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At the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, chemistry students and faculty are teaming up to study a wide range of topics from carbon dioxide and E. coli to manganese and struvite.

Five such student-mentor pairs are among those from UWO offering presentations at the UW System Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Friday at UW-Green Bay.

At this annual event, which rotates between the UW System campuses, undergraduate students join their peers from other campuses for an opportunity to share research projects to a statewide audience. Students from all academic disciplines present on a wide variety of topics through research poster presentations, oral presentations, gallery exhibits and artistic performances.

“The UW Oshkosh chemistry department has a long history of providing high-impact undergraduate research experiences,” said Jennifer Mihalick, chemistry department chair.

“Chemistry faculty like doing research, and they share their enthusiasm by encouraging all chemistry majors to try a research project. Students help their faculty advisers by collaborating on experiment design, collecting data and discussing the results.”

Mihalick said she has found that students who do research gain a new perspective on topics covered in their classes and improve their communication skills by writing reports, creating posters and giving talks on their research projects.

“Research experience helps students choose career paths and also provides an advantage when applying for jobs or graduate school,” she said.

The chemistry students and faculty members presenting projects at the symposium include:

  • Becca Amick, a senior biology, chemistry and Spanish major from Mt. Horeb, with faculty mentor Lauren Waters on The Subcellular Localization of Small Protein MntS in Escherichia Coli.
  • Zac Chambers, a senior from Patoka, Indiana, with faculty mentor Jennifer Christus on Formation of Struvite in Simulated Wastewater Using Naturally Abundant Low-Soluble Magnesium Precursors.
  • Kara Gillette, a senior from Eugene, Oregon, with faculty mentor Sheri Lense on The Effect of Acid Strength on Catalytic Conversion of CO2 to Value-Added Chemicals.
  • Grace Robertson, a senior from Appleton with Lense on The Influence of the Number and Positioning of Intramolecular Acids on Carbon Dioxide Reduction Catalysts.
  • Luke Seuffer, a senior dual biology/chemistry major, with Waters on Assessing the Role of Alx, a membrane protein, in Escherichia coli.

In addition, UW Oshkosh students and faculty from a variety of other disciplines are taking part in the symposium:

  • Raisa Ancheta, a recent biology graduate from Keaau, Hawaii, with faculty mentor Eric Maton on Alpha amylase activity and specificity of hydrolytic enzymes from the bacterial termite gut symbiont, isolate JT5.
  • Constance Bougie, a senior English major from Freedom, with faculty mentor Stewart Cole, on Nothing Illicit: Asexualities as Narrative Progress in Elizabeth Bowen’s The Last September.
  • Megan Elger, a junior communication studies major from Hartford, with faculty mentor Kristi Wilkum of the Fond du Lac campus, on Social Interaction and Media Behavior: Political Engagement among Gen Z.
  • Lauren Henry, a senior anthropology major from Green Bay, with faculty mentor Jordan Karstan on Using Avifaunal Trends To Evaluate Environmental Shifts on the Eurasian Forest-Steppe with the Expansion of Agropastoralism.
  • Megan Rose, a senior physics/engineering dual major from Green Bay, with faculty mentor Nadejda Kaltcheva on Extra-Solar Planets from Citizen-Science Astronomy.
  • Timothy Van Rooy, with faculty mentor Barton Pritzl on Stellar Populations in the Galaxy NGC6822.
  • David Juckem, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Chilton, and Eric McDaniel, a sophomore computer science major from Appleton, with faculty mentor Warren Vaz of the Fox Valley campus on Using a Raspberry Pi on a Hexacopter Drone to visualize Atmospheric Pollution.
  • Collin Durkin, a sophomore computer science major from Appleton, and Griffin Tedlie, a sophomore electrical engineering major from Neenah, with Vaz on UW-Fox Valley Basic Utility Vehicle.

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