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Twelve Appalachian State Students Honored at 15th Annual Celebration of Research and Creative Endeavors


Student winners from the 15th Annual Celebration of Research and Creative Endeavors held at Appalachian State University on April 19 are front row, from left: Leigh Roble, Audry DeReuil, Maya Hutchins, Rafaella Sale, Bao-Tran (BT) Nguyen and Brian Wize. In the second row from left are: Nicole Reilly, Steven Mouro, William Pfleger, Lee Stanley and Johnathan Sugg. Not pictured is Julia Irizarry. Photo by Jane Nicholson

pril 23, 2012. Student research on religion and its effects on organ donation and a controlled greenhouse study on chicken litter were among the winners of a Student Research Poster Competition held at Appalachian State University during the 15th Annual Celebration of Research and Creative Endeavors. 

The competition highlighted the top 12 undergraduate and graduate posters out of the 172 abstracts presented at the daylong celebration.

The undergraduate students and their research topics were:

·         Leigh Roble, geology – “Morphologies of Fungal Mn Oxide Biomineralization in Southern Appalachian Caves.” Faculty advisor: Dr. Sarah Carmichael

·         Aubrey DeReuil, geology – “Diagenetic Alteration in Carbonate Rocks from Hongguleleng Formation in the Late Devonian of Northwestern China.” Faculty advisor: Dr. Johnny Waters 

·         Bao-Tran Nguyen, biology – “Echinacea Down-Regulates Expression of Pro-Inflammatory Factors in the Cervix of Preterm Labor Mice Model.” Faculty advisor: Dr. Nathan Mowa

·         Nicole Reilly, chemistry – “Development of an Assay for Monitoring the Hydrolysis OF β-Lactam Antibiotics Using the PH-Dependence of Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein.” Faculty advisor: Dr. Libby Puckett

·         Maya Hutchins, geography and planning – “Indentification and Geomorphometric Assessment of Stream Terraces Along the North and South Fork of the New River, Blue Ridge Physiographic Province. Faculty advisor: Dr. Christopher Badurek

·         Julia Irizarry, geology – “Static Stress Changes Due to the 1994 M6.7 Northridge Earthquake and the Potential for Triggered Slip on the San Andreas Fault.” Faculty advisor: Dr. Scott Marshall

·         Steven Mouro, biology – “Phytotoxicity and Trace Metal Accumulation From Long-Term Chicken Litter Amendment in Wilkes County, NC: A Controlled Greenhouse Study.” Faculty advisor: Dr. Shea Tuberty

The graduate students and their topics were:

·         William Pfleger, technology – “Quantification of Energy Star® Qualification for New Homes: An Investigation of Market Impacts.” Faculty advisor: Dr. Marie Hoepfl

·         Rafaella Sale, psychology – “Religion and its Effects on Organ Donation Intentions: Diversity Within Non-Catholic Christians.” Faculty advisor: Dr. Courtney Rocheleau

·         Lee Stanley, biology – “Expression Profile of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) and its Receptors in the Postpartum Cervix of Mice.” Faculty advisor: Dr. Chishimba Mowa

·         Jonathan Sugg, geography and planning – “Satellite and Surface Perspectives of Snow Extent in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.” Faculty advisor: Dr. Baker Perry

·         Brian Wize, geography and planning – “Using Site Selection Techniques Within GIS to Examine Areas Using High Potential for Wind Farm Development in the New River Gorge of West Virginia.” Faculty advisor: Dr. Christopher Badurek

“Undergraduate research gives you the chance to experience your major in depth,” said Leigh Roble, one of the winners from the poster contest. “It gives you a chance to work with other disciplines and departments that help you appreciate the different subjects out there, but also gives you the opportunity to learn how to do research and prepare you for graduate school.”

The 15th Annual Celebration of Research and Creative Endeavors featured 172 abstracts presented by students, including 110 undergraduate and 62 graduate students representing 26 different academic departments and 102 faculty mentors.

The posters were evaluated based on background/rationale, methods or approach to the question, concluding statements/findings, student’s level of leadership/involvement in the project, student’s overall understanding of the project or creative endeavor, and his or her ability to answer questions on the project and poster appearance. 

“I am pleased to be part of this great accomplishment,” Provost Dr. Lori Gonzalez said at the event. “What’s really wonderful about Appalachian is the students’ research asks questions about things we want answers to to make life better for either the human species, our animal species or our planet. That’s what this campus is all about. And they have done so in addressing the needs of our world in a really creative way.” 

The 15th Annual Celebration of Research and Creative Endeavors was sponsored by Appalachian’s Office of Student Research. Funding for the Student Research Poster Competition was made possible by the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School and the Office of Student Development.