Students share research during annual Undergraduate Research Symposium

Despite numerous power and internet outages during a winter storm that plagued north Louisiana in mid-February, Louisiana Tech University students and faculty, as well as parents and friends, gathered online to mark the 2020-21 Undergraduate Research Symposium on Feb. 18.

In preparation for the event, all students recorded their presentations in advance.

“Even if students weren’t able to log on because of the weather, we were still able to hear about all of the exciting and relevant research taking place across campus,” said Dr. Jamie Newman, Professor of Biology and event organizer. “Everyone did a great job showcasing the amazing research going on at Louisiana Tech, and the student introductions and presentations are still viewable on the Symposium webpage.”

Both oral and poster presentations were evaluated by members of the University community, and five students from each category were selected to represent Louisiana Tech at the University of Louisiana Academic Summit that will be held March 26.   

“This event – and our undergraduate research – doesn’t conclude after the presentations are done,” Newman said. “We will work over the remainder of the academic year to share more about these students, their research projects, and what undergraduate research has meant to their academic experience.”

In anticipation of this year’s event, workshops were held to assist students in writing abstracts and putting together presentations. Tonya Oaks Smith from University Communications, Kristi Stake and Tara Raue from the School of Communication, and Nick Bustamante from the School of Design prepared materials and worked with presenters to review visual, written, and oral communication. These workshops were new to the planning of the event and will continue in the future.

“I’d like to express my thanks to Chris Womack; Amy Bell; our outstanding judges, Cathi Cox-Boniol, Keri King, Katie Patrick, Sylvia Shultz, LeAnn Waldroup, Emily Becker, Dr. Shelcie Menard-Harvey, Dr. Johnette Magner, and Dr. Pedro Derosa; my fellow Associate Deans for Research Dr. Lindsey Keith-Vincent and Dr. Jim Palmer; workshop and planning team members Kristi Stake, Tara Raue, and Nick Bustamante; the student presenters for their dedication and patience; and the colleagues and advisors who support our students in these activities,” Newman said.

The following oral presentations were chosen to represent Louisiana Tech at the University of Louisiana Academic Summit: 

Halloysite Animal Hair Coating Optimization for Efficient Anti-lice Protection
Presenter: Faith Scott, Animal Science
Advisor: Dr. Yuri Lvov

Wastewater Detection of SARS-CoV-2
Presenter: Laura Lee, Biology
Advisor: Dr. Jamie Newman

Examining the use of the DMAIC Process on the Operational Plan Improvement for UPS Personal Vehicle Drivers
Presenters: Landry Seimears, Emily Theriot, and Courtney Wessels, Industrial Engineering
Advisor: Dr. Jun-Ing Ker

Initiation Into Sisterhood: An Examination of Transgender Women Doing and Undoing Gender in an American Sorority
Presenter: Jon Michael Judice, Sociology
Advisor: Dr. Jamie Boydston

Influence of Container Color and Medium Depth on Avian Herbivory of Longleaf Pine Seed
Presenter: Kelsey Shoemaker, Agricultural Science
Advisor: Paul Jackson

The following poster presentations were chosen to represent Louisiana Tech at the University of Louisiana Academic Summit:

Notch Signaling Plays a Key Role in Regulating Adult Stem Cell Osteogenic Differentiation
Presenters: Summer Adams, Biological Sciences, and Lucas Norris, Biomedical Engineering
Advisor: Dr. Jamie Newman

The Influence of MED12 Knockdown on Adipogenesis
Presenters: Emily Meaney and Jamie Sparkman, Biological Sciences
Advisor: Dr. Jamie Newman

Where Are the Women?: The Representation of Gendered Wartime Violence at Abu Ghraib in U.S. Newspapers
Presenters: Hyla Beachy, Sociology
Advisor: Dr. Brenda Savage

The Impact of Teacher Fidelity on the Effectiveness of WISE and Early Childhood Health Outcomes
Presenter: Megan Gremillion, Biological Sciences
Advisor: Dr. Julie Rutledge

What Environmental Factors Affect Calling Activity of Frogs in Northern Louisiana?
Presenter: Peyton Franklin, Environmental Science
Advisor: Dr. Julia Earl