SURE program strives for global science breakthroughs

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STEM education research program strives for global science breakthroughs

Published: August 12, 2011.

Six Lewis University student researchers recently shared their success after completing the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). The eight-week SURE program encourages and enhances the research opportunities for Lewis faculty and students.

“The interdisciplinary science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education research program allows students to talk, learn and engage in faculty-led research. The concluding symposia displays how the unique program includes discussions on global science issues, enhances the students’ presentation skills, and provides essential lessons in professionalism,” commented Dr. Jason Keleher, assistant professor of chemistry and director of the SURE program.

Six students worked directly with faculty mentors in their discipline on research projects. Lab and research work included discipline-specific research team meetings and educational field trips. Multi-disciplinary sessions were also part of the program that covered topics, such as ethics in research, technical/professional writing, library search strategies, data management and data analysis, and presentation and oral communication training.

The students expect to complete their research and present it at professional conferences during the 2011-2012 academic years.

“Each of these experiments focus on the common good and a relevance to the betterment of society. The applications and the steps moving forward are all going to make life better for people,” commented Dr. Stephany Schlachter, provost of Lewis University.

  • James Fitman of Bolingbrook presented, “Role of Surfactant on Ag/TiO2 Nanoparticle Properties and Antimicrobial Effectiveness.” Dr. James Rago, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Jason Keleher were his faculty mentors.

  • Brian Wilhelm of New Lenox presented, “Automating Marketing Analysis to Maximize Profits and Minimize Risk.” Dr. Ray Klump, associate professor and chair of Mathematics and Computer Science, was the computer science major’s faculty mentor.

  • Elizabeth De Waard of Dwight presented, “Examining Particle Interactions for Detector Shielding Using G4 Beamline.” Dr. Joe Kozminski, associate professor of physics, served as faculty mentor for the physics major. She also worked in collaboration with members of the Northern Illinois Center for Accelerator and Detector Development group at Northern Illinois University and Muons, Inc.

  • Aleksander Pecherek of Homer Glen presented “Biofilm Development: Many Characters, Different Plots.” Dr. Jerry Kavouras, assistant professor of biology, served as the faculty mentor for the biology major.

  • Michael Korby of Elgin presented, “Sensing and Measurement of Frustration on Mobile Devices.” Dr. Cindy Kersey, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science, served as the faculty mentor for the computer science major.

  • Olivia Chesniak of Chicago presented, “Synthesis of Flexible Anodic Nanomaterials for Bio-inspired Solar Energy Production.” Dr. Jason Keleher was the faculty mentor of the chemistry major.

Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares ethically grounded, globally aware, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

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