Undergraduate and Graduate Research conference showcases student achievement

May 7, 2018

Clarion University students proved once again that they have a strong place in academia by showcasing their research from the past year – some of which includes titles most people can’t pronounce or understand.

Case in point: "Plaque Purification of Blue Tongue Virus Serotype 17 Mutants with Delayed Cytopathology and Preliminary Steps to Investigate the Role of Nonstructural Protein 3 in BTV-Induced Apoptosis" presented by S.N. Miller, H.R. Roberts, R.N. Bessetto and D.M. Smith.

The Undergraduate and Graduate Research Conference was held last week in the Gemmell Multi-Purpose Room and featured participants from the international program, the inquiry seminars, and recipients of travel and research grants. Students from Keystone School District also participated.

The results of student research was on full display with students eagerly waiting by their poster boards to passionately explain their projects.

One such research pair was sophomore Meg Toy, and senior Dausen Crawford, both environmental biology majors, who researched "The Effects of Short-term Temperature Change on Mouse Behavior and Metabolism."

The bottom line, Toy said, is that, "It (temperature) does affect the metabolism rate."

The pair found that mice were more active in warmer weather. The purpose of the study was to further investigate the effects of climate change, Crawford said.

Crawford added that to better determine if this is a negative effect, they would need to study an animal that hibernates.

Keystone High School student Elijah Williams presented his research titled "Revolution or Radicalism" which compared the American colonists, who are often viewed as heroes, to modern-day extremists, who are often seen as villains.

"This paper is simply attempting to show people the ways in which people are oppressed and then mistakenly judged," his poster board stated. "Treating people more humanely and justly may be the end of the violence and extremism."

Two other projects focused on bacteria.

Research titled "Which Contains More Bacteria, a Makeup Palette or Makeup Brushes? By Katie Richardson, Anissa Daugherty and Taylor Finn offered some insight.

Spoiler alert: The brushes contain more bacteria compared to the palettes.

Another presentation on bacteria focused on the "The Five-Second Rule, Fact or Fiction?" by Sara Dudek and Stephen Yonushonis. The five-second rule states that a food item is still acceptable for eating after being dropped as long as you grab it within five seconds of it hitting the ground.

The answer to their research might change your views on the five-second rule.

Dudek suggests that it's good for children because "it builds your immune system," but bacteria definitely accumulates on dropped food within five seconds.

She also suggests that "the harder the food, the better."

A cracker might be OK if you wipe it off, she quipped.

In addition to scientific research, a group of ceramics students were there to create a better understanding of why ceramics are important.

Sierra Nicholes, Michael Lowrey, DaJanae Drake, Zoe Stow, Richard Hasty, Eric Jones and Markelle Swonger were on-hand presenting "National Council on Education for the Ceramics Arts – Cross Currents: Clay and Culture."

"Ceramics is love," Lowrey said.

Lowrey said with ceramics there is a disconnect between the object and the artistic value of the object, as well as a price-point problem that people struggle to get past.

"It's more than just a cup," Lowrey explained.

He added that his dad uses a coffee mug made out of dirt from his own property.

"It think there is a distinct connection to our ancestors," Lowrey said.

Lowery said that each ceramics piece is original because you can never fully replicate what the kiln will do to the glaze.

He said some of the ceramics they brought with them to display were fresh out of the kiln that morning.


Last Updated 5/7/18