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12 KU students receive Undergraduate Research Awards for summer

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

LAWRENCE — This summer, 12 University of Kansas students will receive Undergraduate Research Awards (UGRAs). UGRA recipients are awarded a $1,000 scholarship as they work on mentored research and creative projects.

“I am continually impressed by the quality of research and creative projects proposed by undergraduate students at KU,” said Alison Olcott, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research and associate professor of geology.  “These students have worked closely with their mentors to devise projects that stand to make important contributions to their areas of study.”

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.

The Center for Undergraduate Research will begin taking applications for the spring 2022 UGRA competition during the fall semester.  More information can be found on the center's website.

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

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

Angela Davis, a junior from Olpe: “Language, Gender, and Sexuality with Respect To Elliot Page And Responses to Him Coming Out,” mentored by Renee Perelmutter, associate professor of Jewish studies.

Claire Dopp, a sophomore from Olathe: “Modeling Lewis Acid Effects on Metal Oxo Ions with Heterobimetallic Vanadyl Complexes,” mentored by James Blakemore, associate professor of chemistry.

Mac Hayes, a junior from Council Grove: “The Programmable Network Switch in a Disaggregated Memory Architecture,” mentored by Mohammad Alian, assistant professor of electrical engineering & computer science.

Olivia Jones, a junior from Kansas City, Kansas: “The Impact Cross-Cultural Code-Switching and Adaptability Have on the Self-Concept of Black Americans,” mentored by Ludwin Molina, associate professor of psychology.

Miles Luce, a sophomore from Kansas City, Missouri: “Druze Women and Gender in Druze Society: A Systematic Literature Review,” mentored by Rami Zeedan, assistant professor of Jewish studies.

Olivia Michka, a senior from Kansas City, Missouri: “Live Concert Painting - Blurring the Line Between Music and Art,” mentored by Michael McCaffrey, visiting assistant professor of visual art.

Jessica Pfannenstiel, a senior from Lawrence: “Improving Methods for Coronaviruses Infection Based Drug Screening,” mentored by Anthony Fehr, assistant professor of molecular biosciences.

Nicola Santangelo, a junior from Lawrence: “Analyzing the Spoken Language Abilities of Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing,” mentored by Jena McDaniel, postdoctoral researcher, Life Span Institute.

Carsten Tabak, a sophomore from Lawrence: “Regression Analysis of a Stock's Impact on its Options,” mentored by Nestor Rodriguez, assistant teaching professor of business.

Kade Townsend, a junior from Topeka: “Evolution of Antibiotic Resistance in the Pathogenic Bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa,” mentored by Josephine Chandler, associate professor of molecular biosciences.

Aditya Vargheese, a senior from Overland Park: “Role of REST in Breast Cancer,” mentored by Roy Jensen, director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center.