Hamline News

Hamline Students Present Research at National Conference on Undergraduate Research


While the majority of the Hamline community buckled down for the April snowstorm last week, 34 Hamline students and four faculty traveled to Kennesaw State University in Georgia to present their undergraduate research at the 2019 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR).

NCUR is the largest undergraduate research conference in the world, attracting roughly 4,000 student researchers every year from institutions of higher learning across the United States. Its goal is to promote undergraduate research, and give students a chance to present and share their findings with peers, faculty and other members of the academic community through poster and oral presentations, visual arts and performances.

“NCUR is such a unique opportunity for Hamline students because it gives them a huge platform from which to talk about their passions with research, and it does so in a way that brings together people of so many different disciplines and backgrounds to support, ‘cheer on,’ and refine further interests,” said Visiting Lecturer in Psychology Annie Pezalla, who attended NCUR to support Hamline students. “For many, this is the first time that they had the opportunity to speak in such a polished way about their passions, and to receive really disciplined feedback.”

Many students conducted their research through Hamline’s Summer Collaborative Undergraduate Research  (SCUR) program. SCUR is a grant-funded program which enables students to complete summer research as if it is a fulltime job. Other students completed their research through departmental honors or senior capstone projects. Regardless of which program students conducted their research through, they received consistent help from their research faculty collaborator.

Students went through a competitive process to present their research at NCUR. First, they applied through Hamline. Then, they submitted their abstract and other research materials to the conference itself. Once accepted, they received money for travel expenses.

“Bringing my research to NCUR is like the finish line. Now I can demonstrate the skills that I’ve learned at Hamline and the research I produced,” said senior Mahida Adan. “My goal is to hopefully inspire other students to find a passion in research, because being a part of NCUR is such a surreal and crazy experience.”

Although Hamline is one of the smaller universities represented at the conference, each year we have a major presence. This year, Hamline brought 34 students who presented on a diverse range of topics, from research on Investigating Phenotypic Effects of Cold Stress in Maize Seedlings Using Image Analysis Abstract, to Look Through Your Cultural Lens: Understanding Hmong Identified Perspectives at Hamline University.

It was the diversity of topics, students, and approaches that made the conference such a unique and engaging environment. One student said the most interesting part of the trip was getting to meet and share stories with other student researchers from all around the country.

“Going to NCUR is a special experience for Hamline students because it allows us to see the vitality of research and stories,” said senior Conner Suddick, who presented two separate research studies at NCUR 2019. “People are sharing a lot about themselves and their experiences through their research, even though their research isn’t necessarily about themselves. There’s a lot of power in human connection and getting together in a space to explore ideas and meet people we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet. Too often research is framed as something we do in the future instead of things we are doing right now. It is affirming to see a lot undergraduate scholars pursuing their passions and administering a successful research project right before our eyes.”

All the undergraduate student researchers who presented at NCUR include:

Christopher Morales Farfan - Investigating Phenotypic Effects of Cold Stress in Maize Seedlings Using Image Analysis

Remi Remmey - Anxiety and Depression in Young Adults: Using Theatre to Affect Social Change

Dami Ademola-Green - Identification of Tumor-Derived Factors that Activate JAK/STAT Signaling in Macrophages

Parker Bertel - The Battle Over the Canal: The Dispute Between Sister Cities that Shaped the Future of Twin Ports

James Koch - Correlation of Redlining with Contemporary Asthma Rates

Megan Anderson - Identifying the Chemical Fingerprint of Glass Bead Disease Using X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy and Chemometrics

Hannah Klumb - A Lithic Analysis at a Southern Minnesota Site: South Slough Site

Owen Sloop - Salivary Nitrite Levels are Indicative of Plasma Nitric Oxide Availability in Response to Beetroot Supplementation

Maddie Guyott - Blood Avocados: The Relationship Between Avocado Economics and Organized Crime

Duncan Riley - Ciudadanos: Constructing the Nation at the Margin of the State in Venezuela, Colombia, and Mexico, 1846-1870

Maddy Bygd - Biochemical Characterization of a Putative Formamidase from Rhizobium Leguminosarum bv. Vicae 3841

Ashley Robinson - Structural Analysis and Modeling of NpmA, a Methyltransferase that Confers Classwide Resistance to Aminoglycoside Antibiotics

Emma Kiley - Intersectionality and the Romanticization of Student Poverty: Constructing New Measures of Food Insecurity

Jessica Yang - Look Through Your Cultural Lens: Understanding Hmong Identified Perspectives at Hamline University

Amber Alme - Longitudinal Examination of Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Teen Dating Violence

Samantha Coffler - FTIR Spectroscopy Indicates Deformations in Beta Sheet Structure Facilitate Antimicrobial Activity in a Series of Peptides

Mahida Adan - Exploring Microbial Diversity in the Rhizosphere of Non-Nodulating and Nodulating Legumes

Chloe McElmury - Finding Her Voice: Female Inequalities and Representation in Media Industries

Maddie Mickelson - Diversity of Bacteriophages in the Genomes of Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria

Leanne Byman - The Functioning of Gender as an Interpellated factor of Difference in Until Dawn

Abberamee Visvanathan - The Development and Analysis of a Student Organized Wellness Program for College Undergraduates

Rafah Flaija - Biomarker Detection System

Conner Suddick - Experiential Access to Justice: Formulating Clinical Legal Education for Paralegal Programs & "I Just Want to Pee": Schools' Restroom Policies and the Impact on Transgender Students

Avery Marshall - Lithic Production Technologies at the Louisville Swamp Site

Abby Thompson - Cross-Cutting the Male Gaze: An Exploration of Theory and Practice in Feminist Filmmaking

Katie Hillmann - CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Knockout in Arabidopsis Plants

Andy Stec - "I'm Mad as Hell": American Working Class Consciousness, Identity, and Ideology in the 1970s and 1980s as Expressed by Northern Minnesota

Ashley Thorne - Public Opinion on Hurricane Relief Funding

Gavin Jensen - The Slaughterhouse Cases: Unforeseen Consequences and the Public Reaction

Joshua Kiyee - The Health of African Immigrants: The Role of Conflict in the Development of Schizophrenia in Second-Generation Immigrants

Kelley Lasiewicz - Violent Sounds of War: Effects of Hostile Acoustic Environments on Non-Combat Veterans

Hani Abukar - NBD-Glucosamine Probe Using Solid Phase Synthesis Techniques

Luis Balderrama - Sequencing the GM2A Gene: Implications for Late Onset Tay-Sachs

Joe Davidson - What the Hell is Postmodernism?: Conservative Approach of Postmodernism as Nullified Postmodernism

The deadline to apply for summer research through SCUR for 2019 has passed, but find out ways to get involved in SCUR 2020 through the SCUR website. To learn more about the NCUR application process, visit the NCUR website, or reach out to Irina Makarevitch at imakarevitch01@hamline.edu or Sharon Preves at spreves@hamline.edu.



By Autumn Vagle