Shawn Chandler, 5th grader, and his team present their research “Launch into Learning” at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activites Forum, Nov. 15, 2018. Photo by Bradley Wilson
Shawn Chandler, 5th grader, and his team present their research “Launch into Learning” at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activites Forum, Nov. 15, 2018. Photo by Bradley Wilson

About 140 undergraduates present research at 11th forum

November 15, 2018

Today’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Forum started at 9 a.m. in Clark Student Center. But in reality, it’s been a work-in-progress with some of the research presented ongoing for months or even years.



McCoy College of Science, Mathematics and Engineering

1st place poster — Deciphering the Mechanism of Protein Targeting Machinery in Chloroplasts, Kameron Shrum and Tyler Jones, Mentor: Fu-Cheng Liang

2nd place poster — Targeting the mdtE Gene of E. coli Via Cas9/CRISPR to Investigate its Role in Erythromycin Resistance, Natalie Ragland and Anahi Palacios. Mentor: Jon Scales

Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services

1st place poster — Empowering Patients to Reduce Lumbar Puncture Associated Spinal Headaches, Stephanie Lindsay. Mentors: Stephanie Baker and Robin Lockhart

2nd place poster — Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID) Program: High School Students’ Perceptions, Hailey Hall, Solomon Ehis, Lexus Flores and Rhonda Flores. Mentor: Packiaraj Arumugham

Fain College of Fine Arts

1st place poster — Conceal/Reveal, Autumn Bellar, Tanner Slavens, Gwyndalyn Gonzalez, Samantha Mitchell and Patrick Rowland. Mentor: Mandy Sedden, Kimberly Onstott, Catherine Prose and Morgan Page

Dillard College of Business Administration

1st place poster — The Socio-emotional Contagion Effects in the Spread of Feminist Digilantism (The case of a Texas university): Literature review and Netnography, Justice Munroe. Mentors: Niyati Kataria and Beverly Stiles

Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences

1st place poster — Physical Disability and Support for Right-to-Die: Selfishness and Religiosity as Predictors, Andrew Coyne and Maggie Wyatt. Mentor: Beverly Stiles

2nd place poster — How Best to Learn World Languages Vocabulary: Comparing Published Research and Student Surveys, Frida Arredondo. Mentor: Jeffrey Oxford

West College of Education

1st place poster — Three Phase Teacher Success Strategy Training Program: Persona Development, Entrepreneur Skills, and Organizational Administrative Skills, Carl J. Alfert. Mentors: C. Janise McIntyre, Daphney L. Curry and Emily K. Reeves

2nd place poster — Classroom Management: Engaging Today’s Students in the Elementary Classroom, Mackenzie Barnard. Mentor: Phillip J. Blacklock


Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences

1st place oral — A Synopsis of Ancient Africa, Kerdell Cuffy. Mentor: Whitney Snow

2nd place oral — Midwestern’s O-Wa-Ki-Ya and the Feminist Rhetorical Perspective, Emma Labedis, English, Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Mentor: Melissa Nivens

McCoy College of Science, Mathematics and Engineering

1st place oral — Reducing Chromosomal Antibiotic Resistance in Escherichia coli, Bethany Ann Russell. Mentors: James Masuoka and Jon Scales

2nd place oral tie — Bionic Hand with Force Feedback, Kenneth Griffin, Constance Anih, Chance Craig, Dieonna George. Mentor: Yu Guo

2nd place oral tie — Mobile Wireless Surveillance System with Unpredictable Motion Virgil Henry, Juwel Williams, Darrell Middlesworth, Mamgoree Sock. Mentor: Sheldon Wang

Dillard College of Business Administration

1st place oral — An Empirical Analysis of the Effect of Remittances on Income Inequality, Education, and Health in Developing Countries, Hanna Gebel and Luka Gebel. Mentor: Pablo Garcia-Fuentes

2nd place oral — WALC This Way: A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis on Local Perception of the Wichita Adult Literacy Council, Reagan Bates, Kaleb Collins, Parker Short, Mason Newton, Ryan Litton, Phillip Austin. Mentor: Thuy Nguyen,

West College of Education

1st place oral — Meeting the Needs of Freshman in the Professional Programs of Education and Respiratory Care. Staci Morgan and Madison Dodd. Mentors: Suzanne Lindt and Jennifer Anderson

2nd place oral — What Are the Social Impacts of Technology on Middle School Students?, Jennifer Cope. Mentor: Suzanne Lindt

Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services

1st place oral — Meeting the Needs of Freshman in the Professional Programs of Education and Respiratory Care. Staci Morgan and Madison Dodd. Mentors: Suzanne Lindt and Jennifer Anderson


Conceal/Reveal, Autumn Bellar, Tanner Slavens, Gwyndalyn Gonzalez, Samantha Mitchell and Patrick Rowland. Mentors: Mandy Sedden, Kimberly Onstott, Catherine Prose and Morgan Page


Conceal/Reveal, Autumn Bellar, Tanner Slavens, Gwyndalyn Gonzalez, Samantha Mitchell and Patrick Rowland. Mentors: Mandy Sedden, Kimberly Onstott, Catherine Prose and Morgan Page

The day’s events

As part of the program, for the first time, students from Fain Elementary School presented their research with at least four students from each grade presenting.

  • 2nd grade | “How to Enhance and Promote our ‘Fain-tastic’ Neighborhood (Lawson Berend, Juliette Bindel, Georgia Humphreys and Cole Snodgrass); Robbie Kelly, mentor
  • 3rd grade | “Why is Wind Important as a Natural Resource?” (Flora Berre, Reese Garner, Owen Davis, Alex Chase, Patrick Chavez, Aaiden Esquibel, Onyx Reeder and Ian Harvey); Harley James, mentor
  • 4th grade | “Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader” (Lucy Alvarez, Jennifer Anderson, Tammie Tarver and Laura Wetzel); Laura Wetzel, mentor
  • 5th grade | “Launch Into Learning” (Paige Worley, Reagan Hicks, Shawn Chandler, Kyrie Ruiz and Violet Chavez); Frank Tarver, mentor

Rincon-Zachary said school officials approached MSU last spring asking if elementary students could present at the MSU Forum.

“They wanted to present what they’ve been working on,” Magaly Rincon-Zachary, director of undergraduate research, said.

About 150 students from Fain Elementary School showed up to watch the four elementary school presentations.

“The students did a good job in presenting their question and the why and their research process,” Rincon-Zachary said. “They were enthusiastic and they also went to observe the college student presentations and they were very well-behaved.”

Bradley Wilson
Kameron Shrum discusses his poster, “Deciphering the Mechanism of Protein Targeting Machinery in Chloroplasts,” at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Forum, Nov. 15, 2018.


Rojitha Goonesekere,senior,mechanical engineering | “This is research we have been doing for two years now and it’s about electronics. So I was automatically enrolled with research on chaotic theory.”

Brian Blair,senior,mechanical engineering | ” I always wanted a chance to do research for MSU and always found it interesting and wanted to learn a lot from this experience.” “I also was very interested in the different types of material and what inside of them.”

Abigail Reyes, senior, mechanical engineering | ” I was taking an electrical engineering class and I really liked it. My professor asked me to do research and I fell into it and liked it. I learned a lot more about electrical engineering and how to use different softwares.”

Tyler Cadette, sophomore, engineering | “Last semester, my professor actually asked me to join this project because he wants it to continue and when he found out I was a sophomore, he thought it would be a good idea for me to join. I haven’t done equations like these yet, so I learned a lot about them during this project. I also learned a lot more about circuitry which was a pretty intense project since I’m only a sophomore. It also helped me keep up with deadline. It was fun for me though and quite the experience.”

Sonasha Perera. senior, environmental science | “It’s a good opportunity, since I’m planning on applying for graduate school, to learn how to properly present, make a poster, and do research. I’ll be honest, before I started the research, I had no interest in the geoscience field, but now, I’m excited to delve deeper into the field.”

Kelton Andre Vidal, junior, mechanical engineering | “I found that we could get energy from waste water generated in the oil field. I felt like it was revolutionary. The project is about something that is harmful to the environment and making it beneficial to humankind.”

Josh Washington, junior, engineering | “It’s good experience to talk about our projects and hear questions from people that might not have that familiarity with the project. We can get ideas from them if they ask questions we haven’t thought about. It’s good to get a fresh set of eyes. Seeing other projects and what people are working on is a really good learning opportunity.”

Nchetachukwu C. Anih, senior, mechanical engineering | “I’m a mechanical engineering major, so this [the research] is very important to me, along with the practice and experience I gained. In class we learned a lot about the theory of the relationship between wind turbines and solar panels, now I can apply it to my future work. ”

Tyler Roop, senior, computer science| “I enjoyed get to learn more about the cache memory and what exactly it does.”

Ravishka Rathnasuriya, sophomore, computer science| “We choose to participate because we presented an oral presentation in the summer, and were asked to do a poster participation for the fall.”

Tarrah Miller, senior, biology | “I like research. I feel like it’s interesting and it builds your resume. When people look at your resume they want to see that you did more than studied in school. You have to have something else on your plate. I’m really interested in biology and so I guess you can say that’s why I chose to.

Shanice Toussaint, senior, biology | “The reason why I was interested in doing EURECA was because I wanted a new experience. I didn’t just want to be the typical you go to school, you study, you take exams, that’s about it. I wanted to push myself forward and put it out there.”

Mikayla Bailey, junior high school student | “Science has always been my life. I’ve always been a huge fan of science. I want my major to be biochemistry and immunity to be an infectious disease doctor.”

Ila Kamath, Hirschi High School junior | “We knew we had a lot more opportunities [to present] than the other students, well, we had options because we had these connections. [Our classmates] think we did more than necessary, which is true, but I don’t see how that’s a bad thing.”

Solomon Ehis, sophomore, social work | “I wanted to find out more about kids and their education. It’s been an eye opener to know that kids have access to lost of resources that most parents don’t know about that could potentially help their study habits.”

Julianne Plambeck, junior, nursing | “This research project [hydration on Grand Anse Beach] was really fun, it was a blind study so none of the people knew we were watching and observing them. It was interesting to see that not lots of people drink on the beach in Grenada,”

Julianne Plambeck, junior, nursing | “My professor inspired me to participate in this event. It’s one thing to simply talk how the heart works but it’s another to understand and fully grasp how the heart functions.”

Anahi Palacios, biology senior| “I took genetics and got really interested in the genetic aspect of mutation, so I decided to do some more research. I was excited to be able to see further in detail what we researched.”

Patrick Rowland, radiology senior| “The idea was proposed by our dean actually… we were trying to make a 3D machine recognize and print out 2D images.”

Venus Shirazy, 11th grade, Hirschi High School | “I had actually worked with Dr. Ricon and the undergrad students two years ago, we had to do a group four project and design an experiment of our own. We got in touch with her and came about doing this project. Research can future the effects of medicine.”

Luka Gebel, economics senior | “Hanna and I worked very well together. We certainly have that synergy going and it makes it so much easier and fun. We’re very grateful to have this experience and it distinguishes MSU from other universities having a program like EURECA. ”

Hanna Gebel, business management and finance senior | “We are very honored to get this opportunity, to research with a mentor who knows so much where we could learn a lot. It was more relaxing this time because we knew what we were looking forward to and what we were going into.”

Hailey Hall, a social work student, discusses her poster, “Advanced Via Individual Determination (AVID) Program: High School Students’ Perceptions, at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Forum, Nov. 15, 2018. Photo by Bradley Wilson


Constance Anih, senior, mechanical engineering | “This is connected to my major and a good  to learning experience that I can apply to my study.”

Addyson Nichols, freshman, dental hygiene | “I came to the forum for extra credit, I actually enjoyed it and learned a little bit about things that aren’t tied to my major.”

Audrey Dykes, sophomore, nursing | “I came because I have an assignment for Microbiology to do this, not the extra credit assignment though. It’s definitely worth coming to because there’s a lot of different topics and I find science-based stuff interesting.”

Meagan Walker, freshman, dental hygiene | “I attended for extra credit, but I’ve actually learned a lot. There’s a project about using saltwater oilfield waste for energy and I think that’s pretty incredible.”

Jamaya Dixon, sophomore, nursing | “I attended this for an assignment for class and [it’s worth it] because you get to see what everyone is researching and studying and just support other students.

Ashleigh Miller, freshman, nursing | “In all honesty, I’m here for extra credit, I do think it was worth it’s worth  it though, some of these are pretty cool.”

Teresa Vu, junior, pre-medical chemistry | “Well, I attended because these two ladies are close friends of mine and I get extra credit for two of my classes.”

Destiny Burns, Junior, kinesiology | “I’m looking forward to learning about all of the undergraduate stuff. (research)”

Robin Lockhart, associate professor of nursing |“[I came today because] we have a student that we’re mentoring in the EURECA poster presentation, but the reason I came to the Fain elementary presentation is because I went to Fain when they presented a few weeks ago to get feedback. We met the students and saw their projects and now it’s just a continued interest in their work. There’s a lot of creativity in some of these projects, it’s really inspiring, and very impressive.”

Stephanie Baker, associate professor of nursing | “I had just heard how wonderful they [the Fain elementary students] are, and was excited to see these young people doing research, it’s incredible. We’ve had one student from our college doing it [EURECA] this semester, and now several students are interested in doing it next semester. I think the interest will continue to grow because it’s been such a fun experience. We’ve learned a lot and the students have learned a lot too!”

Amanda Snodgrass, parent of a Fain elementary student presenter | “It’s encouraging to come and support our youth and our students and out community. I also think it’s important for [the Fain elementary students] to see what our college students are doing so that they can aspire to do that one day.”

Sal Capotosto, chemistry junior | “I did EURECA for two semesters, so I like to see what other students are doing. I like to see the research going on on campus. It was worth coming to because there are cool projects and lots of cool ideas students are working on.”

Nathaniel Shawver, biology junior | “It’s important that we do research to expand the knowledge we can gain by going to college. It was worth coming to because several of the projects showed me what I think is detrimental or beneficial to good research, and it will help me do research in the future.”

Dakota Tolleson, biology senior | “[This was] a quiz grade instead of class. It was really cool to see everyone’s research. I’m glad [my professor] had us come.”

Katie Zimmerman, biology senior | “It was a grade in one of my classes and it was extra credit. I enjoy looking at these [presentations].I’m doing research as well, but I am not presenting. It’s cool to see other people’s research that they’ve done.”

Claudia Antill, junior, Pre-Pharmacy | “I came to take advantage of the extra credit opportunity. It was worth it because it could potentially change a B to an A.”

Ackeem Greene, senior, computer science | “I was just passing through, but it was fun to check out the research posters. I got to learn about things that I didn’t even think were worth researching, and now I have a better respect for those fields.”

Guy Richardson, sophomore, history | “I attended to EURECA event because I was curious about all the fascinating presentations available. I think it was worth attending because in the future I will participate in the EURECA program.”

Sonasha Perera, senior, environmental science | “This is my first research forum and I wanted to partake in something that was related to my major. I’ve learned so many things from EURECA, I’ve learned how to present properly, along with how to research properly.”

Beverly Stiles, chair, professor | “It’s important to have a forum for all the research our students do, it gives us the opportunity to see what our students are doing.”

Jalen Mavero, senior, environmental science | “I came to support my friends who are participating in research. It was absolutely worth coming to. I came to see what friends were doing with their research which has in-turn inspired me to do some possible research of my own.”

Lauren Lingren, special education junior | “I initially came for extra credit, but when I got here I found myself very interested in the topics being discussed. It was worth attending because I didn’t realize the amount of research required behind the event. It was very interesting and eye opening.”

Payden Kell, early education freshman |”As a freshman, I think it is cool to see the senior studies and the potential for what I could be doing in a few years.”

Bailey Smoot, chemistry junior | “I’m presenting later on. I just really appreciate learning, and it’s interesting to see different parts of the college. I got to figure out different things that I didn’t know before. In bio chemistry, I learned about different things in class because I’m not doing the research.”

Tyler Jones, biology senior | “I decided to get into the undergraduate research program because I have a liking to research and [ I have] a natural niche. I felt like it would give me good exposure to lab work before i do my clinical rotations.”

“I have learned a lot. I would recommend this experience to any and everybody, not just science majors. The whole idea of have a hypothesis, testing it and then getting a plausible result, whether it was what you wanted or not, getting to work on a project in its entirety is just a good experience.”

Kenza Muvunyi, mass communications freshman | “I came because my professor was offering extra credit in my class. I found it very insightful, it was cool seeing what other students were researching.”

Addrian Gaut Jr., theater senior | “I came because one of my former professors was presenting and I wanted to see what she had to say. I’m glad I came because I learned a lot.”

Savanah Lewis, biology junior | “I attended EURECA for extra credit in Dr. Rincon’s class. But it’s also something I like to walk through just to see what people worked so hard on. My main takeaway was that I was super impressed with all the time and effort these students put into working on their projects, behind the scenes. Not only are they juggling classes, but also these huge projects.”


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