CLU students wrap up summer research
Undergraduates to present findings in OctoberSeptember 2, 2011
Austin Garcia studied how genes orchestrate tissue development in fruit flies under the guidance of faculty mentor David Marcey.
(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Sept. 2, 2011) Twenty-one undergraduate students at California Lutheran University who spent the summer conducting full-time research will present their findings at the 8th Annual Student Research Symposium on Oct. 29.
The symposium will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Richter Hall in the Ahmanson Science Center.
With funding from university grants and guidance from faculty mentors, the students took on challenges that ranged from developing an inexpensive method for teaching neuroscience to investigating the connection between hip hop and religion. Most of the students will also publish their results and make presentations at professional conferences throughout the country.
The following scholars received Swenson Science Summer Research Fellowships:
Dani Amoroso, a junior environmental science major from Simi Valley, worked on a project titled "The Effect of Environmental Factors on Three Different Coastal Sage Scrub Communities." She correlated her observations of different species with environmental influences to provide a better understanding of the endangered communities.
Courtney Burch, a senior biology major from Fullerton, worked on "Isolation, Cultering and Sequence Analysis of Feline Leukemia Virus." She tried to determine the genetic variability of feline leukemia virus, which may lead to better treatments for leukemia in cats.
Joe Crump, a senior from Fillmore majoring in biology and bioengineering, worked on "Establishment and Utilization of Spiker Box-Biopac Interface for Neuroscience Education." He developed experiments for high school and college students to conduct using an inexpensive device and software to record nerve impulses.
Allyson Dorsey, a junior bioengineering major from Scottsdale, Ariz., worked on "Direct Arylation Methodology for the Synthesis of Organic Electronic Materials." Her project focused on making organic materials for solar cells in a new way that could minimize both cost and hazardous waste.
Austin Garcia, a sophomore biology major from Camarillo, worked on "Leukemic Tumorigenesis by an Extra Eye Mutation in Drosophila." He studied how genes orchestrate tissue development in fruit flies, a model organism for genetic research, to aid understanding of leukemia in humans.
Emily Hnath, a junior exercise science major from Rogers, Minn., worked on "Role of Dietary Intake, Nutritional Status and Physical Activity on Sarcopenia and Osteopenia." She investigated the relationships among activity, diet, muscle atrophy and bone loss in the elderly.
Luis Jimenez, a senior biochemistry major from Newbury Park, worked on "Identification of Genes in B Cells and T Cells That Change Expression After HCV Infection." He studied the effect of the Hepatitis C virus on white blood cells, which needs to be understood in order to eventually develop a vaccine.
Neika Maryn, a junior exercise science major from Fallbrook, worked on "A Comparison of Three Methods to Determine Critical Running Velocity in Healthy Adults." In order to evaluate a new testing method, she conducted running tests quantifying aerobic fitness in a range of participants.
Kao Tang Ying Moua, a junior bioengineering major from Garden Grove, worked on "Measuring the Cell Adhesion Force of Osteoblasts With Hydroxyapatite to Predict Random Structure." She developed methods to use an atomic force microscope to study the material needed to form bone.
Ivy Nguyen, a sophomore chemistry major from Vietnam, worked on "Identification and Characterization of Xenobiotic Metabolites Using GC-MS and Swarm Intelligence Methodology." She collected data as part of two-year study looking at how field and factory workers' work environments affect their health.
Randee Smith, a junior mathematics major from Canyon Country, worked on "Advanced Path Routing for Gantry Robot." She researched a way for a robot arm designed to travel in straight lines to follow curved paths.
Tracey Thompson, a senior biochemistry major from Englewood, Colo., worked on "Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship Studies of Humic Acid Substances Via Multiplexed Capillary Electrophoresis." This study was designed to gain a greater understanding of the human health effects of these naturally occurring substances.
Samantha Van Gorder, a senior exercise science major from Ramona, worked on "Relationships Between Anthropometric and Functional Measures of Sarcopenia and Osteopenia." She tested more than 100 seniors to determine the connection between the loss of bone mass and the loss of muscle.
Tracy White, a senior exercise science major from Ventura, worked on "Site Specific Relationships Between Muscle and Bone in Young and Older Women." She tested 50 young women and 50 older women to determine relationships between muscle strength and bone density and how those relationships are affected by aging.
Keenan Woods, a junior chemistry major from Poway, worked on "Exploring the Living Polymerization of Conjugated Monomers." He looked at ways to control chemical reactions so that more efficient solar cells can be made.
The following students received Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships:
Joseph Clarkson, a sophomore art major from Virginia Beach, Va., worked on "Re-Discovering Pre-Raphaelite Wet-White Technique." He tried to replicate the technique from the 1800s, which produced brilliant colors but involved toxic paints, with safe materials.
Aminah K. Hassoun, a senior from Oxnard majoring in political science and religion, worked on "Liberation, Resistance & Rap: A Redefinition of Religion" She analyzed religious themes in underground rap.
Rachel Heagy, a sophomore computer information services major from San Mateo, worked on "Economic Impact of CLU Student-Athletes." She also compared the academic performance of athletes and non-athletes.
The following students participated in the Pearson Scholars Summer Program:
Christine Behymer, a senior international studies major from Del Mar, worked on "The Impact of Cultural Retention by Muslim Women on Their Lives in the Workplace." She examined how Muslim women balance their religious
identity with a secular workplace.
Erin Boettcher, a junior international studies major from Littleton, Colo., worked on "Refugee Access to Higher Education in Los Angeles: A Case Study of Iraqi Refugees." She studied Iraqi refugees in Los Angeles and the challenges and opportunities presented when they seek to enroll in colleges and universities.
Nicole Mills, a senior international studies major from Highland Ranch, Colo., worked on "Converting to Christianity Shapes Chinese Immigrants' Identity." She examined the role that Christianity plays in the adaptation process of Chinese immigrants who convert to Christianity after they come to the United States.