08
   
 Ashley Wingert, chemistry major from Custer
 Kristin Rath, science education major from Canton
   
 Kaitlin Schneider, psychology major from Sturgis
 Jake Alsdurf, graduate student in the Integrative Genomics program

Four Black Hills State University students were recently honored for their outstanding research projects at the 16th Annual Black Hills Research Symposium.

Nearly 30 students took part in the two-day interdisciplinary symposium that featured poster displays and presentations highlighting the undergraduate research projects.  This year research from the following disciplines was included in the symposium: biology, chemistry, biochemistry, science education, physics, psychology, music, English, political science, history, speech, sociology, education.

Earning top recognition for their research were:

Top undergraduate poster: (tie) Kristin E. Rath, science education major from Canton, for her research:   Water Vapor Detection with Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy. Her advisors are Dr.  Kara Keeter and Dr. Brianna Mount, physics; and Ashley D. Wingert, chemistry major from Custer, for her research: Analysis of CdSe and CdTe Quantum Dots in solar Cells. Her advisor is Dr. Daniel J. Asunskis, chemistry.

Top undergraduate oral presentation: Kaitlin L. Schneider, psychology major from Sturgis, for her research:  Distinguishing the Meditative Benefits of Drawing Within and Without Borders on Acute Stress Levels. Her advisor is Dr. Aris Karagiorgakis, psychology.

Top graduate presentation: Jake Alsdurf, a graduate student in the Integrative Genomics program, for his research: DNA methylation used to identify candidate loci associated with drought induced trans-generational plasticity that may inhibit range expansion in Boechera stricta. His advisor is Dr. David Siemens, biology. 

The BHSU Research Symposium began in 1995 when three faculty members met to create an event in which exceptional BHSU students from a variety of disciplines could showcase their unique research projects. The symposium, which remains true to its roots with a variety of topics from several academic disciplines, gives students unique opportunities to work closely with a faculty mentor in developing a research project suitable for presentation. 

Dr. Kelly Bricker, interim chair and associate professor at the University of Utah in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, presented the keynote symposium address, “Sustainable Tourism – A system for positive change.”