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Video: Undergraduates collaborate on summer research

Eleven Drake students spent the summer on campus conducting research through the Drake Undergraduate Science Collaborative Institute.

The students worked with Drake faculty members in the fields of
biology, psychology, computer science, chemistry, environmental science
and pharmacology. They presented their research findings July 26. See a
complete list of students who participated this summer.

The presentations are a crucial part of the summer program because
they give students and faculty the opportunity to learn about scientific
research being conducted in fields other than their own.

“It’s important for faculty and students to learn about each others’
projects and find ways to collaborate,” said Maria Bohorquez, professor
of chemistry and DUSCI director.

Last year’s DUSCI summer presentations led to such an opportunity.

The research Andrew Johnson, a senior chemistry major from
Chanhassen, Minn., presented during last year’s DUSCI summer program led
to collaborative effort between Johnson, Mark Vitha, associate
professor of chemistry, and Timothy Urness, assistant professor of
computer science. Some of the group’s findings have already been
published in the Journal of Analytical Chemistry.

Watch a video of Johnson explaining his research:


DUSCI also allowed local high school students Thomas Teav and Josh
Moreno, from Des Moines’ East High School, to collaborate with Drake

Samantha Haas, a senior chemistry and environmental science double
major from Algona, Iowa, and Joann Max, a junior biochemistry, cell and
molecular biology major, from Lincolnwood, Ill., worked with the high
school students on the project. The goal of the group’s research was to
discover how the organic dyes respond to new environments.

For Moreno, the project was a chance to explore the field he was interested in.

Haas said DUSCI allowed her to have “opportunities that many grad students are just getting to do.”

“We’re not just doing the grunt work, not just collecting the data,” she said. “It’s really getting explained to us.”