March 28, 2013

18th Annual Student Symposium Wrap-Up

The 18th Annual Student Symposium has come and gone and we here at the Sponsored Programs Office couldn't be more pleased with the way it turned out. The day started at 6 a.m. with a chilly check-in thanks to the snow that continued to blanket campus throughout Tuesday morning. Check-in ended at 9 a.m. and our twelve faculty judges spent the next three hours evaluating the projects. They had the increadibly difficult job of choosing the best projects based on content and display. After the individual judges scores were tabulated by Sponsored Programs Office staff we had our six winning projects. During the afternoon public display session more than four-hundred people made their way around the ballroom to view the projects set-up there. We hope that everyone, participants and audience members alike, took a few moments to enjoy the cookies and punch provided in the Alumni Lounge across the hall.

As the day came to an end everyone made their way to the Cardinal Hall for the presentation of the awards. We were very honored to have several special guests in attendance: Paul Sr. and Linda Litten and Dr. James Pyle. Mr. and Mrs. Litten's son, Jeffrey, is one of three former SPO staffers for whom the Keys/Litten/Smith award is named. Dr. James Pyle is a former director of the Sponsored Programs Office, having served in that capacity for 24 years. After a few brief remarks from Justin Miller, the current director of Sponsored Programs, the awards were presented by Dr. Robert Morris, Associate Provost for Research & Dean of the Graduate School. In total six awards were given, each accompanied by a $100 cash prize. Congratualtions to the award winner and their faculty mentors. (Complete list of winners at the bottom of this post.)

Congratulations should also be extended to all of the Student Symposium participants and their mentors. Those who attended were impressed with you work and the way you represented yourselves and the University. Thank you for all of your hard work in making the 2013 Student Symposium a success.

Watch for information about the 2014 Student Symposium next spring!

Keys/Litten/Smith Award Winners:

Content Winners
Presenters: Jamie Owens  (Architecture)
Zachary Kendall (Architecture)
Scott Kollwitz (Department of Technology)
Faculty Mentor: Michele Chiuini (Architecture)
Title: Solar Decathlon | The Phoenix House
Abstract: Collaborative design/build project with University of Louisville and University of Kentucky

Presenter: Katie Reed (Biology)
Faculty Mentor: Susan McDowell (Biology)
Title: Host cell viability after treatment with RSM series
Abstract: Pathogenic strains of Staphylococcus aureus are capable of invading host cells and persisting intracellularly. ML141 is a compound that when used in high concentrations, decreases the invasion of S. aureus. Derivatives of ML141, the RSM series, were created to have the same effect as ML141 at lower concentrations. We found that RSM 4, 16, and 19, appeared to inhibit invasion by S. aureus. The focus of this project was to verify that the compounds were inhibiting invasion by S. aureus and not killing the host cell. These findings determine which compounds are harmful and which may be further explored.

Presenter: Bingwei Ye (Physiology and Health Science)
Faculty Mentor: Marianna Zamlauski-Tucker (Physiology and Health Science)
Title: The effect of dietary supplementation with alpha lipoic acid on reduced glutathione levels in mitochondria from kidney cortex and medulla in young female Lewis rats
Abstract: The present study investigated the effect of dietary supplementation with alpha lipoic acid on mitochondrial reduced glutathione (GSH) levels in kidney cortex and medulla from young female Lewis rats. Rats were given D,L-alpha lipoic acid (100 mg/Kg body wt) via intraperitoneal injection for one week. Control rats were not given any exogenous supplement. The kidneys were harvested GSH levels were measured using a spectrophotometric assay. Statistical comparisons were done using a Student’s t test. There were significant increases in both cytosolic and mitochondrial GSH levels in kidney cortex and medulla with alpha lipoic acid supplementation.

Presenter: Aaron Cross (Biology)
Faculty Mentor: David LeBlanc (Biology)
Title: Earlywood and latewood growth responses in northern red oak: the effect of climate at the Ft. Defiance site in Iowa
Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine what climate variables most strongly influence earlywood and latewood formation in northern red oak  (Quercus rubra L.) at the Fort Defiance site in Iowa. Tree ring measurements were taken for 28 cores representing 14 individual trees sampled from the site. Measurements were then correlated (using Pearson’s Correlation) with monthly values for several climate variables, which included precipitation, temperature, max temperature, Pearson’s Drought Severity Index (PDSI), actual evapotranspiration, and actual evapotransporation/ potential evapotransporation ratio. Results will be interpreted in the context of seasonal growth patterns and carbon allocation.

Display Winners
Presenter: Jared Merriman (Biology)
Faculty Mentor: Kamal Islam (Biology)
Title: Species richness and relative abundance of fall birds in two Ball State University field properties
Abstract: We have very little information on the birds that live on Ball State University field properties. I wanted to know more about the birds that use two of the larger properties, Cooper Farm and Ginn Woods. More specifically, I hoped to understand the species composition of the properties and how that species composition changes through the fall. I conducted point count surveys once a week, recording every bird seen or heard at each point. Relative abundance tests were run on the survey data and species richness was calculated for each month at each site. Comparisons between the two sites show that Cooper Farm, which has a forest and a prairie, had greater diversity than Ginn Woods, which is only forest.  The results are similar to what is expected based on the ecological idea of the edge effect which indicates that edge, or transitional, habitats have greater diversity.

Presenters: Brendon Newell (Information Systems and Operations Management)
Adam Hamman (Information Systems and Operations Management)
Erika Hess (Information Systems and Operations Management)
Jay Reyes (Information Systems and Operations Management)
Faculty Mentor: Fred Kitchens (Information Systems and Operations Management)
Title: Frito-Lay Logistics and Asset Tracking
Abstract: Cardinal Innovations is solving a $53.7 million asset allocation issue for Frito-Lay.

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