BHSU students present summer research at symposium in Pierre

Author: BHSU Communications/Wednesday, August 6, 2014/Categories: 2014

           Taylor Ripley, a junior biology major from Pierre, presents his research at the South Dakota Undergraduate Research Symposium July 25 in Pierre. Ripley was one of three BHSU students who participated.

Three Black Hills State University students presented summer research projects at the South Dakota Undergraduate Research Symposium in Pierre last month.

More than 100 undergraduate students from universities across the nation presented at the symposium, which was sponsored by the South Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and National Science Foundation.

BHSU students&rsquo research focused on developing new materials for solar cells. Their goal was to increase the efficiency of solar cells and reduce the cost of producing them.

BHSU student presenters and their topics were:

&middot         Ariana Coover, biology major from Peyton, Colo., Water Soluble Quantum Dots for Bioimaging Applications

&middot         Kathryn McHenry, chemistry and chemistry education major from Cheyenne, Wyo., Synthesizing Green CdTe Quantum Dots

&middot         Tayler Ripley, biology major from Pierre, Assessing the Toxicity of Synthesized Nanomaterials.

"It's a great opportunity to share what you have learned as well as see what others have been doing," said Ariana Coover.

Coover&rsquos project focused on the effects quantum dots had on mammalian cells. She added that preparing for the symposium gave her not only a better understanding of her research topic, but a better understanding of researching processes.

The symposium was designed to give undergraduate students the opportunity to experience what it&rsquos like to present at a national conference.

"It&rsquos a really great experience," said Shane Sarver, chief research officer at BHSU. "It&rsquos the type of thing you can put on your resume and helps students advance in their career.

"These experiences really set the students apart, especially if they are interested in graduate school," Sarver added.

This is the first time BHSU students have presented at a symposium of this nature. Sarver said there are only a few Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) programs in South Dakota.

The symposium also served as recruitment for graduate students. Sarver said nearly 100 students visited the BHSU graduate studies booth.

"(Our students) did a fantastic job," Sarver said. "The quality was excellent. Almost everything there was. It made us very proud of our students."

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