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Joanna Vandever, Black Hills State University senior psychology major from Spearfish, explains her research poster titled, “Serotonin Transporter Genotype and Gender are associated with Iowa Gambling Task Performance: Results from a Non-clinical Population” at the tenth annual Black Hills Research Symposium held recently on the BHSU campus. Vandever earned first place in the student poster presentations.
Black Hills State University recently hosted the tenth annual Black Hills Research Symposium.

The symposium is a conference which showcases the research of undergraduate students at BHSU in a variety of topics from the different academic areas. This year the symposium featured 13 students who presented poster presentations and 8 students who delivered oral presentations.

Dr. Jose Alonso, director of the Sanford Undergraduate Science and Engineering Laboratory at the former site of Homestake Mine in Lead, delivered the keynote speech for the conference. Alonso told the students that the lab will bring a multitude of opportunities for the region.

“Deep science is the new frontier. There are lots of opportunities for students to get involved with the lab,” Alonso said.

Alonso added that he expects a huge amount of research and development as the infrastructure develops and he believe that there’s great potential for tourism through outreach programs.

The winners of this year’s student presentations were:

First place poster:

Joanna Vandever, senior psychology major from  Spearfish
Faculty mentors: Scott Stoltenberg, Dan Bergey, and Parthasarathi Nag
Title: “Serotonin Transporter Genotype and Gender are Associated with  Iowa Gambling Task Performance: Results from a Non-clinical Population"

Second place poster:

Samantha Sharpe, senior biology major from  Rapid City
Faculty mentor: Scott Stoltenberg
Title: “Dopaminergic Gene Polymorphisms Show No Association with  Depression, Anxiety, and Stress”

Third place poster:

Laura Nord, senior biology major from Spearfish; and  
Samantha Hersrud, integrative genomics graduate student from Sturgis
Faculty mentor: Scott Stoltenberg
Title: “Alcohol-related Problems are Not Associated with Dopamine  Transporter (DAT1) Genotype”

Oral presentation winner:

Kelly Kirk, senior history major from Beulah,  N.D. 
Faculty mentor: David Wolff
Title: "The Commerce Question: Commerce and its Influence on the  Articles of Confederation”

Undergraduate research is a top priority at BHSU. These students were among the twenty BHSU students that presented their research at the 22nd National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at Salisbury University in Maryland this spring.