May 13, 2008

Students honored at Research Poster Forum

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Faculty members acting as judges at Southern Illinois University Carbondale honored 10 students recently during the University's annual undergraduate Research Poster Forum.

The event, held at the SIUC Student Center, featured dozens of posters outlining research by undergraduate students from various departments throughout the campus. The competition is open to all undergraduate students. Contestants worked in conjunction with a faculty mentor.

Faculty members awarded prizes based on the quality of the research and the poster presentation.

This year's winners were:

First place (tie)

Bryan McConomy, a junior in psychology and physiology; and Nicholas Kuypers, a senior in psychology.

McConomy, of Springfield, won for "Traumatic Brain Injury: The Importance of Norepinephrine in Recovery of Function." He is the son of Stephen M. and Louis N. McConomy. His faculty mentor was Douglas C. Smith, professor of psychology.

Kuypers, of Evergreen Park, won for "Investigation into the Effectiveness of Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) Administration on Behavioral and Anatomical Outcome Following Unilateral CCI." He is the son of John L. Kuypers and Karla M. Murphy. His faculty mentor was Michael Hoane, assistant professor of psychology.

Both students received $150 awards.

Second Place

Amanda Rabideau, a senior in physiology, for "Premature Luteinization of Granulosa Cells Due to Constitutive Activation of the Luteinizing Hormone Receptor." Rabideau, of Pittsburg, is the daughter of Tom and Ruth Ann Rabideau. Her faculty mentor was Prima Narayan, assistant professor of physiology. The award included a $125 prize.

Third place (tie)

Jared Burde, a junior in physics; Krishna Pattisapu, a senior in speech communications; and Michael Burns, a junior in zoology. Each student received a $100 prize.

Burde won for "Adsorption Kinetics of Diatomic Molecules on Carbon Nanotube Bundles. Burde, of Carbondale, is the son of John H. and Beverly J. Burde. His faculty mentor was Maria De Las Mercedes Calbi, assistant professor of physics.

Pattisapu won for "Beyond Essentialism: Representations of Interracial Relationships in Paul Haggis' 'Crash.'" Pattisapu, of Mount Vernon, is the son of Jacque Sullivan Pattisapu of Mount Vernon and Rao V. Pattisapu of Carbondale. His faculty mentor was Naida Zukic, assistant professor of speech communications.

Burns won for "Shape Analysis and Systemic Status of the Blenny Darter, Etheostoma blennius, a Percid Fish from the Tennessee River Drainage." Burns, of Roscoe, is the son of Kevin M. and Kathleen A. Burns. His faculty mentor was Brooks M. Burr, professor of zoology.

Honorable mention (tie)

Nicholas Birky, a junior in psychology, and Jamie Douglas, a senior in zoology and animal science, food and nutrition. Each student received a $50 prize.

Birky won for "Modeling PTSD in an Animal Model of TBI." Birky, of Bloomington, is the son of Randal D. and Ellen L. Birky. His faculty mentor was Michael Hoane, assistant professor of psychology.

Douglas won for "Effects of Ergotamine-D Tartrate on Bovine Oocyte Maturation." Douglas is from Cottage Hills. Douglas' parents are Bentley K. and Susan E. Douglas. Douglas' faculty mentor was Karen L. Jones, associate professor of animal science, food and nutrition.

Independent Researcher

Matthew Picchietti, a senior in psychology, for "Effects of Nicotine on EEG and Performance of Male Smokers and Non-Smokers with ADHD Symptoms." Picchietti, of Urbana/Champaign, is the son of Daniel L. and Nanette L. Picchietti. His faculty mentor was David G. Gilbert, professor of psychology. The award included a $50 prize.

People's Choice Award

Katie Butera, a junior in physiology and psychology, for "Cooperation Development in Young Twins." Butera, of Rockton, is the daughter of Kathy Perry of Rockton and Rich Butera of Roscoe. Her faculty mentor was Lisabeth A. DiLalla, professor of behavioral social science. The award included a $50 prize.

Other students who participated in the contest, by hometown, included:


Arlington Heights

• Kaitlin E. Dorn, junior in architectural studies and history, daughter of John M. Dorn of Arlington Heights and Julie M. O'Nan of Palatine.

Beecher City

• Shannon C. Banning, senior in chemistry, daughter of Randy K. and Christy Banning of Beecher City.


• Ashley R. Baker, senior in interior design, daughter of Terry D. Baker of Benton and Robbie L. Baker of Benton.


• Melissa K. House, senior in plant biology, daughter of Barry P. and Linda S. House of Chatham.


• Krystelle Jean-Michel, senior in psychology, daughter of Bernateau and Maryse Jean-Michel of Chicago.

• Naketa Ross, junior in psychology.

Coal Valley

• Darcy R. Ernat, junior in zoology, daughter of Daniel R. and Dana D. Ernat of Coal Valley.


• Christopher M. Leffelman, junior in plant biology, son of Douglas E. Leffelman of Prospect Heights and Mary E. Strutzenberg, of Byron.


• Todd L. Marlo, sophomore in animal science, son of Joseph L. and June R. Marlo of Marion.


•Edward C. Tilton, senior in psychology, son of George E. and Patricia Tilton of McLean.


•Kathleen M. Lask, junior in physics and mathematics, daughter of Richard R. and Patricia B. Lask of Mendon.


•Benjamin J. Vandermyde, senior in forestry resource management and administration of justice, son of David J. and Patricia M. Vandermyde, of Morrison


•Tawny E. Abraham, senior in interior design, daughter of G. Scott and Laura Ghast of Newton.


•Natalie B. Bryant, senior in psychology, daughter of Paul E. Bryant II of Springfield and Julie G. Overright of Normal.

Oak Park

•Joel Smith, senior in psychology and English, son of Dr. Scott P. and Janis Kay Smith of Oak Park.


• Kara A. McConville, junior in rehabilitation services, daughter of Gary D. McConville of Ottawa and Joyce A. McConville of Ottawa.


•Andrew J. Somor, junior in forest hydrology, son of Andrew T. and Kathleen D. Somor.

• Also, see Arlington Heights.


• Jared S. Boulds, junior in chemistry, son of James and Sherry Lynn Boulds of Ridgway.

Spring Bay

• Courtni R. Nanni, senior in psychology, daughter of Randal D. and Tami J. Nanni of Spring Bay.


• Caitlin L. Carr, senior in art history, daughter of Bradley T. and Deborah L. Carr of Springfield.

• Andrew J. Newell, senior in computer science and mathematics, son of Stephen R. and Leah Newell, of Springfield.

• Also, see Normal


• Karen E. Stone, senior in rehabilitation services, daughter of John J. Gorgosz of Sycamore and Laura Wall.

West Frankfort

• Christopher S. Williams, junior in civil engineering, son of T. Scott and Kathy D. Williams, of West Frankfort.


• Amanda C. Sotiroff, senior in psychology, daughter of George C. and Joanne C. Sotiroff.



• Julius A. Frazier, junior in zoology, son of John and Deborah Frazier of Clarksville.