Students earn awards for independent research, creative projects

Faculty Mentor Awards given to five

UNK Communications

KEARNEY – University of Nebraska at Kearney students earned awards for independent research and creative projects at Student Research Day.

About 130 students from all disciplines presented their scholarly and creative projects during Student Research Day on April 10. Nearly 80 students presented posters featuring their projects. Others gave oral presentations, musical performances or presented art exhibitions.

Faculty were also honored with Faculty Mentor Awards. Winners were: Michelle Fleig-Palmer, assistant professor of management; Kate Heelan, professor of kinesiology and sport sciences; Sharon Campbell, associate professor of music and performing arts; Timothy Reece, assistant professor of physics and physical science; and Casey Schoenebeck, associate professor of biology.

Student Research Day highlights UNK’s award-winning program in undergraduate research and creative activity, which brings students into faculty laboratories, studios, fields and clinics. Students work independently alongside scholars and are mentored by faculty to explore and build on their knowledge – managing projects, solving problems and communicating ideas.

Student Research Day Student Winners

Natural and Physical Sciences Posters
1st Place – Derek Kleier (Trumbull), Primary Presenter; Jordanna Glock (Rising City), co-presenter. “Intron Degeneration in the Lichen Fungi Teloschistes.”
2nd Place – Tara Bjorklund (Wakefield). “Characterizing the Metal Binding and Stability of Peptide 1 from the Metal-binding Domain of Metallochaperone SlyD.”
3rd Place – Aspen Clements (Gering). “Gamma Cyclodextrin Mediated Cross Photocyclication of Substituted Alkenes.”

Behavioral and Social Sciences Posters
1st Place – Chelsea Atkins (Pierce). “I didn’t do it: Alibi Prototypes for a Love-Triangle Murder Scenario.”
2nd Place – Zach Davidson (Wymore). “College Student Debt by Region in the United States.”
3rd Place – Renming Liu (Tianjin, China). “Different Perception of Facial Attractiveness between American and Chinese.”

Fine Arts & Humanities Posters
1st Place – Hanna Jorgensen (Waterloo). “Restoring the Native America Spirit.”
2nd Place – Nolline Omollo (Kisumu, Kenya). “The Relationship Between Media Exposure and Eating Disorders—Anorexia and Bulimia.”

Professional & Applied Studies Posters
1st Place – Shelby Zimmerman (Beatrice), Primary Presenter; Danielle Perry (Kimball), co-presenter. “The Impact of Nutrition Point of Decision Prompts in a College Cafeteria.”
2nd Place – Tricia Young (Mullen), Primary Presenter; Ashley Pearson (Bennington), co-presenter. “Effects of Changes in Resting Metabolic Rate and Diet Due to Stress throughout a Semester of College.”
3rd Place – Bridgette Schneekloth (Columbus). “Kinect™ Zumba Fitness compared to Zumba Fitness with a Human Instructor for Physical Activity.”

Graduate Research Posters
1st Place – Mitchell Sasek (Wilber); Brooke Wolfe (Daykin), co-presenter. “ The Impact of Team Nutrition Curriculum on Third Grade Students in Emerson Elementary School.”
2nd Place – Adrienne Conley (Oconto Falls, Wis.). “Trap and Relocate for Burying Beetles (Coleoptera: Silphidae: Nicrophorusspp.) and its Implications for Conservation of the American Burying Beetle (Nicrophorus Americanus).”
3rd Place – Kate Hannon (York). “Changes in Obesity Prevalence among Kindergarten Students.”

Undergraduate Oral Presentation
1st Place – Breanna Carman (Imperial); Co-Presenters: Stacey Johnson (Inland) and Brandi Hill (Bennet). “The Effects of Law and Order on Perceptions of Police Interrogations.”
Graduate Oral Presentation
1st Place – Brittany Musil (Kearney). “Righteous Reprobation.”


Source: John Falconer, 308-865-8702,
Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529,

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