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Source: Carol Shanklin, 785-532-7927, shanklin@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Megan Molitor, 785-532-3452, molitor@k-state.edu

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

MAKING THE GRADE: STUDENTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD AT K-STATE TO STRENGTHEN THEIR UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SKILLS

MANHATTAN -- While their classmates may be lounging poolside or wearing out their backyard hammocks, more than 125 students from colleges and universities across the U.S. are spending a portion of their summer focusing on undergraduate research through several programs at Kansas State University.

During their nine to 10 weeks at K-State, the students are participating in seminars coordinated by the Graduate School, attending special networking events, preparing and documenting research, learning how to apply for graduate school and visiting local scientific locations like K-State's Konza Prairie Biological Station.

Carol Shanklin, dean of the K-State Graduate School and professor of hospitality management and dietetics, said that the students are halfway through these programs, which will end sometime between July 29 and Aug. 5, depending on the program.

She said that the summer research programs provide the students with excellent opportunities to engage in research with K-State faculty and graduate students.

"The networking experiences encourage interaction with students and mentors from across campus," Shanklin said. "By providing quality research and other experiences, we are optimistic that this will encourage many of the participants to apply to Graduate School at K-State. They experience the environment that they would find as graduate students. These programs have been successful recruitment tools for many of our graduate programs."

The students will end their experience presenting poster or oral presentations about the research they have been doing with their mentor and research team.

Summer research experiences being offered include:

* Research for Undergraduate Experiences, known as REUs, which are supported by the National Science Foundation. This year's experiences are being offered in biology, including ecology, evolution and genomics of grassland organisms and in ecological genomics; physics, studying laser-matter interactions at the atomic and nanoscales; mathematics; chemical engineering, including a Summer Academy in Sustainable Bioenergy and a sustainable energy experience; chemistry; and climate change. The two new REUs for this summer are climate change and the Summer Academy in Sustainable Bioenergy.

* Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, known as SUROP, sponsored by the K-State Graduate School. The program gives undergraduates from underrepresented groups a firsthand experience with the research process in their chosen field of interest. The experience helps students prepare for graduate school and other advanced study.

* Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Public Health, or SURPH, a component of Pathways to Public Health and funded by the Kansas Health Foundation. Students are exposed to problem solving in the context of real-world situations related to the four master of public health program emphasis areas: food safety, infectious disease/zoonoses, human nutrition and physical activity.

* Kansas State Research and Extension Summer Program, sponsored by the College of Agriculture.

Individuals participating in a summer undergraduate research program at K-State include:

Christopher Richardson, Mathematics REU, Baldwin City; Jenny Barriga, Chemistry REU, and Adrian Gomez, SURPH, both from Dodge City.

From Greater Kansas City: Louise Cordero-Lynch, Olivia Moore, Brittany Richardson, Sarah Lynch and Kaila Toombs, all SURPH and all from Kansas City, Kan.; Samuel Haugland, Adam Summers and Lynza Halberstadt, all Physics REU and all from Kansas City, Mo.; Joshua Ames, Priscilla De los Santos and Zuleica Gerardo, all SURPH and all from Olathe; and Amy Vu, Climate Change REU, Overland Park.

Shelli Nicole Partridge, SURPH, Leavenworth; Bethany Vosburgh, Sustainable Bioenergy REU, Macksville; Kendra Schuler, Ecological Genomics Undergraduate Research and Mentoring, and Sasha Kapil, SUROP, both from Manhattan; Dorothy Menefee, Climate Change REU, Spring Hill; Chris Dolezal, Climate Change REU, Valley Center; Natasha Peterson, SURPH, Wichita.

From out of state:

Mary Hammack, Math REU, Homewood, Ala.; Jeremy Stone, Physics REU, Prescott, Ariz.

From California: Andrew Joe, Sustainable Bioenergy REU, Burbank; Nora Norvell, Physics REU, Davis; Monica Gaines, Chemistry SUROP, Modesto; Travis Severt, Physics REU, Moorpark; James Inouye, Sustainable Bioenergy REU, Morgan Hills; and Sean Dembowski, Chemistry REU, Pasadena.

From Colorado: Meghan Moroza, Chemistry REU, Broomfield; Ian Froning, Physics REU, Carbondale; Rebecca Mitchell, Math REU, Fort Collins; and Jennifer Markham, Sustainable Bioenergy REU, Littleton.

Daniel Muniz, co-sponsored by SUROP and the Math REU, Miami, Fla.; Ashley Toth, Math REU, Orlando, Fla.; Emily Jennings, Math REU, Atlanta, Ga.; Latrice Wilson, SUROP in Diagnostic Medicine, Columbus, Ga.; Patricia Zarate, Biology REU, Boise, Idaho.

From Illinois: Kathleen Sellens, Chemistry REU, Belleville; Nathan Young, Physics REU, Herrin; Brian Peterson, Sustainable Bioenergy REU, Jacksonville.

Megan Downey, SUROP in Diagnostic Medicine, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Christina Poitier, SURPH, New Orleans, La.; Charlotte Levy, Biology REU, Newton, Mass.; Ran Ji, Math REU, Ann Arbor, Mich.

From Minnesota: David Harwood, Chemistry REU, Chaska; John Matthiesen, Chemistry REU, Delano; Chris Minter, Chemistry REU, Hibbing; Ryan Marshall, Physics REU, Plymouth; and Tim Roettger, Physics REU, St. Cloud.

From Missouri: Trey Brock, Math REU, Belton; Yasmine Mitchell, SURPH, Peculiar; Evan Davis, Sustainable Bioenergy REU, Raytown; and Kevin Robb, Chemistry REU, St. Charles.

George Story, Math REU, Apex, N.C.; and Julian Starr, Physics REU, Mahway, N.J.

From Oklahoma: Collin Craige, Sustainable Bioenergy REU, Bokchito; Cari Quick, SUROP in Plant Pathology, Midwest City; and Decole Snowball, SUROP in Biology, Tulsa.

Mario Sracic, Math REU, Hermitage, Pa.; Megan Smithmyer, Sustainable Bioenergy REU, Hollidaysburg, Pa.; Dwayne Sanders, Sustainable Bioenergy REU, Chester, S.C.; Alexander Hubbard, SUROP in English, Sumter, S.C.; Diane Flores, Math REU, Kingsville, Texas; Raymond Velazquez, Chemistry REU, San Antonio, Texas; Sarah Lynne Ogden, Chemistry REU, Springville, Utah; Catherine Fitch, Physics REU, Edmonds, Wash.; and Hee-Sung Yang, Math REU, Issaquah, Wash.

From out of state: Jing Ai, SURPH, Beijing, China; Kataryna Malek, Physics REU, Kobior, Poland; and Angel de la Crus Landrau, SUROP in Biology, Bayamon, Puerto Rico.