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BHSU student research winners announced

 
Jillian Draine, biology major from Spearfish, and graduate student Brett Montieth,tied for second place for their presentation titled: “Multi-Drug Testing of Known Antimalarials via Fluorescence-Based High-Throughput Drug Screening” during the 15th Annual Black Hills Research Symposium.
 
 Anna Hafele, outdoor education major from Newell; and Ryan Anderson, English major from Belle Fourche; are pictured with their faculty mentor Dr. Andy Johnson. Hafele, Anderson and Rebecca Maidl, elementary education major from Shawnee, Wyo., (not pictured) tied for second place for their presentation titled “Student Journeys for Understanding Radiation and Radioactivity.”
Nearly 30 undergraduate research projects covering a wide spectrum of disciplines were recently presented at the 15th annual Black Hills Research Symposium held at Black Hills State University.

The annual research symposium at BHSU showcases the undergraduate research conducted at the University. The symposium provides students a unique opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor in developing a research project suitable for presentation to the public.

Several of these students will take their research presentations to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse next month.

Winners included:

Oral Presentations

  • The award for best oral presentation undergraduate category went to Amylee Caffee, English major from Custer, for her presentation titled “Man Does Not Live on Bread Alone … Unless There is No Bread: An Analysis of Dickens Characters Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.” Her faculty mentor is Dr. Martin Fashbaugh, assistant professor of English. In her research, Caffee applied Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to various characters from Charles Dickens’ novels. Analysis of the motivations behind peculiar, arbitrary and unintelligible behaviors revealed that the forces behind these behaviors are actually common human motivators.
  • Second place went to Krystal Christensen-Wiederrich, English major from Sturgis, for her presentation titled “The Influence of Kings: An Analysis of Fiction Circulation in Public Libraries.” Her faculty mentor is Dr. Vincent King, professor of English. In her presentation, Christensen-Widerrich researched whether less well-known authors can see an increase in library circulation of their books if they are placed on the shelf in close proximity to a popular author. Despite extensive data analysis, she found shelf placement had little effect on the circulation of the less well-known author.

Poster Presentations

  • The award for best poster presentation went to graduate student Christine Bubac for her presentation titled “How Habitat Connectivity Shapes Genetic Structure During Range Expansion: Insights from Virginia’s Warbler in the Black Hills.” Her faculty mentor is Dr. Garth Spellman, associate professor of biology. Bubac investigated whether habitat changes resulting from climate change created a situation where Virginia’s Warbler living in the Black Hills had become genetically isolated and therefore different from other breeding populations. Her results suggested there may be the start of isolation which could mean the loss of genetic variation among the Black Hills population.
  • There were two second place winners in the poster presentations. Jillian Draine, biology major from Spearfish, and graduate student Brett Montieth, received second place for their presentation titled: “Multi-Drug Testing of Known Antimalarials via Fluorescence-Based High-Throughput Drug Screening.” Their faculty mentor is Dr. John Dixson, associate professor of chemistry.  Draine and Montieth tested the effectiveness of four North American sages at inhibiting drug-resistant malaria. Their techniques determine which plant extracts had antimalarial qualities as well as the potency of the extracts.
  • The other second place went to Ryan Anderson, English major from Belle Fourche; Anna Hafele, outdoor education major from Newell; and Rebecca Maidl, elementary education major from Shawnee, Wyo., for their presentation titled “Student Journeys for Understanding Radiation and Radioactivity.” Their faculty mentor is Dr. Andy Johnson, assistant professor and associate director of BHSU’s Center for the Advancement of Math and Science Education (CAMSE). The three students investigated the effects of specific physics curriculum on student learning in an undergraduate Survey of Physics course at BHSU. They tracked student progress on three key radiation/radioactivity concepts throughout the semester. They discovered that the differentiating between radiation and radioactivity appears to be gradual and that fully understanding the concepts requires extensive thinking about many related issues, often simultaneously.
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