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Undergraduate students present projects during ‘momentous week to celebrate research’

May 15, 2017
student stands in front of poster, speaking about his research to another studentShon Koren '17 describes the results from his neuroscience research at the annual Undergraduate Research Exposition. (University photo / Lindsey Valich)

How do religious and spiritual beliefs influence terminally ill patients and their approach to dying?

Why is Emily Dickinson’s poetry often set to music?

How did tourists influence the development of Cuba from the turn of the 20th century until the beginning of the Socialist period in 1959?

What levels of ultraviolet exposure will irreversibly damage manuscripts?

How do we know what we know?

In April, the University of Rochester hosted the College’s annual Undergraduate Research Exposition, in which students presented work addressing these and other questions covering a range of subjects.

“This is a particularly momentous week to be celebrating research,” said University President and CEO Joel Seligman at the event, which was held on the eve of the March for Science. “It is a week in which it is worthwhile reflecting on the extraordinary curiosity, the great work ethic, and the thoughtful contributions our undergraduates are making.”

Seligman spent time talking to students about their research at the poster presentation, and later, presented several awards.

Steve Manly, director of undergraduate research and a professor of physics, said: “We are surrounded by many interesting teachers and people doing fascinating research, and the spirit of this event is that we are recognizing and celebrating examples of unequivocal excellence.”

Students received the following awards for undergraduate research in the humanities, engineering, natural sciences, and social sciences:

President’s Awards

  • Ge Song ’17 (biomedical engineering): “Adaptive Optics Scanning Light Ophthalmoscopy for Retinal Imaging and Vision Disease Detection”
  • Jessica Newman ’17 (English): “Of Song and Songbirds: Exploring Music and Place in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry”
  • Jenna Glatzer ’17 (neuroscience): “Progenitor Proliferation in the Mammalian Otocyst”
  • Joseph Orman ’17 (anthropology): “The Wild West of Weed: Activism, Business, and Changing Legislation”

 Deans’ Awards

  • Nancy Aguilera ’18 (optical engineering): “Measuring Organelle Size Distributions in Single Cells Using Scattered Light”
  • Sarah Bjornland ’17 (optics): “Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure on Manuscripts”
  • Mark Kenney ’17 (religion/economics): “Religion of Illness”
  • Danielle Vander Horst ’17 (classics/archaeology, technology, and historical structures): “Making Men Gods: The Precedence and Pursuit of Deification at Rome”
  • Jordan Aronowitz ’17 (molecular genetics): “Characterizing the Effect of HSF Mutations on Brain Tumor Development in D. melanogaster”
  • Alicia Wei ’18 (neuroscience/mathematics) “Optogenetic Control of ROS Production in C. elegans”
  • Keith Wiley ’18 (physics) “Effects of Nuclear Mass on Pion Neutrinoproduction”
  • Gabrielle Bueno ’17 (brain and cognitive sciences/psychology) “The Effect of Stimulus Features on Metacognitive Decisions in Monkeys”
  • Ethan Dimmock ’17 (history) “The Cuban “Colonial Complex”: The Spectre of Imperialism in American Guidebooks to Twentieth Century Havana”
  • Emily Landau ’17 (psychology) “Speech Disfluencies in Autism Spectrum Disorder”

Professors’ Choice Awards

  • Daniel Diaz-Etchevehere ’17 (environmental science) “High Resolution Analyses Reveal Elevated Sea-to-Air Methane Fluxes in Localized Areas in the Gulf of Mexico”
  • Hayden Carder ’18 (chemistry) “Modeling Japanese Knotweed with a Reaction Diffusion Equation”
  • Tony Zhao ’17 (statistics) “Understanding Radiation Therapy Resistance of Colorectal Cancer”
  • Allison Friske ’17 (psychology/English) “Bias in Parental Appraisals of Childhood Adversities: Links to Parental and Offspring Depressive and Anxiety Symptoms”
  • Wesley Orth ’17 (brain and cognitive sciences/linguistics) “Contextual Factors in Child Adjective Comprehension”

Three faculty members were recognized with the Students’ Association Professors of the Year Awards:

Humanities: John Givens, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures (Russian)
Natural sciences and engineering: Kalyani Madhu, Department of Mathematics
Social sciences: Michael Rizzo, Department of Economics

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Category: Student Life