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Student researchers from Kansas City area present at Capitol

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Christian Basi

March 10, 2015

Legislators learn about diverse research at all four University of Missouri campuses

Photo: Ben Toby, Stephanie Stupps, Thomas Roth, Ellen Gregory, Sam Jonesi, Kelsey Crossen, Sandra Ahmadi. Not Pictured: Alicia Fries.

Photo (Left to Right): Ben Toby, Stephanie Stupps, Thomas Roth, Ellen Gregory, Sam Jonesi, Kelsey Crossen, Sandra Ahmadi. Not Pictured: Alicia Fries.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Some of the state’s most remarkable students gathered March 10 for the University of Missouri System’s annual Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol in Jefferson City. Eight Kansas City area students were among the participants who presented research posters:

Sandra Ahmadi of Raytown, Missouri, a senior majoring in political science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City presented “Temporal Progression of FOMC Voting Patterns” under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Best, assistant professor of political science. 

Kelsey Crossen of Kansas City, Missouri, a senior majoring in biological sciences at Missouri University of Science and Technology presented "Visualization for hyper-heuristics" under the direction of Dr. Dave Westenberg, associate professor of biological sciences, and Dr. Katie Shannon, associate teaching professor of biological sciences. Crossen is the daughter of Renard and Kim Crossen of Kansas City, Missouri.

Alicia Fries of Kansas City, Missouri, a senior majoring in geology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City presented "Examining the quality of foraminiferal and ostracodal microfossil assemblage as an indicator of a tsunami deposit in the Bahamas on An Salvador Island" under the direction of Dr. Tina Niemi, professor of geosciences.

Ellen Gregory of Kansas City, Missouri, a senior majoring in psychology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City presented "The Relationship between Chronic Sleep Quality and Stress: A Study of Emotional Responses during Stress Inducing Situations" under the direction of Dr. Diane Filion, professor and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Gregory is the daughter of Sarah Gregory of Gladstone, Missouri.

Sam Jonesi of Grain Valley, Missouri, a senior majoring in computer science at the University of Missouri-Columbia presented "Improving Remote MRI Viewing through Better Encoding" under the direction of Dr. Prasad Calyam, assistant professor of computer science. Jonesi is the son of Doug and Susan Jonesi of Grain Valley, Missouri.

Thomas Roth of Weatherby Lake, Missouri, a senior majoring in electrical engineering and computer engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology presented "Part DNA using RFID Tags in Metal-Reach Environment" under the direction of Dr. Kristen Donnell, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. Roth is the son of Kevin and Theresa Roth of Weatherby Lake, Missouri.

Stephanie Stupps of Kansas City, Missouri, a senior majoring in biological sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia presented "AAV5 Rep40 is required for Efficient Packaging of the AAV5 Viral Genome" under the direction of Dr. David Pintel, the Dr. R. Philip and Diane Acuff Endowed Professor in Medical Research, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. Stupps is the daughter of Philip and Lisa Stupps of Kansas City, Missouri.

Ben Toby of Kansas City, Missouri, a senior majoring in electrical engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology presented "Smart Rocks for Underwater Wireless Sensor Networks" under the direction of Dr. Daryl Beetner, chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering. Toby is the son of Patrick and Cheryl Toby of Kansas City, Missouri.

In total, 59 students from the university’s four campuses discussed their work with senators, representatives and other visitors. Each student was selected in a competitive process and recommended by his or her campus, including 30 from the MU campus; 10 from UMKC; 16 from Missouri S&T; and three from UMSL. The students shared their research from a variety of disciplines including criminology, biology, education, engineering, and political science.

“Research has been fundamental to the University of Missouri since it became a land-grant university more than 150 years ago,” Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Research and Economic Development Hank Foley said. “Research exposes students to the wonders and possibilities of research and innovation, and helps develop them as future scientists and entrepreneurs whose discoveries could result in new businesses and jobs, and improve the quality of life for Missourians.”

With research core to its mission, the UM System accounts for 96.9 percent of all research conducted by public universities in Missouri.

“No other public higher education institution in the state provides undergraduate students with the breadth and depth of research opportunities as the UM System,” Vice President for University Relations Steve Knorr said. “Giving our students an opportunity to showcase their work at the state Capitol with their own hometown legislators spreads the value message for higher education on a greater level.”

The UM System is one of the nation’s largest public research and doctoral level institutions with more than 77,000 students on four campuses and an extension program with activities in every county of the state.

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