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Kansas State University graduate students presenting Kansas-related research at Capitol Graduate Research Summit

Wednesday, March 8, 2017


The Capitol Graduate Research Summit, March 10, at the State Capitol in Topeka, will feature 10 Kansas State University students presenting their Kansas-related research. | Download this photo.


MANHATTAN — The 14th Capitol Graduate Research Summit, on Friday, March 10, will feature 10 Kansas State University graduate students who research important Kansas topics, including soil erosion, crop development, obesity, animal health and more.

The event will be on the second-floor rotunda of the Kansas State Capitol Building in Topeka. The statewide summit includes current research from graduate students at Kansas State University, Emporia State University, the University of Kansas, the University of Kansas Medical Center, Wichita State University, Fort Hays State University and Pittsburg State University. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has proclaimed March 10 as Graduate Research Day.

Graduate students will present their research posters from 10 a.m. to noon and interact with legislators, the Kansas Board of Regents and the public. Members of the community are invited to attend.

A university professor and an industry representative will judge the poster and student presentations. The top presenters from each university will be awarded a $500 scholarship.

The 10 students were chosen based on their research presentations at Research and the State, an annual on-campus event in October 2016.

"As one of the top wheat producing states in the United States, tools that help to protect this valuable commodity, and consequently the livelihood of a large portion of rural Kansas, are indispensable," said Ryan Schmid, doctoral student in agronomy. "My research focuses on the development of a monitoring tool for a significant insect pest of wheat, the Hessian fly. The results of my research demonstrates the potential for LEDs to improve Hessian fly monitoring, which will give Kansas wheat producers much needed information to make judicious management decisions, thus reducing yield loss from this pest."

"Presenting at the Capitol Graduate Research Summit provides a unique opportunity to communicate with the state legislators and explain how the research conducted at K-State impacts the state of Kansas," said Catherine Steele, doctoral student in psychology. "My research has found that high-fat and high-sugar diets induce impulsive choice behavior. This suggests that diet and impulsive behavior could be targeted in treatment programs to help address the obesity crisis in Kansas."

The following Kansas State University graduate students are participating in the Capitol Graduate Research Summit:

• Matthew Galliart, doctoral student in biology, Hutchinson, for "Experimental natural selection of big bluestem ecotypes across the great plains: a novel test for the strength of local adaptation." His faculty advisor is Loretta Johnson, professor of biology.

• Joshua Weese, doctoral student in computer science, Macksville, for "Bringing computational thinking to K-12." His faculty mentor is Bill Hsu, associate professor of computer science.

• Jack Lemmon, master's student in animal sciences, Manhattan, for "Effects of intensive late-season sheep grazing following early-season steer grazing on population dynamics of sericea lespedeza in the Kansas Flint Hills." His faculty advisor is KC Olson, professor of animal sciences and industry.

• Tri Tran, doctoral student in civil engineering, Manhattan, for "Determining surface roughness in erosion testing using photogrammetric method." His faculty advisor is Stacey Tucker-Kulesza, assistant professor of civil engineering.

• Ryan Schmid, doctoral student in entomology, Kingsley, Iowa, for "Protecting Kansas wheat: Assessment of a novel hessian fly monitoring strategy." His faculty mentor is Brian McCornack, associate professor of entomology.

• Catherine Steele, doctoral student in psychology, Katy, Texas, for "Diet-induced impulsivity: The effect of high-fat and high-sugar diets on the mechanisms of impulsive choice." Her faculty mentor is Kimberly Kirkpatrick, professor of psychological sciences.

• Sam Emerson, doctoral student in human nutrition, Midlothian, Texas, for "Characterizing the inflammatory response to a high-fat meal in healthy adults: A systematic review." His faculty mentor is Sara Rosenkranz, assistant professor of food, nutrition, dietetics and health.

• Md. Zahidul Karim, doctoral student in civil engineering, Bangladesh, for "Characterizing soil erosion potential using electrical resistivity." His faculty advisor is Stacey Tucker-Kulesza, assistant professor of civil engineering.

• Zheng Zhao, doctoral student in biological and agricultural engineering, China, for "Developing multiplexed detection of blood exosomal markers for diagnosis of ovarian cancer." His faculty advisor is Mei He, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering.

• Regina Enninful, doctoral student in agronomy, Ghana, for "Characterization of parents of sorghum mapping populations exposed to water-deficit stress during the vegetative stage." Her faculty advisor is Krishna S.V. Jagadish, associate professor of agronomy.

News tip

Hutchinson, Macksville and Manhattan, Kansas; Kingsley, Iowa; and Katy and Midlothian, Texas.


Capitol Graduate Research Summit


Download the following photo.


The proclamation signed by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback declaring March 10 as Graduate Research Day in the state.

Written by

Kelsey Peterson