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Students to give presentations on summer research

Students to give presentations on summer research

On July 20, seven Drake University students and one high school student will give final presentations based on summer research as part of the Drake Undergraduate Science Collaborative Institute’s (DUSCI) summer undergraduate research fellowship program. The presentations are free and open to the public.

Each summer for the past eight years, Drake has hired students to conduct research with a faculty mentor. Students receive an award of $3,000 and at the end of the summer they give presentations on their findings.

The group of students—usually comprised of Drake undergraduates studying the sciences—this year included a local high school student and School of Education undergraduate.

Dana Hansen, a senior science education major, worked with Adina Kilpatrick, assistant professor of physics. Maria Valdovinos, associate professor of psychology, organized the summer research program and is optimistic about Hansen’s research.

“Generally the participants have been science students working within their field, but we’re exploring in how this research over the summer will affect Dana’s career after college,” Valdovinos says.

Shardul Soni, a junior psychology and neuroscience major, studied alcohol withdrawal with Christopher Kliethermes, assistant professor of psychology.

“Since rodents show decreased movement as a result of going through alcohol withdrawal, we are working with fruit flies, which are similar to rodents and humans genetically,” Soni says. “We have a method of looking for decreased motor activity in fruit flies and we are seeing if it is a result of alcohol withdrawal in fruit flies. This is an animal model that has never been done before and based off of our results, we seem to have an effect of withdrawal in fruit flies, which is amazing.”

Along with Soni and Hansen, the following Drake students will also share their research on Friday: John Emmons, Natalie Benson, Rosalie Sterner, Dana Hansen, and Erin Scully. Frankie Lynch, a local high school student, and his peer mentor Kelsey Pigg, will also present. Presentations take place between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in Olin Hall, room 206.

Visit https://wwww.drake.edu/dusci/students/summer.php for more information on DUSCI’s summer undergraduate research program and participating students.