25 Eastern Michigan University students received Undergraduate Research Stimulus Awards in winter and summer of 2022

An illustration of university students and professors studying together atop school supplies

YPSILANTI --  Twenty-five Eastern Michigan University students will conduct research projects in partnership with EMU faculty members with the support of Winter 2022 and Summer 2022 Undergraduate Research Stimulus Awards.

The Undergraduate Research Stimulus Awards Program is among several initiatives at EMU intended to facilitate research partnerships between undergraduate students and Eastern Michigan faculty. The awards were approved by the EMU Board of Regents on June 16, 2022.

Student awardees receive a $2,000 fellowship in support of their research efforts, which is paid in bi-weekly installments throughout the award period. The award is in the form of a credit to the student’s University account. The collaborating faculty member may receive $500 to be used for lab/studio supplies or equipment, or other professional expenses.

The Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs has awarded a total of $22,000 to 11 undergraduate students (10 awards) and $4,800 to eight Eastern faculty for Winter 2022 research and creative projects under the program.

A total of $30,800 has been awarded to 14 undergraduate students and $7,075 to 12 Eastern faculty has also been awarded by the Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs for the Summer 2022 program.

Listed below are student awardees, their majors, research topics, and faculty partners for Winter 2022 projects:

  • Sophie Campbell (majoring in Biochemistry - General). “Determining Function of Autophagy Proteins: Testing Effect of ATG10 Mutants on Autophagy.” Faculty mentor: Steven Backues (Department of Chemistry).
  • Brandon Ferro (majoring in Environmental Science: Atmosphere & Climate). “Recurrence of Heat Waves as a Part of Prolonged Hot Periods” Faculty mentor: Thomas Kovacs (Department of Geography and Geology).
  • Karlee Foster (majoring in Professional Geology - Hydrogeology). “Millers Creek Research Project: Source, Fate, and Transport of Chloride and Iron.” Faculty mentor: Christopher Gellasch (Department of Geography and Geology).
  • Haleigh Griewahn (majoring in Chemistry). “Detection of DNA Damage Induced by Benzo(a)pyrene Coated Microplastics Using Capillary Electrophoresis.” Faculty mentor: Jeff Guthrie (Department of Chemistry).
  • Quinn Higgins (majoring in Psychology). “COVID-19 and its Effects on the Ypsilanti Community.” Faculty mentor: Natalie Dove (Department of Psychology).
  • Erin Main (majoring in Simulation, Animation, and Gaming). “Storytelling:The Creation of Animation.” Faculty mentor: Megan Simon (School of Art and Design).
  • Luke Mangas (majoring in Chemistry). “Computational Investigation of a Rhodium Catalyzed Amidation Reaction.” Faculty mentor: Maria Milletti (Department of Chemistry).
  • Mark Melcher (majoring in Physics). “Implementing Open Source Python Library For Particle Tracking With The Application Of Phase Transition Studies.” Faculty mentor: Surabhi Jaiswal (Department of Physics and Astronomy).
  • Zachary Tobias (majoring in Philosophy; Political Science). “Food Agency.” Faculty mentor: Jill Dieterle (Department of History and Philosophy).
  • Chevonne Wheeler and Tiana Fox (majoring in Exercise Science). “Systematic Review of Physical Activity and Mental Health Among College Students.” Faculty mentor: Catherine Gammon (School of Health Promotion and Human Performance).

Listed below are student awardees, their majors, research topics, and faculty partners for Summer 2022 projects:

  • Bradley Allendorfer (majoring in Environmental Science). “Natal Dispersal and Activity of Tarantula Spiderlings (Aphonopelma hentzi).” Faculty mentor: Cara Shillington (Department of Biology).
  • Emiee Breitner (majoring in Language, Literature and Writing for Teachers). “Shakespeare/Yoga: Cognitive Stretches and Limber Reading Practices” Faculty mentor: Melissa Jones (Department of English Language and Literature).
  • Erin Crnkovich (majoring in Graphic Design). “Engaging Audiences Through Creative Promotional Design: King Kong At Ninety.” Faculty mentor: Tom Suchan (School of Art and Design).
  • Yashoda Krishna Das (majoring in Neuroscience Interdisciplinary). “Investigating the Role of Type II Taste Bud Cells in Salt Taste Transduction.” Faculty mentor:  Joseph Breza (Department of Psychology).
  • Rosalyn Friend (majoring in Physics Research). “Quantifying the role of solar flares on atmospheric escape at Mars.” Faculty mentor: David Pawlowski (Department of Physics and Astronomy).
  • Sara Jamal Ahmad Herzallah (majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering). “Network Traffic Statistical Metrics Dataset for Future Cybersecurity and Machine Learning Applications.” Faculty mentor: Omar Darwish (School of Information Security and Applied Computing).
  • Brendon Kaniecki (majoring in Physics Research). “A Low-Cost Method for Digitizing Data in the Modern Physics Laboratory.” Faculty mentor: Jonathan Skuza (Department of Physics and Astronomy).
  • Konrad Lautenschlager (majoring in Neuroscience). “Mutation of Autophagic Protein and its Imaging by TEM.” Faculty mentor: Steven Backues (Department of Chemistry).
  • Bryan Maro (majoring in Information Assurance and Cyber Defense). “Internet of Drones Embedded Hardware Security and Trust.” Faculty mentor: Fathi Amsaad (School of Information Security and Applied Computing).
  • Imani Peterkin (majoring in Biochemistry). “The Validation of Plasma-Chemical Oxidation for Radiocarbon Dating Archaeological Materials.” Faculty mentor: Ruth Ann Armitage (Department of Chemistry).
  • Sarah Raby (majoring in Sociology). “The Humanitarian Crisis of the Israeli Occupation in the West Bank and Gaza.” Faculty mentor: Grigoris Argeros (Department of Sociology Anthropology and Criminology).
  • Ravel Ray (majoring in Neuroscience Interdisciplinary). “Examining a mechanism by which nicotine modulates the levels of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) in Lung Cancer Cells.” Faculty mentor: Hedeel Evans (Department of Chemistry).
  • Sydney Timmer (majoring in K-12 Music Education - Vocal). “The Effect of Tonal Context on Children's Singing Accuracy.” Faculty mentor: Heather Shouldice (School of Music and Dance).
  • Edgar Vasquez (majoring in Philosophy). “Evaluating Attitudes Toward the Vaccinated and Unvaccinated” Faculty mentor: Stephen Jefferson (Department of Psychology).

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 15,000 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; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up-to-date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

June 16, 2022

Written by:
Walter Kraft

Melissa Thrasher