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Poster #21: Alisha Chong – Identifying Biomarkers of Insufficient Sleep Utilizing Plasma Metabolomics

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Faculty mentor: Christopher Depner
Insufficient sleep is linked to other health conditions like diabetes. However, the mechanism by which insufficient sleep leads to increased diabetes risk is not well known. This study aims to identify metabolites affected by insufficient sleep, some of which may also be linked to decreased insulin sensitivity. This may provide information on how insufficient sleep affects diabetes risk. Branched-chain amino acids show promise to providing such insight, but data collection is still ongoing.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1192147@umail.utah.edu
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Oral #15: Annie Giokas – Noetherian Property of Invariant Rings

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Faculty mentor: Anurag K. Singh
A Noetherian ring of characteristic 0 will have will have a Noetherian invariant ring under a finite group action. However, this is not true in other cases. We constructed a class of rings of characteristic p for each prime integer p such that each ring in the class is Noetherian with a finite group G acting on it such that the ring of invariants under this group action is not Noetherian. This class of rings is generalized from a characteristic 2 counterexample due to Nagarajan, in 1968.
Watch my research presentation below.
Questions or comments? Contact me at: annie.giokas@gmail.com
View my Presentation Slides HERE

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Poster #33: Katelyn Pyper – Testing of Split-beta-Lactamase Constructs for Therapeutic Application

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Faculty mentor: Shawn Owen
The primary goal of targeted drug delivery is to reduce negative side effects associated with existing drug treatments for diseases like cancer. Previous targeted drug delivery methods have failed to eliminate side effects associated with premature activation of cancer drug away from the target site. The aim of this research is to produce, purify, and test the functionality of split-beta-lactamase constructs to activate drug only at the targeted tumor site.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1182692@utah.edu
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Poster #48: Seokjin Jeong – The Effect of Listening to Degraded Speech on Driving Performance

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Faculty mentor: Amy McDonnell
This research examined the effect of listening to a degraded speech on driving performance. Past studies have shown that conversing while driving significantly decreases driving performance. However, past research lacks ecological validity since the speech participants listened to was clear and pristine. Here, we examined whether listening to degraded speech produces similar results. Results of this study indicate that listening to degraded speech puts an extra cognitive load on drivers.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: Seokjin.Jeong@utah.edu
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Poster #1: Samantha Eddy – Cultural Resource Mapping

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Faculty mentor: Shundana Yusaf
The goal of this project was to gather the narratives of my people’s relationship to building, the landscape, the Hogan, the home, animals, and construction rituals. These stories are important to collect because they are needed to help develop resources that would assist in the development of my people. In addition, non-Indigenous architects and planners need this type of research to enrich their knowledge of Indigenous People and communities to appropriately develop strategies for their future.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1170298@utah.edu
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Poster #10: Vanessa Cox – Metaphors We Design Games By

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Faculty mentor: Rogelio Cardona-Rivera
This research aims to transformatively impact game development by creating AI-powered software that supports how designers naturally think by applying the language used to understand games to the user interface, and make creating game environments a less-labor intensive and natural process by offloading the difficult parts to the AI system.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1244328@umail.utah.edu

 

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Poster #4: Tiare Mitchell – The Intergenerational Effects of Hawaiian Sovereignty

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Faculty mentor: Angela Robinson
The purpose of this project is to expand knowledge on Hawaiian Sovereignty and understand the changes happening within it from a personal view of three different generations. Conducted through a podcast using talk-story to talk on the issues directed through the podcast and talking on the effects of Hawaiian Sovereignty through each generational life. Looking at what’s to come and seeing how far we’ve come with understanding Hawaiian Sovereignty is an important part of this project.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: tiaremitchell1@gmail.com
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Poster #38: Ana Rowe – Suppression of Chemoreceptor Signal-Switching Defects

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Faculty mentor: John Parkinson
The proposed project involves isolation and characterization of second-site mutations that are able to rescue the chemotactic ability of damaging mutations at the hairpin tip. Such suppressors presumably enable mutant receptors to undergo the conformational changes involved in serine sensing and signaling. By analyzing these suppressor mutations, it will be possible to identify structural features important for receptor signaling.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1149807@utah.edu
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Performance #1: Duke Ross – STRINGS

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Faculty mentor: Miriam Sobrino
Artist’s Statement: One of the many things I love about film is that it is the marriage of several different art forms: visual art, literature, and music. Music in particular seems to have the ability to elevate cinematic moments into something not just pleasing to the senses, but transcendent. The death of O Ren Ishii’s father set to Luis Baclov’s “The Grand Duel: Parte Prima,” Chow Mo-wan and Mrs. Chan’s farewell set to Nat King Cole’s cover of “Quizas, Quizas, Quizas,” and an idyllic stroll through a small suburban neighborhood set to Bobby Vinton’s “Blue Velvet” all take what would be relatively standard cinematic beats and give them an extra emotional undercurrent.
When I was young, my father would put on his collection of blues CDs as we made our daily commute. B.B. King, Robert Cray, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, and Muddy Waters played in a constant rotation for much of my early life. There is such a rich and fascinating history surrounding the blues, all leading back to one incredibly storied man, Robert Johnson, who allegedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his musical prowess.
With “Strings,” I loosely adapted Johnson’s story and gave it a contemporary twist by utilizing the visual style of neo-noir film. Neo-noir cinematography is very similar to traditional noir cinematography in that the images are grainy, the lighting is low-key, and the overall tone is dark and moody. The key difference is the use of color, as seen in films such as “Taxi Driver,” “Nightcrawler,” “Blade Runner,” and “Drive” among many others. Every shade of red has an air of violence about it. Every shade of green pulsates with a sinister, neon vibrance.
The purpose of the film will be to reignite interest in the American folk tale and its relationship with music and visual art. With the combination of haunting imagery, a swelling soundtrack, and the accessibility of Robert Johnson’s story, I want “Strings” to feel like a contemporary, cinematic campfire yarn. 
Watch my performance below!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1054271@utah.edu

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Poster #20: Olivia Walker – The Effect of Variable Conductivity on Cardiac Excitation

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Faculty mentor: Rob Macleod
The success of applying a stimulus to the heart is a common research area of interest due to its many clinical applications. It is well established that conductivity plays an important role in the success of an applied stimulus; however, no study has aimed to explore how changes in conductivity affect cardiac excitation. In this study we developed a computational model that allowed us to vary conductivity and explore how cardiac excitation changed as a result.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1250073@utah.edu

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Poster #16: Andie Sieja – Comparison of Left Atrial Shape between the Sexes Diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation

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Faculty mentor: Rob MacLeod
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a cardiac arrhythmia which interrupts the organized electrical and mechanical function of the atria. Previous studies have documented a range of differences in symptom severity and treatment outcomes between men and women with AF; they suggested that differences in outcomes between sexes could be related to shape differences in the left atrium (LA). We aimed to explore these proposed differences using statistical shape analysis.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1197709@utah.edu

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Poster #23: Teasha Luu – Reactive-Hyperemia and Microvascular Function: A Comparison of Methods

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Faculty mentor: Joel Trinity
Reactive hyperemia refers to the increase in blood flow following a stimulus. While previous studies have compared reactive hyperemia between microvascular and macrovascular function, studies comparing microvascular reactive hyperemia have not been performed. In this project, the reactive hyperemia induced by passive leg movement and induced following tissue ischemia were compared. We hypothesized that these assessments of microvascular function would be significantly correlated to one another.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: teashaluu6@gmail.commm
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Poster #19: Bailey Van Wagoner – Decreasing Nociceptive Sensitivity Through Downregulation of ASIC1 Gene

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Faculty mentor: Robert Bowles
By downregulating the acid-sensing ion channel 1 (ASIC1) gene in nociceptive neurons, the hope is to decrease neuronal activation and back pain in individuals suffering from intervertebral disc degeneration.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1232141@utah.edu
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Poster #46: Wyatt Hudgens – Party Image and Intra- Party Dissent in American Politics: The Equal Rights Amendment and Democratic Economic Policy Conflict in the 1980s

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Faculty mentor: Matthew Burbank
This research explores the potential relationship between the American electorate’s party image assessments of the two major political parties and a rise in intra-party dissent and rationalization. Looking at two historic instances (one for each party) I argue that despite a present inter-party divide, intra-party factors influence voters ‘mental images’ and party image assessments of the major political parties, especially on salient and divisive issues.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: wyatt.hudgens@eccles.utah.edu
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Poster #39: Emily Adler – Soil Geochemistry and Charcoal Morphotype Response to Paleofire in the South African Fynbos 

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Faculty mentor: Stella Mosher
Fire has the ability to change soil geochemistry, which can facilitate or limit plant growth and may drive changes in dominant vegetation types. In the South African Cape Floristic region fire is a persistent force occurring multiple times a century. However, the response of soil geochemistry to these frequent, high intensity burns is largely undocumented. In this research we examined soil geochemistry and charcoal morphotype changes in response to peak magnitude fire events.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u0873866@utah.edu
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Poster #44: Emmanuel Diaz – Physical Health Consequences of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): A Narrative Review

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Faculty mentor: Katherine Baucom
ACEs are childhood events that vary in length and severity, occurring within a child’s family or social environment that cause harm or distress, thereby disrupting the child’s physical or mental health and development. Although the impact of ACEs on mental health outcomes is well documented, less is known of the mechanisms through which exposure to ACEs affects health. This narrative review will summarize the literature on the mechanisms related to physical health outcomes specifically.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u0771592@umail.utah.edu


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Poster #28: Saul Rivera-Flores – Wide-angle Vitreous Imaging in Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy

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Faculty mentor: Eileen Hwang
Familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) is a rare inherited disease that can cause permanent blindness in childhood. One process of FEVR that contributes to vision loss is traction from the vitreous gel on the retina. Such process is associated with causing posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). This research project studies the relationship between these two processes.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1190461@umail.utah.edu


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Poster #13: Benjamin Orkild – The Role of Right Ventricular Shape in Tricuspid Valve Regurgitation

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Faculty mentor: Rob MacLeod
Tricuspid valve regurgitation (TR) is a common heart valve dysfunction that allows blood flow from the right ventricle (RV) to the right atrium. If left untreated, TR can develop into deadly cardiomyopathies and heart failure. However, clinical imaging indicators of patients with emerging TR are lacking. The goal of this study was to use MRI imaging and statistical shape analysis to quantify RV shape changes linked to TR.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1196243@utah.edu
 

 

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Poster #37: Samantha Nestel – Development meets Metabolism: Investigating how Diet and Nutrition Influence Developmental Decisions

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Faculty mentor: Michael Werner
The influence of diet/metabolism on phenotypic plasticity observed in Pristionchus pacificus mouth forms through analyzing metabolomics and histone acetylation.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: sammy.nestel@gmail.com

 

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Poster #6: Maria Chavez – Do Autoantibody Profiles Correlate with Salivary Gland Focal Inflammation in Sjogren’s Syndrome?

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Faculty mentor: Melodie Weller
This study analyzes Sjogren’s Syndrome diagnostic criteria and the relationship each criterion holds to each other. Autoantibody profiles were compared to foci counts in patient biopsy samples to determine if there was a significant correlation present.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1026087@utah.edu


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Oral #6: Rose Godfrey – Antimicrobial Blue Light, Oregano Oil, and CZ-01179 Gel Manage Staphylococcus aureus Biofilms at the Skin-Implant Interface of Percutaneous Osseointegrated Prosthetics in an Ex Vivo Setup

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Faculty mentor: Dustin Williams
Percutaneous osseointegrated prosthetics are becoming available for those with limb loss as an alternative to prosthetic socket technology.The percutaneous nature makes them susceptible to biofilm-related infection. We hypothesized that antimicrobial blue light (aBL) can manage biofilm burden and we explored the efficacy of oregano oil and CZ (anti-biofilm compound). Multi-day applications were tested against Staph aureus biofilms.
Watch my research presentation below.
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1115789@utah.edu
View my Presentation Slides HERE 

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Visual Arts #1: Drew Green – post sonica

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Faculty mentor: Milad Mozari
Artist’s Statement: Taking note from how one experiences the physical elements of a place, post sonica makes the sounds of the city tangible and lends them a previously unrealized permanence. This challenges ephemeral views of the aural environment and prompts the community to consider relationships between, sound, place, and time. How do these elements affect the way you connect with the city around you?  
Watch my performance below!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: dmckgreen@gmail.com

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Poster #25: Hannah Mundinger – Rare Disease, the Diagnostic Odyssey, and Normality Reconstruction

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Faculty mentor: Kimberly Kaphingst
Little is known on how the delayed diagnosis of rare genetic disorders within the adult population impacts individuals’ understanding of self and psychological health. This qualitative study examines the impact of receiving a diagnosis of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a constellation of rare heritable connective tissue disorders, on construction of normality and illuminates a connection between diagnostic delay and psychological outcomes.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: hlmundinger@gmail.com
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Poster #32: Ireland Kearns – Effects of TREM-1 Expression on Acute Phase Seizures in a Mouse Model of Viral-Induced Epilepsy

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Faculty mentor: Karen Wilcox
In this project, we further explore the relationship between the inflammatory response to viral encephalitis and the onset of acute phase seizures using a mouse model of viral-induced epilepsy.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: irelandkearns@gmail.com
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Poster #18: Michael Turja – Design of Low-cost, Long-life, Wireless, In-situ Soil Sensing Network Handheld Display

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Faculty mentor: Shad Roundy
I helped design and characterize a handheld soil sensor display. This soil sensing network could help alleviate the need for freshwater in agriculture.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1220406@umail.utah.edu
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Oral #11: Makena Reynolds – The Emily Dickinson Musical

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Faculty mentor: Andra Harbold
A musical based on the life and work of Emily Dickinson through the lens of those who shaped her legacy. What started as a commemoration of a famous poet’s works turned into the investigation of her living life and how a falling out in the family shaped how we perceive Emily Dickinson in present day. After reading “Lives Like Loaded Guns” and “Open Me Carefully” the dots were connected and a timely musical celebrating women and queer love was created.
Watch my research presentation below.
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1217778@umail.utah.edu
View my Presentation Slides HERE 

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Oral #12: Brynn Staker St. Clair – The Cohan Narrative: Examining the Reach of George M. Cohan

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Faculty mentor: Elizabeth Craft
My research this semester examines the reach and retirements of George M. Cohan during his life. Cohan appeared to have a close relationship with the press and seems to at least partially control his own public narrative. Upon examining more rural newspapers, however, his direct influence became less and less obvious.
Watch my research presentation below.
Questions or comments? Contact me at: brynnastaker@gmail.com
View my Presentation Slides HERE

Video: https://youtu.be/WB46pvFic6E
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Oral #1: Natalie Caylor – Perspectives on Aging in Place During the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Qualitative Analysis

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Faculty mentor: Valerie Greer
This research analyzes the firsthand experiences of older adults who were aging in place during the Covid-19 pandemic and aims to identify the factors which were supportive for aging in place during the pandemic. This project used the Photovoice technique wherein older adults took photos of the things which were important to them during the pandemic, and they were later interviewed about the meaning behind their photos. This semester, I created a website to display this data (photovoicesite.com)
Watch my research presentation below.
Questions or comments? Contact me at: natalie.caylor@utah.edu
View my Presentation Slides HERE

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Poster #52: Hannah Willis – Assessing Influence of The Human Rights Guidelines for Pharmaceutical Companies in relation to Access to Medicines: A Case Study of GlaxoKlineSmith (GSK) 2009 & 2020 Annual Reports

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Faculty mentor: Man Hung
This paper will focus on one solution to realizing the right to human health –the United Nations’ (UN) adoption of The Human Rights Guidelines for Pharmaceutical Companies in relation to Access to Medicines (2008). Using this document, we assessed GlaxoKlineSmith’s (GSK) adherence to human rights by reviewing GSK’s 2009 and 2020 Annual Reports. The results indicate that the use of industry-specific human rights guidelines may positively influence the progression of human rights.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1160619@utah.edu

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Poster #35: Yung-Chi Lan – The Role of Slm1 in Mitochondrial Function

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Faculty mentor: Markus Babst
Slm1 is know as a protein associates with the plasma membrane. And yet, its role in cellular respiration has never been revealed. In the research, we reveals an additional location to which Slm1 localizes to–the mitochondria. In addition, we report mitochondrial fragmentation to occur when Slm1 localizes to mitochondria. Exact condition and parts of Slm1 essential to causing mitochondrial fragmentation is also identified. This gives insights to potential role of Slm1 in mitochondrial context.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: lanyungchi@gmail.com
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Poster #36: Ethan Murdock – Predicting Quorum Sensing Signals Using Enzyme Co-Occurrence Analysis

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Faculty mentor: Aaron Puri
Bacteria utilize signaling molecules called acyl-homoserine lactones (acyl-HSLs) to monitor their population densities and regulate group behaviors. These signals can be produced through a coenzyme-A (CoA) utilizing pathway, but it is difficult to predict what substrates bacteria need to produce these signals from synthase sequence alone. We hypothesize that analyzing the co-occurrence of CoA ligases and acyl-HSL synthases will allow for the prediction of what substrates these pathways use.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: murdockethang@gmail.com

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Oral #4: Bryce Cheek – Deep Brain Stimulation to Treat Depression

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Faculty mentor: Cynthia Furse
My UROP topic is the research and development of a new form of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) to help treat depression. This new method will differ from other previous forms of DBS because it will be non-invasive, leaving no chance for any negative side effects to patients’ brains.
The start of the new proposed DBS treatment will involve an arterial stent that will be inserted through the patients groin, and there will be electrodes placed on the head that will emit energy towards the stent.
Watch my research presentation below.
Questions or comments? Contact me at: brycec@bellsouth.net
View my Presentation Slides HERE

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Poster #9: Blayze Ashurst – Potentiostat PCB Design and Measurement with Altium

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Faculty mentor: Blayze Ashurst
My research focused on the development of a multiplexed potentiostat capable of rapidly characterizing hundreds of electrodes. This potentiostat can greatly help produce more accurate characterizations of mass electrode arrays, which are becoming increasingly common in state of the art neuroscience experiments. The goal was to create a prototype of a multiplexed potentiostat on a custom made PCB using discrete components with help from my advisors. The project failed, but I still learned.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: blayze_ashurst@comcast.net


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Poster #43: Anna Delos Reyes – Incorrect Computer Aided Detection (CAD) marks lead to early quitting

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Faculty mentor: Trafton Drew
This research aims to examine the cognitive processes behind visual distractions and whether these mechanisms induce poor performance with Computer-Aided Detection when radiologists perform medical image screening.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1251511@utah.edu


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Poster #11: Amelia Heiner – Biodegradable Pressure Sensitive Hot Melt Adhesive

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Faculty mentor: Jeff Bates
Hotmelt adhesives, whether they are used in construction applications or for pressure sensitive adhesives, are not biodegradable. The purpose of this study is to investigate sustainable, alternative materials that are biodegradable under non-specific environmental conditions in less than six months. Our pressure sensitive adhesive formulations show promising results for biodegradation, melt viscosity, and peel strength.
Click below to hear me present my poster!
Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1149789@utah.edu


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Application for Undergraduate Research Leaders Summer 22 and 22-23 Academic Year – OPEN

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH LEADERS

Students selected will be hired as hourly employees of the Office of Undergraduate Research at the rate of $15 per hour and work an average of 5 – 10 hours per week. This program is open to Dreamers (with and without DACA).  Please contact Shiver (s.Shiver@utah.edu) for more information.
The Undergraduate Research Leaders assist the office and promote undergraduate student research through several activities:

Office outreach on campus
Student recruitment
Student engagement
Peer advising
Program development
Small & Travel Grant Reviews

Additionally, we have several specialist positions including

Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Specialist – attends SPUR meetings and advises students about summer research programs
Social Media Specialist – designs social media posts and coordinates digital outreach materials for the OUR

How to Apply
Application for Summer 2022  and the 22-23 academic year is open and will close Sunday, April 17th.
See the URL page for more information and CLICK HERE TO APPLY!


March 2022 Newsletter

Read the OUR March 2022 Newsletter here:


February 2022 Newsletter

Read the OUR February 2022 Newsletter here:


Remote Undergraduate Research Mentoring

Dear Office of Undergraduate Research Community,
Due to the growing concerns with regards to global pandemic, new variants like Omicron, learning that the University of Utah hospitals are reaching capacity, as well as public health mandates, the Office of Undergraduate Research is reaching out to OUR community to convey that we will continue to do our part to support public health, wellness, and research. We recognize the significance of research during a pandemic – the role of undergraduate researchers who work in collaboration with faculty and staff to collectively foster a thriving research and intellectual community – are central to creating community, solving problems, and facilitating solutions.

OUR encourages weekly testing and vaccinations to support collective well-being, to learn more about this visit: https://coronavirus.utah.edu/
The Salt Lake County Health Department has adopted a mask mandate for indoor spaces and in close quarters outdoors from Jan. 8 through Feb. 7. This will apply to our campus on Monday: https://slco.org/health/COVID-19/order. We also recognize that different labs and medical environments have specific requirements regarding PPE – we encourage you to consult with your department leadership for guidance. 
If an exposure occurs with a member of a research team, please self-report to continue to foster a public health centered research environment. To learn more about testing (asymptomatic/symptomatic and reporting, visit: https://coronavirus.utah.edu/ 
We encourage mentors and undergraduate researchers evaluate public health response and appropriately adjust research processes, expectations, and timeline if necessary to support tele-research and the above mask mandates and ensure public safety – safety of research teams, staff, students, and communities’ researchers are researching with. 

OUR offers great content including the Undergraduate Research Education Series – please check out our web-based content. More forthcoming with regards to researching during a pandemic.
OUR is committed to supporting research communities, therefore we are available. We do have an in-person presence. OUR staff are present in the office in SILL during normal business hours with staff also providing web connection Monday – Friday, 8AM – 5PM. 

We encourage OUR community to take advantage of the virtual office hours with OUR advisors;
 and/or meet a team member to discuss collaboration – we are always available to connect via zoom.
Stay up-to-date on OUR operations https://our.utah.edu/covid-19-operational-updates/ 

Your safety and wellness matters and so does the wellness of OUR. If you have any other suggestions as to how OUR can support and foster a human centered, publicly well environment, I welcome your suggestions. OUR team also welcomes dialogue if you would like to brainstorm or discuss how research may be adapted for ongoing public health measures. 
Stay up-to-date with the Office of the Vice President for Research to learn more about research opportunities and recommendations. 
From OUR team to yours,
Annie Isabel Fukushima, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies, Transform 
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies 
Director, Office of Undergraduate Research
Cindy Greaves, Program Manager
Sandra Luo, Undergraduate Research Advisor
Megan Shannahan, Academic Program Manager
Shiver, Academic Program Manager
Suggestions for Remote Research Mentoring
The transition to remote research has presented many challenges to both researchers and their mentees. Beyond transitioning the research itself to a new format, mentors and mentees have had to consider how to modify the mentoring aspect as well. Colleagues from around the country have pulled together lists of suggestions from their faculty about how to adapt in-person mentoring practices to a virtual format. We’ve summarized the most common suggestions into the list below. No matter what stage of the mentoring process you are in, we hope this list will be helpful to you as you hone your own remote mentoring practice.
Helpful suggestions for transitioning to remote research mentoring:
COMMUNICATION
Communicate with your mentees regularly and as clearly as possible in rapidly changing circumstances. This is more important than ever?

For mentors:

Create a to communicate with your mentees – discuss the frequency of individual and group meetings.
Explicit share hours of availability and the modality (zoom, remote, phone, or in-person)
Schedule regular check-in meeting – suggested that faculty consider weekly or biweekly check-ins.
Depending on your relationship with your mentees, they might be intimidated or overwhelmed with asking anything of you. It is important for you to reach out and discuss their concerns.
Consider asking the modality of submitting materials/updates:

written updates due before check-ins (progress reports, summary of key tasks, report on accomplishments, obstacles, questions for discussion). 

For undergraduate researchers

How often do you hope to hear from your mentees?
keep up with lab/research notebooks 
Calendar deadlines and work ahead of expected deadlines

Set up a shared virtual workspace

Microsoft Teams, box or Slack or upload to Google Drive electronic data sets, video, and/or take pictures of research tasks.
Consider that some of the above modalities are not secure, therefore discuss this.

Set up clear expectations

Here is a sample of a mentor-mentee agreement 
Explicitly discuss and consider the challenges; adapt expectations to be realistic.

Which expectations and/or goals are important to maintain? Which need to be modified? How is your schedule of progress affected?

What skills will your mentees need to develop and how will research happen if campus is closed, hours of operation are limited or mandates impact research?
If you are unable to fully meet the needs of your mentees, who should they check-in with? Reach out to colleagues for help.

WELLNESS & RESEARCH
Crisis like a global pandemic can impact wellness – both physiologically, emotionally and psychologically. The wellness of our research community matters.
Communicate with a will towards empathy

Acknowledge that these are uncertain times and that it’s normal to feel to feel distress. Provide reassurance at check-ins.
Remember that everyone’s home environments look different. Your mentees may have different levels of access to technology and may have differing levels of caregiving obligations.

Self-care and collective care fosters a healthy research environment

Remind your mentees (and yourself) to step away from the computer and the news and include exercise or other self-care activities into their schedules.
If your mentees express concerns about health, housing, family, food, technology, etc., be responsive. Think about offices across campus who are working with students to address concerns, like the Counseling CenterCenter for Student Wellness, the Feed U Pantry, the Marriott Library (to checkout laptops and hotspots), and the Office of Financial Aid for emergency funding.

FLEXIBILITY & CREATIVITY
Global pandemic has led to the need for academic institutions and communities to experience regularly changes – changes in public health, policies. 

Be flexible with deadlines and changing schedules.
Plan for “the known”

For mentees who are nearing graduation, consider helping them develop a realistic action plan to meet a rapidly changing job market.

Find creative ways for mentees to get to know you and other research colleagues and for informal conversations to happen. 

Virtual coffee hours or lunches to encourage people to get to know each other.
Frequent virtual lab hours for lab members to have a space to check in with and get to know each other.
Virtual journal clubs
Virtual writing groups
Virtual accountability groups

IDEAS FOR ENGAGING UNDERGRADUATES IN REMOTE RESEARCH
Looking for ways to involve undergraduates in remote research? Here are some ideas:
Early research ideas

Create databases
IACUC/IRB protocols
Research future trends and/or new product ideas
Write ‘lab manual’ of standard operating procedures for new students

Data collection / analysis

Archival research with online archives
Coding projects
Conduct virtual interviews
Develop web-based surveys/questionnaires
Experimental design
GIS-based project
Identify experimental data that can be modeled using fundamental principles
Learn new skills like modeling software, drawing software, plotting software, etc.
Meta-analysis of existing literature
Modeling/computational work
Remote data gathering/analysis
Transcribe films, interviews, other materials

Writing

Conduct literature searches and reviews (create/update database, work on citation management skills)
Manuscript writing project (collaborate on writing up results of previous experiments)
Write methodology and/or introduction sections for papers, posters, etc.
Grant writing project

Presenting research / Public intellectualism

Create figures, tables, and/or charts
Develop videos used for communicating science to a general audience
Website building
Podcast development

Professional development

Professional development (CV preparation, grad school prep)
Mock job / interview talks on zoom

We recognize that traditions of research and mentoring vary widely across disciplines. In order to provide a more inclusive list of suggestions, we want to hear from you! How have you adapted your mentoring practice and/or research for remote undergraduates? Do you have any suggestions we can share? Let us know here. We’ll update this page with your input.
The above information was summarized from the following resources:
Austin College Johnson Center
Cornell University Graduate School
NC State University Office of Undergraduate Research
Northwestern University Searle Center
Some Advice for PhD Students and Their Mentors in the Time of Coronavirus
The University of Tennessee Knoxville Office of Undergraduate Research
University of Colorado Colorado Springs Center for Student Research
Additional Resources:
NORDP’s Mentoring in a Time of Crisis and Uncertainty
The Research Skill Development Framework
*Special acknowledgements to Dr. Rachel Hayes-Harb & Megan Shannahan


Collaborating with Undergraduate Researchers at the U

January 4, 2022
Collaborating with Undergraduate Researchers at the U
 
The Office of Undergraduate Research and the Office of the Vice President for Research are committed to fostering and supporting faculty success in research through collaborations with undergraduate researchers.
The Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR) provides resources and support for University of Utah’s researchers to foster an environment of creativity, discovery, and advanced knowledge.
The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) resides in the Office of Undergraduate Studies. The mission of the University of Utah Office of Undergraduate Research is to facilitate and promote undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and creative works in all disciplines throughout the University of Utah campus. In recognition that excellence requires diversity, OUR pursues this mission through equitable programming that promotes diverse representation and social justice. OUR is well recognized for programming including Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR), the Undergraduate Research Scholar Designation (URSD), Undergraduate Research Symposia (URS Spring, Summer, and Fall), the annual Undergraduate Research Journal, and the Undergraduate Research Education Series, among other exciting opportunities.
The VPR Office and OUR have a longstanding history of collaboration to fulfill the university’s mission to foster student success by preparing students from diverse backgrounds for lives of impact as leaders and citizens through research.
To better serve researchers, faculty and student alike, and effectively collaborate with staff, we offer the following recommendations:

Undergraduate researchers can be vital collaborators, contributors on a research team, and are the next generation of future researchers. We encourage researchers with grants or foundation funds budget to incorporate compensating undergraduate researchers as part of their team. Undergraduate researchers can play a significant role in assisting a research project and supporting and undergraduate researcher fosters the mentoring environment the University of Utah is committed to. For National Science Foundation grantees, it is encouraged the Principal Investigator(s) consider making their project a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site. Consult with your college Associate Dean of Research, Dean, or Office of Sponsored Projects.
Undergraduate researchers can be onboarded in a myriad of ways, here are two options for paid undergraduate researchers:

Hire undergraduate researchers as part-time temporary employees through Human Resources. Students are able to then be paid through payroll where they receive direct payments via direct deposit or a check sent to their address. Additionally, if hiring a non-University of Utah researcher, this allows HR to offer a UNID to the undergraduate researcher which provides access to UTA, the library, student life center, and RedMed. Consult your college human resources analyst if you have questions, or contact Human Resources to learn more about department/college contacts.
Some NSF grantees are considered an NSF Research Traineeship Program. If this applies to you, then we encourage you to onboard your undergraduate researcher as a trainee. If this is the case, please consult with Financial and Business Services. If onboarding a non-University of Utah researcher, consult FBS in advance of onboarding the student to find out if your researcher will have taxes deducted or be eligible for an affiliate UNID.
Encourage your researcher to take advantage of programming and resources with OUR. OUR offers the following:

Coordinates and brings together partners across campus working with undergraduate researchers through the Summer Programs Partnership.
Provides other financial opportunities including Travel & Small Grants of up to $500; Undergraduate Research Opportunity Scholars Program (UROP); and we provide scholarships.
Student researchers may be eligible for an Undergraduate Research Scholar Designation that shows up on their transcripts and includes a cord at graduation.
Have your undergraduate researcher share the amazing research that also fosters professional development by presenting at the Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Educational programming is vital for ongoing learning for undergraduate researchers across campus, check out the OUR Undergraduate Research Education Series.
Information sharing is vital to research – OUR has a wide-network of social, email communities, and opportunities that we are more than happy to promote opportunities to OUR community.
OUR provides advising to any undergraduate researcher at the University of Utah. We see our role as supporting researchers at any stage of their research journey and are here to support faculty working with undergraduate mentees.

The OUR and VPR Office are here to support all faculty and student research collaborations at the University of Utah. We are committed to research innovation and collaboration, and invite folks to consult with our offices.
Annie Isabel Fukushima, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies & Director, Office of Undergraduate Research
Jim Agutter, Senior Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies
Erin Rothwell, Interim Vice President for Research