Undergraduate Summer Research Grants Award More Than $50,000 to Students and Mentors

The 2021 Undergraduate Summer Research Grant program has awarded $51,750 to students and their faculty mentors. The grant program is designed to support scholastic, creative and experiential research projects during the summer term for students from all majors who are not eligible for the Honors College Research Grant.

"Our primary goal is to promote and nurture undergraduate research activity on this campus," said Suresh K. Thallapuranam, co-director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. "In this context, Undergraduate Summer Research Grants provide an excellent avenue for students to engage in research and get a glimpse of the wonderful world of research. More importantly, these grants facilitate student-faculty collaboration that is so critical to overall student success."

The students and mentors represent a wide array of disciplines and majors throughout campus, ranging from art to biology to engineering. Students received $1,500 each to support their research while mentors were awarded $750 each to purchase supplies for their students.

"Many of our students are interested in pursuing research on campus, but are not able to do so for financial reasons," said Shannon Servoss, co-director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. "The Undergraduate Summer Research Grant fills a gap on our campus, providing research funding opportunities for students that are not eligible for the Honors College Research Grants. We are excited to see the results from the fantastic student-faculty teams that were awarded the USRG."

The grant awardees are:

  • Adam Hart, "March of Struggle." Mentor: Jody Thompson, School of Art
  • Terry McNeill, "Patchwork Print." Mentor: Adrienne Callander, School of Art
  • Katherine Becerra, "Patchwork Project." Mentor: Adrienne Callander, School of Art
  • Morgan Pelley, "Influence of Temperature and Body Size on Food Consumption in Prairie Lizards (Sceloporus consobrinus)." Mentor: Steven Beaupre, Biology
  • Emily Johansson, "See What You're Missing: An Exploration of Suburban Wildlife Communities in Northwest Arkansas." Mentor: Brett DeGregorio, Biology
  • Sage Nealy, "Predator Learning as a Mechanism Promoting Prey Diversity." Mentor: Adam Siepielski, Biology
  • Olivia Parker, "Expression and Function of a Putative Barrier Claudin in Opercular Epithelia and Gill of Fundulus heteroclitius, a Euryhaline Teleost Fish." Mentor: Christian Tipsmark
  • Sara Feather, "Microgel Synthesis and Evaluation as Antimicrobial Agents." Mentor: Susanne Striegler, Chemistry
  • Alexia Lo, "Characterization of a Small Molecule Inhibitor of a RAS-Related Protein: Implications for the Possible Inhibition of RAS-Related Hyperactivity." Mentor: Paul Adams, Chemistry
  • Konomi Sasaki, "Characterization of a Small Molecule Inhibitor of a RAS-Related Protein: Implications for the Possible Inhibition of RAS-Related Hyperactivity." Mentor: Josh Sakon, Chemistry
  • Madelyn Trolinger, "Derivation of Multi-State Models for Collagenase H Using Small Angle X-ray Scattering." Mentor: Josh Sakon, Chemistry
  • Rachel Woody-Pumford, "Seedless Watermelon Variety Trial." Mentor: Matt Bertucci, Horticulture
  • Danielle Cagna, "Optimizing Type-I Collagen Scaffolds for Peripheral Nerve Repair." Mentor: Young Hye Song, Biomedical Engineering
  • Nathalie Cedeno de Gracia, "Optimizing Type-I Collagen Scaffolds for Peripheral Nerve Repair." Mentor: Young Hye Song, Biomedical Engineering
  • Taylor Williams, "Investigating Effects of Senescence Modulation on Mesenchymal Stem Cell Functions." Mentor: Rebekah Margaret Samsonraj, Biomedical Engineering
  • Ashley Fernandez Chiru, "Computational Model of the WNT3 Signaling Pathway." Mentor: Leonard Harris, Biomedical Engineering
  • Christopher Silzer, "An Undergraduate Experience for Studying the Diffusion of a Solute in an Aqueous Solution." Mentor: Natacha Souto Melgar, Chemical Engineering
  • Yelyzaveta Bachynska, "Protein Fractionation by Ultrafiltration Membranes." Mentor: Ranil Wickramasinghe, Chemical Engineering
  • Paul Moffett, "Reduction of Biological Fouling on Filtration Membrane with CuO Nanoparticle-zwitterion Surface Modification." Mentor: Audie Thompson, Chemical Engineering
  • John Venker, "Hardware Neural Networks on an Advanced Silicon Process." Mentor: Jeff Dix, Electrical Engineering
  • Jacob Esterline, "3D Printed High-Energy Anodes." Mentor: Xiangbo Meng, Mechanical Engineering
  • David Clark, "Design and Fabrication of a Two Chamber Immersion Cooler for High Frequency Transformers." Mentor: Han Hu, Mechanical Engineering
  • Kevin Velasquez Carballo, "Ultra-stable Lithium Metal Anodes for High-Energy Lithium Metal Batteries by Molecular Layer Deposition." Mentor: Xiangbo Meng, Mechanical Engineering

Andy Albertson, senior director of communications
Research and Economic Development
479-575-6111, aalbert22@gmail.com


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