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SIU undergraduate student researchers to present their work Friday

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Provided by Tim Crosby
/
SIU News
Students from John A. Logan College and Shawnee Community College participated in the SI Bridges to the Baccalaureate program this summer at SIU. First row, from left, Dale Sunny, Caleb Gentry, Ashlishya Ghosh, and Hannah Phillips. Back row, from left David Altom, Cole Dumas, Ian Crunk, and Braeden Irby.

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Students from two related Southern Illinois University Carbondale programs that teach students how to conduct research will present their findings during a research poster symposium this week.

The 20th annual Summer Research Symposium is set for 10-11:30 a.m. Friday at Morris Library’s first-floor rotunda. The symposium will include work from nine students participating in the McNair Scholars program and 11 students in the SI Bridges to the Baccalaureate program.

Both programs host an 8-10 week Summer Research Institute, which introduces students to research, problem-solving, and professional development.  Students pair with SIU faculty members on their respective research projects.

Named for the late Ronald E. McNair, a physicist and astronaut who died in the 1986 space shuttle Challenger explosion, the SIU Carbondale McNair Scholars Program helps students realize their full potential by providing enriching educational experiences for low-income, first-generation college students and members of underserved groups in higher education.

Beginning with a strong mentoring network, the students receive full support and engagement in educational and professional development activities, laying the foundation for stellar research and academic skills.

Students from two Southern Illinois community colleges participated in the SI Bridges to the Baccalaureate program, which is aimed at helping them earn a bachelor’s degree. This year’s program began on June 12 and involved students from John A. Logan College and Shawnee Community College.

Each scholar designed their summer research study, completed an original research project, conducted a literature review, and analyzed data.

This year’s SI Bridges to the Baccalaureate program students, their hometown, college, faculty mentor, and project include:

  • David Altom, of Carbondale, attends John A. Logan College and plans to transfer to SIU in fall 2024. His faculty mentor is Lisabeth DiLalla, professor of behavioral social science in the SIU School of Medicine. Their research project is titled “A comparison of emotion recognition skills between parents and children.”
  • Parmis Bizhanzadeh, of Carbondale, attends John A. Logan College and plans to transfer to SIU this fall. Her faculty member is Laxmi Sagwan-Barkdoll, assistant professor of practice in the School of Biological Science. Their research project is titled “The impact of mesophication on the epiphytic bryophyte communities of Southern Illinois.”
  • Theirra Christopher, of Cartervile, attends John A. Logan College and plans to transfer to SIU this fall. Her faculty mentor is Renee Lopez-Swalls, researcher in the School of Biological Science. Their research project is titled “Do silver nanoparticles affect callose deposition in rhizoid cell walls of Ceratopertis richardii.”
  • Ian Crunk, of Anna, attends Shawnee Community College and plans to transfer to SIU in fall 2024. His faculty mentor is Justin McDaniel, associate professor in the School of Human Sciences. Their research project is titled “Using Behavioral Economics to Understand Sensitivity to Moral Injury in Military Recruits.”
  • Cole Dumas, of Herrin, attends John A. Logan College and plans to transfer to SIU in fall 2024. His faculty mentor is Iraklis Anagnostopoulos, associate professor in the School of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering. Their research project is titled “Understanding the impact of machine learning tasks on modern mobile devices and improving their power consumption.”
  • Ashlishya Ghosh, of Carbondale, attends John A. Logan College and plans to transfer to SIU this fall. Her faculty mentor is Renee Lopez-Swalls, researcher in the School of Biological Science. Their research project is titled “The effects of silver nanoparticles on spore germination, growth and development of Ceratopteris richardii.”
  • Braeden Irby, of Herrin, attended John A. Logan College, transferred to SIU this summer and is a junior in physiology His faculty mentor is Judy Davie, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the SIU School of Medicine. Their research project is titled “Understanding new tumor suppressors in cancer.”
  • Caleb Gentry, of Olmstead, attended Shawnee Community College, transferred to SIU last fall and is a senior in zoology. His faculty mentor is Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau, assistant professor in the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory. Their research project is titled “Bed-site selection by white-tailed deer fawns near Touch of Nature.”
  • Hannah Phillips, of Carbondale, attends John A. Logan College and plans to transfer to SIU this fall. Her faculty mentor is Scott Hamilton-Brehm, associate professor in the School of Biological Science. Their research project is titled “Developing a highly selective molecular tool for Microcystis aeruginosa to inhibit the production of microcystin from harmful algal blooms.”
  • Taryn Sauerbrunn, of Marion, attended John A. Logan College, transferred to SIU last fall and is a senior in human nutrition and dietetics. Her faculty mentor is Matthew Young, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the SIU School of Medicine. Their research project is titled “Can mitochondrial DNA mutations be used as a biomarker for endometrial cancer?” Dale Sunny, of Carbondale, attends John A. Logan College and plans to transfer to SIU in fall 2024. Her faculty mentor is Buffy Ellsworth, associate professor of physiology in the SIU School of Medicine. Their research project is titled “Expression of Hsp90ab1 during pituitary gland development.” 

This year’s McNair Scholars program students, their year in school, major, faculty mentor and project include:

  • Natalie Becker, a senior in zoology. Her faculty mentor is Frank Anderson, director of the School of Biological Science. Their research project is titled “Abundance and Diversity of Terrestrial Gastropods in Nature Preserves of Southern Illinois.”Itzel Campos, a senior in English. Her faculty mentor is George Boulukos, professor in the School of Literature, Writing, and Digital Humanities. Their research project is titled “I Have As Much Soul As You – And Full as Much Heart: Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, and the Role of Women in Nineteenth-Century Society.”
  • Katherine Elliott, a senior in chemistry. Her faculty mentor is Mary Kinsel, associate scientist in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. Their research project is titled “Delta 8-THC Consumer Products.”
  • Isaiah Francis, a senior in biomedical engineering. His faculty mentor is Chilman Bae, assistant professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Biomedical Engineering. Their research project is titled “Effect of a Novel Piezol Mechanosensitive Channel Inhibitor: Calcium Imaging.”
  • Lauren George, a senior in zoology. Her faculty mentor is Karolina Kwasek, associate professor in the School of Biological Science. Their research project is titled “Environmental Plasticity of Larval Zebrafish.”
  • Sarah Lukavsky, a senior in zoology. Her faculty mentor is Jenn Weber, assistant professor in the School of Biological Science. Their research project is titled “Over a century of data reveals climate-driven earlier flowering in a native annual.”
  • Jonathan Montoya, a senior in nursing. His faculty mentor is Kelli Whittington, assistant professor in the School of Health Sciences. Their research project is titled “Navigating the Path to Student Retention at Southern Illinois University: Exploring the Impact of Mentorship, Preceptors, and Clinical Readiness​.”
  • Briana Ugalde-Galvan, a senior in nursing. Her faculty mentor is Erica Blumenstock, assistant professor in the School of Health Sciences. Their research project is titled “Understanding Barriers to Student Enrollment in Nursing Programs: Assessing Cultural Responsiveness and the Role of Holistic Admissions.”
  • Jessica White, a senior in exercise science. Her faculty mentor is Phil Anton, associate professor in the School of Human Sciences. Their research project is titled “Student Athletes Perspective on Their Mental Health.”
Tim Crosby — engineering, science and agriculture.

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