Undergraduate Research Symposium 2020

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.

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


Robert Keaney – Warrior Spirit Tooele Combat Sports Program

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Faculty mentor: Elizabeth Archuleta
The Research Project, attempted to equip folks at the Warrior spirit drug recovery center with the means to create their own Combat Sports Program. This Research project was made possible by donations from the University Capstones funding. 
Watch my research presentation below.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: Timberfox97@gmail.com

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Mark Van der Merwe – Learning Continuous 3D Reconstructions for Geometrically Aware Grasping

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Faculty mentor: Tucker Hermans
Deep learning has enabled remarkable improvements in robotic grasp synthesis for previously unseen objects from partial object views. However, existing approaches lack the ability to explicitly reason about the full 3D geometry of the object when selecting a grasp, relying on indirect geometric reasoning derived when learning grasp success networks. In this work, we utilize learned reconstructions to explicitly model geometry in a constrained optimization grasp synthesis algorithm.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: mark.vandermerwe@utah.edu

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Poster 00: Mercedes Brown – Discourse of Difficulty: Trauma-Based Masculinity in Foster Care

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Faculty mentor: Kim Hackford-Peer
The current narrative of boys in foster care is that they are all too damaged from childhood trauma to ever recover, and their future possibilities are limited. My project is about tracing the ways that toxic masculinity and these traumatic childhood occurrences are reinforcing each other. The significant contribution my project will make is outlining an intervention in that narrative that allows us to simultaneously acknowledge these boys as important members of our community.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: HMsadiebrown@gmail.com


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Poster 0: Treasure Lundskog – Impact Of Mother’s Depression, Anxiety, Emotion Dysregulation, And Early Childhood Trauma On Hair Cortisol Levels During Pregnancy

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Faculty mentor: Elisabeth Conradt
Depression and anxiety are prevalent among pregnant mothers. Therefore, it is important to understand the implications maternal mental health may have on future maternal and offspring health. Understanding the physiological basis of maternal mental health and stress is also necessary as it may lead to better detection of maternal mental health deficits. This study examines several mental health variables and their relations to prenatal hair cortisol concentrations.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: treasurelundskog@gmail.com


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Poster 2: Luke Jowers – Partisanship’s Impact on Voting Behavior

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Faculty mentor: Scott Schaefer
This project answers the question of how much partisanship impacts voting behavior. The results make three unique and important contributions. First, that partisanship is a significant factor in determining an person’s likelihood to vote. Second, the 2016 election marked a shift towards increased involvement from extreme partisans. And third, as is shown in the Utah analysis, the general partisanship of the precinct that you live has a significant impact on a voter’s likelihood to vote.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: luke.jowers@icloud.com


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Poster 172: Crystal Spagnuolo – Establishing A Temporal Distribution for Ceramics of the Virgin River Branch of the Ancestral Puebloan

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Faculty mentor: Brian Codding
Dating archaeological sites is important for establishing patterns in settlement, trade, resource use, and population of prehistoric peoples. Unfortunately, direct techniques are not always possible. Using a relative dating system that employs ceramics is a cost-effective alternative. Here I have established a temporal model for ceramics found on sites that have had direct dating, to create a cross-reference that can be used by other researchers working in the Virgin River area.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: crystal.spagnuolo@utah.edu

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Poster 153: Shelby Dibble – Gender Disparities in the Evidence of Prehistoric Conflict Bears Ears National Monument

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Faculty mentor: Brian Codding
This project is the first to create a comprehensive database for conflict and trauma in Bears Ears National Monument. The end result is a descriptive examination of trauma on the osteological record in the region, specifically separated by gender disparities.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: shelby.dibble@gmail.com

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Poster 146: Nathan Caines, Devon Jecmen, James Beekhuizen – Assessment of Glucose’s Role in Cognitive Control

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Faculty mentor: Sara LoTemplio
Research suggests that both cognitive control and self-regulation share blood glucose as a common limiting resource, which we explore through a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover experiment. Using EEG, we measure the ERN in response to both glucose supplementation and placebo. We theorized that the consumption of glucose would increase the peak of the ERN compared to placebo. However preliminary data has not shown supportive evidence of this hypothesis.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at:
Nathan natecaines@gmail.com
Devon u1198996@utah.edu
James james.beekhuizen@utah.edu
 
 
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Poster 143: Jacob Bedke – Effects of Long-Term Memory on the Neural Components of Visual Attention During Visual Search

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Faculty mentor: Trafton Drew
This study examines the differences in visual search behavior and electrophysiological correlates examined using the ERP method of EEG when participants memorized the object information of objects they would later search for in different methods of encoding.
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Poster 52: Rachel Roser – The Unity of Blue

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Faculty mentor: Laurel Caryn
Cyanotype, an alternative photographic process, portrays hands of different colors in a wash of blue, thereby eliminating skin color and indications of race. I sought to take color/race off the table in order to equitably reveal the individual subjects as unique expressions of humanity.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: rachel.roser@utah.edu


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Poster 49: Kristen Bennett – Wildlife Altered

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Faculty mentor: Laurel Caryn
I often find my inspiration for projects from my personal experience growing up in Utah. Being an advocate for animals, I have noticed Utah’s natural world start to disappear. Every year more animals are becoming endangered and soon we may live in a world where certain species may only be seen through photographs or in museums. The animals I have chosen to photograph have gone through the taxidermy process, because this is the way we will likely see them in the future.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1041475@utah.edu


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Poster 13: Juliet Reynolds – Gay Straight Alliance Clubs, Utah Law and School Policy

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Faculty mentor: Kim Hackford-Peer
What began as an expansion of my son’s R.E.A.D.Y. club model, quickly evolved into a much more in-depth social study into why information is confusing and hard to find regarding LGBT issues in Utah public schools. There is a clear need for more accessible information for educators and administrators.
There are homophobic laws in place to prevent GSA’s from forming in junior high schools.
Educators and administrators are eager to support LGBT youth but are bound by outdated policy.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1217182@utah.edu


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Oral 10: Morena Santana – How do Portuguese as a Foreign Language Learners Perceive Feedback?

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Faculty mentor: Shannon Barrios
My research looks at conversational interaction to analyze whether or not learners recognize feedback as well as the nature of the feedback. The present research is a replication study on Mackey’s article (Mackey et. al 2000) where there were intermediate learners of English as a Second Language and intermediate learners of Italian as a foreign language, in which she investigated feedback recognition as well as the types of interactions.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: morenapaula.santana@gmail.com
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Poster 113: Varun Garg – Improved Synthetic Bioengineering Production of Polysaccharides and Size-Specific Oligosaccharides of Low Molecular Weight Heparosan, a Heparin Precursor

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Faculty mentor: Kuby Balagurunathan
Heparin is a widely used blood anticoagulant medicine used in millions of surgeries worldwide annually. Currently this medicine is produced using slaughtered pig intestines, which causes many issues and is not a stable world supply. The research focuses on using bioengineering to produce polysaccharides and oligosaccharides of heparosan, a precursor to Heparin.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1053450@utah.edu


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Poster 26: Asmita Dulal – Osteoblast Cells Behavior on Fluoridated Hydroxyapatite

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Faculty mentor: Sujee Jeyapalina
The aim of this study was to assess the ability of FA and FHA surfaces to induce osteoblast differentiation. The degree of cellular differentiation was quantified using qPCR techniques, and titanium (Ti) and HA were used as the controls as they are the currently used in orthopedic applications.
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Poster 30: Tyler Gee – Machined Learning of Breath-based Volatile Organic Compound Sensors for Improved Diagnosis

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Faculty mentor: Swomitra Mohanty
Titanium Oxide sensors developed by Dr. Mohanty and his team are being used to diagnose TB patients in Uganda. The patient breath samples for diagnosis needed a way to be analyzed and to aid in diagnosis. Two types of tests were done amperometry and cyclic voltammetry. Originally machine learning was the proposed method however numerical methods proved more effective. The hypothesized signals ended being inconclusive due to the small sample size and nature of pediatric samples.
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Transform Undergraduate Research Showcase

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Students in Transform, and Students mentored by Transform faculty do amazing work. We are very proud of them and had hoped to celebrate them in person.
We hope you are intrigued, moved, or even inspired to do research yourself. Be in touch!

Poster 5: BRYNN ADAMS – Queer Resilience in Action: The History of an LGBT Student Club at Brigham Young University
Poster 00: MERCEDES BROWN – Discourse of Difficulty: Trauma-Based Masculinity in Foster Care
Poster 6: LAUREN CORDOVA – Associations Between Sociodemographics, Method Choice and Discontinuation of Free Contraceptives
Poster 7: ALEXANDER HIRAI – Loss Associated with Japanese American Incarceration
Poster 8: JENNY HOBBS – Wokbe: Implicit Bias Web app Pilto
ROBERT KEANEY – Warrior Spirit Tooele Combat Sports Program
Poster 9: JOCELYNE LOPEZ – Hablemos Salud
Poster 10: VERONICA LUKASINSKI – The Impact of the Non-Fatal Strangulation Protocol in Salt Lake County on Protective Orders
Poster 11: TIYA MAHI – Performance as Solidarity
Poster 12: CHRISTINE MARTINEZ – Runnin’ Utes or Runnin’ Racism: Discourse Analysis of the University of Utah Mascot 1930-1998
Poster 13: JULIET REYNOLDS – Gay Straight Alliance Clubs, Utah Law and School Policy
Poster 14: ALEX SON – Strengthening Communities
Visual Arts 1: MANDY TRAN – Love to Resist
Poster 167: JOHNNY RODRIGUEZ – Social and Economic Factors: the Influencers of Contraceptive Effectiveness
Poster 168: JOHNNY RODRIGUEZ – Reclaiming the Sterilized Body
Poster 163: PEDRO PADILLA-MARTINEZ – What do Marijuana Arrests Look Like in Utah? Are there Racial Disparities?
Poster 178: EYLÜL YEL – Crafting Authenticity in Utah’s Distilled Spirit Industry


Poster 161: Jacqueline Nguyen – The use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) within Refugee Communities

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Faculty mentor: Akiko Kamimura
The purpose of this survey research is to understand what kind of CAM modalities refugees are likely to use, whether they use it in conjunction with conventional medicine, and the expectations refugees have of American Physicians with regards to their use of CAM. We conducted a self-interviewer- administered surveys among refugees resettled in the US. Over three-quarters of refugees use an herbal medicine, nearly 80% of refugees use non-prescription pain medicine, and etc.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: nguyen.jacqueline20@gmail.com


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Poster 159: Uyen Hoang – The Misogyny of Climate Denialism and its Influence on World Leaders’ Climate Response

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Faculty mentor: Tabitha Benney
My research serves to investigate the interconnectedness of misogyny and climate denialism by examining various identities and how they may influence, change, or even perpetuate inaction in the international system. By conducting a content analysis on three current world leaders, I hope to present a clearer understanding on how masculine identities in state leaders has evolved counter to public opinion and democratic norms to impact climate change policies and the future of the human race.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1012666@utah.edu
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Poster 98: Tori Moody – The effect of mitofusion 2 on megakaryocyte function and mitochondrial morphology

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Faculty mentor: Robert Campbell
My project is on the mitochondrial morphology and how it effects platelet function and half life.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: torimoody5@gmail.com
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Oral 12: Alyssa Stringham – “Most she touched me by her muteness”: the Indexicality of Women’s Poetry in Needlework, Dissection, and the Female Voice

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Faculty mentor: Disa Gambera
My research was reading done toward the goal of writing my honors thesis. I focused first on theory and learning about semiotics and indexicality as a function of language, with many readings taken from Ferdinand de Saussure, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, and Kaja Silverman, among others. Then I shifted to a general view of women’s work and textiles as a genre. I narrowed my focus to Adrienne Rich, Emily Dickinson, and Paisley Rekdal, and secondary texts about Dickinson’s life and works.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: u0848225@utah.edu
View my Presentation Slides HERE 

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Poster 157: Logan Hastings – Reconstructing paleoclimate variability in Baja California, Mexico through paleoecological analyses

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Faculty mentor: Jennifer Watt
This is a paleoclimate reconstruction using paleoecological data from Baja California. Supplemental analysis of loss on ignition was additionally conducted to support final results.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: logan.hastings01@gmail.com

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Poster 61: Erica Emery – Pedal Away Parkinson’s: Recreational Therapy Specific Program

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Faculty mentor: Melissa Zahl
The Pedal Away Parkinson’s: Recreational Therapy Specific Program project was to assist participants at the L.S. Skaggs Wellness Center to be more involved in the Pedal Away Parkinson’s event. Through this program the participants will identify attitudes and emotions towards their diagnosis and cycling. Gain an understanding of their personal barriers and how to overcome them. Finally, the participants will get the chance to ride bicycles and be involved in the Pedal Away Parkinson’s event.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: erica.emery@utah.edu


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Poster 12: Christine Martinez – Runnin’ Utes or Runnin’ Racism: Discourse Analysis of the University of Utah Mascot 1930-1998

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Faculty mentor: Wanda Pillow
This research is a discourse analysis and investigation of how the University of Utah participates in the portrayal and representation of Indigenous Peoples and culture from 1930-1998. With the intended purpose of bringing more awareness to the impact the University of Utah’s legacy has had on its identity of Indigenous depictions.
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Poster 149: Ian Clark – Changes in Climate and Fire during past droughts in the Uinta Mountains: A case study of the Medieval Climate Anomaly from 800- 1200 A.D.

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Faculty mentor: Mitchell Power
My research is related to the possibility of more severe and more frequent wildfire potential as the result of rising temperatures and increased drought, in the Uinta Mountains, Utah. I am observing the Medieval Climate Anomaly (800-1200 A.D.) when climactic conditions similar to those seen today and continuing into our near future post significant risk, and deserve our attention. Through a detailed analysis of lakebed sediments for particulate charcoal, I reconstruct past wildfire conditions.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: u0891061@utah.edu


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Poster 1: Naren Anandh – Visual Documentation: Kabuli Nomadic Camp

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Faculty mentor: Shundana Yusaf
Traditional architectural knowledge is focused on monuments and spatial production of the elite. It has made architects blind to the intelligence of cultures of scarcity, that work with the little resources that they have. The 20th and 21st centuries are the times of mass human migration, human displacement and creation of scarcity. The culture that I focused on that was able to produce incredibly sustainable architecture while in scarcity are the Kabuli People of Khyber
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Poster 142: Claire Baer – Treeline Migration Patterns of Pinus edulis Throughout the Holocene

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Faculty mentor: Larry Coats
The topic of this research was to investigate the arrival of a far-flung population of Colorado pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) in the Crawford Mountains located in Northeastern Utah. Using a reconstructive environmental proxy, Packrat (Neotoma) midden samples, we were able to identify macrofossils from past environments to radiocarbon date to get accurate emergence dates of this new species to the area. 
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Poster 154: Claire Dinehart – Examining Free Clinic Patients Household Environmental Safety and the Resulting Impact on Their Perceived Stress Levels

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Faculty mentor: Akiko Kamimura 
The purpose of this research project is to examine the association between household environmental safety and stress among uninsured primary care patients who live in poverty. Identifying these stress-related household environmental safety concerns provides a basis from which stress-reducing interventions can be launched. Providing education about environmental safety and local resources is the first step towards improving stress conditions in at-risk populations.
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Poster 152: Linda Derhak, Samuel Bey, & Zahra Saifee – Utahn’s Health Risk Perception Surrounding Air Pollution

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Faculty mentor: Tabitha Benney  
Our research project aims to understand Utahn’s perception of the short-term and long-term health risks of air pollution by looking at the perception differences among Utahn’s of high and low socioeconomic statuses. We utilized Dr. Tabitha Benney’s survey data of Utahn’s perceptions of air quality to test our hypotheses. This research will help inform policy, environmental education and awareness campaigns in the future.
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Linda, Derhaklinda@gmail.com
Samuel, u0999183@utah.edu
Zahra, u0792416@utah.edu


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Dinorah Segovia – Design and Fabrication of Si Micro/Nanowires through Thermal Oxidation

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Faculty mentor: Heayoung Yoon
This project focused on understanding the rate of growth of SiO2 (silicon dioxide) on trenches and planar Si (silicon) samples. This was done using rigorous cleaning processes and thermal oxidation methods. This research can then be used to fabricate Si micro/nano pillars and measure the electrical and optical properties.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: dinorah.segovia@utah.edu
View my Presentation Slides HERE

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Poster 65: Lauren Thompson – Inducible Disruption of Endothelial Cell Ceramide Biosynthesis: Vascular Implications

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Faculty mentor: J. David Symons
We tested the hypothesis that deleting ceramide biosynthesis specifically in endothelial cells (ECs) attenuates obesity-induced arterial dysfunction. Metabolic and vascular phenotyping was completed using wild type mice and mice with EC-specific deletion of Sptlc2 that consumed standard or high fat chow for 14-weeks. Preliminary results indicate obesity-induced metabolic and vascular disruptions are not attenuated by EC-specific Sptlc2 deletion.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: u0945466@utah.edu


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Poster 171: Taylor Silkey – The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree: Comparing the Physical Activity of Parents and Their Adolescents

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Faculty mentor: Rebecca Utz 
Our research project studies familial health habits between adolescents and their parents, with the goal of finding correlations between the two. We also studied these individual’s perspective of their health vs. how healthy they actually are. Our study gives us the opportunity to learn how to promote healthier habits at the family level, thus developing new methods of preventative medicine and minimizing young adults becoming chronically ill.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1031039@utah.edu


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Poster 71: Nicholas Cockrell – The U.S. Civil Rights Movement: Soviet Propaganda and International Reactions

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Faculty mentor: Julie Ault
I hope to offer a unique perspective on the international pressures the United States faced as a result of their Civil Rights Movement by focusing on the propaganda campaigns of both major superpowers. By studying the Civil Rights Movement through an international lens, we can better understand how the Cold War shaped the United States’ domestic policy.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: nicholas.cockrell123@gmail.com


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Poster 67: Ellen Williams – Neurophysiological changes in aging and cognitive decline: A cross-sectional pilot study using surface EEG.

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Faculty mentor: Keith Lohse
This research explores how a novel group of older adults with mild cognitive impairments (MCI) fit into previously investigated patterns of EEG power spectra seen in healthy younger adults (YA) and older adults (OA). The new MCI group represents a population that has shown to progress to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, so understanding their EEG power spectra could lead to improved diagnosis and prevention of such disease progression by non-invasive means.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: ellen.williams@utah.edu
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Poster 81: Adara DeNiro – Developing Antibodies for Determining Structures of Polycystic Kidney Disease Proteins

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Faculty mentor: Erhu Cao 
Two proteins in the kidneys, polycystin-1 and polycystin-2, interact in renal tubules and promote the normal development and function of the kidneys. However, the proteins’ actions are not well understood. Polycystin-1 and Polycystin-2 are encoded by the PKD1 gene and the PKD2 gene respectively. A mutation in either of these genes can lead to ADPKD and eventually renal failure. Currently, there is no cure for ADPKD due to setbacks regarding structural determination of the ADPKD proteins.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1135722@utah.edu
 


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Poster 23: Matthew Dailey – Perfluoroalkyl Contaminant Sensor

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Faculty mentor: Swomitra Mohanty 
My research was to develop a PFAS contaminant sensor. The sensor was to modular in series with others and incorporate a TiO2 nanotube substrate to treat the water when a voltage was applied.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: matthewjames003@gmail.com


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Poster 134: Sam Raber – Assessing Tyrant Flycatcher Species and Subspecies Populations in Utah by Using Mitochondrial DNA Barcodes

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Faculty mentor: Cagan Sekercioglu
The Sekercioglu lab has a stock of feathers and blood samples from birds banded at the Rio Mesa Center. I utilized these samples to corroborate or correct identifications made in the field by using the mitochondrial gene for cytochrome c oxidase I. Utah provides vital riparian breeding habitat for some flycatcher species. Stopover sites help guarantee successful migration. Thus, having accurate population counts will allow for improved assessments regarding conservation efforts and threats
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: sraber97@gmail.com
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Luke Jowers – Partisanship’s Impact on Voting Behavior

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Faculty mentor: Scott Schaefer
This project answers the question of how much partisanship impacts voting behavior. The results make three unique and important contributions. First, that partisanship is a significant factor in determining an person’s likelihood to vote. Second, the 2016 election marked a shift towards increased involvement from extreme partisans. And third, as is shown in the Utah analysis, the general partisanship of the precinct that you live has a significant impact on a voter’s likelihood to vote.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: luke.jowers@icloud.com


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Oral 18: Sara Leininger – Using Redox Active Polymers as Anode and Cathode Species in a Redox Flow Battery

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Faculty mentor: Shelley Minteer
This project seeks to improve current energy storage by creating a nonaqueous organic redox flow battery that uses redox active polymers as anolyte and catholyte species. I hypothesize that using compounds of high molecular weight paired with a size-selective membrane will minimize crossover and elongate the lifetime of a battery.
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Questions or comments? Contact me at: u1148333@utah.edu
View my Presentation Slides HERE

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