March 22, 2017

Hissing cockroaches, Great Lakes climate change and 3D printing: Undergraduate Symposium shines light on student research and projects at Eastern Michigan University

YPSILANTI – The 37th annual Undergraduate Symposium, the highlight of the academic year at Eastern Michigan University, will be held on Friday, March 31 in the EMU Student Center.

The symposium features the exceptional academic work of EMU undergraduate students, showcasing student research and creative projects from a wide variety of disciplines. This year’s symposium features about 230 faculty members working with nearly 450 students on various projects and presentations.

A highlight of projects includes:

• Nursing major Chelsea Noble (Brownstown, MI): Examining the roles nurses can play in recovery from substance abuse disorders.

Do cockroaches feel stress? Yes, says biology major Holly McQuithey. Her project will be among many featured at the symposium.

• Africology & Sociology major Nyambura Njee (Ypsilanti): Reviewing images of “Blackness” in popular culture and how they are used to justify violence against the black community.

• Computer Science major Paul Gossman (Port Huron): Creation of a data system that gathers data from millions of students nationwide to enhance instructor insight on student needs and behaviors.

• Athletic Training major Autumn Wright (Dayton): Utilizing 3-D printing and live casting to create anatomically correct models for educational purposes (athletic training and orthotics/prosthetics health care education labs).

• Biology major Holly McQuithey (Flat Rock): Comparing Madagascar hissing cockroaches to determine stress levels – yes cockroaches get stressed too!

• Social Work student Abigail Allman (Massillon, Ohio): Researching the perception of Ypsilanti residents regarding EMU and what it provides to their community – aims to bridge the gap between Ypsilanti and EMU.

• Geology and Geography student Grace Nicholas (Pinckney): Exploring the effect of climate change on the Great Lakes. While all of the lakes are suffering, Lake Erie has been especially impacted.

• Derek Dixon, psychology (Madison Heights): Researching the role of student intuition on test taking, specifically on multiple-choice tests.

Oral and poster presentations begin at 9 a.m. and run through 4:15 p.m. with a short break from noon to 1:15 p.m. for a private luncheon. The Crossing Lines Design Expo, which displays projects that are more visual in nature, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The keynote speaker at the symposium luncheon will be EMU alumnus Nathan Bomey, a business reporter for USA TODAY, based in the Washington, D.C. area. Previously, he covered Detroit's historic bankruptcy and General Motors for the Detroit Free Press after working for While at Eastern, he served as an editor with the campus newspaper, The Eastern Echo. 

For more information about the Undergraduate Symposium please visit the symposium website. The Student Center is located at 900 Oakwood, Ypsilanti, 48197. The event is free and open to the public.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest university in Michigan. It currently serves 22,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Health and Human Services; Technology, and its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

Contact Geoff Larcom,, 734.487.4401

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