Lewis University students present summer research

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Lewis University students present summer research

Published: September 4, 2013.

(top row, L to R) Andrew Trovato, Anton Uhlen,
Ian Ziarko, Ryan Jessen, Kevin Burke
(front row, L to R) Bianca Garcia, Kaitlyn Curtis

Asian Carp have made headlines, but one Lewis University student predicts future headlines about the zebra and quagga muscles. Another student asks: Can a person use his/her cell phone to replace the I-Pass? Those are just a few of the common concerns addressed with this year's Summer Undergraduate Research Experience.

The 10-week SURE program offers students the opportunity to conduct undergraduate research under the mentorship of a faculty member in their discipline. Students presented their work, including lab experiments and results, at a concluding symposium.

The research this summer enabled the students to expand their skills in research and discovery. The interdisciplinary science, technology, engineering and math program provided an opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in faculty-led research, said Dr. William Chura, assistant professor of biology and co-director of the SURE program. Dr. Jason Keleher, chair and assistant professor of chemistry, was also co-director.

Students presenting their research at the concluding symposium were:

  • Computer Science Major Ian Ziarko presented "Secure Exchange of Intrusion Detection Data among Coordinating Groups." Dr. Ray Klump served as his faculty mentor.

  • Biology Major Kaitlyn Curtis presented "Investigating Attachment Cues of Zebra and Quagga Mussels." Dr. Jerry Kavouras served as her faculty mentor. They also collaborated with researchers at Marquette University.

  • Biochemistry Major Anton Uhlen presented "FTIR Characterization." Dr. John Parker was his mentor.

  • Physics Major Andrew Trovato presented " Mu2es Fast Proton Beam Monitor: Design Simulations." Dr. Ryan Hooper served as his faculty mentor. He collaborated with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratories. Trovato's project was an attempt to confirm studies done by his collaborators.

  • Biochemistry Major Kevin Burke presented "Application of Ag + Functionalized Nano particles in PVA/Chitosan Hydrogels for Wound Management." Dr. Jason Keleher was his faculty mentor.

  • Biochemistry Major Bianca Garcia presented "Efficacy of Biomimetic Nanocomposite Wound Management Materials on Adult Human Dermal Fibroblast Growth." Dr. William Chura served as her mentor.

  • Computer Science Major Ryan Jessen presented "Using Your Phone as an I-Pass Replacement." Dr. Cindy Kersey was his faculty mentor.

The SURE students performed some research in the new 50,000 square foot Science Center addition at Lewis University, where the science departments have some of the most impressive undergraduate lab resources in the region. They conducted research in modern physics labs with industry-grade optics and laser technology. They also studied in the chemistry labs, where internationally-recognized research is being performed in nanotechnology.

The SURE program iss sponsored by Lewis University and a grant from Hanson Material Service Corporation.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 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 intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh 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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