Tuesday, April 10, 2018

URCA Coincides with the National Undergraduate Research Week

On November 16, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives declared the week of April 11, 2011, as Undergraduate Research Week. Since that time, the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) has designated a week in April each year as Undergraduate Research Week. This year, April 9-13, 2018, is Undergraduate Research Week and Ashland University joins in this annual celebration of student inquiry.

To date, more than two dozen events are registered to celebrate URW. When attending tomorrow's presentations at Ashland, we invite you share your experiences on Twitter by including: 
  • #URCA2018 
  • #URW2018
  • Also, if you mention @CURinAction in your tweets, CUR may retweet your post. 
Next week, 60 students research groups are going to Washington, DC, for CUR’s popular Posters on the Hill, which will showcase their work and underscore for congressional representatives, their staff members, and others the value of continued federal investment in undergraduate research.

Turpin to Make Three URCA Presentations

Senior Chemistry major Corey Turpin will be setting a record at the 2018 URCA Symposium that will be hard for others to beat. Not only will he be presenting at his third URCA Symposium, but he will be involved in three different presentations this year.

Corey will begin his 2018 URCA at the first session of the event at 9 a.m. as he performs the lead role of Nika Magadoff in a scene from the opera "The Consul" by Gian Carlo Menotti. His character is a magician trying to obtain a Visa from the Consulate. He attempts to impress the secretary by performing magic tricks and hypnotizing the rest of the people waiting in the room into believing they are at a ball. He only succeeds in creating chaos and frightening the secretary.

His second presentation is at the first poster session at 11:45 a.m. in the Alumni Room and is titled "Investigation of Imidazole Based Drugs and Phosphazene Drug Delivery Systems." The goal of this research was to utilize inorganic systems as drug delivery molecules, specifically phosphazenes. The research began to synthesize a benzimidazole based core with propanol group substituted in the C2 position (for attachment to the ring) and two methylnapthyl groups (to increase lipophilicity) at the N1 and N3 positions. Results from these studies have been characterized via nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, infrared pectroscopy, and mass spectrometry.

Corey's final presentation at the 2 p.m. oral session in the Faculty Room is titled "Investigation of the Supramolecular Chemistry of Calixarenes and Calixarene-Core Star Polymers." His research has focused on the self-organization of calixarene-core star blockcopolymers into larger aggregates and complexation of silver by a calixarene. In the first part of the project, a calixarene initiator was used in a three-step synthesis to make a four-armed amphiphilic star block copolymer that has hydrophobic polylactide (PLA) blocks attached to hydrophilic polyethylene glycol (PEG) blocks. In the second part of the project, attempts were made to complex silver using the previously mentioned calixarene initiator. In summary, the projects described utilize supramolecular chemistry in designing new, potentially useful biomaterials.

Be sure to follow Corey through his day at URCA along with many other talented students at the 9th Annual URCA Symposium.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

9th Annual URCA Symposium Features Two Alumni

Ashland University’s College of Arts and Sciences is hosting the ninth annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (URCA) Symposium that will feature the works of over 78 students from 16 departments in the College, as well as two alumni.

According to Dr. Jeff Weidenhamer, professor of chemistry, the April 11 symposium, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Myers Convocation Center. The symposium will feature oral presentations, performances, poster presentations and art exhibitions.

Dr. Weidenhamer notes, "New this year will be research presentations by two arts and sciences alumni, Mary Moeller and Dr. Josh Allen. Their presentations will be featured at the Oral Session I from 9 - 10:15 a.m. In addition, this year's URCA Symposium coincides with the celebration of Undergraduate Research Week by the Council on Undergraduate Research, of which Ashland University is an institutional member."

Ms. Moeller graduated in 2015 with a degree in psychology. She is currently a third year graduate student in Clinical Psychology at Bowling Green State University. Her research interests include outcomes of mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions as well as finding ways to improve the quality of life and psychological health of nursing home residents. Her URCA presentation is titled "Addressing the Negative Impacts of Aging Stereotypes in Nursing Home Residents. " After graduation, Mary plans on doing clinical work and research, specifically within a nursing home setting.

Dr. Allen graduated in 2007 with majors in both toxicology and psychology. In 2013, he completed his PhD in toxicology from the University of Rochester in the Department of Environmental Medicine. He is a developmental neurotoxicologist and inhalation toxicologist and currently serves as a Principal Research Scientist and Study Director at Battelle where his focus is on inhalation toxicology and general toxicology. His research has focused on early life exposures to inhaled materials and later developmental outcome using a variety of rodent models and epidemiological approaches. Josh's URCA presentation is titled "Neuropathological and Behavioral Consequences of Inhaled Ambient Ultrafine Particulate Matter Exposure During Development."

Dr. Dawn Weber, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will provide the welcome and opening remarks. She said the symposium will showcase the many and varied talents of the students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Following the format of a professional conference, students will present original research, perform theatrical and musical selections, read original creative writing, and exhibit their artwork. CAS undergraduate students continue to make original intellectual and creative contributions to their disciplines early in their careers," Weber said. We are delighted to share with the public and campus community highlights of the outstanding work being conducted by our students in departments across the fine and performing arts, humanities, natural science and social science disciplines."

For a full schedule including abstracts of all of the presentations, follow the 2018 Printable Abstracts link in the right sidebar.