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Chung Hao Lee

Thu, 10/04/2018 - 13:09

Jessica Ames

Mon, 09/24/2018 - 11:21
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major:  Chemical BiosciencesResearch Mentor:  Christina BourneDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

During my junior and senior years at OU, I worked in Dr. Christina Bourne’s Chemistry/Biochemistry lab. Dr. Bourne’s lab studies toxin-antitoxin systems. TA systems, as they are often called, are made of proteins and/or RNA and are non-secreted; they stay within the cell. TA systems offer cells a mechanism of regulation in stressful environments. These stressors – such as extreme temperature, nutrient starvation, or antibiotic tolerance – allow the toxin to become free from its partner antitoxin. The toxin can then disrupt important cellular processes such as transcription, translation, and replication.My role in this project focused on further characterizing one such toxin. I determined the binding kinetics between the toxin and its antitoxin and further studied its role in inhibiting DNA Gyrase – an enzyme crucial for DNA replication. Additionally, I was able to investigate a new function of this toxin after the lab discovered it was capable of cleaving DNA. Investigating this nuclease function involved identifying key residues thought to be involved in the function and mutating them to another, non-reactive residue. The further characterization of this toxin was crucial for better understating how these TA systems function in bacteria, and it raised questions regarding the current annotations of TA systems

Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students:

Undergraduate research has taught me more lessons than I could have ever imagined (inside of the lab and out!), and I’m really excited about the doors it has opened for me. If I had to distill what I’ve learned to a few key points, they’d be as follows:1. Good mentors are key.Find a mentor who not only is doing research that you are interested in, but one who is also interested in your growth and development as a scientist. Just as important as research interests aligning is personalities meshing. Find a supervisor who you get along with! With this being said, it’s important to do your homework on this matter. Talk to other students who have worked with a research supervisor to see if the lab would be a good fit for you.2. Be engaged and take ownership of your project.In your first research project, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed really quickly. Every day, you’ll be learning new words, skills, and techniques. Ask questions when you don’t understand things or when you get stuck, talk to more experienced lab members, and make an effort to be involved in lab related activities (presenting at group meetings or even a conference!). It is important to note, though, that managing classwork and labwork can be a challenge (trust me, I learned the hard way). Be mindful of the time management skills that will be necessary when balancing the two.3. Be okay with failure.Failing is a part of research. Get used to that now. In fact, failure means you took a risk, and great things can happen when you take risks! Don’t be afraid to present a poster at a conference. Don’t be afraid to make a suggestion to your supervisor. Don’t be afraid to try something that hasn’t been done before. I guess I should say that it’s okay to be afraid to do those things, but do them anyway! You cannot grow if you never leave your comfort zone.

Awards and/or presentations: Awards: • Fellowship for the Viral and Bacterial Adhesin Network Training (ViBrANT), a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action, to conduct doctoral studies at the Pasteur Institute (09/2018) • Extending Bioengineering and Structural Biology from U. of Oklahoma to Exeter - A National Science Foundation supplementary grant to OK-LSAMP enabling the student to conduct research at the University of Exeter in Exeter, UK (05/2017) • Undergraduate Research Scholarship in X-Ray-based Structural Biology (04/2017)   Presentations: • Curiosity to Creativity Symposium (07/2018) – University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK, US), Not Quite Par for the Course: How the AtParE4 Toxin is Challenging the Par-type Annotation (poster) o Best visual impact o Most Effectively Communicated • Center of Biomedical Research Excellence in Structural Biology Symposium (06/2018) – University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK, US), Investigation of the Novel Functions of the Bacterial Toxin AtParE4 (poster) o Best Undergraduate Poster Presentation • Senior Thesis and Four-Year Research Experience Poster Session (05/2018) – University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK, US), Investigation of the Novel Functions of the Bacterial Toxin AtParE4 (poster) • Curiosity to Creativity Symposium (04/2018) – University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK, US), Investigation of the Novel Functions of the Bacterial Toxin AtParE4 (poster) o Most Effectively Communicated • National Conference on Undergraduate Research (04/2018) – University of Central Oklahoma (Edmond, OK, US), Investigation of the Novel Functions of the Bacterial Toxin AtParE4 (poster) • Great Plains Infectious Disease Meeting (11/2017) – University of Kansas (Lawrence, KS, US), Structure-Function Studies of a Bacterial Toxin (poster) • Louis Stokes Midwestern Center for Excellence (10/2017) – (Indianapolis, IN, US), A Sweet Vaccine-It Just Clicks! (poster) • OK-LSAMP Annual Research Symposium (09/2017) – Oklahoma State University (Stillwater, OK, US) • A Sweet Vaccine-It Just Clicks! (oral presentation), Optimization of an Engineered Polysaccharide Pathway for Click Chemistry (poster) • PhD and PostDoc Internal Seminar Series (07/2017) – University of Exeter (Exeter, Devon, UK), A Sweet Vaccine-It Just Clicks! (oral presentation) • Frontiers in Life in Environmental Sciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences Conference (06/2017) – University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, UK, Optimization of an Engineered Polysaccharide Pathway for Click Chemistry (Poster) • Curiosity to Creativity Symposium (04/2017) – University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK, US), Mapping the DNA Gyrase:ParE Toxin Interface Using Chemical Crosslinking (Poster) • West Coast Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium (04/2017) – Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA, US), Mapping the DNA Gyrase:ParE Toxin Interface Using Chemical Crosslinking (oral presentation) o 3rd Place Biochemistry Oral Presentation • American Chemical Society Wabash Valley Local Section Undergraduate Research Conference (10/2016) – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, IN, US), Mapping the DNA Gyrase:ParE Toxin Interface Using Chemical Crosslinking (Oral presentation) • NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates in Structural Biology Poster Session (07/2016) – University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK, US), Mapping the DNA Gyrase:ParE Toxin Interface Using Chemical Crosslinking (poster)

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Qinxin Liao

Tue, 08/14/2018 - 03:27
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: Chemistry and BiochemistryResearch Mentor: Ulrich H.E. HansmannDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Alzheimer’s disease(AD) is well-known as a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by extracellular senile plaques in brain. The fibrillar aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides plays an essential role in the pathology of AD. Previous experimental work points out that fatty acids such as lauric acid could induce oligomerization of Aβ42. We use docking methods to predict the target binding sites of the lauric acid for a certain model of Aβ42 oligomers. Then we study the interaction between Aβ peptides and lauric acid with atomistic molecular dynamics(MD) simulation and try to reveal the influence of ligands for Aβ42 oligomers and the corresponding molecular mechanism. The reasonable binding sites suggest the negative-charged ligands might influence the Lysine residues on Aβ42 oligomers. Meanwhile, the stability of Aβ42 oligomers is increased significantly when the ratio of Aβ42 peptide to lauric acid is 1:1.

Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students:

Basal knowledge of biochemistry and the technology of programming and know how to use software such as VMD and gromacs.

Published Work:

n/a

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Emily Gutierrez

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 20:26
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major:  Microbiology-BiotechnologyResearch Mentor:  Dr. Brad Stevenson, Emily JunkinsDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Current drug therapy approaches include identifying natural products produced by plants and microorganisms due to their therapeutic effects against pathogens. One source of metabolic diversity and putative natural products is in the microbial communities of roadkill mammals as these microbiomes represent phylogenetically diverse taxa and, by extension, potential for novel antimicrobial natural products. The rationale behind this resource resides in host specificity; namely, that if a non-human mammal can tolerate a certain microbial compound then humans may also be able to tolerate that compound with limited cytotoxicity. Using high-throughput, assay guided screening, and a co-cultivation approach, we identified one species, Streptomyces sp. SPB74, to be inhibitive of human pathogen Enterococcus faecium. Crude compound extracts were obtained via ethyl acetate extraction and are being identified via LCMS. Overall, the cultivation approach and screening pipeline isolated bioactive organisms from road kill mammals, proving the mammalian microbiome to be a viable sampling choice.

Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students:

Although I had taken laboratory classes required for my major, nothing could have prepared me for the arduous, yet rewarding process of undergraduate research. I learned critical skills and molecular tools that will serve to help me in my career as a researcher. One important concept that I quickly learned was that not everyday would be a success; failing was okay. Some days would be spent correcting reoccurring issues, making the days where we would see a breakthrough in our research much more meaningful.

Awards and/or presentations:

Emily Gutierrez, Dr. Brad Stevenson, and Emily Junkins. “Roadkill Mammals as a Source for Antibiotic Producing Microorganisms". Poster Presentation. Curiosity to Creativity Symposium. Norman, OK.

Published Work:

n/a

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Eric Budder

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 10:57
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major:  Civil EngineeringResearch Mentor:  Dr. FloydDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Bridges often need to be repaired at their joints, where two sections of concrete are connected. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) wants to know the feasibility of using ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) to replace old bridge joints in Oklahoma. This is an effort to reduce costs and extend the time interval between bridge repairs. UHPC could make this possible due to its impressive tensile and compressive strengths, high durability, and low permeability when compared to Normal Strength Concrete (NSC). This project specifically analyses behavior of the UHPC/NSC interface during cyclical loading. I essentially "glued" (my words) two NSC slabs together with UHPC to make a model bridge connection. This was constructed with materials imitating what we can reasonably expect to find in an actual Oklahoma bridge with methods designed with field work in mind, for greater understanding of real world implementation. In the near future this project will see the model bridge connection cyclically loaded by a hydraulic press with loads just beneath and just above the expected cracking load.This project is ongoing at the time of writing, but results will include the cracking load and failure load of the model bridge connection as well as a better understanding of interface properties such as bond strength. I expect the UHPC repair to the model bridge joint will enhance the flexural strength of the entire structure and that the UHPC/NSC interface will have a bond strength greater than the NSC medium adjacent to it.

Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students:

When I first started my research I only had experiences with chemistry laboratories from college classes. My research was done in Fears Engineering Lab on OU's research campus, and the tolerances of experimental design are much greater in this setting which initially surprised me. But when drilling holes in concrete or setting rebar on a hot day, small discrepancies are expected. This contrasted with, say, pipetting just the proper amount of liquid in a few experiments from my old gen chem labs.I also learned, unsurprisingly, that keeping a notebook to maintain a timeline and record observations and thoughts is a great way to stay organized and effective. Organization is key.

Awards and/or presentations:

Broadest Impact, Curiosity to Creativity Summer Symposium 2018

Published Work:

n/a

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Kevin Robb

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 13:24
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: Computer Science / Engineering PhysicsResearch Mentor: Dr. Dean HougenDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Traditional reinforcement learning (RL) populations evolve risk-aversion. Recently, the concept of nurturing has added another layer of complexity and possibility to artificial neural networks. Ideally, an RL population would evolve risk-aversion on its own, and when augmented with a safe-exploration nurturing period, would instead evolve risk-neutrality. My experiment specifically shows that in an environment with two risky options and one safe option, an asymmetric reward distribution causes nurtured agents to learn to take risks and distinguish between the different risky options, taking over the niche and pushing the non-nurtured population out or to extinction. This has applications in classifying environments based on whether they will support risky or non-risky populations, based solely on the setup parameters. This model can be used to evolve risk evaluation software for AI or to predict future trends in a biological population based on the current "riskiness" of its agents.

Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students:

When I first started this project, I learned that computer science is not as finite a field as I had before assumed. When designing simulations, there is inevitably variability and randomness, but this randomness can be grouped into trends, forming order out of chaos. I also learned that although words like “machine learning” and “neural network” sound like advanced technical jargon, getting into computer science research is not nearly as hard as I expected. I was in my first semester at OU when I applied for the HERE program in Dr. Hougen’s REAL Lab, and after working in his lab for two semesters now I can say that I understand all the theory well enough to make it work with code, and I’m on the path to truly grasping the theory as well. Working on my projects in short bursts while pondering my next steps in between has proven a great strategy for not wasting my energy on future problems I may have already unwittingly solved.

Awards and/or presentations:

Presented at Summer 2018 Curiosity 2 Creativity Symposium

Published Work:

n/a

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Maya Henderson

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 09:13
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major:  Environmental Sustainability Research Mentor:  Dr. Angela Person and Dr. Randy Peppler Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

This summer I was able to chose my own research topic which was based around the question, How are green cities defined and socially constructed? I began with a literature review of the definitions on green cities. I read books, articles, and journals all defining green cities. When discovering social constructions I used discourse analysis on media articles for three case study green cities and the United States overall. From that analysis and the consensus I found from the literature review on the definitions, I wrote on the social constructions of green cities. Each town that I analyzed had their own construction and I connected them together with the US in order to answer my research question.

Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students:

Getting started you should know that it will take more time than you most likely anticipate. The researching and collecting of data were the easiest part, although I thought the opposite coming into the project. Staying organized and on a set schedule that allows maximum efficiency is difficult but well worth the effort.

Published Work:

Green City: Buzzword to Implementation https://envlab.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/green-city-buzzword-to-implement...

Video or other content: 

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=ae6e45c8ad534f95962...

Daniella Rodriguz

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 06:38
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major:  Environmental SustainabilityResearch Mentor:  Dr. Randy Peppler, Dr. Angela PersonDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

For my undergraduate research project, I worked on studying how strategic sustainability performance plans and executive orders are implemented in federal agencies across the United States.

Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students:

Getting started you should know that I just recently became as ES major. Initially, I was an astronomy major and after come complications with a subject I decided to change my major and start fresh as an ES major spring of my sophomore year. Because this is my first research project I have ever conducted by myself, I have learned that dedication and creativity are important. Good things take time and if one is not willing to put in hard work, then he or she will not receive a good outcome.

Published Work:

https://wordpress.com/post/envlab.wordpress.com/920

Video or other content: 

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=f46efb94717d44ffbe9...

Katherine Avery

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 15:26
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: Computer ScienceResearch Mentor: Dr. Amy McGovernDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are an effective tool for automatically locating bird roosts using radar. NEXt generation weather RADars (NEXRAD) are designed to collect data on weather, but they also pick up information on moving, airborne objects, including birds. NEXRAD helps ecologists to detect bird roost location, but this data is tedious to process manually. Therefore, ANNs detected the roosts automatically from a NEXRAD image dataset of purple martin and tree swallow roosts in the eastern U.S. Four types of radar field images, including reflectivity, velocity, Rho HV, and Zdr, were useful for finding roosts. The ANN achieved an accuracy, true positive rate, and true negative rate of around 80 percent each, showing that this method has potential as a tool for roost detection. Convolutional neural networks (CNNs), a type of ANN, were found to perform better than the traditional ANNs, achieving an accuracy, true positive rate, and true negative rate of over 90 percent each.

Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students:

Even if you’re intimidated by reaching out to people, do it anyway because they often surprise you. I sent Dr. McGovern a cold email during first semester of my freshman year and asked if I could join her lab. I hadn’t met her before, but I saw her on the computer science faculty page, and I thought that her work looked interesting. Unexpectedly, she said yes, and I started doing research with her right away.

Awards and/or presentations:

Awards: Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention; National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Collegiate Award Honorable Mention;

Conferences: 98th Annual Meeting of the American Meteorological Society; Austin, TX; 7-11 January 2018; funded by the University of Oklahoma; National Conference of Undergraduate Research; Edmond, OK; 4-7 April 2018; funded by NSF (through LSAMP) Undergraduate Research Day; Norman, OK; 7 April 2018; Curiosity to Creativity Symposium; Norman, OK; 25 April 2018.

Published Work:

Avery, K., 2018: Automated Detection of Bird Roosts Using NEXRAD Radar Data and Artificial Neural Networks. Honor’s thesis, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

Chilson, C., K. Avery, A. McGovern, E. Bridge, D. Sheldon, and J. Kelly, 2018: Automated Detection of Bird Roosts Using NEXRAD Radar Data and Convolutional Neural Networks. Remote Sensing and Ecology and Conservation, submitted.

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Emily Hays

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 15:22
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: ArchitectureResearch Mentor: Dr. Angela PersonDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

McMansions are the embodiment of capitalism's limitless consumption. These, in a maze of suburban streets, came to represent the "American Dream." This ideal has serious implications in US societies, on environments, and on individual health. Social and economic divides were established or reinforced by suburbanization. This lack of diversity has led to unfair stigmas applied to groups of people which has increased racism and xenophobia. With no regulations at the start of suburbanization and not enough in place now, homes are built using chemicals and compounds which poison the occupants. While lead and asbestos are now banned, many chemicals are still in use which are proven to or show a strong correlation to the degradation of human health. This is not to mention the sourcing of these materials and the damage it does to the environment and the people of that region. The building sector is one of the largest consumers and polluters in the US.

Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students:

With any major project, research or otherwise, the best thing you can do is start early. I always set weekly goals, but you should work with whatever schedule suits you best. If you can work on something a little bit all the time, you will accomplish your goal with no huge stress at the end. This will also allow you to have periodic checks by professors and peers to ensure quality and clarity.

Awards and/or presentations:

Hays, Emily. "McMansions & Urban Sprawl." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK.

Published Work:

n/a

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Emily Eix

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 15:19
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: MicrobiologyResearch Mentor: Marc LibaultDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

The ability for plants to grow under drought conditions is becoming increasingly important. As climate change leads to more frequent occurrence of droughts, crops must be able to withstand these conditions. Sorghum, in addition to being a major food crop in the U.S., is adapted to grow in water-limited areas, and is therefore a good model for studying drought-tolerant phenotypes. The root system is specialized in the uptake of water, so we characterized morphological root traits important in the ability of a plant to adapt to drought conditions. We studied these traits by crossing drought-resistant and drought-susceptible sorghum parental lines to create recombinant lines with a mixture of these traits. Using these recombinants, we evaluated changes to the root system in response to both drought and well-watered conditions. These phenotypic adaptations to drought stress can be linked to specific genes and used to create drought-tolerant crops.

Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students:

Throughout my time working on this project, the most important thing I have learned is how to figure out solutions when things don't go as expected. While it can be frustrating, some of the best learning comes from figuring out a different approach when something doesn't work the first time. I would say that any undergraduates interested in research should seek out any opportunities to get involved, as it is a valuable learning experience and a good way to figure out your interests.

Awards and/or presentations:

At the Spring 2018 Curiosity to Creativity Symposium, my poster received the Broader Impact award.

Published Work:

n/a

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Emily Mee

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 15:17
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: Political Science, co-enrolled in an accelerated Masters of Public AdministrationResearch Mentor: Dr. Ana Bracic, Dr. Cindy Simon RosenthalDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Research suggests that women and men legislators differ in their framing of policy issues. In studies comparing attitudes and vocabulary usage, women tended to conceptualize policy issues differently than their male colleagues. Kathlene Lyn designed an experiment testing this theory, finding that women and men legislators in Colorado considered the origins of and solutions to crime differently. Through my research, I hoped to test the generalizability of this study, by applying this hypothesis to the topic of economic opportunity through the policy issue of payday-loans. Based on existing evidence, I hypothesized that women legislators would refer to economic issues from a contextual standpoint, in this case using situational words to describe the high number of payday-loan borrowers. In contrast, I hypothesize that male legislators use language more instrumental in nature; alluding to the idea that people are autonomous individuals responsible for their own successes and failures.

Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students:

My experiences with this research project opened me up to a new set of skills and experiences that I know will be valuable when applying for graduate school. I would advise students to get started on a research project as early as possible in your academic career. Figure out what you're passionate about, and find a mentor in your field.

Awards and/or presentations:

Presented at NCUR 2018, and at Curiosity 2 Creativity 2018 Spring Symposium, Received "Best Broadest Impact" award

Published Work:

n/a

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Courtney Geller

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 15:12
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: Studio ArtResearch Mentor: Todd Stewart/Robert BaileyDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Fieldworks is an initiative of the School of Visual Arts at the University of Oklahoma that blends research and teaching in an ongoing artistic and art-historical exploration of land use and interpretation in the deserts of the western United States. Open-ended, collaborative, and transdisciplinary, its participants engage in fieldwork that results in creative, scholarly, and pedagogical outcomes, including exhibitions, publications, and events that explore the changing relationship between humanity and the planet. Among its core elements is a biannual two-week excursion into the field that brings the School’s faculty, students, and staff together to explore a central thematic. For the 2013 Road to Ruscha project, this meant retracing the path that the artist Ed Ruscha traveled to create his seminal 1963 artist’s book Twentysix Gasoline Stations. In 2015, a second group traveled throughout the Sonoran, Mojave, and Great Basin Deserts to investigate earthworks such as...

Awards and/or presentations:

Geller, Courtney. "Fieldworks: An Artistic and Art Historical Exploration of Land use and Interpretation." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Rose Marinaro

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 15:08
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: Chemical EngineeringResearch Mentor: Angela PersonDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Poster presentation of research produced during "Environment and Society," situating an object of concern (Dams) at the intersections of environment and society.

Awards and/or presentations:

Marinaro, Rose. "What’s the Dam Problem?." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Camille Schlemme

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 15:05
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: Environmental SustainabilityResearch Mentor: Angela PersonDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

"Environment and Society," situating an object of concern (The Risks and Hazards Associated With The Production And Use of Concrete) at the intersections of environment and society

Awards and/or presentations:

Schlemme, Camille. "The Risks and Hazards Associated With The Production And Use of Concrete." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Ben Whipkey

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 14:59
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: BiologyResearch Mentor: Elizabeth BergeyDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

The Tiger Snail (Anguispira alternata) is an eastern land snail that extends into northeastern Oklahoma. Beyond this range, a large disjunct population occurs in the central Oklahoma (Cleveland and McClain Counties). We assessed possible mechanisms for long-distance dispersal, using timed searches of preferred habitats in woodlands in 19 counties extending westward from the eastern Oklahoma range limit. No snails were found in between historical and disjunct populations. However, empty shells were found in Bryan County (southcentral Oklahoma), washed up along the shoreline of Lake Texoma. These shells originated in the Washita River drainage and were carried downstream to Lake Texoma during floods – indicating that the disjunct population is widely spread (e.g., possibly in Garvin County). Because snails move slowly, the lack of tiger snails between the known and disjunct sites indicates movement via human activities, such as the transport by firewood or the plant trade, rather than...

Awards and/or presentations:

Whipkey, Ben. "Long distance travel - at a snails pace." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Elizabeth Van Swearingen

Tue, 06/12/2018 - 14:55
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: Spanish/Modern Languages, Literature, and LinguisticsResearch Mentor: Julie WardDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

I analyze a theatrical piece done by Perla de la Rosa that is called "Antígona: las voces que incendian el desierto". This work addresses the violence against the women in Ciudad Juárez, México. According to her text and other articles, I conclude that she adapted Antigone from Sophocles in order to draw attention to the idea that not only is the violence against women a problem, but also that the government is aiding and abetting this violence by denying the women their due justice. I also suggest a solution for the violence, according to Perla de la Rosa's work and related articles.

Awards and/or presentations:

Van Swearingen, Elizabeth. "Antígona en Juárez: Perla de la Rosa y las culpables por la violencia." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Kooper Taylor

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 16:11
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: SpanishResearch Mentor: Julie WardDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

My research aim is to investigate the representation of femicide in various films and theatrical productions. Femicide is the term used to refer to the period of brutal violence towards women in Juarez, Mexico from 1993 to the early 2000s. Since that time, it has received significant international attention and has become the inspiration of many cinematographic and literary pieces. In order to investigate its representation in contemporary works, I analyzed a selection of documentaries, fiction films, and plays in order to see how each author attempts to convey the topic as well as highlight any underlying messages in relation.

Awards and/or presentations:

Taylor, Kooper. "Representation and Criticism of Femicide in Contemporary Film and Theatre." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Merima Hadzic

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 15:25
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: IAS & SpanishResearch Mentor: Julie WardDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

The presentation will be in Spanish, it will contain self-explanatory images that will help presenting the project. It will be a short presentation about the importance of theatre in bringing social awareness in politically oppressive societies. Grisela Gambaro is a writer of theater most known for her plays that criticize the military dictatorships in Argentina and civil society that contributes it with its passivity.

Awards and/or presentations:

Hadzic, Merima. "Theater of Politics - Grisela Gambaro." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK.

Published Work:

n/a

Esmeralda Alcala

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 14:50
Undergraduate Spotlight

OU Major: MicrobiologyResearch Mentor: Swadhin Swain, Ben F. Holt IIIDescribe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Plants have extraordinary ability to sense and respond to their surrounding environment. Environmental factors such as light profoundly influence plant growth and development. Identifying the genes and understanding their function in light perception and signaling is essential for improvements in crop engineering. Despite numerous efforts, our understanding about light signaling in plants is incomplete. Recently, the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana demonstrated that NUCLEAR FACTOR Y (NF-Y), a heterotrimeric transcription factor, has a novel function in light perception. To create an in-depth understanding, genetic screening was carried out in the background of a known quadruple mutant, nf-yc3 nf-yc4 nf-yc9 hy5, to discover the genes involved in the NF-Y mediated light signal transduction. In the future, characterization of those genes will lead to a more complete understanding of the light signaling mechanism in plants.

Explain what you learned or give advice to fellow students:

From my experience, I have learned the procedures for forward genetic screening, the time sensitive data collecting, and planning ahead. My advice to fellow students is to not be afraid or intimidated to ask and reach out to people.

Published Work:

n/a

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