Big-Time Research

 This spring, the Office of Undergraduate Research was able to support 19 students as they presented their research at three undergraduate research conferences.

The opportunity to attend such conferences plays a large role in shaping these future researchers. These events provide important introductions to research culture as they enable students to gain experience presenting their own independent research to their peers, as well as to faculty and staff from other universities. Whether presenting a poster or an oral presentation, these students are held accountable for their work at such conferences; it is not uncommon for peers and faculty in their discipline to ask probing questions about their research.

Most undergraduate research conferences, including the three our students attended this year, are multidisciplinary, rather than discipline-specific, which allows students to network with students in their own field while also learning about what constitutes research and scholarship across academia. We encourage this broadening of perspectives not only because it is good academic practice to learn about other research methods and topics, but also because such exposure offers students new and interesting directions in which to take their research and, ultimately, their academic careers.

From March 31 to April 2, 10 Drexel students traveled to Ithaca College (Ithaca, New York) for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR). One of the largest undergraduate research conferences in the nation, NCUR provided our students with the opportunity to present their research to a large audience and meet students from across the country who are engaged in similar research.  According to one of the student presenters and one of this year’s Goldwater Fellowship recipients, Magda Bielinski (Electrical Engineering), she was “very impressed with the degree of research performed by undergraduate students in a variety of fields” and was inspired by research in her own field, as well as by projects in other disciplines such as education and business. Joshua Robbins (Business and Engineering), another conference presenter, agrees that one of the biggest draws of the NCUR conference is being exposed to “the level and quality of research and accomplishment of students around the U.S.”

From April 8 to 10, nine other students traveled to Hofstra University (Hempstead, New York) for the Colonial Academic Alliance (CAA) Undergraduate Research Conference. This conference, being more intimate than NCUR, allowed our students to really engage with each other and with their peers from other schools in the CAA, such as James Madison University, Old Dominion University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Our students, who presented either oral or poster presentations, come from a variety of backgrounds, including Biological Sciences, Fashion Technology, Graphic Design, and Dance Therapy.

Most recently, four of our students traveled to Princeton University to participate in Princeton’s Undergraduate Research Symposium on May 4, where they presented and were judged on the quality of their research posters alongside students from institutions such as Columbia University, Dartmouth University, and Princeton University.

We will be sending students to NCUR and CAA again next year, which will be held at Weber State University (Ogden, Utah) and Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Virginia) respectively.

Below is a list of the students who participated in these conferences along with their presentation titles — a diverse collection that reflects the ambition of our students and the breadth of academic programs here at Drexel.

NCUR
Magda Bielinski, BS ’12,
Electrical Engineering
Potential of adaptive OFDM bit-loading algorithms for through-metal communications (poster)
Pelin Kansu, BS ’14,
Materials Science and Engineering
Vascular tissue engineering: the effects of different treatments of chitosan films on endothelial cell viability (poster)
Amanda Pentecost, BS ’13,
Materials Science and Engineering
Diamond nanoparticles – protein mimics and drug delivery vehicles (poster)
Brittany Preston, BS ’12,
Chemical Engineering
Novel design for an acid catalyzed bubble reactor for biodiesel production (poster)
Colin Stacy, BS ’13,
Mechanical Engineering
Novel design for an acid catalyzed bubble reactor for biodiesel production (poster)
James Goodman, BS ’12,
Biomedical Engineering
Epidural electrical stimulation and response mapping for the restoration of controlled hindlimb movement after complete spinal cord injury (poster)
Josh Robbins, BS ’12,
Business and Engineering
What leaders say and how they say it (poster)
Tausif Ahmed, BS ’12,
Chemical Engineering
Development of new testing protocols for alternative polymer membranes in the hydrogen proton exchange membrane fuel cell (poster)
Brian Leung, BS ’11,
Chemistry
APP 3’UTR sequences that regulate its expression (oral presentation)
Sean Miller, BS ’11,
Biological Sciences
Hedgehog gene regulation to inhibit the neuropathology of Alzheimer’s Disease: in a transgenic AD drosophila model (poster)
 
CAA
Kristen Beck, BS ’13,
Graphic Design
Polish Poster Collection (poster)
Lauren Beltramo, BS ’13,
Graphic Design
Polish Poster Collection (poster)
Kristy Jost, BS ’11,
Fashion Design
Fashion and Technology (oral presentation)
Eileen Moran, BS ’12,
Dance
The Mind in Motion (oral presentation)
Ivona Sasimovich, BS ’13,
Chemistry
Coordination chemistry of cobalt and copper bis(pyridylimino) isoindolinates: synthesis, molecular structure, and magnetic properties (poster)
Neeraj Sebastian, BS ’11,
Biological Sciences
MiRNA mediated regulation of PSEN1 expression (poster)
Daniel Verbaro, BS ’12,
Biological Sciences
Discrepancies between conformational distributions of a polyalanine peptide in solution obtained from molecular dynamics force fields and amide I’ band profiles (poster)
Lorenzo Albala, BS ’14,
Biomedical Engineering
Gas plasma sterilization of surfactant-based ultrasound contrast agents (poster)
Brian Leung, BS ’11,
Chemistry
APP 3’UTR sequences that regulate its expression (oral presentation)
 
Princeton Undergraduate Research Symposium
Brian Leung, BS ’11,
Chemistry
APP 3’UTR sequences that regulate its expression (poster)
James Goodman, BS ’12,
Biomedical Engineering
Epidural electrical stimulation and response mapping for the restoration of controlled hindlimb movement after complete spinal cord injury (poster)
Amanda Pentecost, BS ’13,
Materials Science and Engineering
Diamond nanoparticles – protein mimics and drug delivery vehicles (poster)
Sukhdeep Singh, BS ’11,
Biological Sciences
Analysis of kismet function in a drosophila model of CHARGE syndrome shows defects in neuromuscular development