15 undergraduates from Douglas County earn research awards from KU

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The University of Kansas has selected 54 students for undergraduate research awards, including 14 students from Lawrence and one from Lecompton.

The students are given $1,000 scholarships from the Center for Undergraduate Research and work on mentored research and creative projects, according to a KU news release Friday morning.


“Students apply for UGRAs by writing a four-page research proposal under the guidance of a mentor,” according to the release. “Faculty reviewers evaluate the applications based on the merit of the applicant’s proposal and a recommendation from the mentor.”

Matt Downen, assistant director of the Center for Undergraduate Research, said in the release that the center received a record number of applicants for the spring 2023 round of UGRAs.

“Students in disciplines all across KU are working on amazing research and creative projects,” Downen said in the release.

Here’s the full list of Douglas County undergraduates research award recipients, their year in school, topic of their research, professor and subject area, courtesy of KU:

  • Sivani Badrivenkata, junior, Lawrence, “Biologics vs. E. coli: Testing Lactoferrin’s Viability as a Preventative Therapeutic for Neonatal Sepsis in Pregnant Patients,” Michael Hageman, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Margaret Bears, senior, Lawrence, “Arctium; conversations,” Megan Kaminski, English
  • Keela Bryant, senior, Lawrence, “Using Text Analysis to Determine the Text Socialness and Text Easibility of Reading Comprehension Assessments,” Meghan Davidson, speech-language-hearing
  • Irene Caracioni, senior, Lawrence, “The Influence of Party Size on Food Waste,” Dietrich Earnhart, economics
  • Daniel Davidson, junior, Lawrence, “Gendered Toxin Anxieties in Far-Right Ecological Accelerationism,” Christopher Forth, Department of History
  • Henry Haw, senior, Lawrence, “Determinants of Decoupling and Friend-Shoring of Japanese Multinationals in China (2018-2022),” Jack Zhang, political science
  • Madelynn Hilgenbrink, senior, Lawrence, “Theory Based Approach for Chiral Metamaterial Discovery for Infrastructure Application,” Anil Misra, civil & architectural engineering
  • Tyler Liggett, senior, Lawrence, “Pivoting Towards China: Assessing Indonesia’s Naval Modernization,” Brian Lagotte, global & international studies
  • Curtis Nelson, senior, Lawrence, “Forensic Study on Damage to Laboratory Model Truss Bridge,” Jian Li, Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering
  • Cecilia Paranjothi, sophomore, Lawrence, “Development of Tributyl Phosphate as a Quantitative Probe of Lewis Acidity,” James Blakemore, chemistry
  • Marchella Putri Djojopurno, junior, Lawrence, “The Intracellular Processing of the Host- derived High Mannose Glycan by Enterococcus faecalis to Satisfy Its Energy Demands,” Lynn Hancock, Department of Molecular Biosciences
  • Samantha Richter, senior, Lawrence, “The Effects of Blood Flow Restrictive Exercise on Metabolic Gene Expression,” Philip Gallagher, Department of Health, Sport & Exercise Sciences
  • Junyi Zhao, senior, Lawrence, “RelayAttack: Fooling Image-to-Text and Speech-to-Text Translation Systems,” Bo Luo, electrical engineering & computer science
  • Taylor Winters, senior, Lawrence, “Diagenesis,” Yoonmi Nam, fine art
  • Megan Hamersky, senior, Lecompton, “The Recovery from Fires in the Amazon Rainforest,” Nathaniel Brunsell, Department of Geography & Atmospheric Science

The full list of 54 students selected for UGRAs is available at this link.

Students can apply for summer and fall 2023 UGRAs starting next semester. Find more information at this link.

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