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Iowa State undergrads sharing research nationally

Posted Apr 5, 2021

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa State University undergraduate students have persevered in their research. Sixty ISU students will share their research and scholarship with their peers from across the nation in April.

The 34th annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research takes place online April 12-14. About 4,000 undergraduate students from across the U.S. present their research at this annual conference, the largest undergraduate research conference in the country.

The NCUR was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making 2021 the fourth year that ISU students have attended NCUR. Iowa State’s 60 students represent 29 different majors. In addition to presenting their research and scholarship, these students also will have networking and professional development opportunities.

“Despite the challenges that student and faculty mentors faced during the last year due to the pandemic, the high number of 2021 NCUR participants tells us that ISU faculty and program coordinators did an excellent job of encouraging students to continue their research involvement and provided them with a safe environment to do so,” said Svitlana Zbarska, coordinator of the Undergraduate Research Program. “NCUR empowers students as scientists and gives them an opportunity to represent ISU undergraduate research at the national level.”

Iowa State students selected to present their research at NCUR, along with their hometowns, majors and research titles are:

  • Antonio Ball, Ames, sociology, “The Myth of Universal Sisterhood: An Examination of The Complexities of Gender, Race, and Class”
  • Jazlyn Beeck, Denison, geology, “Origin of carbonate concretions in Iowa’s loess soils”
  • Noah Berthusen, Waukee, software engineering, “Design of Quantum-classical Computing Hybrid Algorithms for Materials Simulation”
  • Lauren Bilek, Council Bluffs, horticulture, “Tomato Quality Effects in Reduced Tillage and Cover-Crop-Based Rotations in Organic Tomato Production”
  • Aaron Bodenham, Mount Pleasant, mechanical engineering, “Application to Analyze Color Calibration Needed for Automated Grinding of Metalcastings”
  • Alexandra Bohlin, Dubuque, community and regional planning, “A Spatial Analysis of Socio-economic Characteristics and COVID-19 Cases in California’s Counties”
  • Darcy Bonds, Troy, Missouri, horticulture, “Improving the Sustainability of Animal and Crop Production Agriculture: Evaluation of Biochar-Manure Mixture Impact on Soil Nutrient Availability and Plant Uptake”
  • Remy Braun, Olathe, Kansas, mechanical engineering, “Patient-Specific Four Chamber Cardiac Modeling”
  • Kathryn Burda, Prior Lake, Minnesota, biology, “Nesting ecology of the leatherback sea turtle, Dermochelys coriacea”
  • Megan Carty, Dysart, biology, “Economic Pressure Across Generations: The Impact on HCC”
  • Sasha Celada, Moline, Illinois, microbiology, “Using Virtual Reality to Increase Resistance to E. coli Infection in Chickens”
  • Celeste Chadwick, Iowa City, food science, “Examining the Thermal Stability of Rice Bran Wax-Gelatin Bigels Using Differential Scanning Calorimetry”
  • Yahan Chang, Mason City, mechanical engineering, “Evaluating Iowa State University Writing and Media Center’s relationship with English as an additional language (EAL) students”
  • Nick Cheung, Pleasant Hill, architecture, “City Leisure and Play”
  • Laurice Verlaine Chewouo, Ames, chemistry, “Hand hygiene knowledge and practices of college students before and during Covid-19 pandemic”
  • William Crow, Ames, biology, “Creating a Transgenic Drosophila Line Expressing mRFPruby in Primordial Germ Cells”
  • Elizabeth Cuvelier, New Hartford, elementary education, “Mental Health Among College Athletes”
  • Megan Davis, Tyler, Texas, genetics, “The Effects of Irradiation on Transposable Elements in Maize and Arabidopsis Genomes”
  • Liliana Delgado, Bellevue, Nebraska, mathematics, “Assisting Forensic Image Comparison Experts: a Study to Help Verification of Object Matching by Computer Algorithm”
  • Haley Dostalik, Urbandale, genetics, “Functional Annotation of the Grape Genome”
  • Oluwatobiloba Fagbule, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, architecture; and Rushi Patel, Marion, mechanical engineering, “Validating the impact of vegetative wall coverings on building cooling loads using heat-flux sensors and infrared images”
  • Katherine Flatt, Geneva, Illinois, biology, “Sequencing of the Sf1 Gene in Apalone spinifera Softshell Turtles”
  • Isabelle Fraetis, Boone, art and design, “Discovering the True Image of Kate Shelley”
  • Jesse Gallegos, Houston, Texas, chemical engineering, “Reaction Energetics of 1,2,3-Propenetriol Bonding on Metal Catalyst Surfaces”
  • Jacob Gasper, Manchester, architecture; and Cyle King, Lake City, architecture, “Architectural Clay Formworks”
  • Aridania Gerardo, East Moline, Illinois, anthropology, “Oral Health, Diet, and Gender at the Archaeological Site of Cerro del Teul, Zacatecas, Mexico”
  • Abigail Hammer, Bettendorf, aerospace engineering; Matthew Cauwels, South Beloit, Illinois, electrical and computer engineering; and Benjamin Hertz, Cedar Falls, aerospace engineering, “Implementing Specifications onto a Runtime Verification Unit”
  • Christa Heffern, Harpers Ferry, animal science, “Retrospective Analysis of Porcine Circovirus 2 and Porcine Circovirus 3 in the U.S. Swine Industry”
  • Dahlia Hensley, Champaign, Illinois, art and design, “Parallels of the Evolution of Beekeeping and Printmaking”
  • Nethmi Hewage, Matara, Sri Lanka, chemistry, “Synthesis, Crystal Structure, and Transport Properties of Ag6Ge10P12-xAsx (x=2-12)”
  • Michael Huntley, New Hartford, aerospace engineering, “Aerodynamic Shape Optimization of Double Façades to Mitigate Wind-Induced Effects on Tall Buildings”
  • Anushrut Jignasu, Vadodara Gujarat, India, mechanical engineering, “Direct 3D Printing of CT Scan Data”
  • Delaney Kennedy, Grayslake, Illinois, art and design, “Clover Vail: A Forgotten Avant Garde”
  • Chase Krug, Marion, agronomy, “Analysis of Plant Height in Zea mays”
  • Candide Mafuta, The Democratic Republic of Congo, biology, “Tau Pathology and Recurrent Seizures in Experiment Model of Epilepsy”
  • Paiton McDonald, Fletcher, North Carolina, agricultural biochemistry, “Effects of Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product supplementation on the acute-phase response during bovine respiratory disease in neonatal calves”
  • Donielle McGruder, Norwalk, psychology, “What is the Better Motivator? : Token Economy System and Autism Spectrum Disorder”
  • Jayna Misra, Ames, environmental science, “Effects of Basil in Controlling Post-harvest Loss Against Maize Weevils”
  • Samuel O’Brien, Waterloo, biological systems engineering, “Improving the Sustainability of Bioethanol Production by Integrating Thermochemical Treatment of Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles”
  • Lexie O’Brien, Des Moines, microbiology, “The Role of Artificial Selection in Developing Plastic Degrading Microbes”
  • Jennifer Ortiz, Des Moines, biology, “Does the Invaginated Eye of the Disco Clam Use Opsin-based Phototransduction to Detect Light”
  • Madison Porter, Lenexa, Kansas, biology; and Paiton McDonald, Fletcher, North Carolina, agricultural biochemistry, “Applications of thoracic ultrasonography to evaluate progression and severity of bovine respiratory disease”
  • Madison Porter, Lenexa, Kansas, biology, “Monitoring subclinical pneumonia progression via thoracic ultrasonography in neonatal calves”
  • David Reynolds, Grand Island, Nebraska, mechanical engineering, “Development of a Microfluidic Platform for Embryonic Zebrafish Confocal Microscopy Imaging”
  • Kathryn Rohlfing, Dunlap, Illinois, computer science; and Cameron Brecount, Argyle, software engineering, “SafeWalk: Software Engineering of a Jetpack Simulator”
  • Yahriel Salinas-Reyes, Clive, aerospace engineering, “Paper-Based 2-3D Piezoelectric Devices”
  • Devin Scott, Port Byron, Illinois, finance, “Accounting for Seasonality in Intraday Volume for Forex Volatility Measures”
  • Toni Sleugh, Carmel, Indiana, biology, “Restoration of the Three-ridge Mussel, Amblema plicata, to the Cedar River”
  • Elizabeth Smith, Waterloo, environmental science, “Oak Tatter Severity and Proximity to Agricultural Fields in Iowa”
  • Paola Soto Mendez, Miami, Florida, animal ecology, “Could Wasps Be Pollinators? a Study on Body Pollen Carriage and Floral Fidelity”
  • Reed Tisdell, Lakeville, Minnesota, biology, “Examining the effects of socioeconomic factors and activity-related behaviors on severity of depressive symptoms in young adults during implementation of COVID-19 restrictions”
  • Pedro Vieira Marasciulo, Sarasota, Florida, economics, “The Digital Service Industry”
  • Elke Windschitl, Iowa City, biology, “Evaluating the Use of Autonomous Recording Units for Monitoring Northern Bobwhite Coveys”
  • William Winnett, Harlan, biology, “Fetch: a Pipeline to Parse NCBI and Organize Data into a Multiple Forms Based on Biopython”
  • Zizheng Yang, Beijing, China, mathematics, “Phase Transition of a Statistical Mechanics Competition Model in Ecology”
  • Sau Qwan Yap, Bandaraya Melaka, Malaysia, genetics, “APOE and TOMM40 variants in mitochondria dysfunction and Alzheimer’s disease”