KU News: 54 KU students receive Undergraduate Research Awards for spring 2023

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Editors: Includes students from Cherokee, Douglas, Jefferson, Johnson, Lyon, McPherson, Miami, Sedgwick, Shawnee and Wyandotte counties.

Contact: Matt Downen, Center for Undergraduate Research, [email protected], @ugresearchKU
Fifty-four KU students receive Undergraduate Research Awards for spring 2023

LAWRENCE — This spring, 54 University of Kansas students will receive an Undergraduate Research Award (UGRA) from the Center for Undergraduate Research. 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.

“We received a record number of applicants for this round of UGRAs,” said Matt Downen, assistant director of the Center for Undergraduate Research. “Students in disciplines all across KU are working on amazing research and creative projects.”

Next spring, the competition for 2023 Summer and Fall 2023 semester UGRAs will open. Online guidance and individual advising appointments are available to help students prepare strong applications. More information can be found online.

Kansas students receiving awards for the spring of 2023 are listed below by county, then city. A complete list of students is available online. https://news.ku.edu/2022/12/16/fifty-four-ku-students-receive-undergraduate-research-awards-spring-2023

Cherokee County
1. Morgan Cassidy, senior, Columbus, “Early Universe Dynamics in the Laboratory and Beyond,” Ian Lewis, physics & astronomy

Douglas County
2. Sivani Badrivenkata, junior, Lawrence, “Biologics vs. E. coli: Testing Lactoferrin’s Viability as a Preventative Therapeutic for Neonatal Sepsis in Pregnant Patients,” Michael Hageman, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
3. Margaret Bears, senior, Lawrence, “Arctium; conversations,” Megan Kaminski, English
4. Keela Bryant, senior, Lawrence, “Using Text Analysis to Determine the Text Socialness and Text Easibility of Reading Comprehension Assessments,” Meghan Davidson, speech-language-hearing
5. Irene Caracioni, senior, Lawrence, “The Influence of Party Size on Food Waste,” Dietrich Earnhart, economics
6. Daniel Davidson, junior, Lawrence, “Gendered Toxin Anxieties in Far-Right Ecological Accelerationism,” Christopher Forth, Department of History
7. Henry Haw, senior, Lawrence, “Determinants of Decoupling and Friend-Shoring of Japanese Multinationals in China (2018-2022),” Jack Zhang, political science
8. Madelynn Hilgenbrink, senior, Lawrence, “Theory Based Approach for Chiral Metamaterial Discovery for Infrastructure Application,” Anil Misra, civil & architectural engineering
9. Tyler Liggett, senior, Lawrence, “Pivoting Towards China: Assessing Indonesia’s Naval Modernization,” Brian Lagotte, global & international studies
10. Curtis Nelson, senior, Lawrence, “Forensic Study on Damage to Laboratory Model Truss Bridge,” Jian Li, Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering
11. Cecilia Paranjothi, sophomore, Lawrence, “Development of Tributyl Phosphate as a Quantitative Probe of Lewis Acidity,” James Blakemore, chemistry
12. Marchella Putri Djojopurno, junior, Lawrence, “The Intracellular Processing of the Host- derived High Mannose Glycan by Enterococcus faecalis to Satisfy Its Energy Demands,” Lynn Hancock, Department of Molecular Biosciences
13. Samantha Richter, senior, Lawrence, “The Effects of Blood Flow Restrictive Exercise on Metabolic Gene Expression,” Philip Gallagher, Department of Health, Sport & Exercise Sciences
14. Junyi Zhao, senior, Lawrence, “RelayAttack: Fooling Image-to-Text and Speech-to-Text Translation Systems,” Bo Luo, electrical engineering & computer science
15. Taylor Winters, senior, Lawrence, “Diagenesis,” Yoonmi Nam, fine art
16. Megan Hamersky, senior, Lecompton, “The Recovery from Fires in the Amazon Rainforest,” Nathaniel Brunsell, Department of Geography & Atmospheric Science

Jefferson County
1. Richard Moser, junior, Perry, “Computer Modelling of Novel Radar Based Neutrino Detection and Tracking,” Dave Besson, physics & astronomy

Johnson County
2. Rylie Mcdaniel, senior, De Soto, “Exploring Exercise Challenges and Response Strategies Among Adults Aging with Long-Term Vision Disabilities,” Lyndsie Koon, Research and Training Center on Independent Living
3. Alysia Martinez, junior, Lenexa, “Network Science as an Approach for Studying the Phonology of Kaqchikel Maya,” Michael Vitevitch, psychology
4. Amy Qiang, senior, Lenexa, “The Impact of Western Fast Food in China,” Brian Lagotte, global & international studies
5. Axel Breier, junior, Mission Hills, “Effect of Urbanization on Indigenous Cultural Expression,” Bart Dean, anthropology
6. Noel Barbour, junior, Olathe, “Mom-2 Transgenesis in Caenorhabditis Elegans,” Erik Lundquist, molecular biosciences
7. Jenna Barnes, sophomore, Olathe, “Impact of PTPN22 Alternative Allele on Dendritic Cell Type-I Interferon Production,” Robin Orozco, molecular biosciences
8. Avery Mohn, senior, Olathe, “Microplastics in Stormwater: Quantifying Abundance and Characterizing Sources in Johnson County Streams,” Admin Husic, civil engineering
9. Kaitlyn Savoy, junior, Olathe, “Understanding Environmental Drivers of Extremophile Microbes for Use in Space,” Benjamin Sikes, ecology & evolutionary biology
10. Zakariya Ahmed, junior, Overland Park, “Chinese Investments into Africa’s Energy Infrastructure,” Jack Zhang, political science
11. Grace Dickerson, senior, Overland Park, “Aggressive,” Lilly McElroy, photography
12. Ryan Lang, senior, Overland Park, “The Importance of Understanding the Full Mechanism of Action of a Drug: The Impact of KU-596 on Neuromuscular Junction Health in the Mouse Model of Human CMT1X,” Rick Dobrowsky, pharmacology & toxicology
13. Sindhuja Manda, senior, Overland Park, “Investigating Perceptions of Traditional Marriage and Modern Acculturation,” social psychology
14. Anjani Vilandai, junior, Overland Park, “Retrospective Docking of Recently Discovered Gamma-Secretase Modulators for Alzheimer’s Disease,” Yinglong Miao, molecular biosciences

Lyon County
1. Connor Hauff, junior, Emporia, “Peptide Substrate Optimization for SARS-CoV-2 Mpro Inhibition,” Teruna Siahaan, pharmaceutical chemistry

McPherson County
2. William Powers, junior, McPherson, “BackTrader V2,” Hossein Saiedian, electrical engineering & computer science

Miami County
3. Claire Cox, senior, Paola, “Decolonizing the Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum,” Kent Blansett, history and Indigenous studies

Sedgwick County
4. Braedyn Mcbroom, senior, Park City, “Comparing Nighttime Cooling rates for Different Land Use Cover Types in Dallas, Texas,” David Rahn, Department of Geography & Atmospheric Science
5. Sophia Peterson, senior, Wichita, “Assessing the Degree of Agreement Between Self-Report Measures of Sleep and Actigraphy-Derived Sleep Data in Alzheimer’s Disease,” Amber Watts, psychology

Shawnee County
1. Haley Kucera, senior, Topeka, “Does Episodic Future Thinking Shift Preference Towards Monetary or Delayed Options in Cross Commodity Delay Discounting Tasks,” Richard Yi, psychology
2. Brad Mathewson, senior, Topeka, “Challenging the Wicked Witch of Unsafe Sex: Reviving the HIV Conversation with the Wizard of AIDS,” Jane Barnette, theatre
3. Alexander Sage, senior, Topeka, “The Development and Validation of an Assay to Detect the Concentration of IL-37 Produced from Cells in Response to the Introduction of Various Food Extracts,” Jack Treml, biotechnology

Wyandotte County
1. Jordan Tanner, junior, Kansas City, “Vote Center Adoption in the United States,” Ben Merriman, public affairs & administration.



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Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director of news and media relations, [email protected]

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