Student Research Symposium features 18 students

UNK Communications

KEARNEY – From the physical benefits of Zumba to the exploration of sculptural glass forms, 18 University of Nebraska at Kearney students will present their findings Sunday (Oct. 27) at the Fall Student Research Symposium.

The symposium, free and open to the public, provides an opportunity to showcase research and creative work accomplished outside of the classroom.

“Academically, students retain more from their classes when they do research, and they do better in subsequent classes,” said John Falconer, director of the Honors Program. “They develop stronger critical thinking, planning and communications skills.”


Presentations will take place beginning at 1 p.m. in the Nebraskan Student Union Ponderosa Rooms.

Over 30 percent of UNK students engage in original, mentored scholarly activity. Many of them have their work published in peer—reviewed journals and present at academic conferences.

Students can earn funding for their research through UNK’s Undergraduate Research Fellows Program and the Summer Student Research Program. The Undergraduate Research Council also awards grants for scholarly projects by students.

Each student is responsible for the design, conduct and dissemination of the project. Students work closely with faculty mentors to complete their research.

“Most importantly, students get benefits from the one—on—one interaction,” Falconer said. “They learn about being a professional in their field.

“They’re able to substantiate a claim and prove that they’re self—sufficient, independent workers. They have gains in self—confidence.”

At Sunday’s event, students will present research and projects on art, biology, chemistry, criminal justice, computer science, social work, history, political science, modern languages, English and music.

Presentations and projects include Media Perception of School Shooters: A Content Analysis, Kinect™ Zumba Fitness Compared to Zumba Fitness with a Human Instructor for Physical Activity, and ASCEND: A New Musical Based on the Music of Evanescence.

“This is a great way for all those students who are thinking about doing research to go see what it is we’re talking about,” Falconer said.

Students who will present their work through oral presentations and poster displays are listed below, according to their scheduled presentation time:

Ponderosa Room 238C
1 p.m. — Mary Stuart, Kearney, An Analysis of Foreign Language Instructional Practices in Costa Rica. Mentor: Dr. Chris Jochum
1:15 p.m. — Tyler Laudenklos, Kearney, Expression of the ORF 2 polymerase gene in Nora Virus. Mentor: Dr. Kim Carlson
1:30 p.m. — Parth Chaudhari, Brampton, Ontario, Microbial Diversity in High Alkaline—Saline Lakes Present in Sheridan County and Garden County. Mentor: Dr. Julie Shaffer, Biology
1:45 p.m. – Sarah Krause, McCook, Erythropoietin Levels in Rats Exposed to Smoke and Exercise. Mentor: Dr. Janet Steele, Biology.
2 p.m. – Jayne McGovern, Grand Island, Testing Thermal Stability of Engineered Ascorbate Peroxidase . Mentor: Dr. Frank Kovacs, Chemistry.
2:15 p.m. — Aspen Clements, Kearney, Photodimerization of Alkenes Mediated by Cyclodextrin. Mentor: Dr. Mahesh Pattabiraman, Chemistry.
2:30 p.m. — Rick Poppe, North Platte, The Effects of Reactive Nitrogren Species on the Non—Oxidative Branch Pentose Phosphate Pathway of Salmonella. Mentor: Dr. Travis Bourret, Biology.
2:45 p.m. — Zach Porter, Kearney, Preparation and isolation of the Protein SlyD From the Bacterium Escherechia coli. Mentor: Dr. Amanda Glass, Chemistry.
3 p.m. — Spencer Knight, North Platte, Case Base Size and Overall Competence. Mentor: Dr. John Hastings, Computer Science & Information Systems.

Ponderosa Room 238D
1 p.m. — Christine Herrick, Guide Rock, Media Perception of School Shooters: A Content Analysis. Mentor: Dr. Julie Campbell, Criminal Justice.
1:15 p.m. — Claire Marie Tolstedt, Alliance, The Effects of Mitigating Factors on the Relationship between Socioeconomic Status and Children’s Academic Success. Mentor: Dr. Jody Van Laningham, Social Work.
1:30 p.m. — Bridgette Schneekloth, Schuyler, Kinect™ Zumba Fitness Compared to Zumba Fitness with a Human Instructor for Physical Activity. Mentor: Dr. Greg Brown, HPERLS.
1:45 p.m. — Christopher Schwaderer, Kearney, Assessment of Emergency Readiness and Delivery of Athletic Healthcare at Nebraska High Schools. Mentor: Dr. Scott Unruh, HPERLS.
2 p.m. — Jessica Madron, Merna, Pride and Prejudice Adaptations Contrast Fine Lines between Byronic Hero and the Contemptible. Mentor: Dr. Michelle Beissel Heath, English .
2:15 p.m. — Kenny Galusha, Kearney, Vitreous Solutions: An Exploration in Sculptural Glass Forms. Mentor: Dr. Chad Fonfara, Art.
2:30 p.m. — Codie Milford, Burlington, Colo., ASCEND: A New Musical Based on the Music of Evanescence. Mentor: Dr. Anne Foradori, Music.
2:45 p.m. — Megan Veburg, Shelby, Carrying On: Wartime Experiences of One Nebraska Family. Mentor: Dr. Vernon Volpe, History.


Source: John Falconer, 308.865.8702,
Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529,

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