2013-2014

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Research-Enriched Academic Challenge - REACH

Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities

2013-2014 Awardees Main Content

Cheyenne Adams

Cheyenne Adams
Senior, Normal, IL

Cheyenne’s project examines the effects of environmental cues for the induction of a coral spawning event in captivity from coral fragments in regard to coral reef restoration.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Brian Small, Fisheries and Illinois Aquaculture Center and Animal Science


Graham Baker

Graham Baker 
Senior, Makanda, IL

By comparing community composition and grown rates of a flood tolerance (baldcypress) vs. a moderately flood tolerant (cherrybark oak) species, Graham’s research investigates the effects of altered hydrology on floodplain forests in the Cache River Basin. His findings will provide a prognosis of floodplain health and potential applications to other river systems.

                                         Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Loretta Battaglia, Plant Biology; Professional Web Page


Kelli Barry

Kelli Barry 
Senior, Morton, IL

To decrease fish harm and death during transport, Kelli seeks to determine an optimal transport procedure for the hybrid striped bass, a popular food fish.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Jesse Trushenski, Zoology


Travis Buth Matthew Crump

Travis Buth / Matthew Crump
Senior, Warrensburg, IL / Senior, Champaign, IL

Travis and Matt’s project tests the effects of John Mullinix’s solvent for a possible change in combustion chemistry, horsepower, miles per gallon, and emission emitted by the vehicle.

                                                               Faculty Mentor:  Tim Janello, Automotive Technology; Professional Web Page


FRanklin Cavender

Franklin Cavender 
Senior, Beecher, IL

Frank’s project examines the route of cellular communication of the crowding response in Arabidopsis plants through molecular assays.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Andrew Wood, Plant Biology


Andrew Ciuris

Andrew Ciuris 
Junior, Gurnee, IL

Andrew's research aims to reduce waste water in aquaculture by creating a sustainable future for Hybrid Striped Bass through the use of aquaponic plant farming alongside fish culture.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Gregory W. Whitledge, Zoology


Lacey Gibson

Lacey Gibson 
Junior, Carbondale, IL

Lacey’s project explores the potential for a commonly-prescribed diabetes medication to be used for treatment and prevention of ovarian cancer.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Dale B. Hales, Physiology


Shayla Gunn

Shayla Gunn 
Junior, Fenton, MO

Shayla’s project examines the effects of engineered nanoparticles on vegetatively propagated plants to determine how engineered nanoparticles will help or harm root initiation. Her research also monitors via foliar treatment the ability of the nanoparticles to act as an antimicrobial.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Stephen Ebbs, Plant Biology; Professional Web Page


Steven Jesselson

Steven Jesselson
Junior, Northbook, IL

Steven is investigating the persistent allelopathic presence of two non-native invasive plant species, Japanese chaff flower (Acyranthes japonica) and Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum), and their effects on native communities to establish better management practices.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. David Gibson, Plant Biology; Professional Web Page


William Kipp

William Kipp 
Senior, Schaumburg, IL

William’s research explores the relationship between rare earth element concentration in the mineral fluorite and its spatial relationship to Hick’s Dome, a local geologic structure in southern Illinois.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Liliana Lefticariu, Geology


Austen Knapp

Austen Knapp 
Senior, Eureka, IL

Austen’s research examines the effectiveness of daidzein as a post-stroke treatment by assessing forelimb function to determine post-stroke behavioral effects and gauge functional recovery.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Joseph Cheatwood, Anatomy


Duane Lickteig

Duane Lickteig 
Senior, Cicero, IL

For the purpose of vaccine development, Duane’s project researches the potential ability of OVA-conjugated nanoparticles in stimulating mucosal immunity within the colon.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Vjollca Konjufca, Microbiology


Bria Ozment

Bria Ozment 
Senior, Ava, IL

Bria’s research studies the effects of diabetes on a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease to determine if diabetes worsens learning and memory impairments.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Gregory Rose, Anatomy and Physiology


Madeleine Pfaff

Madeleine Pfaff 
Junior, Morris, IL

To gain applicable knowledge for conservation and management purposes, Madeleine‘s research uses habitat sampling to compare swamp and cottontail rabbits’ nest site characteristics.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Clayton Nielsen, Forestry


Julianna Richie

Julianna Richie
Sophomore, Godfrey, IL

Julianna’s project aims to increase the effectiveness and purity of the synthesis of graphene on a large scale basis.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Saikat Talapatra, Physics


Megan Schwarzinger

Megan Schwarzinger 
Senior, Bensenville, IL

Megan’s research investigates the pathological effects of C. felis (a parasite) on Lynx rufus (Bobcats). With the efforts of this project, Megan hopes to bring awareness of this parasite to wildlife experts as well as veterinarians.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Agustin Jimenez, Zoology


Rachel Tate

Rachel Tate 
Junior, Carterville, IL

Rachel studies how “Homestruck” fans use interactions based on the production of derivative material to build and reinforce a unique fan subculture.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. John McCall, Anthropology


Amanda Weidhuner 
Junior, Greenview, IL

Amanda’s research examines whether the addition of two different cover crops at once contributes to the sustainability of the soil and increases vegetable production.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Stuart Alan Walters, Plant, Soil, and Agricultural Science


Jessica Whitaker

Jessica Whitaker 
Senior, Wolf Lake, IL

Jessica’s research uses optogenetics to regulate embryonic chick motility as a means to develop a better understanding of the development of sensorimotor integration.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Andrew A. Sharp, Anatomy


Malgorzata Widelka

Malgorzata Widelka 
Senior, Roselle, IL

By testing fish samples for nine brominated flame retardant compounds, Margaret’s research compares concentrations against known thresholds to determine adverse effects on aquatic wildlife and to identify contamination sources, environmental risks and human health risks.

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Da Chen, Cooperative Wildlife Research Lab