As COVID-19 rapidly evolved to pandemic status during Spring 2020, undergraduate education in the United States was altered in unforeseen ways. We conducted a survey of undergraduate researchers during July 2020 to develop an evidence-based understanding of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on undergraduate students’ research experiences. We partnered with undergraduate research program directors at 18 universities to recruit undergraduate researchers to take our survey.
While the Utah Territory’s geographic location and conservative Mormon influence made it an unlikely candidate for women’s suffrage, it was the second Territory in the United States to grant women the right to vote in 1870. The focus of this project was to assess, through archival research, the Utah Women’s Suffrage Movement. By conducting discourse analysis, I identified major themes, the role of media, and the participation of Utah Mormon women as they acquired the right to vote.
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With orientation moving to a virtual format in response to COVID-19, first-year students had a very different orientation experience in comparison to students in previous summers. With this move to online, we examined if it was still possible to create a sense of belonging on a virtual platform. Undergraduate researchers recorded students’ level of interaction through Zoom sessions. From this, we were able to determine that a camera being on greatly impacts a student’s level of participation.
The spread of COVID-19 is influenced by social factors, environmental factors, community intervention, and the trajectory of human behavior. This project aims to develop a computational model that addresses all these considerations so that mitigation strategies for COVID-19 can be quickly and sufficiently simulated.
This study compared archived birth outcome data collected before the onset of Covid to a smaller sample of births during the pandemic. For the births during the pandemic, we expect to find lower apgar scores, lower birth weights, lower birth lengths, lower ponderal indexes, and lower head circumferences. We found that birth outcomes collected for births during the pandemic are no different than birth outcomes before the pandemic.
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MutY is a DNA repair enzyme that prevents cancer. The Lost City represents the beginning of life; thus by studying MutY from the Lost City the evolutionary history of this crucial enzyme can be analyzed. The goal of this project was to re-analyze the LC MutY metagenome collected by Dr. Brazelton in 2018 through a structural approach by predicting structures of amino acid sequences and virtually docking nucleotides.
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We are examining the impact of COVID-19 requirements that undergraduate research be conducted remotely on undergraduate researchers through UROP, with a focus on the impact of the digital divide on under-served students. While the COVID-19 pandemic has (reasonably) required that we shift this work online, this shift likely has disparate impact on already under-served groups in research due to limited technological resources, location, and additional stressors associated with students’ lives
Our team focused on the transition to online learning due to COVID-19. Our goal was to learn what went wrong, why, and how we could improve teaching in the future. We used a combination of student and faculty surveys, interviews with faculty, and course feedback from the U of U. We found that COVID-19 did not create problems, but rather amplified existing issues. This presentation focuses on one theme of our preliminary research, communication, including our recommendations to faculty.
Nanofibers are a promising filter material that have the potential to capture large numbers of water droplets suspended in air. This stage of the project aims to determine the effectiveness of nanofibers in capturing droplets using images captured from a microscope. My task this semester has been to develop image processing software capable of counting the droplets in a video of nanofibers capturing water vapor.
My research focuses on learning LAMMPS, Notepad++, and Ovito to simulate particles flowing through a nanogap. I was successful in getting a basic simulation of particles with random motions to flow through a 5 n, gap and track how far into the nanogap the particles were. Furthermore, I was able to track how many were within the nanogap at any given time. However, the simulations are still lacking in crucial detail to prove useful. I will need to better simulate molecules, viruses, and linkers.
The goal of this project is to analyze public response to pandemic communication over time. Weekly studies of participants are measuring demographics, media use, unintended effects of communication (information overload, message fatigue, perceived exaggeration, and perceived repetition), and intentions to engage in COVID-19 prevention.
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As part of the sFLASH collaboration, I found the constant of proportionality known as Fluorescence Yield linking the amount of fluorescence light produced by high energy cosmic rays in the atmosphere to the primary particle energy of the cosmic rays. I used a FLUKA simulation and past experimental data to reach my result.
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An abundant amount of information regarding COVID-19 is being released every day. Related information has become increasingly accessible by traditional methods and social media, but most of it is in English. This study is designed to survey the Spanish speaking community to determine if they are receiving sufficient information to address their needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Carotenoids are found in the pigments of brightly colored fruits and vegetables and possess antioxidant properties. There is immense interest in understanding the benefits of the antioxidant properties to alleviate chronic diseases, such as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). With the overarching goal to discover the structure of GSTP1 bound to zeaxanthin, virtual molecular docking is utilized to explore binding specificity of GSTP1 and StARD3.
My project focuses on attempting to make a measurement of atmospheric transparency using starlight data from the Telescope Array project. I create extinction curves of starlight over time, and I study these plots by fitting them to different exponential models. I make exponential fits based on Rayleigh and aerosol scattering models.
Our research is focused on metamaterials. We use their wave manipulating abilities to create a new material that will soundproof helicopters. We spent time designing unique cell structures for the material. After, we tested these designs with a finite element analysis program named Abaqus. We used compression to understand how these structures deform as well as how they interact with the cells surrounding them. These findings are important for our next steps toward sound damping behavior.
This project designs, implements, and evaluates a mentorship program for high school students enrolled in a Certified Nursing Assistant Program at Granite Technical Institute and nursing students at the University of Utah. The goal for this mentorship program is to strengthen pathways for diverse nursing students to enter the nursing profession.
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I have learned Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) calculations with this project. The main software for learning and practicing with this type of calculation is “FDTD Solutions” from Lumerical.I used FDTD method to calculate the E-field distribution for gold nanoparticle on glass substrate with different excitation wavelengths that correspond to wavelengths in the Raman microscope.
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Infants with referrals to Child Protective Services for suspected child maltreatment often have social determinants placing them at risk for negative health outcomes. Primary healthcare providers (PCP) are often unaware of the interventions of child welfare caseworkers (CWC) in the lives of these children and families. We hypothesized that a collaborative care practice aligning CWCs and PCPs will improve parental perceptions of infant health, child health care, and child welfare interventions.
The Genomics Summer Research for Minorities and the Native American Research Internship programs at the University of Utah are hosting a symposium on “Preparing my next steps during uncertain times: applying to graduate school and jobs in industry”. The distinguished invited speakers will provide you with practical tools and resources to help you make your next career steps more comprehensive and accessible.
Date and time: Thursday July 16, 2020 1:30– 3:30 PM MT, via Zoom
As many health professional programs are moving to virtual interviews for this application cycle, PreProfessional Advising and Career & Professional Development Center will offer tips on how to successfully navigate virtual interviews. Learn how to be a successful applicant in a virtual setting, whether you’re preparing for a recorded or live video interview!