April 11, 2014

Undergraduate students excel as ‘research rookies’

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The opportunity to become engaged in research activities at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is not limited only to juniors and seniors. 

A total of 33 undergraduate students, nearly all freshman and sophomores, received an early exposure to collegiate research opportunities with poster presentations at the annual Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Forum at the Student Center on April 7. 

The Center for Undergraduate and Creative Activities connects undergraduate students with a faculty mentor based on the student’s creative activity or research interests. The program gives students a chance to learn more about expectations for success in their chosen interest, while also developing valuable research and critical thinking skills that are essential to advancing in their respective field of study. 

Three students earned first-place awards for their research at the event.  Kelly Schmidt of Litchfield was first in the biological science category; Olivia O’Donnell of Braidwood was first in the humanities, social science, business education category, and John Barron of Herrin was first in the physical science-engineering category. 

Students who participated in the research forum listed by hometown, major, year in school and project title are: 


Arcola: Rachel Fishel, freshman, physiology. “Obtain information for endometrial (uterine) cancer.”

Belevidere: Lea Matschke, sophomore, biological sciences.  “"The Effect of Bipolaris on the Growth and Reproduction of Microstegium Vimineum.”

Bloomington: Miller Eaton, sophomore, physics.  “Atomic Engineering of Carbon/B/N Nanotubes for Thermoelectric Application.”

Bloomington: Breanne Harrell, freshman, chemistry. “Studies of Photo Physical Processes in Solar Cells.”

Braidwood: Olivia O’Donnell, sophomore, communication disorders and sciences. “Demographics and Referral Information for Families Seeking ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Services.”

Camp Point: Mikaela Jean Cantrell, sophomore, physiology.  “Insulin signaling and Alzheimer's disease.”

Carbondale: Trevor Blackmore, freshman, pre-law. “Insatiable Corporate Appetite: How large corporations devour foreign workers.”

Carbondale: Tariq Collins, sophomore, philosophy.  “Causes of Violence in Chicago, Illinois : A qualitative approach to establishing Etiology through Meta-Analysis.”

Collinsville: Jared Fiske, sophomore, chemistry.  “Artificial Recruitment of Cytotoxic T-Cells through Major Histocompatibility Complexes Immobilized on Liposomes.”

Chicago: John Marchetta, freshman, physics.  “Casimir Levitation.”

Danville: Stephanie Venis, sophomore, mechanical engineering.  “New Biopsy Retrieval Methods.”

Edwardsville: Ashley Bergman, freshman, forestry. “Japanese Chaff Flower and if it has Mycorrhiza in its roots.”

Grayville: Dalton Shultz, freshman, chemistry.  “Past and Future Vectors for Pathogenic Disease Transmission in the United States.”

Hardin: Kailyn Baalman, physiology, freshman. “Histological Effects of Flaxseed on Lipid Metabolism.”

Hillside: Gabriela Brito, microbiology, freshman.  “Changes in liver tissue architecture and cell population profiles during Salmonella infection.”

Herrin: John Barron, freshman, physics. “Synthesis and Electrochemical Characterization of Liquid Phase exfoliated Graphene.”

Lindenhurst:  Gabrielle Fry, sophomore, animal science.  “Behavioral Analysis of Horses on Paper-based Bedding Materials.”

Litchfield: Kelly Schmidt, junior, biological sciences.  “The Role of FOXO1 in Pituitary Development at e16.5.”

Makanda: Aparajita Rajamahanty, freshman, physiology.  “Expression, purification, and crystallization of the human protein Secrenin.”

Marion: Carlie Wilis, freshman, biological sciences.  “The effects of activated luteinizing hormone receptor on the testis.”

Matteson: Bryce Corbett, freshman, zoology.  Effects of Beaver dams on Stream Chemistry and Processes.”

Millstadt: Victoria Braner, freshman, animal science. “The Effect of Grazing Muzzles on the Forage Intake of Horses.”

Normal: Megan Peterson, sophomore, psychology.  “The effect of Stimulus present during sleep on sleep quality and patterns.”

Oak Park: Michael Reynolds, freshman, social work.  “Coping with Mental Illness.”

O’Fallon: Nolan Frisch, sophomore, chemistry.  “The Effect of Heavy Metal Poisoning On Body Mass of Frogs.”

Orland Park: Jaclyn Parks, freshman, microbiology.  “Characterization of Cell Populations Involved in the uptake of Intra-Vaginally Administered Small-Sized Nanoparticles.”

Rockford: Emily Jelinek, freshman, English.  “The Study and Analysis of Contemporary Film in Society.”

Roscoe: Heather Huffman, sophomore, physiology.  “Rhox8 expression in mouse brain.”

Savoy: Shelby Orr, freshman, architectural studies.  “Invisible Footprints.”

Vergennes: Jared Linze, sophomore, civil engineering.  “Correlating Natural Organic Matter and Total Organic Carbon Measurement for Water Treatment Disinfection Byproducts.” 


Indianapolis: Kara Beer, freshman, zoology. “Southern Illinois Bobcat Diet Analysis.”

Plainfield: Kori Kirkpatrick, freshman, zoology.  “Assessing invertebrate community diversity in fire-managed versus unmanaged grasslands in Southern Illinois.” 


Knoxville: Seth Bennett, psychology, freshman. “The effects of combination of progesterone and nicotinimide on the functional recovery frontal traumatic brain injury.”