrial design, “Design Thinking Mindsets Demonstrated by Engineering Students”
  • Matthew Riley, West Des Moines, computer science; and Chase Weida, Eldridge, mathematics, “Rainbow Numbers on the Integers”
  • Sara Ronnkvist, Saint Peter, Minnesota, statistics, “Predicting Shifts in Iowa Farmers’ Climate Change Beliefs and Attitudes Toward Climate Action Over Time”
  • Daniel Russell, Remsen, physics, “Particle Hole Symmetry Breaking in Cuprate Superconductors”
  • Alondra Sanchez-Laguna, Marshalltown, liberal studies, “Abriendo Caminos: Healthy Promotion of Family Mealtime Routines and Climate Among Mexican Immigrant Families”
  • Nadiia Stepanchenko, Rivne, Ukraine, animal science, “Effects of Branched-Chain Amino Acids on GLUT1 Abundance in Bovine Mammary Epithelial Cells”
  • Kayla Uthe, Osage, biochemistry, “Assembly of Xyloglucan Biosynthesis Complex”
  • Nayelie Valenzuela, Sioux City, public relations, “Examining and Analyzing Institutional Discourse on Twitter: Engaging Prospective Students”
  • Amber Vegter, Morrison, Illinois, biology, “Effect of Repeated Low-Level Hydrogen Sulfide on Pathogenicity of Influenza-A Virus in Pigs”
  • Victoria Villanueva, Angleton, Texas, biology, “Epigenetic Effects of Environmental Contaminants on Turtles with Temperature Dependent Sex Determination”
  • Jackson Voyles, Blakesburg, physics, “Discovery of Novel Framework Compounds for Thermoelectric Application”
  • Sydney Weldon, Waterloo, biology, “Precipitation Patterns Drive Phenology in Western Prairie Fringed Orchid”
  • Elke Windschitl, Iowa City, animal ecology; Carolyn White, Colleyville, Texas, biological systems engineering; and Kayla Wernsing, Sauk City, Wisconsin, environmental science, “An Experimental Design to Estimate the Number of Milkweed Plants Needed to Support Larval Monarch Butterfly Development”
  • Mengying Wu, Jingdezhen Jiangxi, China, architecture, “The Concept of Sublime in Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia”