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Trumbull News Detail

Trumbull students present research findings at Undergraduate Symposium

Posted Apr. 3, 2014

A diverse group of Kent State University at Trumbull students – from a variety of academic departments – took part in the 2014 Undergraduate Symposium on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity on Wed., April 2 at University Libraries on the campus of Kent State.

Research, scholarly work and creative activities are an integral part of a student’s college experience, and the symposium provided students an opportunity to showcase and be recognized for their works. Students in all majors and at all campuses were eligible to participate.

Students who took part in the Undergraduate Symposium were able to:

  • Compete for cash awards.
  • Develop research and presentation skills.
  • Prepare for graduate school or professional opportunities.
  • Share the topic they explored with the Kent State community.

Academic departments represented by Kent State Trumbull students included biology, English and psychology.

Biology

Students Anthony Amicucci, Michael Hickle, Kyra Yonnotti, along with Mary Russell, Ph.D., associateBiology professor, biology, presented findings on the determination if the β-synemin protein contains a RISR region.

Per the group’s abstract, “β-Synemin is a structural protein that targets PKA to specific subcellular locations. It is capable of binding both PKA type I and PKA type II, therefore it is classified as a dual A kinase anchoring protein (AKAP). The way that β-synemin is involved in interacting with PKA is understood, however, some dual AKAPs have an additional region called a RI specifier region (RISR). A possible RISR has been identified in β-synemin and we are conducting experiments to confirm whether or not this RISR is involved in the binding of β-synemin and PKA type I. The RISR contained in β-synemin will be removed using specific restriction enzymes to determine if it is still capable of binding PKA I. If a lack of interaction is observed, this will indicate that this site is critical for interaction between β-synemin and PKA type I.”

English

Senior Shannon Lutz, with David Nickell and Gary Ciuba, Ph.D., professor, English, presented her examination of theEnglish gender roles of southern women in literature, with specific emphasis of their portrayal in Katherine Anne Porter’s “Old Morality.”

Per Lutz’s abstract, “Gender role expectations in ‘Old Mortality’ parallel equine valuations. Amy Rhea (i.e., the prized mare) delighted in a life of frivolous vanity which rewarded her through adoration and acceptance within her family, whereas Eva Parrington (i.e., the work mare) endured a life of painful disdain because of her unlovely appearance. My project uses additional works by Katherine Anne Porter as well as letters, essays, and scholarly research that enables an informed appreciation as to the confining expectations (e.g., traditional or feminist) which southern women endured. Women who deviated from the established ‘norms’ generally experienced adverse societal and economic circumstances. Apprising the worth of southern women through bestial comparisons made female worth into a profoundly exterior and biological identity. It thus necessitated considerable reevaluation of purposeful roles for men and women within a tradition that has, perhaps, proliferated gender expectations within modernity.”

Geology

Senior geology student, Stacee Stinedurf, with David Hacker, Ph.D., associate professor, geology, Geologypresented findings on the geology of Geauga County's Punderson State Park.

From Stinedurf's abstract, "Many people know the human history of Punderson State Park and their lakes, but few know about the geology that shaped the park into what it is today. To better understand the unique geology that produced the natural lakes of the park, research was conducted in the field to acquire surficial geology information, as well as utilizing well logs to better define the subsurface geology of the park. Arcmap was used to produce a detailed geologic map and MicroDEM was used to obtain high-quality DEM images for surface geomorphology. ArcScene and Above Illustrator were used to produce 3-D cross sectional views of the park. Results of this study show how the lakes on the eastern side of the park are kettle lakes located within thick sand and gravel kame deposits. Punderson State Park is viewed as a classic example of kame and kettle topography."

Psychology

A foursome of students – Morgan Fee, Randi Hidasey, Greg Perry and Vince Sabelli, in conjunction withPsychology Patricia Tomich, Ph.D., associate professor, psychology – presented their findings on the links between perceptions of health issues, binge drinking, and mental health outcomes.

From the group’s abstract, “This study examines whether the need for cognition (i.e., the tendency to process information in-depth on a daily basis) is related to perceptions of a variety of health issues and health-related behaviors.  Participants were 141 undergraduates (mean age = 25.76).  Correlational analyses indicated that a higher need for cognition was associated with the perception of human papilloma virus (HPV) as being a more serious health issue, which in turn, was associated with less binge drinking.  Overall, these findings suggest possible pathways to promote more responsible health-related behaviors in college students.”

The symposium was sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Honors College, Research and Sponsored Programs, Undergraduate Studies and University Libraries.

For additional details on the event, visit the Undergraduate Research page.