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Student researchers from Jackson County present at Capitol

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John Fougere

March 21, 2016

Legislators learn about diverse student research conducted at all four UM System campuses

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Fifty-four students representing the four campuses of the University of Missouri System participated in Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol on March 15. The annual event gives students an opportunity to share with state lawmakers the wide variety of undergraduate research taking place across the university system.  

Among the participants were six students from Jackson County:

  • Samantha Dodda, a senior majoring in chemistry at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from Kansas City, presented her research titled "Does socioeconomic status, age, and education contribute to the stigma of HIV/AIDs in African-American religious communities?” under the direction of Jannette Berkley-Patton, assistant professor of psychology.
  • Larry Hernandez, a junior majoring in cello performance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from Raytown, presented his research titled "Elements of nationalism in the music of Chavez and Revueltas” under the direction of David Thurmaier, associate professor of music theory. Hernandez is the son of Jose Luis and Sonia Hernandez of Raytown.
  • Darian Johnson, a senior majoring in chemical engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology from Kansas City, presented her research titled "A low-cost lithium-borate compound for solid-state lithium-ion battery electrolyte” under the direction of Amitava Choudhury, assistant professor of chemistry. Johnson is the daughter of Lisa Johnson and Jerry Potts Jr. of Kansas City.
  • Maria Raquel Juarez, a senior majoring in animal science at the University of Missouri-Columbia from Blue Springs, presented her research titled "Water-soluble gelatinase inhibitor O-phosphate prodrug and its metabolite p-hydroxy SB-3CT ameliorate motor functions against brain damage after severe traumatic injury in mice” under the direction of Zezong Gu, associate professor of pathology and anatomical sciences. Juarez is the daughter of John joe and Jennifer Lynn Juarez of Blue Springs.
  • Sara Lamprise, a senior majoring in environmental science at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from Kansas City, presented her research titled "Use of permethrin-treated bed nets for fishing in Lake Tanganyika” under the direction of John Fleeger, emeritus professor and adjunct instructor of geosciences.
  • Colton Luttrell, a senior majoring in physics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from Kansas City, presented his research titled "Searching for cold gas near recently quenched galaxies” under the direction of Mark Brodwin, assistant professor of astronomy and cosmology. Luttrell is the son of Catherine Luttrell of Kansas City.

The student researchers were selected in a competitive process to present their projects to Missouri’s elected officials, and included 24 students from the University of Missouri-Columbia, 19 from Missouri University of Science and Technology, nine from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and two from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Each had the opportunity to visit with their hometown legislators.

“Student engagement in research projects with faculty members at each of our campuses is a staple of the undergraduate academic experience,” Bob Schwartz, interim UM System vice president for academic affairs, said. “The experience 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 technologies and businesses, and improve the quality of life for Missourians.”

Students highlighted the broad spectrum of research conducted at across the UM System’s four campuses including research in the areas of education, health, agriculture, biotechnology, transportation and infrastructure, social services, and economic development.

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.

Photo, left to right: Samantha Dodda, Colton Luttrell, Maria Juarez, Darian Johnson, Sara Lamprise, and Larry Hernandez.

Photo, left to right: Samantha Dodda, Colton Luttrell, Maria Juarez, Darian Johnson, Sara Lamprise, and Larry Hernandez.