BHSU students present variety of research during 17th annual BH Research Symposium

Author: BHSU Communications/Friday, March 27, 2015/Categories: 2015









           Black Hills State University student Alicia Benz, biology major from Killdeer, N.D., answers questions from a judge during the 17th Annual BH Research Symposium on Thursday. More than 40 BHSU students presented research during the symposium on topics ranging from psychology, art, science, math and humanities.








           Black Hills State University alum Micah Prairie Chicken presented research on "The Effects of Gratitude on Emotional and Physical Responses to Stress" during the 17th Annual BH Research Symposium on Thursday.




Black Hills State University students showcased a variety of advanced research during the 17th annual BH Research Symposium this week.

More than 40 research projects were entered in this year&rsquos symposium, an interdisciplinary conference that showcases BHSU undergraduate research. Students gave either a poster or oral presentation during the three-day event on their research findings. A panel of judges critiqued the projects and provided feedback to the students during the event.

This year&rsquos symposium was one of the largest at the University, according to Dr. Parthasarathi Nag, professor of mathematics at BHSU.

"The level of student participation was historical," Nag said. "The faculty mentors have been very much involved in working with the students in their areas of interest to come up with ideas to solve problems and create new types of thinking."

This year&rsquos research included a broad variety of topics in science, psychology, humanities, art, math and English, with studies conducted on the effects of gratitude on stress, antimalarial drugs and America&rsquos fascination with horror stories.

Micah Prairie Chicken, a recent BHSU graduate, presented his research "The Effects of Gratitude on Emotional and Physical Responses to Stress" during the oral presentations on Thursday. Prairie Chicken said that the more gratitude or thankfulness an individual has toward others, the increase in positive reactions to stress.   

Prairie Chicken said the research on the effects of gratitude can greatly benefit individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other anxiety issues.

Jillian Draine, a biology major from Spearfish, has been researching antimalarial activity in plants in western South Dakota for more than two years. Malaria is disease that is common in subtropical climates and something that is not prevalent in America, Draine said. However, the study shows which parts of plants contain antimalarial qualities.

"I really enjoy explaining what I&rsquove learned," Draine said. "Malaria is not an issue we&rsquore faced with each day, so it&rsquos interesting to see people&rsquos reactions to our research."

Abigail Regalado, a biology and science education major, researched the elements that drive students in developmental math courses. She looked at students&rsquo anxiety, confidence and motivation behind succeeding a math course. The students in the study completed two developmental math courses. Educational interventions were held during the first course to help students excel in class and see if their anxiety decreased and confidence increased.

"I like that I have opportunities through the BH Research Symposium and the National Conference of Undergraduate Research to see what others think of my research and gain feedback," Regalado said. She will present her findings at the NCUR in Spokane, Wash. in April.

In addition to student research, Diane Papageorge, a former art educator, gave a keynote address on how to engage students with learning disabilities.

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