Wheeling Jesuit University

Research & Scholarship Symposium Winners Announced

From left, Jonathan Kolks, Ryan Norman, Brittany Wolfe, Ari Hajiran, Christina Cowley, Lexa Hamilton-Cotter, Cameron Lee, Sara Dille, Amy Knuth, Sarah Mogan, Andrew Groves, Jonathan Dent and Scott Moses gather after the award ceremony.

WHEELING, WV, April 14, 2010 — The 2010 Wheeling Jesuit University Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium showcased 60 students presenting 44 original research projects on Tuesday. Each project was presented in public and students defended their thesis as the audience asked questions.

Symposium judges studied each project carefully and came up with winning presentations in each of four categories. Winning students include 20 students who won cash prizes and awards.

Natural, physical and computer sciences oral presentation winners were:

Jonathan Dent, David Irwin and Scott Moses who presented on “Health Information and Tracking System.” Project mentor for these students is professor Dr. Ben Hitt.

Ali Hajiran, “Effects of Inositol 1, 4, 5 – Trisphosphate IIP3) Ca2+ Channel Blockers on CAOV3 Ovarian Cancer Cells,” with biology professor Dr. Robert Shurina, mentor.

Kevin Bellville, “Physical and Chemical Stresses Effecting the Successful Repopulation of Justicia Americana,” with biology professor Dr. Ben Stout, mentor.

Humanities oral presentation winners were:

Ryan Splenda, “The Bear and Darrell Change Game Plans: Racial Integration of Alabama and Texas Football Programs,” with history professor Dr. Dan Wiemer, mentor.

Ryan Norman, “Fourierism: A Plan for Heaven on Earth,” with history professor Dr. Leslie Liedel, mentor.

Social and behavior sciences poster presentation winners were:

Andrew S. Groves, Lexa Hamilton-Cotter and Sarah Mogan, “Perceived Control over Physical and Psychological Conditions in College Students,” with psychology professor Dr. Debra Hull, mentor.

Lexa Hamilton-Cotter and Jonathan Kolks, “The Effects of Wii Tennis Play on Pain Perception and Tolerance,” with psychology professor Dr. Bryan Raudenbush, mentor.

Natural and physical sciences poster winners were:

Emma Schmidt, “Antimicrobial Potential of the Japanese Knotweed and Justicia Americana,” biology professor Dr. Andy Cook, mentor.

Sara Dille and Rory Beck, “Electrochemical Investigation and Synthesis of Novel Metal-Dithiocarbamate Complexes,” chemistry professor, Dr. Jim Coffield, mentor.

Colin Jack, “Iron Sulfide Decompositions,” chemistry professor, Dr. Michael Hoops, mentor.

Cameron Lee, “Studying the Thermal Decomposition Pathway of Iron Dithiocarbamates with GC/MS,” chemistry professor, Dr. Michael Hoops, mentor.

Health sciences poster winners were:

Amy Knuth, “Mommy I Can’t Breathe: What are the Respiratory Effects in the Children of Marsh Fork Elementary School from Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining,” respiratory therapy professor, Marybeth Emmerth, mentor.

Brittany Wolfe, “When Doing Drug Aerosol Therapy, How Does Varying the Liter Flow Rate Affect Drug Aerosol Particle Deposition for Different Nebulizers?” respiratory therapy professor, Marybeth Emmerth, mentor.

Awards were presented by associate professor of physical therapy, Dr. Maureen McKenna.

Christina Cowley won the West Virginia Social Action Research Award, a special award that is reserved for students whose projects link to real life in Appalachia. Cowley's research was “The Relationship of Manganese in the Drinking Water of Southern West Virginia with the Surface Enamel of the Tooth,” chemisty professor Dr. Mary Railing, mentor.

Presented by Dr. Jill Kriesky, executive director of the Appalachian Institute, the social action award was initiated in 2005 to honor students who look for community solutions to distinctly Appalachian problems.

The annual research day also included a keynote speaker alumnus and West Virginia University graduate assistant Hal Gorby.

The day ended with the Haig competition moderated by Associate Academic Dean Dr. Helen Faso. 2010 competitors were: Wilhelm Castellon, biology and chemistry; Ali Hajiran, biology; and Samantha Yakey, chemistry. The winner of this competition is revealed at the May 15 Commencement ceremonies. Haig recipients receive a medal along with $2,500 in prize money.

For more information about the symposium, contact Raudenbush at raudenbc@wju.edu or visit the symposium Web page online.

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