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College of Human Ecology

Select group of undergraduates from across U.S. and world conduct summer research at K-State

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University is again host to a select group of undergraduates from the United States and international universities, providing them with direct experience at planning and carrying out research.

Students chosen to participate in K-State's Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program spend nine weeks at the university working with faculty mentors and with graduate students.

Now in its 12th year, the program is sponsored by the K-State Graduate School, which provides participants with room and board and a stipend. The summer 2006 program began May 30 and ends July 28.

The program has its largest enrollment ever this year, with 16 students participating. Each student has a K-State faculty mentor and participates in a research group.

"The goal of the Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program is to give highly motivated students an intimate look at labs and other experimental settings that relate to their individual academic majors or career interests," said Amelia Asperin, program coordinator. Asperin, Baguio City, Philippines, is a doctoral student in institution management at K-State.

"Students get a real sense of what a research or scientific career will require of them. If they like what they experience at K-State, some could decide to attend professional school or pursue a second or third degree in their field," Asperin said.

Two students from the program's 14 participants in summer 2005 are enrolling at K-State this fall to begin graduate studies, she said.

Students this summer are doing research in chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics, biology, diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, plant pathology, psychology, physics and English.

K-State 2006 Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program participants include:

Erica Hutfless, Manhattan, is a senior in microbiology at K-State. Hutfless is working with Lorena Passarelli, K-State assistant professor of biology.

Maureen Ty, Manhattan, is a freshman in microbiology at K-State. She is working with Carolyn Ferguson, K-State assistant professor of biology and curator of the K-State Herbarium.

Meghan Ward, Manhattan, is a student at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, Canada. She is studying genetics with Sue Brown, K-State associate professor of biology. Ward also participated in the summer 2004 program, working in the laboratory of Raymond R.R. Rowland, K-State associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.

Dennis Hall, Montgomery, Ala., attends the University of Montevallo in Alabama. He is working with David Auckly, K-State professor of mathematics. Hall also is participating in the K-State department of mathematics' Research Experience for Undergraduates program.

Tori Everhart, Delta, Colo., attends Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan. She is working with Christopher Culbertson, K-State assistant professor of chemistry.

Sabrina Rainwater, Melbourne, Fla., attends Emory University in Atlanta. She is working with David Auckly, K-State professor of mathematics. Rainwater also is participating in the department of mathematics' Research Experience for Undergraduates.

William Lee, Sunrise, Fla., attends Duke University, Durham, N.C. He is
working with Justin Kastner, K-State assistant professor of diagnostic
medicine and pathobiology.

Shedra Rakestraw, Fort Wayne, Ind., attends Alabama A&M University. She is working with Frank White, K-State professor of plant pathology.

Melissa Rupp, Cherokee, Iowa, attends the University of Iowa. She is working with Karin Westman, K-State associate professor of English.

Diana Mina, Davenport, Iowa, attends the University of Iowa. She is working with David Renter, K-State assistant professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.

Kendra Homan, Le Mars, Iowa, is a student at Briar Cliff University in Iowa. She is working with James Shanteau, K-State professor of psychology.

Amanda Lintz, DeWitt, Neb., attends Oklahoma Baptist University. She is working with Barbara Valent, K-State university distinguished professor of plant pathology.

Kevin Loo, Toledo, Ohio, attends Duke University, Durham, N.C. As a second-time Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program participant, Loo is continuing his research in industrial psychology with K-State's Ron Downey, professor of psychology, and Clive Fullagar, associate professor psychology.

Scott Palmitter, Wellsville, N.Y., attends the State University of New York at Genesco. He is working with Kristan Corwin, K-State assistant professor of physics. Palmitter also is participating in the department of physics' Research Experience for Undergraduates.

Chad Richard, Bay City, Texas, attends Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He is working with Subaratnam Muthukrishnan, K-State professor of biochemistry.

Erika Pabon, Coamo, Puerto Rico, attends the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez. She is working with Mike Herman, K-State associate professor of biology.

This article was posted on Wednesday, July 19, 2006, and is filed under College News.