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K-State Today

September 6, 2012

With guidance from faculty mentors, summer programs provide research, academic opportunities for undergraduate students

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Students from colleges and universities across the U.S. came to Kansas State University to spend part of the summer focusing on undergraduate research and academics.

During their nine to 10 weeks at the university, the students participated in seminars coordinated by the Graduate School, attended special networking events, prepared and documented research, learned how to apply for graduate school and visited local scientific locations like the Konza Prairie Biological Station.

Carol Shanklin, dean of the Graduate School and professor of hospitality management and dietetics, said that the summer programs provided the students with excellent opportunities to engage in research with university faculty and graduate students.

"Through these programs, undergraduate students are able to experience the graduate school environment and interact with faculty and mentors across campus," Shanklin said. "These programs are a successful recruitment tool and many of our summer participants apply to the Graduate School to pursue their graduate education and further their research experiences."

The summer programs included:

* Research Experiences for Undergraduates, known as REUs, are supported by the National Science Foundation. This year's experiences were offered in biology; chemistry; climate change; earth, wind and fire; EPSCoR; math; physics; and sustainable bioenergy. Faculty coordinators and directors included Bruce Snyder and Ari Jumpponen, biology; Chris Culbertson, chemistry; Keith Rutlin, climate change and sustainable bioenergy; Larry Erickson and Keith Hohn, earth, wind and fire; Jun Li, EPSCoR; Marianne Korten, mathematics; and Kristan Corwin and Larry Weaver, physics.

For a video about the summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates, visit: youtube.com/watch?v=zbTyblzZI4Q&feature=share&list=EC044E23A8D77E3F98

Faculty mentors for each program included:

  • Biology REU:
    Gene Albanese, Carolyn Ferguson, Dave Haukos, Loretta Johnson, Ted Morgan, Brad Olson, Brett Sandercock and Michael Veeman, biology
    Kendra McLauchlan, geography
    Chris Toomajian, plant pathology

    For a video about the biology REU, visit youtu.be/gCgJPKNX34Q
  • Biology Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program:
    Sue Brown, Loretta Johnson, Ari Jumpponen and Ted Morgan, biology
    Jeremy Marshall, entomology
    Dorith Rotenberg, plant pathology

    For a video about the Biology Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program, visit: youtu.be/lCrGgr2Tv-4
  • Chemistry REU:
    Christer Aakeroy, Stefan Bossmann, Viktor Chikan, Chris Culbertson, Daniel Higgins, Duy Hua, Ryszard Jankowiak, Jun Li and Paul Smith, chemistry

    For a video about the chemistry REU, visit: youtu.be/HecG-T0x2hM
  • Climate change REU:
    Ganga Hettiarachchi, agronomy
    Stacy Hutchinson, biological and agricultural engineering
    Chris Sorensen, physics

    For a video about the climate change REU, visit: youtu.be/KMdDOz-RM9E
  • Earth, wind and fire REU:
    Donghai Wang, biological and agricultural engineering
    Jennifer Anthony, Larry Erickson and Keith Hohn, chemical engineering
    Kenneth Klabunde, Jun Li and Ping Li, chemistry
    Ruth Douglas Miller, electrical and computer engineering
    Praveen Vadlani, grain science and industry
  • EPSCoR, or the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, REU:
    Donghai Wang, biological and agricultural engineering
    Viktor Chikan and Ping Li, chemistry
  • Math REU:
    Marianne Korten, Charles Moore, Nathan Pennington, Victor Turchin and David Yetter, mathematics

    For a video about the math REU, visit: youtu.be/iFFE73dXd58
  • Sustainable bioenergy REU:
    Jason Bergtold and Vincent Amanor-Boadu, agricultural economics
    Mary Beth Kirkham, Charles Rice and DeAnn Presley, agronomy
    Kyle Douglas-Mankin and Donghai Wang, biological and agricultural engineering
    Mary Rezac, chemical engineering
    Dirk Maier and Praveen Vadlani, grain science and industry

    For a video about the sustainable bioenergy REU, visit: youtu.be/lcmZVsK8nqQ

* The Bridges to the Future Program is a partnership with the National Institutes of Health that helps underrepresented minority students pursue careers in biomedical sciences. These students are attending community college and plan to transfer to the university after their sophomore year to study biomedical and bio-behavioral sciences or similar areas, including mathematics, psychology and sociology. The program director is Farrell Webb, family studies and human services.

Faculty mentors included:

Chris Culbertson, chemistry
Michael Kanost and John Tomich, biochemistry
Thomas Barstow and Brett Wong, kinesiology
Frank White, plant pathology
Deryl Troyer and Mark Weiss, anatomy and physiology

For a video about the Bridges to the Future Program, visit: youtu.be/l5n0UKBQs6M


* The K-State Research and Extension Multicultural Fellowship Program, sponsored by the College of Agriculture, is a multicultural research program for members of ethnic minority groups and other underrepresented groups. The coordinator is Zelia Wiley, the college's assistant dean for diversity.

Faculty mentors included:

Andrew Barkley and Ted Shroeder, agricultural economics
Lauri Baker, agricultural communications and journalism
James Drouillard, animal sciences and industry

For a video about the K-State Research and Extension Multicultural Fellowship Program, visit: youtu.be/_4mTpdlABFs

* The McNair Scholars Program is administrated by the U.S. Department of Education and authorized by Congress to prepare academically talented undergraduates for success in graduate studies. Lora Boyer is the associate director and coordinator of the program. Program staff include Kathleen Greene, director; Lora Boyer, associate director; Kathy Zarka, assistant director; Jon Tveite, writing skills specialist; and Jeanne Gerhard, administrative specialist.

Faculty mentors for the program included:

Jessica Falcone, anthropology
Ted Morgan, biology
Elizabeth Davis and Maria Ferrer, clinical sciences
Shannon Washburn, communications and agricultural education
Bronwyn Fees, Karen Myers-Bowman and Sandra Stith, family studies and human services
Kristin Mulready-Stone, history
Michael Chilton, management
Mary Cain and Brenda McDaniel, psychology
Shireen Roshanravan, women's studies
Brian Niehoff, associate provost for institutional effectiveness

For a video about the McNair Scholars Program, visit youtu.be/mIgclJCY3Ho

* Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, known as SUROP, is sponsored by the 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. Coordinators include Shanklin, and Megan Miller, doctoral student in psychology, and Christina Bonnelly, master's student in public health.

Faculty mentor for the program included:

John Tomich, biochemistry
Sherry Fleming, Loretta Johnson and Brad Olson, biology
Chris Culbertson, chemistry
Jeremy Marshall and Marcelo Ramalho-Ortigao, entomology
Subramanyam Bhadriraju, grain science and industry
Weiqun (George) Wang, human nutrition
Charles Moore, mathematics
Anna Whitfield, plant pathology
Gary Brase and Mary Cain, psychology
Matthew Sanderson, sociology

For a video about the Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, visit: youtu.be/M9JCOmeckko

* The Summer Undergraduate Residency in Public Health is a component of the Pathways to Public Health and is 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. The program coordinator is Kimathi Choma, director of the undergraduate public health program.

Faculty and staff members who served as presenters this summer included:

Tom Roesler, A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Scott Rusk and Erin Smith, Biosecurity Research Institute
Katherine Stenske KuKanich, clinical sciences
Kelli Almes, Gary Anderson, Brian Lubbers, Susan Moore, Patricia Payne and Doug Powell, diagnostic medicine and pathobiology
Sharolyn Jackson and Lisa Martin, family and consumer sciences with K-State Research and Extension
Mary Meck Higgins, Tandalayo Kidd and Linda Yarrow, human nutrition
Christian Larson, kinesiology
Bryan Severns, K-State Olathe
Julie Gibbs, Lafene Health Center

For a video about the Summer Undergraduate Residency in Public Health, visit: youtube.com/watch?v=urKXt9E3HKU&feature=relmfu

"The participation of these dedicated faculty members who spent their summer mentoring these undergraduates is essential to the success of these programs," Shanklin said. "The students in these programs leave the university having had a quality research experience and understanding the importance of quality mentoring to research success."