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December 2021 Newsletter

Read the OUR December 2021 Newsletter here:


Poster #18: Danielle Gambino – Motivations to Participate in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) Among Overweight and Obese Women Planning Pregnancy

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Faculty mentor: Sara Simonsen
The purpose of this study is to describe motivations behind enrolling in the National Diabetes Prevention Program Lifestyle Change Program in a population of overweight or obese women planning a pregnancy within two years. This study found that the key motivations were energy, strength, and mobility, a personal mantra and quote, health, and/or family. Less common motivators included appearance and weight, fertility or future pregnancy, and healthy eating.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u0561142@utah.edu
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Poster #2: Thaiss Del Rio Sanchez – More Than a Status: Navigating Immigrant “Illegality” and Discourse During the Trump Era

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Faculty mentor: Annie Isabel Fukushima
This project investigates the way that discourse on immigration policy during the Trump administration impacts the way immigrants in Utah navigate and experience “illegality.” Thematic analysis revealed a total of 8 reoccurring themes that account for the way the Trump administration discussed and perceived immigrants and immigration policy. Participatory action research will take place in the Spring with the goal of creating an action-research project that will benefit the community.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: thaiss.delrio@utah.edu
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Poster #26: Leehye Kang – A realistic study on visual search – What can Lego tell us?

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Faculty mentor: Trafton Drew
Previous studies on visual perception may have over-simplify visual processing in the name of experimental control. Many classical studies use a controlled computer screen, in which the target and non-targets are displayed on a white background. In these computerized studies, participants are more likely to be passive, rather than being the active agent. By using Lego pieces, the purpose of this study is to discover how humans may use different visual strategies in real-life situations.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1185113@utah.edu
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Poster #23: Tania Cervantes-Hernandez – Dating/Intimate Partner Violence and Social Media Use Among College Students

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Faculty mentor: Akiko Kamimura
The purpose of this project is to evaluate dating/intimate partner violence (D/IPV) and social media use among college students. D/IPV is a significant problem that affects the well-being and safety of college students. In fall 2020, online surveys were collected from college students at the University of Utah. In the survey, participants were asked about social media use, perceptions of D/IPV on social media based on 10 given scenarios, and demographic characteristics.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: taniach196@gmail.com
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Poster #7: Emma Pinegar – 3D Object Reconstruction in Clutter Scenes for Robotic Manipulation

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Faculty mentor: Tucker Hermans
Our research explores the combination of segmentation and reconstruction into a single pipeline. We also investigate variations of existing reconstruction methods, and present our new reconstruction method which can update the reconstruction after it is created. This offers the potential to include data from methods such as tactile exploration or new depth images. We have been able to implement the initial pipeline for reconstruction, and our future work plans to create a robust reconstruction.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1008834@utah.edu
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Poster #22: Tali Bauman – Lifestyle Coach Experiences Delivering the Diabetes Prevention Program

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Faculty mentor: Katherine Baucom
To describe Lifestyle Coach perceptions of dyads (i.e., family members and/or friends) in the National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP).
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1200737@umail.utah.edu
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Oral #3: Sara Robson – Reducing Recidivism Through Education Vocational Skills and Therapy

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Faculty mentor: Larry Bench
This research is a literature of previous studies about what works in reducing recidivsim. Through educational programming recidivism rates can be reduced by helping previously incarcerated individuals enter the job force. Vocational training has shown to reduce recidivism as well by preparing individuals for jobs outside of prison. While therapy can help individuals learn how to cope.
Watch my research presentation below.
Questions or comments? Contact me at: sararobson208@gmail.com
View my Presentation Slides HERE 

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Poster #20: Kimberly Gamarra – Identifying the genetic basis for resistance to malaria

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Faculty mentor: Wayne Potts
Malaria is a significant problem across the world with over 200 million clinical cases annually. However, majority of infections (>75%) can be resistant or asymptomatic (without overt symptoms).Preliminary findings utilizing wild derived Mus musculus, housed in SPF conditions,demonstrated a wide range of anemia and innate immune reactivity after Plasmodium infection,indicating that that genetic diversity in mice can be used to uncover the immunological mechanisms underlying asymptomatic malaria.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1258251@utah.edu

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Poster #9: Cynthia Checketts – Why white mice? Improving biological literacy through animal history.

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Faculty mentor: Rachel Mason Dentinger
What are student perceptions of animal bodies in scientific research? How a student interacts with and understands animals can impact their capacity for learning and influence their future research. I believe there is a lack of understanding around animal research in undergraduate education that could be filled by highlighting animal history. This project looks at what information may be beneficial to include and how students respond to it.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: cynthia@checketts.org
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Performance #2: Ellie Otis – King Lear: Recreating Women’s Stories

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Faculty mentor: Andra Harbold
Artist’s Statement: During 2020 quarantine, I was asked to co-direct a production of Shakespeare’s King Lear for the following summer, which brought me to reanalyze what I was already familiar with in the script. I went in with the knowledge that King Lear was about a frail old man tormented by his two elder “evil” daughters, Goneril and Regan, after he accidentally pushes away his loving youngest daughter, Cordelia. Reading the actual text, however, revealed that this was not in fact Shakespeare’s story, but rather the one that society had crafted. Instead, it was about three women oppressed by the system around them, three-dimensional people whose actions rose from the system attempting to suppress them; three sisters who are ultimately torn apart. I worked with the three women cast as the sisters to craft real human beings, resulting in incredible conversations about womanhood, sisterly love and protection, and how strong women are often made out to be villains for fear of their strength. We did exercises and improvised scenes between the sisters to see how they would interact under a variety of circumstances, showing the love and care they had for each other that was gutted by the patriarchy and their manipulative father. The excerpts below show scenes with the sisters, particularly Goneril and Regan– how they stand together when having to confront their father and how they find power and strength in each other. In addition, there are voice recordings of the sisters, our King Lear, and myself discussing how society has perpetuated this lasting false narrative, and how we can use the words Shakespeare has written to reclaim and rewrite it, both for ourselves and for those who come after us. Each of our three performances was packed with an audience, resulting in much of the community witnessing the art we as a cast had created. Our feminist approach to King Lear proved to be a fantastic learning experience of feminism, unity, and the bond that all those identifying as women share. 
Watch my performance below!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: eoti8338@gmail.com

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Poster #5: Jared Green – Algorithmic Acceleration of 3D Reconstruction for Real Time Medical Imaging

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Faculty mentor: Cem Yuksel
The research is an acceleration of a current medical image reconstruction process consisting of Jacobi iterations from Joseph’s method. Part one of the research focused on the precomputation of a projector operator matrix and the subsequent utilization of matrix multiplication techniques to produce a matched projection operator. Part two focused on angular compression methods to accelerate convergence without sacrificing image quality or convergence error.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u0847995@utah.edu
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Poster #25: Kyleigh Hatch – Gender Differences in Correlations between the Use of Mobile Personal Financial Management Technology and Financial Outcomes

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Faculty mentor: Su Shin
Personal financial management technology (PFM) could serve as an alternative to professional financial advice, but the effects of PFM use are not fully studied. We investigate correlations between PFM usage and specific financial outcomes, investigate gender differences in these relationships, and determine heterogeneous effects of PFM usage (by gender) on specific financial outcomes according to key moderators.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: kyleighhatch@gmail.com
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Oral #4: Brooklynn Scott – Genomic Insights into Lineage Specific Variation in Macaque Social Behavior

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Faculty mentor: Timothy Webster
This project uses coding methods to examine lineage specific variation in macaque social styles. I used 8 macaque samples, one human, and one baboon and mapped them to a reference genome. After assessing quality and assembling exomes I am in the process of testing for positive selection on social genes which were obtained from a literature review. If positive selection is found in the lineage we will understand more about how phylogeny plays a roll in macaque social systems.
Watch my research presentation below.
Questions or comments? Contact me at: brooklynnscott00@gmail.com
View my Presentation Slides HERE

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Poster #11: Awais Ahmad – Are Adrenergic Receptors expressed on VMH Glutamatergic Neurons

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Faculty mentor: Owen Chan
My research is based around Diabetes, particularly hypoglycemia which is mostly seen in type 1 diabetes patients. The current study evaluates the expression of ß2 adrenergic receptors (ß2AR) on VMH glutamatergic neurons. Employing Immuno-histochemistry (IHC), the colocalization of VGlut2, a marker for glutamatergic neurons and ß2AR are evaluated in preserved rodent brain slices.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1172049@umail.utah.edu
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Poster #27: Iris McCulloch – Using fossil pollen to reconstruct seasonal precipitation in the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir

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Faculty mentor: Andrea Brunelle
This project presents preliminary results of using a novel pollen methodology to study the seasonality of the North American Monsoon in Baja California. These results serve as a proof-of-concept for further study into how the North American Monsoon may have shifted in strength and geography across the Holocene Epoch.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u0578931@utah.edu
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Performance #1: Sandra Del Rio Madrigal – Migratory Monsters

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Faculty mentor: Annie Isabel Fukushima
Artist’s Statement: This Fall, I have developed a creative research project to work on my novella, Silk Skin. The narrative follows two Mexican-Americans—a mother named Lorena and her daughter Adela—who welcome two migrants from Tijuana to their home. Adela’s kinship with the Tijuanenses challenge previous relationships as memories resurface of a monstrous figure who might be making mysterious noises at home.
To develop this creative project, in collaboration with Migratory Times, the Center for Arts Design & Social Research, and my faculty mentor (Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima), I organized a series entitled Migratory Monsters. The series fostered research through conversations with artists and scholars Kakyoung Lee, Rebecca Close, Dr. Angela Marie Smith, and Diana Tran. Here I fostered my own creative research project grappling with diaspora and representations of Othered identities in the context of horror. Horror exposes institutional oppression. How do we further employ horror tropes to liberate transnational identities? How do we abandon normative, untroublesome narratives?
We held the events “Visions of Monstrosity,” and “The Body and Horror.” Speakers discussed the corporeal, erasure, and the complexity of liberating oneself from colonial constraints.
The piece’s title, Silk Skin, emphasizes the creation of self through unconsumed subjects. I also reference a vital scene in the story which apprehends complacency in Utah by stripping an antagonist’s sense of security and literal skin.
I realized I needed to bring forth Lorena’s voice through poems. Lorena, herself an immigrant from Tijuana, engages with Samara, the monster. Diaspora consists not of homogenized experiences but of distinct, diverse voices which are often ignored. In these poems, Lorena’s voice investigates her heritage and history while also claiming space.  
Watch my performance below!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1232726@utah.edu

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Poster #14: Sonresa Ochoa-Vidales – Evolutionary Analysis of Host-Pathogen Adaptations in MDA5

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Faculty mentor: Nels Elde
I uncover novel host-pathogen conflicts in mammalian virus-detecting innate immune proteins. I specifically, am investigating signals of rapid evolution I have identified in the gene, MDA5, which is responsible for inducing interferon (IFN) expression of the host’s innate immune response when activated by unknown dsRNA. I am currently designing experiments to assess the functional significance of the amino acid changes we observed across species’ MDA5.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1168474@utah.edu
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Oral #5: Matthew Snyder – Christian men and women’s attitudes towards LGBT, their covariates and interaction effects

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Faculty mentor: Becky Neufeld
It is known that prejudice against sexual minorities exist yet very few studies have provided in-depth investigations of the differences in attitudes towards the individuals within the monolithic LGBT. In the current study, we investigated differences between Bible Belt Christian men and women’s attitudes towards the separate individuals within LGBT and the underlying schemas that may be attributed to their prejudice.
Watch my research presentation below.
Questions or comments? Contact me at: 8kingsoul@gmail.com
View my Presentation Slides HERE 

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Poster #17: Nestor Chavez – An Analysis of Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, and Resilience in Prelicensure Nursing Students During a Global Pandemic

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Faculty mentor: Paula Meek
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a global tragedy. These unprecedented times have created and continue to create traumatic events: emotional stress, anxiety, and potentially depression and PTSD for many US residents (CDC, 2021). It’s crucial we explore the importance of Resiliency levels in the profession of Nursing!
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u0981920@utah.edu

 

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Oral #1: Brynn Staker – The Racial Other: Stereotypes in Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

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Faculty mentor: Elizabeth Craft
I found patterns in American musical theatre concerning representations of racial stereotypes. I researched and catalogued old newspapers and discovered trends in the portrayal of different characters in relation to their race and ethnicity and categorized and defined these trends as caricatures.
Watch my research presentation below.
Questions or comments? Contact me at: brynnastaker@gmail.com
View my Presentation Slides HERE

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Poster #15: Aarushi Rohaj – Apoptosis Efficiency of the Transfected Elephant and Human p53 Vectors in p53 Varying Leiomyosarcoma Cells

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Faculty mentor: Lisa Abegglen
Four leiomyosarcoma cell lines were focused on in the present investigation using the perspective of evolutionary and Darwinian medicine and comparative oncology to develop ways to better predict, prevent, and treat cancer in the clinic. The leiomyosarcoma cell lines were transfected and treated with combinations of elephant p53 (EP53), R9, human P53 (TP53), and doxorubicin vectors.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1022747@umail.utah.edu
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Poster #24: Jamison Creekmore – Awareness and understanding of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in newly diagnosed patients, family, and friends

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Faculty mentor: Mark Bromberg
The goal of this project was to understand the awareness and knowledge of ALS and key terms related to ALS among newly diagnosed patients, family, and friends. Some areas of focus were knowledge of someone with ALS prior to their first visit to the multidisciplinary clinic, understanding of body parts affected by ALS, and where individuals prefer to obtain information about the disease. Some limitations, were a small sample size, and singe location for data collection.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: jamison.creekmore@hsc.utah.edu
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Poster #6: Arianna LaLonde – Analysis of Transhumeral Amputee Bone Morphology

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Faculty mentor: Sarina Sinclair
My research focused on using 3D modeling software to determine the bone morphology of transhumeral amputees. This research will act as baseline data that can be compared to after implantation of a percutaneous osseointegrated prosthetic device. This will help us identify the impact this implant may have on bone morphology.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u0974621@utah.edu
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Poster #16: William Steiner – Regulation of Protein Complexes During Hedgehog Signal Transduction

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Faculty mentor: Benjamin Myers
I used bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) to investigate interactions between different proteins in the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway. I focused on Kif7 and SuFu interactions with the GPCR Smoothened (SMO) and PKA-C. Kif7 is analogous to Cos2 in fruit flies. Cos2 scaffolds the GLI transcription factor and PKA-C. I suspect that Kif7 may play a similar role. Kif7 and SuFu may also play a role in PKA-C binding to SMO.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1000400@utah.edu
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Poster #28: Torri Peck – Sibling Support in Families where Multiple Members have been Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes

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Faculty mentor: Cynthia Berg
Families where multiple members have type 1 diabetes are rare in current diabetes literature. It is unknown how these families provide support to one another. The support role of siblings and how sibling support provided may vary based on gender and illness condition are also unknown. This study examines sibling support and its effect on parental and sibling stress in families where multiple members have type 1 diabetes and identifies differences due to gender and illness condition.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: torri.peck@asuu.utah.edu
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Poster #4: Michael Gammon – Database of Image Analysis Parameters for Quantitative Phase Imaging

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Faculty mentor: Thomas Zangle
I researched and formed a database for the Zangle Lab to improve the throughput of their image processing that they utilize to track cell growth.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1146390@utah.edu
 

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Poster #1: Tony Chen – Asian Community: Utah State-Wide Needs Assessment of Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence & Human Trafficking

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Faculty mentor: Annie Fukushima
In 2020, Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima began conversations with local organizations regarding how the research would benefit anti-violence efforts in Utah. This directed to the creation of a state-wide needs assessment on sexual violence, human trafficking, and domestic violence. And this study is part of the research project that aims to focus on Asian immigrant and diasporic communities in Utah and their particular needs.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1217978@utah.edu
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Poster #12: Alexys Berman – NGLY1 Deficiency Modeled in Drosophila Melanogaster

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Faculty mentor: Clement Chow
NGLY1 deficiency is a rare genetic metabolic disorder with ~100 reported individuals. The disorder is the only known disorder of deglycosylation and causes an inability to deglycosylate a variety of proteins. Much about NGLY1 deficiency remains unknown. This study elucidates disease pathology of NGLY1 deficiency by examining the effects of loss of NGLY1 expression in specific neuron types and whether NGLY1 is a part of the Endoplasmic Reticulum-Associated Degradation (ERAD) pathway.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: alexysberman@gmail.com
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Poster #3: Devaki Abhyankar – Patient-Specific Models for Testing Antiarrhythmic Drugs

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Faculty mentor: Ravi Ranjan
Antiarrhythmic drugs increase the action potential duration and/or the refractory period by preventing the abnormal electrical activity of atrial fibrillation from propagating further. Although the mechanism of each of these drugs is known, it is still unclear why some of the drugs work better for certain patients than others. The goal of this project is to run patient specific simulations of these drugs to understand what makes certain patients respond better to certain drugs than other.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: devaki.abhyankar@utah.edu
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Poster #10: Sofi Hull – Using Network Analysis to Visualize the Role of Emotion in Murder Mystery Novels

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Faculty mentor: David Roh
This project uses the network analysis software Gephi to track the flow of emotion within character interactions in Agatha Christie novels. The graphs produce a clear solution to the novels, which highlights Agatha Christie’s penchant for hiding the obvious suspect in plain sight.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: sofihull@gmail.com:

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Oral #2: Grace Lewis – Finding a New Normal: A Scholarly Personal Narrative on Resilience During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Faculty mentor: Julia Franklin
A scholarly personal narrative methodology to share anecdotal evidence supported by literature to explore resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch my research presentation below.
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1109479@umail.utah.edu
View my Presentation Slides HERE

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Poster #19: Eshan Narasipura – Full Synthesis of Enzymatically Cleavable Linker Between 929-Designed Ankyrin Repeat Protein And 17-Dimethlyamino Geldanamycin

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Faculty mentor: Shawn Owen
An enzymatically cleavable linker was synthesized to conjugate 17-Dimethylamino Geldanamycin (DMAG) and 929 designed ankyrin repeat protein (929-DARPin) where DMAG was used to inhibit the route of endosomal recycling, and 929-DARPin used as the ligand to bind to HER-2. We will be able to co-dose 929DARPin-DMAG and TDM-1 in order to see the changes in efficacy of TDM-1 as well as explore other linker applications to overcome drug resistance.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: eshan.narasipura@utah.edu
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Poster #8: Claire Ticknor – Sintering of 3D Printed Copper-Steel Functionally Graded Materials

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Faculty mentor: Wenda Tan
Functionally graded materials elimate the need for dissimilar metal welds and joints used in fields such as structural, aerospace, biological, electrical, and others. Using your basic 3D printing process, copper to steel parts are easily printed using PLA filament infused with metal particles. These parts go through a debinding and sintering process leaving a pure metal part. This project tests the conceptual idea of creating functionally graded materials using this process.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1129643@utah.edu
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Poster #13: Tyler Gibson – Barriers and Facilitators to Contraceptive Access and Use Among Women Who Use Opioids: A Scoping Review

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Faculty mentor: Elizabeth Charron
Women who use opioids are at an increased risk of unintended pregnancy and lack of access to birth control. We are conducting a scoping review to identify barriers and facilitators to them obtaining contraception.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: tjgibson11011@gmail.com
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Poster #21: Charlotte Randolph – Synthesis of VLC-PUFAs Relating to Macular Degenerative Diseases

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Faculty mentor: Jon Rainier
Very Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (VLC-PUFAs) are non-dietary fatty acids that are more than 24 carbons long and include more than one double bond. The specific compound we are focusing on is 32:6 n-3: a 32-carbon molecule having 6 cis alkenes with the alkenes beginning at the omega 3 carbon position. These molecules are involved in the membrane structure of the retina and have been anecdotally linked to macular degeneration. 
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1200224@utah.edu
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November 2021 Newsletter

Read the OUR November 2021 Newsletter here:


October 2021 Newsletter

Read the OUR October 2021 Newsletter here:


Meet the New Director of the OUR!


Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima has been selected as the new Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. 
Dr. Fukushima is an Associate Professor in the Ethnic Studies (ES) Division of the School for Cultural & Social Transformation. She also holds affiliate faculty status in three additional University of Utah units: Center for Research on Migration and Refugee Integration, Asian Studies, and Latin American Studies. Fukushima is a distinguished researcher on domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, labor, and migration. Her Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the US (2019)–published by Stanford University Press–was the winner of the 2020 Asia and Asian America Section Book Award sponsored by the American Sociological Association. Her research has been supported by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, among others. 
Since her arrival at the University of Utah in 2015, Fukushima has contributed to several institutional enhancements being selected a Presidential Leadership Fellow (2020) and serving as the current project lead for the University’s Gender-Based Violence Consortium.
Fukushima states, “I am so thrilled to be joining the leadership and team of OUR and UGS. I have had wonderful experiences of collaborating with undergraduate researchers at the University of Utah supported by OUR. I am so inspired by program’s mission of collaborative research and endeavors towards equity. It is an honor to follow the important leadership work of Dr. Hayes-Harb and the team, and to begin to envision access, equity, and supporting undergraduate research and faculty collaborations that span a range of methodologies.”
“Dr. Annie Fukushima brings a wealth of research expertise and leadership skills regarding undergraduate research, equity, diversity, and inclusive mentorship to this role,” said Dr. T. Chase Hagood, Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.  “I am delighted Annie has agreed to join Undergraduate Studies in expanding the quality, experiential activities provided by the Office of Undergraduate Research,” Hagood added. 
Dr. Fukushima joins the Office of Undergraduate Research, a unit of the Office of Undergraduate Studies on September 16, 2021.


Understanding the Role of the Researcher in the Research Process

Dr. Crystal Steltenpohl (Assistant Professor, University of Southern Indiana) will be giving a talk on researcher positionality on October 1, 2-3:30 pm. 
 

Social science research is a scientific endeavor that involves, at its core, people. We usually conduct research studies with human participants, but we as researchers are also people, and we bring our experiences, perspectives, and values into the research process in sometimes unexpected ways. Join Dr. Steltenpohl in a discussion about how researchers can influence the research process and learn about ways to reflect and transparently discuss those influences.
Register here: bit.ly/CLARG-OCT21
This talk is hosted by the Cognitive Language Aficionados Research Group and sponsored by the Dept. of Psychology, and the Dept. of Educational Psychology, and the Speech Acquisition Lab.