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Supporting Undergraduate Research at Abilene Christian University since 2009

ACU Undergraduate Researchers Presented at a Variety of Conferences this Fall

Posted by on Nov 15, 2015 in Arts, Conferences, Feature, Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Student Researcher | Comments Off on ACU Undergraduate Researchers Presented at a Variety of Conferences this Fall

ACU undergraduate researchers have been traveling to conferences this fall.

Ryan Wilson traveled with Dr. Darby Hewitt of the Department of Engineering and Physics to present his work at the Frontiers in Optics/ Laser Science Conference.

Hannah Lowry, Kristen McNally, Austin Lemmons, and Jake Hall presented at the 2015 CSOTTE Conference: Emerging Scholars Track.

Hannah Choquette and Dr. Stephen Baldridge presented at the North American Christians in Social Work Conference in Grand Rapids, MI.

Bre Heinrich, Kennedy Morrison and Dr. Stephen Baldridge presented at the Lubbock Christian University Healthy Families Conference.

Tyler Salter presented from his McNair Scholars research at the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Several faculty and students from the Department of Engineering and Physics attended and presented at the 2015 Fall Meeting of the American Physics Society of Nuclear Physics in Santa Fe, NM. Rueben Byrd, Hannah Hamilton, Cecily Towell, Paul Carstens, Lauren Slensky, and Zhaojia Xi all received scholarships to present their work at the conference.

Fourteen McNair scholars presented at McNair Conferences at the University of New Mexico or the University of Wisconsin. Read about the conference at UNM on the McNair blog.

Twenty seven students traveled to the Texoma Region of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Conference to compete in Oklahoma City with Dr. Rick Piersall and Dr. Julie Pruett. Among the students were Megan Lewis, Mikalia Bradberry, Jasmine Washington, Teonna Murphy, Kendall Stubblefield, Kristen Gillis, and Keely Smith.

Caitlin Norquist sang the role of Casilda at the Utah Vocal Arts Academy/Utah Lyric Opera festival.


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Recent ACU Undergraduate Publications

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Announcement, Journal Articles, Social Sciences, STEM, Student Researcher | Comments Off on Recent ACU Undergraduate Publications

“Assessment for the Masses: A Historical Critique of High-Stakes Testing in Reading” – Elizabeth Rockwell (With lead author, Dr. Andrew Huddleston) Texas Journal of Literacy Education (Summer 2015)

“Di- and tetraosmium carbonyl complexes with dicarboxylato ligands serving as intramolecular rings and intermolecular bridges” A. G. Fikes, N. Gwini, S. H. Yoon, V. N. Nesterov, and G. L. Powell, Journal of Organometallic Chemistry.

“Blogging Ferguson in Black and White” The Journal of New Media and Culture. Doug Mendenhall and 47 undergraduate that were enrolled in Media Issues, the introductory course within the ACU Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. The students were supervised by Jessica Clark.

Nine articles published with ACU undergraduates published by faculty and students from the Nuclear Physics Group in Physical Review C and D in the last year. Current and former undergraduates include A. T. Basye, K. Gainey,  K. R. Andrews, T. Jones, A. J. Miller, R. Pinson, D. Thomas, M. Towell, R. Towell, R. M. Wright, D. S. Jumper,  R. M. Wright, K. Gainey, N. A. Sparks, and J. P. Wood.

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Mackenzie Sanderson- Political Science

Posted by on Nov 2, 2015 in Social Sciences, Student Researcher | Comments Off on Mackenzie Sanderson- Political Science

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Name: Mackenzie Sanderson

Major: Political Science

Classification: Sophomore

Hometown: El Paso, TX

Mentor: Carmen Price

Why I’m interested in research: As a Political Science major, I enjoy studying the leaders, governments, and people of the world around me. I am specifically interested in international relations and comparative politics. I love to learn about how and why countries and cultures function differently, especially as a result of past history and tradition influencing modern life.



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Andy Wiggins- Sociology

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in Social Sciences, Student Researcher, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Andy Wiggins- Sociology

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Name: Andy Wiggins

Major: Sociology

Classification: Junior

Hometown: Princeton, TX

Mentor: Suzie Macaluso/Krista Masci

Why I’m interested in research:I do research because I am always asking questions about the world around me. I really enjoy being able to ask a question, investigate that question, and write about my findings. Research gives me a sense of satisfaction and helps me to continue to think critically about the society I live in.

What I Study:In the past year, I have been interested in researching biracial identity salience. I want to know what external factors affect the way a person is able to combine two different cultures into one cohesive sense of self, and if these factors change over time.

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Laura Hill- Psychology

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in Social Sciences, Student Researcher | Comments Off on Laura Hill- Psychology

Name: Laura Hill

Major: Psychology

Classification: Junior

Hometown: San Antonio, TX

Mentor: Cherisse Flanagan

Why I’m interested in research:I am doing research to build my resume up for graduate school. I know that it is highly valued by schools and I want to be as prepared as possible for my future. Also, I am a McNair scholar and is required that we participate in research. I hope that my experience with research will help me get funded for graduate school so that I do not inquire more debt.

What I Study: My McNair research project was on the correlation between experience of love and depression. Experience of love being that you believe you receive love or do not receive love, regardless of whether you actually do or not. My second research project was on the relationship that makeup has on anxiety levels. The idea was that women where makeup because they feel anxious if they do not. This project was done with two other Psychology majors (Traci Bricka and Kaila Bellinghausen).

Conferences Attended:

  • McNair Scholars Conference (New Mexico; fall 2015)
  • SWAPA (spring 2016)


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Summer Research Round Up 2015

Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in Activities, Arts, Feature, Humanities, Social Sciences, STEM, Student Researcher, Summer Research Opportunities | Comments Off on Summer Research Round Up 2015

ACU Undergraduate Researchers were busy this summer working on a variety of projects. Over 50 students from more than 15 departments have participated in research this summer. Seventeen students participated in research through the McNair Scholars program. Other students and faculty were supported by Pursuit Research Grants and Office of Undergraduate Research Summer Stipend Grants.

Here are some of the things we know about (let us know what we are missing):

McNair Scholars: The McNair Scholars Program had a successful Summer Research Internship! 17 students with 12 different majors did research with 15 mentors. They will be presenting their work at national McNair conferences in the coming months.

Biology: In Dr. Jennifer Huddleston’s lab, Jeffrey Wooliscroft worked on determining levels of antibiotic resistance in bacteria isolated from cave samples. Jamie Thompson, Isabel Laiseca-Ruiz and Kristen Brehm worked with Dr. Rebecca Hunter in trying to determine if local queen and monarch butterflies were infected with two common bacterial parasites that are known to adversely affect butterflies in a number of ways. Kyle Stainsby, Savannah Vincent, Wipawee Songsang, and Dr. Qiang Xu studied the house-keeping genes in the Horn Fly.

Chemistry and Biochemistry: Eight students and 3 faculty members participated in on-going research projects in biochemistry and organometallic synthesis. Projects included studying modified yeast, Synthesis and X-ray Crystal Structure of Asymmetrical Diosmium Sawhorse Complexes, and Synthesis and Structural Characterization of New Trinuclear and Hexanuclear Osmium Carbonyl Cluster Complexes.

Engineering and Physics: This summer the Nuclear Physics Research Group worked with 8 ACU students.  Four students worked on FNAL E906/SeaQuest at Fermilab with Dr. Donald Isenhower, Dr. Michael Daugherity, and Shon Watson.  Four other students worked on PHENIX and sPHENIX with Dr. Rusty Towel at Brookhaven National Lab.

Dr. Darby Hewitt worked with Ryan Wilson, Sydney Shelstead, and Candace Brooks. Candace worked on computer-controlling a 1960s-era monochromator, and Ryan and Sydney investigated fluorescence properties of Thallium-doped CsI under 405nm laser excitation. Megan Cromis worked with Dr. Tim Kennedy on a project that looked at the Ability of the BioSand Filter to remove Organic and Inorganic contaminants from water. Students worked with Dr. Matthew Steele on developing and constructing an operational lab scale anaerobic sequencing batch reactor.

Teacher Education: Hannah Lowry, Cathy Ford and Dr. Andrew Huddleston worked to understand how first year teachers make decisions about the reading assessment and instructional practices they use in their classrooms.

Theatre: Will McInerney and Dr. Adam Hester workshopped an original musical “After Zoey” in New York City. Will helped created and performed a new character “The Boyfriends” in this work written by Dr. Hester.

Check out pictures of Summer Researchers (that were shared with us.)


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