IU Southeast Hosts 2023 IU Undergraduate Research Conference 

11th December 2023

Indiana University 2030 Strategic Plan icon for transformative research and creativity, showing an outline of a microscope, beaker and textbooks.

IU Southeast demonstrated their commitment to transformative research at the recent Indiana University Undergraduate Research Conference. The conference was held Friday, December 8 on the IU Southeast campus and featured over 150 undergraduates who shared oral and poster presentations before judges, as well as students, faculty, staff, and the public. 

Judges named seven oral presentations and eight poster presentations as truly outstanding. The winners for oral presentations were: 

IU Southeast: 

Winners at the Indiana University Undergraduate Research Conference.

Ellie Boehnlein, Elementary Education, “What Impact Does a Five-Day Intervention, Focused on Multiplication, Have on Fourth Grade Students?” Faculty Mentor: Jacquelyn Singleton 

Steven Burrell, Informatics, “Exploring the Principles and Challenges of Self-Driving Cars: A Hands-on Project on Autonomous Vehicle Technology” Faculty Mentor: Sridhar Ramachandran 

Rian MarQuand, Political Science, “Transfeminism: The Adverse Effects of Cic-Centric and Trans-Exclusive Feminism on the Modern Transgender Community” Faculty mentor: Rebekah Dement 

Natalie Stewart, Biology, “Regulation of Reproduction and the Gastrointestinal System in the Marsh Rice Rat (Oryzomys Palustris)” Faculty mentor: Kent Edmonds 

Lucia Lopez, Elementary Education, “How Does a Five-Day Intervention Schedule Focused on Multiplying Affect Fifth Grade Students Who are Struggling to Multiply and Use Their Strategies” Faculty mentor: Molly Riddle 

Khloe Mull, Elementary Education, “Building 1st-Grade Students’ Subtraction Fluency Through Repeated Practice” Faculty mentor: Molly Riddle 


Hannah Beaven, Biomedical Engineering, “Fluorescent Tracking of Intranasally Delivered Nonoemusion in the Rat Nasal Cavity” Faculty mentor: Michael Veronesi 

Winners for poster presentations were:  

IU Southeast: 

Dylan Mapp, Neuroscience, “’Any Color You Like’ Homing Pigeons Ability to Make Feature-Based Choices” Faculty mentor: Brittany Sizemore 

Jacob Rose, Kylie Shields, Biology, “Discovery and Isolation of QueenC” Faculty Mentor: Beth Rueschhoff 


Lilia Brunett, Biotechnology, “Modulation of FXR Response Genes by PFOA in a Pancreatic Cancer Cell Model” Faculty mentor: Barbara Hocevar 

Askar Mazitov, Biology, “The Effects of Nodule-Associated Bacteria on Clover Growth” Faculty mentor: Jennifer Lau 


Jayden Emenhiser, Biochemistry, “Measurement of Endotoxin Concentrations in Blood Serum of Subjects Undertaking a Pescatarian Diet Study” Faculty mentor: Hisako Masuda  


Sarah Langdon, Psychology BS, “Service Enrollment and Access Barriers Twelve Months After Diagnosis of Autism for Young Children” Faculty mentor: Angela Paxton 

Janke Staker, Ellyssa Purdy, Gracie White, Haiquan Guo, Jagadeep Thota, Amanda Siegel, Chemistry, “Potato Thermoplastic Starch Aerogels for Insulation and Hydro-Protection Appliances in High Powered Rocketry” Faculty mentor: Andres Tovar 

Gracie White, Biomedical Engineering, “Enhancing the Mechanical Properties of Thermoplastic Starch Films Using an Adaptive Experimental Design Approach Supported by Bayesian Machine Learning” Faculty mentor: Andres Tovar  

IU Southeast faculty mentor Dr. Sridhar Ramachandran says a research experience “not only enhances their academic performance and persistence, but also equips them with valuable research skills, boosts their confidence, fosters mentoring relationships, and deepens their understanding of science and research, thereby preparing them for graduate school or careers, and contributing to their professional and personal development.” 

An IU student presents her research poster at the IUURC.

Six IU Southeast student teams presented research results from the SEA-PHAGES program. Dr. Beth Rueschhoff says many students don’t get research experience as undergraduates. “The aim of this program is to open undergraduate research access to more students.” 

Chancellor Debbie Ford says transformative research is important for students, especially undergraduates. “They’re taking big ideas and big questions and studying them, bringing new perspectives and new knowledge.” 

IU Vice President for Research Russell Mumper and Chancellor Ford discussed the impact of undergraduate research at Indiana University during a question-and-answer presentation at the closing lunch. Dr. Mumper urged students to “make this the beginning of continuously challenging yourself to develop new skills, to have new experiences.” 

A student researcher presents his findings at the IUURC.

IU Vice President for Regional Campuses and Online Education Dr. Sue Sciame-Giesecke says students can’t beat a research experience when speaking to potential employers. 

“It actually shows an employer the skill set a student has, not just that they can talk about it, but they can actually demonstrate it,” said Sciame-Giesecke. 

IU Southeast Dean for Research Dr. Aimee Adam says “Much of the research happening [at IU Southeast] is about issues that directly impact the local community, and our graduating students generally stay and continue to contribute to Southern Indiana and the Louisville metro areas. 

Transformative research is one of the three pillars of the IU 2030 Strategic Plan. 

TAGS: , , , , , , , ,