May 12, 2005

Six undergraduates win research prizes

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale undergraduates Eric E. Johnson of Cincinnati, Ohio, Christopher S. Krantz of Arlington Heights, DeAnna L. Harley of Carbondale, Michael A. Lencioni of Antioch, Rachel V. Murray of Castle Rock, Colo., and Maja V. Wright-Phillips of Corvallis, Ore., shared $525 in prizes awarded April 4 for original research completed this academic year under the guidance of faculty mentors.

SIUC honored the six and 40 other undergraduates who displayed their work in poster form at the University's Undergraduate Research Forum. An annual tradition since 2002, the forum exemplifies SIUC's commitment to promoting excellence in undergraduate academics as part of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, an ambitious plan to reshape the University by its 150th anniversary in 2019.

Johnson, a senior in plant biology, took first place and $150 for his project, "A Microscopic Investigation of Spore Wall Development in the Liverwort Sphaerocarpos texanus: Evolutionary Implications of Permanent Spore Tetrads in Bryophytes." Research Professor Karen S. Renzaglia served as his mentor. He is the son of Cincinnati resident Lora S. Peterson of (3196 Lookout Circle) and Ronald E. Johnson of Parkin, Ark. (5860 Highway 64).

Krantz, a senior in physiology, won second place and $125 for his project, "The Effects of American Ginseng Root on Human Prostate Cancer Cell Proliferation." Associate Professor Laura

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L. Murphy served as his mentor. He is the son of Arlington Heights residents Robert C. and Barbara A. Mueller (2004 N. Kennicott).

Harley, a senior in physics, came in third with $100 for her project, "Element-Specific Magnetic Properties of Co2MnSi Thin Films." Assistant Professor Shane Stadler served as her mentor. She is the daughter of Carbondale residents Jason and Lee Ladd-Harley (503 S. Oakland).

Lencioni, a senior in secondary education, received the $50 People's Choice Award for his project, "Prey Selection by Chaoborus in the Field and Laboratory." Assistant Professor Frank M. Wilhelm served as his mentor. He is the son of Antioch residents Leonard M. and Pamela A. Lencioni (576 Plum Tree Lane).

Honorable mentions worth $50 each went to Murray and Wright-Phillips.

Murray, a senior in plant biology and philosophy, worked on "Diversity of Strand Cells and the Implications for Phylogeny of Liverworts" with Professor Barbara Crandall-Stotler as faculty mentor. Her parents are James R. Murray of Conifer, Colo., and Carole R. Murray-Gates of Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Wright-Phillips, a senior in psychology, worked on "Anxiety, Solitary Play and Peer Relationships: A Longitudinal Study" with Associate Professor Lisabeth A. DiLalla as faculty mentor. She is the daughter of Corvallis resident Mary L. Wright (180 N.E. Azalea Drive).