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Senior Laura Barbour places samples in the centrifuge as Psychology professor Madeline Rhodes looks on.

Student-faculty research projects garner awards at research symposium

Senior Laura Barbour places samples in the centrifuge as Psychology professor Madeline Rhodes looks on.
November 06, 2012

Four McDaniel students earned awards for poster presentations of their student-faculty research collaborations in October at UMBC’s 15th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium.

McDaniel’s 17 student presenters were among some 225 students from 45 colleges and universities in 10 states presenting a total of 202 posters at the symposium. Awards were given to the top two presentations in each category.

Student-faculty research collaborations take a high priority at McDaniel, where students participate in more than 300 research projects each year. But the benefits, say professors and students alike, extend far beyond the research topics.

“Students who conduct research learn basic life skills, including how to communicate and time management,” says Madeline Rhodes, a neuroscientist and McDaniel Psychology professor. “Presenting teaches oral and written communication skills.”

As with many of the collaborations college-wide, Rhodes’ students conduct research related to her research focus, in this case studying how drugs used to treat neurological or psychological disorders interact with hormones and affect behavior.

Award winner Laura Barbour’s research with Rhodes investigates how a class of anti-epileptic drugs affect learning and memory in male rats.

“I learned that research takes a lot of time but that it is really enjoyable,” says Barbour, who self-designed her own major in Neuroscience. “It did help me learn to manage my time and reinforced for me how important it is to talk with your professors.” 

The award winners included:

Laura Barbour, a senior Neuroscience major from Boonsboro, Md., for “Enzyme-Altering Anti-Epileptic Drugs Influence Affective and learning and Memory Processes of Male Rats” with mentor Psychology professor Madeline Rhodes.

Eric Liggins, a senior Chemistry major from Baltimore, for “Biotinylation of Bovine Insulin Amyloid Fibrils” with mentor Chemistry professor Melanie Nilsson.

Peter Merkel, a sophomore Chemistry major from Ellicott City, Md., for “Assessing Amyloidogenicity with Computer Prediction Programs” with mentor Chemistry professor Melanie Nilsson.

Rebecca A. Shuford, a senior Biology and Spanish double major from Monrovia, Md., for “Developing an Animal Model for Injection Mediated Insulin Amyloid Deposits” with mentors Psychology professor Madeline Rhodes and Chemistry professor Melanie Nilsson.

Group of McDaniel students and professors
Students who presented research projects and their professors at the UMBC Research Symposium.

Also presenting:

Oliver Avaritt, a junior Neuroscience major from Loganville, Ga.: “Effects of green tea polyphenols on seizure-induced learning and memory deficits of male rats” with Psychology professor Madeline Rhodes.

Kirsten Bickford, a senior Biology major from Sykesville, Md.: "Transformation and gene knock-out of the putative mRNA decapping enzyme DDB_G0283315 in Dictyostelium discoideum" with Biology professor Susan Parrish.

Lindsey Blohm, a senior Chemistry major from Bel Air, Md.: "The Effects of Biosludge on Soils in Carroll County" with Environmental Studies professor Mona Becker.

Megan Cook, a senior Biology major from Monkton, Md.: “The Role of Surface Interactions in Insulin Amyloid Fibril Formation” with Chemistry professor Melanie Nilsson.

Deanna J. Dicello, a junior Biochemistry major from Gaithersburg, Md.: “Comparison of Microwave and Conventional Heating in the Formation of Bovine Insulin Amyloid Fibrils” with Chemistry professor Melanie Nilsson. 

Gesley Fisher, a senior Chemistry major from Baltimore: "The Chemical Characteristics of Hydric Soils analyzed in the King Park Wetland" with Environmental Studies professor Mona Becker.

Josiah D. Guthland, a senior Biochemistry major from Marriottsville, Md.: “Mechanism of Congo Red Binging to Amyloid Fibrils” with Chemistry professor Melanie Nilsson.

Kate Hudson, a senior Chemistry major from Manchester, Md.: “Effect of green tea polyphenols on seizure-induced deficits in social and affective behaviors” with Chemistry professor Melanie Nilsson.

Carolina Marques dos Santos Vieira, a senior Biology and Biochemistry major from Portugal, “A bioinformatic comparison of enzymes involved in glycolysis and alcoholic fermentation by S. cerevisiae and S. bayanus" with Chemistry instructor Steve Robertson.   

Catherine O'Keeffe, a senior Biology major from Tuckahoe, N.Y.: "Creation of a genetic knock-out of the Dictyostelium discoideum DDB_G0278957 gene, encoding a putative mRNA Nudix decapping enzyme" with Biology professor Susan Parrish.

Carolyn Sledzik, a sophomore Psychology major from White Hall, Md.: “The polyphenol, EGCG, reduces seizure-induced anxiety” with Psychology professor Madeline Rhodes.

Rachel Utterback, a junior Chemistry and French major from Gaithersburg, Md.: "Fermentation of Wine: the Relationship of Yeast Growth to Ethanol Content and Sugar Levels in a Wine" with Chemistry instructor Steve Robertson.

Mary Yates, a sophomore Biochemistry major from Phoenix, Md.: “Prohormones as Chaperones to Prevent Amyloid Formation” with Chemistry professor Melanie Nilsson.

 
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