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Students awarded undergraduate research grants

Forty-four Lamar University students and their faculty mentors were recognized today (November 6) at an award ceremony hosted by the Lamar University Office of Undergraduate Research.

The students will engage in a total of 40 research projects. In welcoming remarks, President Kenneth Evans shared with the gathering of administrators, faculty, students and family members in Price Auditorium the tremendous growth of undergraduate research at the university and praised the hard work of faculty and students alike. 

The program is directed by Kumer Das, associate professor of mathematics, with the help of assistant directors Catalina Castillon, associate professor in the Department of English and Modern Languages, and Cristian Bahrim, professor of physics. Das spoke of the increase not only in the number of undergraduate research projects underway at the university, but also of the increase in their diversity and quality. 

The Office of Undergraduate Research seeks to inspire undergraduate students at LU from all majors to explore their field of study and to engage in research. It serves as a resource for all undergraduates regardless of major and seeks to enrich undergraduate experiences through participation in research, scholarship and creative activity. It also provides funding opportunities for student research and scholarship through a range of programs.

The students will present their research to the university in the spring at the annual research expo, Das said. Some 120 projects were presented in the research expo held in April by 250 LU students mentored by 88 faculty members representing 28 academic departments.

To learn more, visit http://www.lamar.edu/undergraduate-research/ 

Receiving research grants are: 

Roshney Ali, a junior from Nederland majoring in biology and in the pre-dental program, mentored by Maryam Vasefi, assistant professor of molecular genetics and biology, on Associations Between Periodontal Pathogens and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Aleksander Allen of Buna, a senior majoring in electrical engineering, mentored by Weihang Zhu, associate professor of industrial engineering, on Dual Myo Sensor Bio-signal Analysis and Control for a Prosthetic Hand.

Isaac Angeron of Sour Lake, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, mentored by Keivan Davami, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, on Integration of 3D Printing in Microfabrication to Produce a MEMS Pressure Sensor.

Jordan Bryant of Port Arthur, a freshman majoring on social work, mentored by Ginger Gummelt, assistant professor of social work, on The Effects of Hurricane Harvey on the Community of El Vista A Social Work Research Case Study.

Progga Chirontoni of Beaumont, a senior majoring in chemical engineering and mathematics, mentored by Keivan Davami, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, on Prevention and Control of Biofouling in Nanofiltration Membrances for Water Desalination.

Robbie Clarke of Beaumont, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, mentored by Chun-Wei Yao, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, on Fabrication of a Nanostructured Superhydrophobic Aluminum Surface with Corrosion Resistance.

Victoria Cornell of Orange, a senior majoring in nursing, mentored by Cynthia Pipkins, on Nurse Educators, Nursing Students, and Licensed Nurses Knowledge and Attitudes of Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Comparative Study.

Drake Curette of Houston, a junior majoring in English, mentored by Tilsa Thibodeaux, assistant professor in educational leadership, on Exploring the Link between African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and Code Switching in Classroom Settings.

Jordan Curl, a sophomore from Orange majoring in biology, and Edward Doan, a junior from Orange majoring in chemical engineering, mentored by Ian Lian, assistant professor of biology, on Developing a Smartphone-Based, Low-Cost Device for Waterborne Pathogen Detection.

Frederick Donahey of Fort Worth, a freshman majoring in chemical engineering, mentored by Shannon L. Jordan, assistant professor of health and kinesiology, on Cardiovascular Exercise and Academic Performance at the Undergraduate Level. 

Blaire Dykes of Port Neches, a junior majoring in speech language pathology, mentored by Nandhu Radhakrishnan, associate professor of speech and hearing, and Awais Saleem, assistant professor of communication, on Voice Analysis of Radio-TV Broadcasters: Gender vs Content. 

Carley Exiga of Beaumont, a junior majoring in social work, mentored by Ginger Gummelt, assistant professor of social work, on Restorative Discipline in Action at Odom Academy.

Diego Fernandez of Port Neches, a sophomore majoring in computer science, mentored by Sujing Wang, assistant professor of computer science, on Using Data Mining Techniques to Predict Trends of Air Pollution.

Johnny Frazier of Woodville, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, mentored by Xuejun Fan, professor of mechanical engineering, on Experimental Characterization of Silicone Phosphor.

Emily Gant of Cleveland, a senior majoring in psychology, mentored by Raymond Doe, assistant professor of psychology, on Five minutes of exercise after learning: Does it improve memory?

Yazmin Glenn of Jasper, a senior majoring in social work, mentored by Bonnie Loiodice, instructor of social work, and Ginger Gummelt, assistant professor of social work, on Observing Social Connectedness Post Disaster.

Shelby Hare of Cleveland, a senior majoring in speech language pathology, mentored by Nandhu Radhakrishnan, associate professor of speech and hearing and Dr. Krithika Lingappan, Baylor College of Medicine, on Infant Cry Analysis of Premature Babies.

William Q. Van Hoozer of Spring, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, mentored by Ali Beheshti, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Keivan Davami, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, on Fabrication of Graphene Nanocomposites. 

Hannah Hudgins of Vidor, a freshman majoring in film, mentored by Mahamoud Salimi, assistant professor of communication, on Mental State Diving Into the Mind. 

Alek J. Hutson of Vidor, a senior majoring in physics and electrical engineering, mentored by James Drachenberg, assistant professor of physics, on Studying the Strong Force Using Proton-Proton Collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.

Nicholas Johnson of Buna, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, mentored by Keivan Davami, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, on Fabrication and Characterization of Copper-Coated Mechanical Metamaterials.

Yves Jordan Kenfack, of Allen, a junior majoring in biology, mentored by Ashwini Kucknoor, associate professor of biology, on Presence of flesh eating bacteria Vibrio vulnificus in water bodies of South East Texas aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Zara Killman of Nederland, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, mentored by Mamta Singh, associate professor of professional pedagogy, on Assessing Elementary Pre-Service Teachers' Science Content Knowledge and Teaching Readiness.

Julia Lin of Houston, a senior majoring on chemical engineering, mentored by Clayton Jeffryes, assistant professor of chemical engineering, on Testing of 3-D Hybrid Tissues.

Alexus Locke of Beaumont, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, mentored by Ping He, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, on Experimental and Computational Fluid Dynamics Study: Inkjet Bioprinting of Lung Cancer Cells.

Craig Martin of Nederland, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, mentored by Keivan Davami, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, on Microfabricated Sharklet Patterns for Marine Antifouling Applications.

Jamesley Norvil of Houston, a junior majoring in computer science, mentored by Jasdeep Pannu, assistant professor of mathematics, on An Analysis of the Retention and Graduation Rates Among Underrepresented Students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Caroline Nwandu of Houston, a junior majoring in biochemistry, mentored by Thi Thuy Minh Nguyen, assistant professor of chemistry, on Mutagenic Study of the Potential of Bacteria Cells on the Remediation of Heavy Metals.

Garrett Oliver of Bridge City, a senior majoring in electrical engineering and mathematics, mentored by Gleb Tcheslavski, associate professor of electrical engineering, and Ashley Dockens, assistant professor of speech and hearing, on A Comparative EEG-Based Study of Natural Speech Processing by Control vs. Persons with Hearing Loss.

Zhen Wei Ooi of Port Arthur, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, mentored by Clayton Jeffryes, assistant professor of chemical engineering, on Optimizing Inferential Basis for Determination of Kinase Inhibitor Selectivity.

Kevin Peterson of Austin a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, mentored by Ali Beheshti, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Keivan Davami, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, on Friction and Durability Analysis of 3D-Printed Surfaces.

Daniel Quispe of La Porte, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering, and David Quispe of La Porte, a junior majoring in electrical engineering and mathematics, mentored by Cristian Bahrim, professor of physics, on Implementing Solar Energy into Gulf Coast Areas.

Samuel Rueda of Beaumont, a sophomore majoring in political science, mentored by Terri Davis, associate professor of political science, on The Impact of Mexico's National Housing Institution on the Country's Working Class.

Hannah Rumsey of Lumberton, a freshman majoring in accounting and finance, mentored by Kumer Das, professor of mathematics, on An Investigation of the Ethical and Moral Impacts of Big Data.

Juliana Silva of Missouri City, a senior majoring in electrical engineering and mathematics, mentored by Hassan Zargarzadeh, assistant professor of electrical engineering, on Point Cloud Mapping of Surrounding Space Using LiDAR with Application to Robotics.

Maria Stamatis of Nederland, a senior majoring in speech and hearing sciences, mentored by Monica Harn, professof of speech and hearing sciences, on The Experiences and Perceptions of Peer-Mentors Participating in a Social Skills Group for Pre-Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Shreya Vakil of Beaumont, a sophomore and student in the Texas Academy of Leadership in the Humanities, mentored by Maryam Vasefi, assistant professor of biology, researching A potential drug target for Alzheimer's disease.

Julian VanDevender of Vidor, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, mentored by Julia Yoo, associate professor of professional pedagogy, researching Perceptions of Cooperative Learning Among K-12 Teachers and its Relationship with Teacher Efficacy and Flexibility. 

William Villa of Orange, a senior a mechanical engineering major mentored by Keivan Davami, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, on Fabrication of 3D-Printed metamaterials for energy absorption applications.

Amanda Warner, a junior biology major in the pre-med program from Orange, mentored by Maryam Vasefi, assistant professor of biology, researching Polyphenolic Phytochemicals for the Use of Preventing and Treating Neurodegenerative Disease.