In the Spotlight: April 18, 2014

Kudos to these faculty, staff and students

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  • Thomas Kolb, professor in the School of Forestry, is a co-author of “Land Management and Land-Cover Change have Impacts of Similar Magnitude on Surface Temperature” published online in Nature Climate Change.
  • Faculty and staff from the University Honors Program made presentations and presented posters at the recent Western Regional Honors Council’s annual conference in Denver last week, hosted by Metro State University.
    • Students Rebecca Hutchison and Rianne Gibson presented a poster, titled “Guides to University Retention and Undergraduate Success: Beneficial Experience for Peer Mentors,” which received an Honorable Mention at the conference in the poster competition.
    • Sally Statham, Savannah Montanez and Katherine Zhang presented a session, titled “Living on the Edge: Why We Take Risks.”
    • Student Colton Ames presented a session, titled “Zombie Frenzy: Vodou and Zonbi in Film.”
    • Student David Scandura presented a session, titled “From Script to Stage: The Writing Process of a Student Play.”
    • Anne Scott, Honors professor and academic and writing coordinator, student Nicole Thurston and Barbara Youngs, Honors writing center coordinator, presented a session, titled  “The Benefits of an In-house Honors Program Writing Center.”
    • Assistant director Glenn Hansen presented a session, titled “Peer Leaders: Cheap Labor or Student Development Opportunity?” and a poster, titled “Honors Curriculum Redesign Process.”
  • Twelve students competed in the Three-Minute Research Presentation final competition on April 16. Participants were evaluated on their ability to present their research or creative work to a general audience in a three-minute timeframe. A panel of eight community and campus judges chose the first, second, and third place awardees, while the audience chose the People’s Choice Award. Videos of the final presentations are available on YouTube.
    • The first place award of $1,000 went to Serra Hoagland, a doctoral student in the School of Forestry. The title of her presentation was “Owls, Treatments and Tribes.”
    • The second place award of $500 went to John Kline, a physical therapy student, who presented “A Conversion Table for Running on Lower Body Positive Pressure (LBPP) Treadmills.”
    • Antony Jaurequi, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, received the third place award of $250 for his presentation, “Creation of Polysaccharide Based Aerogels for Integration in an Electronic Double Layer Capacitor.”
    • Tanya Sutton received the $250 People’s Choices Award for her presentation, “Chemicals, the Environment and You: The Effects of Potentially Disruptive Chemicals on Health Outcomes.” Sutton is a graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences.
  • Twenty-two students gave presentations on their year-long NASA Space Grant-funded projects at the Arizona Space Grant Consortium Undergraduate Research Internship Program 23rd annual Statewide Symposium, held at the University of Arizona on April 12. Students presenting at the symposium included:
    • Patina Becenti, sophomore, computer science: “Robotic Education”  (Mentor: Mansel Nelson, ITEP)
    • Alexa Brooks, senior, exercise science: “Effects of Hyper-Hydration on Orthostatic Tolerance in Men and Women” (Mentor: Sara Jarvis, biological sciences)
    • Curtis Dankof, sophomore, physics and astronomy: Investigating Central Pit Craters in the Northern Hemisphere of Mercury” (Mentor: Nadine Barlow, physics and astronomy)
    • Shane DePinto, senior, geophysics: “Mapping Apparent Porosity of Surficial Rocks Discovered by the Mars Exploration Rovers” (Mentor: Chris Okubo, USGS)
    • Nicholas Garcia, senior, mechanical engineering: “High Strain Fatigue Life of Magnetic Shape Memory Alloys” (Mentor: Constantin Ciocanel, mechanical engineering)
    • Elizabeth Gehret, junior, physics and astronomy: “Debris Disk Detection around Nearby Stars within 25 Parsecs”  (Mentor: David Koerner, physics and astronomy)
    • Candice Giffin, senior, political science and environmental studies: “NAU Energy Literacy Project: Assessing Student Priorities to Inform Educational Goals” (Mentor: Karin Wadsack, Institute for Sustainable Energy Solutions)
    • Deborah Hamm, post-bacc, physics: “A Search for Kuiper Belt Objects” (Mentor: David Trilling, physics and astronomy)
    • Dane Henderson, sophomore, geology: “Studying Thermal Activity in Yellowstone Using Satellite-Based Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing” (Mentor: Richard Vaughan, Geology and USGS)
    • Ashley Julian, junior, physics and astronomy: “AIMER Outreach” (Mentors: Mansel Nelson and Gene Hill, ITEP)
    • Brooke Knighton, senior, secondary education chemistry: “NAU/NASA Space Grant Survey of Arizona STEM Best Practices, Part 2” (Mentor: Eric Savage, First Flight Education)
    • Benjamin Künzler, sophomore, chemistry: “Particle Size Distribution Optimization for Improved Fluid Flow of Thermoplastic-Silicon Nitride Slurries” (Mentor: Mark Hawthorne, ATC Materials)
    • Sara Krznarich, junior, environmental science: “Comparison of the Root Topology of Andropogon Geradii and Panicum Virgatum” (Mentor: Nancy Johnson, SESES)
    • Emily Litvack, junior, microbiology: “Accurately and Effectively Communicating Science News to the Arizona Daily Sun Readership” (Mentor: Randy Wilson, Arizona Daily Sun)
    • Jacob McLane, senior, physics and astronomy: “Searching for the Youngest Exoplanets (Mentor: Lisa Prato, Lowell Observatory)
    • Brittany Meucci, senior, geology: “Searching for Columnar Jointing on Mars” (Mentor: Moses Milazzo, Basis School and USGS)
    • Adair Patterson, senior, biology: “Heritability of Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Communities in Colorado Pinyon Pine” (Mentor: Catherine Gehring, biology)
    • Shayne Quinn, sophomore, physics and astronomy: “Investigation of Central Pit Craters in the Southern Hemisphere of Mercury” (Mentor: Nadine Barlow, physics and astronomy)
    • Terry Stufflebeam, senior, physics: “Investigation of Polymer-Ceramic Nanoparticles Composite Films for Use in the Capacitive Storage of Electrical Energy” (Mentor: Randy Dillingham, physics and astronomy)
    • Christina Turpin, senior, geology: “Paleomagnetic Analysis of Bimodal Magmatism Associated with Tule Tank Crater, San Francisco Volcanic Field, Northeastern Arizona” (Mentor: Michael Ort, geology)
    • Matthew Warren, senior, elementary education: “NAU/NASA Space Grant Survey of Arizona STEM Best Practices, Part 1” (Mentor: Eric Savage, First Flight Education)
    • Drew Wasikoski, senior, physics: “Using MGS-TES-EPF Data to Derive Mars South Polar Ice Properties Such as Grain-Size” (Mentor: Timothy Titus, USGS)