News and Upcoming Events

Sarah Rodenbeck '19 Awarded First Place by College of Science 

During the 2019 Undergraduate Research Conference, Sarah Rodenbeck ’19 was awarded first place by the College of Science for her oral research presentation.

Rodenbeck’s research focuses on the field of digital ethics and studies how advancing technological capabilities are balanced against the ethical issues that they pose. Specifically, her current research is about data use and privacy in the public sector.

“I first became interested in digital ethics after watching a TED talk by Joy Buolamwini,” says Rodenbeck. "This was a casual interest until I recognized the gap in literature pertaining to the public sector.”

With the help of her research mentor, Dr. Lindsay Weinberg, Rodenbeck developed a series of policy recommendations that allow emerging artificial intelligence technologies to benefit society while also minimizing the risks associated with these technologies. Her recommendations address concerns such as privacy, consent, and algorithmic discrimination.

Through participating in undergraduate research, Rodenbeck has discovered her interest in attending graduate school.

“Undergraduate research has allowed me to explore digital ethics at a much deeper level,” says Rodenbeck. “This has impacted my career goals, and I now plan to go to graduate school and eventually transition into working in public policy focused on technology issues.”

Rachel Small '21: Is Amelia Earhart a Feminist? 

Rachel Small ’21, an undergraduate researcher in the College of Liberal Arts, has always had a passion for history, specifically for Amelia Earhart. Pursuing her passion, Small spent the previous calendar year studying Earhart and digging through the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections to discover if she was truly a feminist.

“While searching for primary sources that were supportive of Amelia’s feminist activism, I discovered some contradictions,” says Small. “This is where my independent research began.”

Along with performing independent research, Small worked with Jessica Perkins ’21, an undergraduate student in the College of Health and Human Sciences, to tackle the Amelia Earhart collection. Small and Perkins were mentored by Sammie Morris, the University Archivist, and Dr. Kendall Roark, Assistant Professor, from Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies. Their research worked to help Dr. Amy Kleppner, Earhart’s niece, write a feminism-focused book about the aviation icon.

Through performing undergraduate research, Small has grown to understand the role that perspective can play and has become more aware of possible biases that may be present. She has also realized that research is something that she may be interested in pursuing further.

“Presenting at the research conference was a good way of learning how to relay all of the information that I’ve collected in my head to others,” says Small. “Working in the Archives helped me see that I could do this for a career, which is very reassuring.”

Edwards '21 Presents Alternative Energy Research 

Ethan Edwards ’21, a current undergraduate student studying civil engineering with an environmental focus, presented his research at the 2019 Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference. Throughout the previous year, Edwards has worked to discover how to catalyze change in the energy field.

“Catalysts are used in around 90% of chemical processes on a daily basis,” says Edwards. “My research is focused on creating a viable catalyst that can take excess ethane and propane from shale gas and transform them into usable transportation fuels.”

Edwards chose to pursue alternative energy research because he is interested in understanding how engineers can continue to sustainably support a growing population. Through conducting his research, Edwards has been able to confirm his interest in attending graduate school, as well as sharpen his writing skills.

He completed his research with the guidance of Dr. Jeffrey Miller, a professor of chemical engineering, and Nicole LiBretto, a current graduate student. Their work contributed to the Center for Innovative and Strategic Transformation of Alkane Resources program here at Purdue.

“While starting undergraduate research was initially intimidating, sticking with it and understanding the concepts has given me the confidence to pursue future challenging projects,” says Edwards. “Undergraduate research also allows you to gain a deeper understanding of concepts that may only be briefly discussed in class.”

Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference Starts April 4 and Continues on April 9

The conference will showcase the research of over 700 undergraduate students representing all undergraduate colleges and schools. The conference is free and open to the public with refreshments available throughout the days for attendees and participants. The schedule of oral presenters and posters can be found on the conference website.

Online Undergraduate Research Courses Available during the Summer

OUR Director Amy Childress added that along with the regular and department credits students may want to earn over the summer, Purdue is offering two fully online classes, GS 29501 and GS 39501, Understanding Your Undergraduate Research Experience, designed for students currently conducting research. A third class, GS 19501, is for students interested in research.

“These new GS courses prepare students to strengthen their research and self-reflection skills in order to apply these abilities to broader contexts," Childress said. Students who combine summer coursework with a research project gain a richer learning experience.”

Engineering Student Spotlight: Tony Hoch 

Tony Hoch ’19 is a current undergraduate student majoring in biological engineering with a concentration in pharmaceutical processing. During 2017 and 2018, he performed research on the influence of surface composition on powder flowability of lactose-based materials.

“Powders are used in many industries across the world, including pharmaceuticals, plastics, and chemicals,” says Hoch. “The goal of my research was to help make powders less sticky so that they could flow better and not cause issues in machines used by these industries.”

Hoch first got involved with undergraduate research when he responded to an email chain sent out by his research professor, Dr. Teresa Carvajal. Dr. Carvajal currently serves as a professor of agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue and is a researcher at the Birck Nanotechnology Center.

Throughout his research experience, Hoch worked with multiple doctorate and postdoctoral fellows to learn the theory behind the flowability of powders. His involvement with undergraduate research allowed Tony to gain many valuable skills and experiences that he used to his advantage when applying for jobs. He was recently accepted into a full-time rotational program called the Global Operations Leadership Development (GOLD) Program within Catalent Pharma Solutions. This Program is an intensive, two-year opportunity that offers on-the-job experiences in operations and builds leadership skills.

“Participating in undergraduate research allowed me to open my mind up to possibilities beyond school,” says Tony. “Being able to take things into my own hands and feel the direct impact of my efforts made research an amazing opportunity that I am thankful to have had a chance to participate in.”

Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference submissions due Friday, March 1 at 11:59pm

Engineering Student Spotlight: Abigail Hancock 

In celebration of its 150th year, Purdue University has chosen to feature a specific college each month. For the month of February, the College of Engineering is being highlighted. The OUR is also choosing to celebrate and put a spotlight on our undergraduate researchers from the College of Engineering. Abigail Hancock ’20 is the first of these researchers.

Hancock is a current undergraduate student majoring in industrial engineering and minoring in psychology. During 2018, she conducted research on how to educate people on the dangers of high blood pressure.

“High blood pressure is a very abstract concept,” Hancock says. “To educate people, I created an interactive device that simulates the difference in pressures of a heart suffering from high blood pressure and a healthy heart.”

Working with Denny Yu, an assistant professor of industrial engineering, and Kim Plake and Judy Chen from the College of Pharmacy, Hancock took the interactive device to health fairs and asked individuals to participate in her study. Using surveys, she discovered that the device helped people better understand the effects of high blood pressure. Her research abstract was later accepted into the American Pharmacists Association Exposition, and the device is now being used at the Jane Pauley Clinic in Indianapolis during high blood pressure classes to help individuals understand what is happening to their bodies.

“1 in 3 Americans suffer from high blood pressure,” says Hancock. “Giving people a tangible way to understand this idea was a very fulfilling experience.” 

Hancock first started this research as a high school science fair project. When she came to college, she wanted to continue and expand the project with the help of Purdue faculty. Through participating in undergraduate research, Hancock gained on-campus experience and explored different areas within her major. She was also able to make faculty connections and learn about the benefits of graduate school.

Office of Undergraduate Research Provides Opportunities for Students, Faculty, Staff to Learn and Communicate

Purdue Seeks Applications for Attending AAAS Advocacy Workshop

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is hosting a science advocacy workshop in Washington, DC from March 24-27, 2019 called "Catalyzing Advocacy for Science and Engineering". Purdue can send up to four students with registration and travel costs covered by the University for upper-class undergraduate students and graduate students in science, math, and engineering disciplines (biological, physical, or earth sciences; computation sciences and mathematics; engineering; medical and health sciences; and social and behavioral sciences).

The University will cover the $175 registration fee for selected students. The student's college and/or program would cover the travel and living costs associated with the trip. Currently, the Colleges of Engineering, Health & Human Sciences, and Science and Purdue Polytechnic Institute have agreed to cover these costs for their students, if selected. Additional colleges will be added to this list as they agree. In order to select the students who will represent Purdue, we ask that you please complete this application by Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 11:59pm.

VOLUMe: OUR Fall Expo Draws Close to 250 Student Participants

Travel Grant Recipient Presents Research in Hong Kong, Meets Fellow Fulbright Scholar 

Chelsea Maupin ’18, a 2018 travel grant recipient and recent graduate from the College of Agriculture at Purdue, attended the International Society for Quality of Life Studies (ISQOLS) Conference in Hong Kong.

While in Hong Kong, Maupin presented research that looks at the interaction between the ISQOLS and the Community Development Society (CDS) and studies the benefits of increased collaboration between the two. She included pieces of her senior research project, which focuses on the overlaps of community development and the individual well-being within community gardens, in her presentation.

“Traveling to the conference felt like a dream,” said Maupin. “I’d traveled to Hong Kong once before on a study abroad trip, and I’m grateful that I had the chance to visit again thanks to the Purdue Office of Undergraduate Research.”

Before visiting Hong Kong, Maupin went to a pre-conference trip in Manila, Philippines. While there, she was given a tour of Social Weather Stations (SWS), a social research institution that conducts public-opinion polling and surveys about quality of life.

“The SWS group made us feel at home, and I even met a Fulbright scholar recipient who will be studying in the U.S. next year,” said Maupin. “I’m on a Fulbright grant now teaching English in Vietnam, so it was great to meet another member of the international Fulbright community. Sometimes the world isn’t so big.”

Throughout her time spent abroad, Maupin was provided with the opportunity to explore new locations and cities. She was also exposed to many of the different types of research projects that are taking place around the world. Her travels served as a reminder that there is more than just one way to live and gave her a new perspective on her work and studies. 

Students' Research Aids New Earhart Book

"The niece of former Purdue faculty member Amelia Earhart, with the help of undergraduate research, is writing a feminism-focused book about the aviation icon for young adults."

Purdue University to Host CUR Summer Meetings in 2020

Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, will host the Biennial Conference, Executive Board Meeting, and Annual Business Meeting of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) in late June-early July 2020. At these annual events, approximately 600 faculty and academic professionals interested in the improvement, assessment, management, and promotion of undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activities share ideas, strategies, and best practices as well as chart the future of CUR.

Said CUR Executive Officer Elizabeth Ambos, “Purdue University will provide an outstanding host for CUR’s 2020 Biennial Conference and governance meetings. With its deep commitment to enhancing and expanding undergraduate research, coupled with great access to transportation centers, and West Lafayette’s welcoming community and amenities, the 2020 meetings will be of great value to faculty, staff, and student leaders within undergraduate research theory and practice.”

Purdue Fall Undergraduate Research Expo now accepting oral presentation and poster abstract submissions

Research mentors, programs sought to participate in Undergraduate Research Roundtable

Nikolai ’19 Attends Research Conference in Japan 

L.R. Nikolai ’19, a current undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts, recently attended an annual conference for sign language researchers in Osaka, Japan seen here with her research mentor Dr. Ronnie Wilbur at the Toji Pagoda. 

Nikolai’s research primarily focuses on the structure of American Sign Language. She is currently studying non-manual markers (grammatical facial expressions), as well as verb telicity, which concerns how verbs convey actions that do or do not have natural end points. While in Japan, Nikolai presented her research poster titled, “Facial Expressions in Sign Language Grammar: What Does the ‘Flat Chin’ Mean?”

“My poster discusses a non-manual marker called ‘flat chin’, which displays significant grammatical function but has never before been studied in ASL,” said Nikolai.

By traveling to Japan, Nikolai was able to learn a lot about the country’s food, culture, and languages. She has traveled to almost a dozen countries while in college, and has made hundreds of friends and learned things that she never would have been able to inside of Indiana. The conference also provided Nikolai with the opportunity to meet other researchers in her field.

“My favorite part was getting to learn a little bit of Japanese Sign Language,” said Nikolai. “Many people believe that sign languages are universal or that they’re based on a spoken language, but that couldn’t be more wrong. They are unique and incredibly complex languages that deserve more scientific study.” 

Council on Undergraduate Research Profiles Purdue's PURE Program

Office of Undergraduate Research Now Part of University Libraries; Innovative Partnership Enhances Resources for Undergraduates' Research Needs

Purdue Alumna Offers Advice for Current and Prospective Undergraduate Researchers 

Casey Haney ‘18, a current graduate student in the engineering education program at Purdue, earned her undergraduate degree in engineering-technology teacher education. She began performing undergraduate research during her junior year. Working for the DeBoer Lab, Haney studied a Backyard Brains kit that was used in high schools to teach principles of neuroscience using cockroaches and worms. Her work focused on determining whether or not the lab kits made it easier for students to understand complex subjects.

“We have seen that the lab kits improve self-efficacy and basically help students feel more like scientists,” said Haney.

Haney initially decided to take advantage of this research opportunity because it sounded interesting and would be a nice way for her to earn some extra money for expenses.  

“To be honest, I didn’t think that it would go much further than that,” said Haney. “I never expected to pursue a doctoral degree before starting my research. Go all in and try something new that sounds interesting to you. It can lead to amazing things.”

After discovering her passion for research, Haney switched her major so that it better aligned with her research interests. She is now the first in her family to pursue a doctoral degree and the first in her immediate family to receive a bachelor’s degree.

“Undergraduate research gave me a safe place to grow my research skills, nurture my curiosity, and test if it was something that I wanted to do,” said Haney. “When I decided to apply to graduate school, I had already presented two conference papers, been an author on a journal paper, and knew how to talk about my research.” 

Zhu '18 Awarded Top Abstract in Life Sciences 

During the 2018 Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference, Gaotian Zhu’s research poster was selected by Purdue Libraries as the top abstract in life sciences.

Zhu ’18 recently graduated from the College of Agriculture at Purdue. His research focuses on discovering the benefits of applying biostimulants to plants that are growing in low nutritious conditions. He chose to look at the effects of biostimulants on lettuce and tomato, two common vegetable varieties.”

“To me, the most interesting part of the research process was figuring out the design,” Zhu said. “I had to arrange the variables in such a way that made the whole experiment both logical and accurate.”

The Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference allowed Zhu to share his interest and passion for research with other students. It also provided him with the opportunity to learn about the research interests of his peers, as well as to make friends with other undergraduate researchers.

Zhu’s undergraduate research experience persuaded him to pursue a master’s degree at Purdue in the same area of study.

“When students participate in research, they are able to gain skills that they can’t get from only books,” said Zhu. “Research helped me discover my interest in horticulture and gave me the idea to attend graduate school.” 

Chau ‘19 Awarded First Place by Honors College 

Allison Chau ’19, an undergraduate student in the College of Engineering, was awarded first place by the Purdue University Honors College during the 2018 Undergraduate Research Conference for her oral research presentation.

Chau is a member of the Davis Research Group at Purdue. Run by Dr. Chelsea Davis, an assistant professor of materials engineering, this group focuses on polymer interfacial mechanics and developing novel testing techniques. Chau worked with Dr. Davis and Hyeyoung Son, a Purdue graduate student, to develop a technique that quantitatively measures the adhesion between rigid polymer thin films and compliant substrates.

“Polymer thin films have a wide range of applications and are used in products such as contact lenses, wearable sensors, and flexible electronics,” said Chau. “There is a critical need for a simple adhesion measurement technique, and this new method meets that need.”

The Undergraduate Research Conference provided Chau with the opportunity to present her research in a professional setting for the first time. The experience made her more confident in her communication skills and in her ability to explain her research in an understandable way.

“My favorite part about research is the novelty of it,” said Chau. “Unlike my lab classes where everything is laid out with explicit instructions, research is unknown. Purdue makes it so easy for undergraduates to get involved in research, and that opportunity shouldn’t be wasted.” 

Purdy ’18 Awarded First Place by College of Pharmacy 

Stephen Purdy ’18 was awarded first place at the 2018 Undergraduate Research Conference by the Purdue College of Pharmacy for his research poster.

Purdy is a recent graduate from the College of Pharmacy. His research focuses on targeted therapies for HER2-positive breast cancer. He worked with Dr. Michael Wendt, an assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and molecular pharmacology, and Saeed Akhand, a Purdue graduate student, to understand how these cancers develop resistance to certain therapies and how to treat these patients.

“Therapies such as the drug, Trastuzumab Emtansine (T-DM1), have been successful in treating patients with HER2-positive breast cancer,” said Purdy. “However, a significant population of these patients develop drug resistance to this therapy, making the cancer difficult to treat. My research was focused on looking for new therapeutic targets in these resistant cancers.”

Through participating in the Undergraduate Research Conference, Purdy was able to practice his speaking skills and enjoy presenting his research in a stress-free environment. It allowed him to share his work with people outside of his lab, which is something that he doesn’t get to do very often.

“Classwork can teach you science, but working in a lab teaches you how to DO science,” said Purdy. “Doing undergraduate research made me realize that I wanted to make a career out of it. It’s the reason that I am going to graduate school.”

 

Smith ’19 Awarded First Place by College of Science 

Hannah Smith ’19, an undergraduate student studying biology in the College of Science, was awarded first place by the College of Science during the 2018 Undergraduate Research Conference for her research poster.

Smith’s research, titled “Amphibian Physiology,” focuses on studying per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are synthetic chemicals present in everyday products, such as nonstick cookware, stain-resistant fabric, and firefighting foam. Smith worked with Dr. Maria Sepulveda, professor of ecology and natural systems and associate head of research in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, to develop an analytical method that measures thyroid hormones in metamorphosing amphibians exposed to PFAs.

“PFAs are an emerging contaminant of concern due to potential effects on the health of humans and wildlife,” said Smith. “Our lab has previously demonstrated that PFAs can reduce growth and delay development of larval amphibians.”

Through participating in undergraduate research, Smith has learned to become a more independent and well-rounded individual. The trials and errors of research have taught her patience, creative thinking, and perseverance. “Research has taught me to not be afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone and to always ask questions,” said Smith. “Whether you decide to do research for just a semester or for all four years of undergrad, you will learn valuable tools that can assist you in many different career paths.”

The OUR Moves to Hicks Undergraduate Library

The Office of Undergraduate Research moved to the Hicks Undergraduate Library. This move will place us closer to student spaces to assist in locating, applying, and succeeding at undergraduate research opportunities. Associate Director JJ Sadler said, "We are excited about what this new space will mean for accessibility to students and the visibility of the OUR." The OUR asks for some patience regarding replies to emails and phone calls until the transition between Duhme and Hicks is complete and they are able to get settled.

Griggs Serves as an OUR Ambassador 

Brittany Griggs ’21, an undergraduate student in the College of Pharmacy, currently serves as one of the student ambassadors for the Office of Undergraduate Research.

During her sophomore year, Griggs participated in a statistics learning community. Throughout her experience, she was provided with the opportunity to conduct her own research and travel to research conferences across the nation. These opportunities allowed Griggs to grow and learn as a student and a researcher, and she desired to share this growth with other students in hopes that they could have a similar experience. It was this desire that led her to become an OUR student ambassador.

Griggs has participated in three research labs at Purdue. Last year, she worked with Mark Cushman, Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, in the Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Department in the College of Pharmacy. Together, they worked to create potential drug scaffolds and molecules targeting various pathways.

“My favorite part was the opportunity to work with Dr. Cushman,” said Griggs. “They say that the research mentor can make all of the difference in undergraduate research, and I am extremely grateful for the time and knowledge that he has given me.”

Griggs has learned and experienced the many benefits and opportunities that students who conduct undergraduate research are provided with. “There are so many types of labs and so much research going on at Purdue that there is almost definitely a lab for everyone,” said Griggs. “Our college years are where we grow, learn, and try new things. Undergraduate research is a great experience to try for a year, or even just a semester.”

Kanishka '18 Awarded First Place by Purdue Polytechnic Institute 

During the 2018 Undergraduate Research Conference, Misra Kanishka’s research poster was awarded first place by the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

Kanishka ’18 recently graduated from the Purdue Polytechnic Institute with a degree in aeronautical engineering technology. His research focused on building a statistical model that uses Internet conversations involving sexual predators to predict the likelihood of the predator physically meeting the victim. Kanishka’s hope is that his research can be used as a mechanism to prioritize certain cases for law enforcement and save the lives of young, naïve teenagers.

Julia Rayz, an associate professor in the Polytechnic Institute, served as Kanishka’s research mentor throughout the year. Kanishka and Dr. Rayz worked together to collect data from a repository of online chats involving a sexual predator and a decoy, an adult pretending to be a minor, and designed a proper validating scheme to ensure that their model was generalizable.

“Undergraduate research has given me a taste of what graduate school could be like,” said Kanishka. “Performing research during your undergraduate career gives students the opportunity to dive deep into something that they’re interested in. It’s an experience that no class can provide.”

While participating in the Undergraduate Research Conference, Kanishka was given the opportunity to present his own research and interact with and learn from several other undergraduate researchers. “It was one of the most defining moments of my senior year,” said Kanishka.

Summer Undergraduate Researchers, Mentors Invited to Summer Social; RSVP Due July 16

Wong Serves as an OUR Ambassador 

Preston Wong ’21, an undergraduate student in the College of Pharmacy, currently serves as one of the student ambassadors for the Office of Undergraduate Research. Wong has had great experiences as an undergraduate researcher, and his desire to share those experiences is why he first became interested in working with the OUR.

“I wanted to share the many opportunities and benefits that undergraduate research can provide with other students,” said Wong. “Being able to perform research as an undergraduate and produce deliverables, whether that be a paper or prototype, looks great to future employers and is an extremely valuable skill to have.”

Wong is currently working on research that focuses on demonstrating how a medical device startup, Phlebotics Inc., can be used to monitor drug concentrations in blood. The startup was founded by Peter Kissinger, a professor in the Department of Chemistry. Wong’s responsibilities include compiling data from various databases and using that data to demonstrate the benefits of the startup’s technology compared to traditional methods.

Throughout his research experience, Wong has developed strong relationships and networked with many faculty members and professionals in his area of interest. “My favorite part of my research experience is the relationship that I have with Dr. Kissinger,” said Wong. “His mentorship has been invaluable, and I consider him to be one of my good friends. I am very thankful for everything that he has done for me, and I would never have been able to meet him if I hadn’t reached out to ask him about his work.”

Bishop's Archival Research Poster Awarded First Place 

During the 2018 Undergraduate Research Conference, Lillian Bishop’s archival research poster was awarded first place by Purdue University Archives and Special Collections.

Bishop ’19 is a current undergraduate student in the College of Engineering. Her research focuses on exposing the history and origin of Indiana’s state song, “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away” by Paul Dresser. Through utilizing Purdue’s library system and other local news sources, Bishop was able to uncover the importance of the state song’s nostalgia and the impact that it has on the perception of the Wabash River today. Lisa Welp-Smith, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), served as Bishop’s research mentor throughout the year.

“I am an industrial engineering major, which means that I don’t usually get the opportunity to perform historical research,” said Bishop. “I love history and learning the context of why things are the way they are, so conducting this research was a welcome change from my normal class work.”

While participating in the Undergraduate Research Conference, Bishop was able to strengthen her communication skills and learn how to present to different audiences. Conducting undergraduate research has helped her grow as a student and a professional, and has also exposed her to new ideas and ways of problem-solving.

“If you talked to me three years ago and told me that I would be presenting research about the state song of Indiana as part of my engineering education, I would have laughed,” said Bishop. “However, my time at Purdue has taught me to appreciate the importance of multidisciplinary learning. I would challenge students to take the leap and explore research in an area that isn’t their primary focus.”

Purdue Students Attend AAAS Workshop in D.C. 

Four Purdue students traveled in late March 2018 to Washington, D.C., to participate in the 2018 Catalyzing Advocacy for Science and Engineering (CASE) Workshop.

Elizabeth Reinhart (left), Emma Brown, and Caleb Hettinger, undergraduate students from the College of Science, and Clayton Nevins (right), a graduate student in the College of Agriculture, attended the three-and-a-half day workshop hosted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The workshop was an entry-level program that introduced upper-class undergraduates and graduate students to the role that science plays in the federal policy-making process.

“The workshop was a fantastic introduction to science policy,” said Reinhart. “It illuminated many intersections, including how different agencies interact with administration, science lobbying, and how congressional chairs are picked.”

While participating in the workshop, students were provided with the opportunity to engage in interactive seminars about policy-making and communication and conduct meetings with their elected Members of Congress.

“We learned a great deal about science advocacy and how that looks within our government,” said Hettinger. “We were also able to meet Senator Joe Donnelly and hear from several different Members of Congress, including Representative Bill Foster of Illinois and former Representative Rush Holt Jr. of New Jersey.”

The workshop also aimed to provide its participants with the tools to become a voice for research throughout their careers.

“I learned how I can use my knowledge of research, science, and communication to make a difference in research funding,” said Hettinger. “The conference was also great for making connections with other individuals who are interested in and passionate about science advocacy.”

“Learning through in-depth seminars better prepared me to de-fog the bridge between science and policy,” said Reinhart. “As someone who is looking to work on diseases in developing countries, my future relies on government funding, scientific laws, and agencies within the executive branch. All in all, the workshop gave me the resources to become a better civil servant and better prepared me for my future.”

The Office of Undergraduate Research, College of Science’s Learning Beyond the Classroom Certificate Program, Parent & Family Advisory Board, and the Provost Office supported the students’ registration, travels, and housing to attend the event. 

Travel Grant Recipient Presents at IEEE Conference 

Caleb Geissler ’19, a 2018 travel grant recipient, presented his research June 2-5 at the 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power Modulator and High Voltage Conference in Jackson, Wyoming.

Caleb’s research focuses on using nanosecond and microsecond pulsed electric fields to increase lipid extraction from algae. This extraction is then converted into biodiesel fuel. Allen Garner and John Morgan, professors in Purdue’s College of Engineering, worked to guide Caleb while he conducted his research. Students Mary Mulligan and Zane Zmola from Purdue’s College of Engineering also helped Caleb perform research in the lab.

During his time in Wyoming, Caleb was able to present his research to experts in his field of interest and receive feedback and advice from them. “Through attending the conference, I was able to learn about cutting edge research going on all around the world,” said Caleb.

Darr Awarded Top Abstract in Mathematical and Computational Sciences 

During the 2018 Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference, Adam Darr’s research was selected by Purdue Libraries as the top abstract in mathematical and computational sciences.

Adam ’18, left, recently graduated from the College of Engineering at Purdue. His research, titled “Variational Methods Applied to Crossed Field Devices,” works to predict how an electron will behave under the influence of electric and magnetic fields. This prediction is done through using the mathematical technique of variational calculus. Allen Garner, an assistant professor of nuclear energy at Purdue, served as Adam’s research mentor throughout the year. 

While participating in the Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference, Adam greatly enjoyed his experience. It gave him an opportunity to present his discovery after months of searching and many false leads and dead ends.

“The conference held a spirit of camaraderie between all of us researchers at the end of a long, productive semester,” he said. “The chance to compete also added an edge of tension and excitement.”

Undergraduate research has allowed Adam to build a professional background, learn unique skills, personally interact with faculty and staff, and get more involved on Purdue’s campus.

“The first advice that I give new students is to get out there and do some research,” he said. “I have gained confidence beyond measure during my time with undergraduate research, and have learned many valuable lessons, including how to take setbacks gracefully.” 

Travel Grant Recipient Presents Research in Germany 

Daniele Celano '18, a 2018 travel grant recipient and a recent graduate from Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts, presented her research April 12-15 at an international conference in Bielefeld, Germany entitled "Buccaneers, Corsairs, Pirates and Privateers: Connecting the Early Modern Seas."

Over the course of a year, Daniele worked as a research assistant for Dr. Stacy Holden, an associate professor from Purdue’s history department. They worked together to research the effects of famine and internal environmental constraints on North African corsair activity in the late 18th century.

Daniele, Dr. Holden, and Dr. Holden’s teaching assistant, Lama El Sharif, attended the international conference in Germany to present their research paper on early modern piracy. Through her experience and travel, Daniele was able to gain invaluable practice and experience in conducting productive primary source research. “I met so many distinguished professors from across the globe that truly broadened my horizons and taught me different ways to approach one topic,” she said. “The opportunity to present at an international conference was extremely encouraging and helpful to my career in academia, as I will begin a history doctorate program at the University of Virginia in the fall.”

Travel Grant Recipient Presents Research at NKF Spring Clinical Meeting

Sang-A Yun '18, travel grant recipient and recent graduate from the Purdue College of Pharmacy, presented her research on April 10-14 at the National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting in Austin, Texas.

Sang-A’s research focuses on comparing the effect of ergocalciferol, Vitamin D2, to cholecalciferol, Vitamin D3, on patients with chronic kidney disease. While working on her research, she received assistance from Dr. Al-Makki, a nephrologist at IU Health Arnett, as well as Dr. Overholser and Dr. Shepler, professors from the College of Pharmacy.

The National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting is a conference that works to improve clinical practice and patient outcomes through education and information. “It was incredibly humbling to be the first Purdue pharmacy student to present a poster at this conference,” said Sang-A. Throughout her experience, she was able to network with multiple healthcare professionals who share her passion for improving the lives of patients with kidney disease.

Two Travel Grant Recipients Present at the United Nations Headquarters

Eight undergraduate researchers were recently awarded travel grants from the Purdue Office of Undergraduate Research. Researchers Audrey Caprio '18, right, a nursing student, and Paige LeMaster '20, a food science student, presented on April 20 at the Students Seeking Solutions: SDG 6 Challenge Conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. You can see their presentation on the UN website.

Audrey and Paige attended the conference to present the team’s framework for addressing the global water crisis. Along the way, they were able to learn from industry leaders, academic professionals in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), and United Nations officials. They were also able to connect with other students from around the country that are involved in similar work. “This experience was one of the highlights of our undergraduate careers,” said Audrey. “It was made possible through the travel grant from the Purdue Office of Undergraduate Research, as well as through generous donations from Purdue’s Food Science and Nursing departments." The students are part of an interdisciplinary, service-learning project at Purdue that focuses on providing access to clean water in the Dominican Republic. Titled “Water Supply in Developing Countries,” this project involves Purdue students from Engineering, Agricultural Economics, Biology, Nursing, Food Science, Social Sciences, and Technology.

2018 Travel Grant Recipient Travels to ITEEA Conference

Eight undergraduate researchers were recently awarded travel grants from the Purdue Office of Undergraduate Research. One of those researchers, Marlee DeSplinter ’20, recently traveled to the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) National Conference in Atlanta with her professor, Dr. Scott Bartholomew from the Purdue Polytechnic Institute.

While in Atlanta, Marlee presented her research project, titled “Tumblewigs in Tanzania.” Her research was centered around universal STEM education, and the goal of the project was to determine if STEM concepts designed in the United States are applicable in other countries. Marlee conducted her research last summer during a study abroad trip to Tanzania.

This was the first time that Marlee had completed a research project, and her involvement allowed her to grow as both a student and a professional. “This experience taught me how to write professionally and use my surroundings to help me come to certain conclusions,” said Marlee. “Additionally, I was able to develop my public speaking and explanation skills through presenting.”    

Undergraduate Researchers Awarded Travel Grants to Present Research at Conferences

Eight undergraduate researchers received travel grants to attend and present their research. Students' travel extended to international conferences across the globe. Audrey Caprio '18 (College of Human and Health Sciences) and Paige LeMaster '20 (College of Agriculture) were awarded funds to travel to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City for the Students Seeking Solutions Conference. Daniele Celano '18 (College of Liberal Arts) was awarded funds to travel to the Buccaneers, Corsairs, Pirates, and Privateers: Connecting the Early Modern Seas Conference in Bielefeld, Germany. Adam Darr '18 and Mary Mulligan '18 (College of Engineering) were awarded funds to travel to Denver, Colorado for the IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science. Marlee DeSplinter '20 (Purdue Polytechnic Institute) was awarded funds to travel to the ITEEA National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Caleb Geissler '19 (College of Engineering) was awarded funds to travel to Jackson, Wyoming for the IEEE International Power Modulator and High Voltage Conference. Chelsea Maupin '19 (College of Agriculture) was awarded funds to travel to Hong Kong, China for the ISQOLS Conference. Sang-A Yun '18 (College of Pharmacy) was awarded funds to travel to the National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting in Austin, Texas. Funding for these travel grants was supported by the Purdue Parent and Family Advisory Board. Applications are currently being accepted for Fall 2018 travel grants.

Top Undergraduate Researchers Recognized at 2018 Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference

The 2018 Undergraduate Research Conference saw a record number of participants with 560 students presenting 360 posters and the addition of oral presentations with 48 students delivering 29 oral presentations. Following the April 10 celebration of student scholarship, 108 undergraduate researchers received awards with a combined value of $10,400. First place winners and their categories were: Allison Chau (Top Oral Presentation), Gabrielle Williams (Agriculture), Javieradrian Ruiz (Engineering), Lucase Turner and Leeah Reidenbach (Health and Human Sciences), Sunny Asaf (Liberal Arts), Hannah Smith (Science), Kanishka Misra (Polytechnic), Katrarina McGuckin, Josh Chan, Norah Alwalan, Andrew Moolenaar, and Daniel Yang (Krannert), Stephen Purdy (Pharmacy), Maya Cameron (Education), Erica Wyss (Interdisciplinary), and Lillian Bishop (Archival Research). Top abstracts per thematic category were: Alexander Lai (Physical Sciences), Jackalyn Dodson (Innovative Technology/Entrepreneurship/Design), Gaotian Zhu (Life Sciences), Madison Brewer, Amber Swint, and Ziyuan Zhang (Social Sciences/Humanities), and Adam Darr (Mathematical/Computational Sciences). A complete list of 2018 winners can be found in the conference winner archives and the abstracts in the conference booklet archives.

IE Undergrads Participate in Research Conference

New event showcasing Purdue student research to kick off Undergraduate Research Week

Office of Undergraduate Research Awards 12 Research Scholarships to Polytechnic Students

Purdue Today: Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference Accepting Abstracts for Oral Presentation and Posters

Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference Application Site Live

Students interested in presenting at the Undergraduate Research Conference on April 10, 2018 are invited to submit for an oral presentation or a poster. Abstracts are due February 28, 2018.

Office of Undergraduate Research to Host First Undergraduate Research Week

April 3 - 10, 2018 will be Undergraduate Research Week at Purdue University! The week will start with a new kickoff event, "Celebrating... Purdue's Thinkers, Creators, & Experimenters," in the Co-Rec and culminating with the annual Undergraduate Research Conference. Smaller events and announcements will be made for the rest of the Week.

AAE Student Receives University Research Scholarship

Office of Undergraduate Research Sponsors Undergraduate Research Poster Awards for Toxicology Annual Meeting

The OUR sponsored financial awards for undergraduate research poster winners for the Ohio Valley Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting held at Purdue. Two of the three top awards were presented to Purdue undergraduate researchers, Boghos Taslakjian (3rd place) and Assem Imangaliyeva (1st place).

Spring 2018 OUR Scholars Selected

The first cohort of 100 OUR Scholars was selected. OUR Scholars receive a scholarship for completing undergraduate research during the Spring 2018 semester, attending professional development activities, and presenting their work at the annual Undergraduate Research Conference. Applications for the 2018-19 OUR Scholars cohort will be open in late February 2018.

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