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WVU Student Researchers Present at 2022 URDC

WVU Student Researchers Present at 2022 URDC

Forty-nine West Virginia University students representing the Morgantown and Beckley campuses have been invited to participate in the nineteenth annual Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol (URDC) in Charleston on February 18, 2022.

Overall, 100 student presenters are representing ten institutions at URDC, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda.

URDC provides students with the opportunity to present their discoveries at a poster session and also to talk to legislators about their findings. The students’ projects are original scholarly works and the presenters design their posters for a general audience.

“At URDC, students get the opportunity to share cutting edge research, technology and scholarship with West Virginia legislators, supporting our land grant mission to the state,” Dr. Amy Hessl, director of the WVU Office of Undergraduate Research and professor of geography, said,

This year, students were mentored by faculty from the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design, Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, the WVU School of Medicine, the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, and the School of Public Health. Students will present their posters in the areas of agriculture, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, creative arts, engineering, exercise science, forensics, health sciences, history, community health, immunology and medical microbiology, international studies, neuroscience and psychology.

In addition to WVU, other institutions participating institutions include: Alderson-Broaddus University, Bluefield State College, Concord University, Fairmont State University, Marshall University, Shepherd University, University of Charleston and West Virginia State University.

Below is a list of WVU student participants, along with their institutional campus, town of residence, research disciplinary focus, research poster title and research mentors:

West Virginia University Institute of Technology

Ashton Graley, Poca, WV (Engineering) “Tiny ‘Green’ Houses: Sustainable Energy Water Pumping System for Small-Scale Living,” Winnie Fu, Research Mentor                                                

Gregory Panther and Jacob Cross, Beckley, WV (Engineering) “WONDERLIFT,” Winnie Fu, Research Mentor                                                                    

Valentina Abondano, Beckley, WV (Biochemistry) “Understanding DNA Hairpin-Silver Nanocluster Conformations Using Molecular Dynamics Simulations,” Taejin Kim, Research Mentor                                                  

Elijah Buckland, Fayetteville, WV and Brenna Emery, Beckley, WV (Engineering) “The Automatic Spotting System: A Safety Device to Prevent Weightlifting Related Injuries,” Winnie Fu, Research Mentor                                               

Rebecca LaRochelle, Mount Hope, WV (Environmental Studies) “Coliform Bacteria in the Sediment of Piney Creek, a Tributary of the New River,” Matthew Williams, Research Mentor

Mackenzie Miller, Scarbo, WV (Neuroscience) “Inhibition of cancer cell signaling regulator microRNA-21 decreases tumorigenic capacity in glioma cell lines,” Adrienne Williams, Research Mentor

West Virginia University

Jenna Friend, Morgantown, WV (Agriculture) “The Effect of Varying Steam Conditioning on Enzyme Products in a Pelleted Broiler Diet,” Joe Moritz, Research Mentor

Savannah Mead, Lancaster, PA (Agriculture) “Horticultural performance of ethylene insensitive etr1-1 petunias,” Nicole Waterland, Research Mentor

Brady Nicewarner, Morgantown, WV (Agriculture) “Characterization of Agouti-Signaling Protein Expression in the Bovine Ovarian Follicle,” Jianbo Yao, Research Mentor

Abigail Jones, Wheeling, WV and Lauren Bish, Lancaster, NY (Biochemistry) “Identification and genetic manipulation of fungi that produce pharmaceutically important compounds,” Daniel Panaccione, Research Mentor

Jessica Burke, Kearneysville, WV (Biology) “Genetically engineered bioenergy cane suppresses microbial activity and reduces soil carbon losses,” Edward Brzostek, Research Mentor

Rachel Morris, Charleston, WV (Biology) “From Here to There: Transporter Expression through Tsetse Fly Development,” Rita Rio, Research Mentor

Teagan Kuzniar, Morgantown, WV (Biology) “Temperature, Oxygen, and Vegetation as Drivers of Microbial Dynamics in Warming Boreal Peatlands,” Ember Morrissey, Research Mentor

Meagan Walker, Weston, WV (Biology) “High Resolution 14C Anchors Confirm Tree Ring Dating with Limited Replication,” Amy Hessl, Research Mentor

Jacob Smothers, Morgantown, WV (Chemistry) “Site-Selective Nickel-Catalyzed Nitration of 8-Benzamidoquinoline,” Jessica Hoover, Research Mentor

Peyton Burford, Hurricane, WV (Creative Arts) “The Mod Revival,” Angela Uriyo, Research Mentor

Madison Hess, Bridgeport, WV (Creative Arts) “Flora Beginnings,” Angela Uriyo, Research Mentor

Charmaine Riestenberg, Kingwood, WV (Creative Arts) “Long May She Reign,” Angela Uriyo, Research Mentor

Chelsea Hidalgo, Morgantown, WV (Creative Arts) “Going Green and Dressing Clean,” Angela Uriyo, Research Mentor

Rebecca Erwin, Wheeling, WV (Engineering) “Development of polyelectrolyte multilayer membranes for ammonium recovery from anaerobic digestate,” Oishi Sanyal, Research Mentor

Ayman Seif, Athens, WV (Engineering) “Prolonged Flight Time and Autonomous Functionality in Small Commercial Drone,” Guilherme Pereira, Research Mentor

Ashley McCullough, Lumberport, WV (Engineering) “Renewable Energy Data Mapping and Integration for the PJM Region,” Fernando Lima, Research Mentor

Kara Cunningham, Hamlin, WV and Emily Kwiatkowski, Virginia Beach, VA (Engineering) “Improving Management of Rural Water Utilities: Digitizing Drinking Water Distribution Infrastructure Records,” Emily Garner, Research Mentor

Lillian Bischof, Wheeling, WV (Engineering) “Modeling of Solar and Wind Power Plants in WV Using System Advisor Model,” Fernando Lima, Research Mentor

Kayla Gibson, Marlinton, WV (Engineering) “Rare Earth Mineral Recovery Using Food Waste-Produced Reagents,” Hassan Amini, Research Mentor

Jessica Friedel, Morgantown, WV (Forensic) “Responding to gun violence epidemic through technology innovation and statistical interpretations for forensic investigations,” Tatiana Trejos, Research Mentor

Rachel McNeel, Morgantown, WV (Health Sciences) “Early metabolic hallmarks of the eye and brain in Alzheimer's disease,” Jianhai Du, Research Mentor

Hanna Jandrain, Martinsburg, WV and Bailey Fedun, Philippi, WV (Health Sciences) “Analyzing MitoNEET Protection Against Paraquat-induced Oxidative Stress in C. Elegans Aging Models,” Werner Geldenhuys, Research Mentor

Makayla Anderson, Beckley, WV (Health Sciences) “Hard Knock Life for Us: Poverty and Chronic Health Conditions,” Julie Patrick, Research Mentor

Nathaniel Palmer, Clarksburg, WV (Health Sciences) “Satisfaction with access to health services in WV during COVID-19,” Trisha Petitte, Research Mentor

Faraz Shere, Charleston, WV (Health Sciences) “Diabetes is a stronger predictor of cognitive difficulties than age,” Bernard Schreurs, Research Mentor

Madison Robinson, Randallstown, MD (Health Sciences) “Single vape exposure on middle cerebral artery function over a 72-hour period,” Mark Olfert, Research Mentor

Matthew Hudson, Scott Depot, WV and Evita Yang, Follansbee, WV (Health Sciences) “Characterizing Humoral Immune Response of Cystic Fibrosis Patients with Clinical History of P. aeruginosa infections,” Mariette Barbier, Research Mentor

Rhett White, Clendenin, WV (Health Sciences) “Dim Light at Night Reduces Cerebral Vasculature Structure in the Hippocampus of Mice,” Randy Nelson, Research Mentor

Kelsie Bishop and Madelyn White, Morgantown, WV (Health Sciences) “The Effects of Different Operator Chairs on Dental Professional Back Pain and Ergonomics,” Ashlee Sowards, Research Mentor

Serenity McDill, Hedgesville, WV (Health Sciences) “Identifying Home Care Needs of Families Living with Heart Failure and Vascular Dementia,” Ubolrat Piamjariyakul, Research Mentor

Emma Rice, Point Pleasant, WV and Caylie Simmons, Franklin, WV (Health Sciences) “A Study of the Ergonomics of Dental Hygiene,” Alcinda Shockey, Research Mentor

Catlyn Sparks, Buckeye, WV and Kandice Pruitt, Panther, WV (Health Sciences) “The Link Between Different Dental Products and Enamel Crystallization,” Alcinda Shockey, Research Mentor

Isabella Balko, Morgantown, WV (Health Sciences) “Incidence, Prevalence, and Outcomes of Pediatric Trauma in Rural Appalachia From 2017 to 2019,” Pavithra Ellison, Research Mentor

Tatiyana Caesar, French Creek, WV and Abigail Charles, Fairmont, WV (Health Sciences) “Efficacy of Plastic Protective Barriers vs. Disinfectant Wipes,” Alicinda Shockey, Research Mentor

Natalie Clingan, Harpers Ferry, WV and Rursch Makennah, Morgantown, WV (Health Sciences) “Use of Disposables in the WVU School of Dentistry,” Alcinda Shockey, Research Mentor

Phillip Englund, Hurricane, WV (Health Sciences) “Chronic Stress Increases the Production of Xanthine Oxidase in the Liver of C57BL/6J Mice,” Dr. Paul Chantler, Research Mentor

Hannah Grimm, Smithfield, PA and Lauren Sobek, Morgantown, WV (Health Sciences) “A Study to Determine Dental Hygienists' Comfortability to Assess Eating Disorders in WV,” Alcinda Shockey, Research Mentor

Baylee Fitzwater and Kaci Zopp, Morgantown, WV (Health Sciences) “Professional Grade Carbamide Peroxide for at Home Bleach Trays vs. at Home Bleaching Remedies,” Alcinda Shockey, Research Mentor

Morgan Glass, Triadelphia, WV (Health Sciences) “Understanding radiation’s potential in drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier,” Paul Lockman, Research Mentor

Falon Snodgrass, Bridgeport, WV (Humanities) “Land Access in the Italian Alps and How it Influenced Relationships in Premodern Societies,” Matthew Vester, Research Mentor

Collin Lloyd, Cincinnati, WV (Social Sciences) “The Impact of Race and Sex on Access to Healthcare,” Julie Patrick, Research Mentor

Sarah Ihlenfeld, Wheeling, WV (Social Sciences) “American exceptionalism after 9/11:   Dominant narratives in foreign and national security policy,” Christina Fattore, Research Mentor

Aradhita Yadava, Bridgeport, WV and Abigail Ebert, Sistersville, WV (Social Sciences) “Intersecting Identities on Our Country Roads: Depression Among Diverse Adults in WV,” Julie Patrick, Research Mentor