April 17, 2014

Undergraduate researchers excel at forum

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill., -- Several Southern Illinois University Carbondale students brought home awards based on the work they presented at the university’s recent Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Forum. 

The event, held April 7, featured a poster session highlighting original research and creative activities by undergraduate students.  The posters explained the project methodology and, when appropriate, the research findings or conclusions. 

Students competed for other awards including: the Saluki Research Rookies’ poster awards, the Saluki App competition awards and the SIU Carbondale Literary & Art Awards and the People’s Choice Award. 

The event began in 2002 and is part of the Research-Enriched Academic Challenge (REACH) program.  The program emphasizes the importance of engaging undergraduate students in research and creative projects as a way to personalize their education, to enhance their experience and to build relationships with the faculty members who mentor their progress. 

The SIU Carbondale Office of Provost and Vice Chancellor, the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities and the Sustainability Council sponsor the event. 

Here are the award winners by category, with year in school, major, hometown and title of their work: 


  • First place -- James Throgmorton, senior, cinema and photography, Carbondale, “How could photography, classic (wet) & digital (dry), affect scientific illustration: Taking below ground root behaviors as example.”
  • Runner up -- Arthur Scoleri, junior, music, Calumet City, “Playing with signs: Utilizing Semiotics in Musical Interpretation.” 

Biological Science

  • First place -- Dylan Gibson, freshman, science, Carbondale, “Avoidance behavior of Hyalella azteca in the presence of pyrethroid insecticides.”
  • Runner-up -- Bria Ozment, senior, zoology, Ava, “Testing the Effects of Diabetes on Cognitive Impairment in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease.” 

Humanities/Social Science/Business/Education

  • First place (tie) -- Rachel Swiatek, senior, psychology, Belvidere, “Assessing Executive Function Deficits in Children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder,” Erga Lemish, senior, psychology, Carbondale, for “What do you want to be when you grow up? Work, meaning, and well-being.”
  • Runner-up -- Keith McConomy, senior, psychology, Springfield, “Daidzein’s Effect in Recovery of Function after Traumatic Brain Injury.” 

Physical Science/Engineering

  • First place -- Kim Jarosz, senior, civil engineering, Des Plaines, “Producing microbial lipids using hydrolysates of corn fiber and sweet sorghum bagasse through yeast fermentation.”
  • Runner-up: Julianna Richie, junior, physics, Godfrey, “Synthesis and Electrochemical Characterization of Liquid-Phase Exfoliated Graphene Flakes.” 

People’s Choice Award

  • Jasmine Jackson, junior, psychology, Glendale Heights, “What Goes in this House, Stays in this House: African-American College Students’ Views on Counseling and Counseling Preferences.”