Student Research Conference

16th Annual COAS Research Conference

 April 30, 2020 - May 1, 2020

 Indiana University Northwest invites the community to its 16th Annual College of Arts & Sciences Student Research Conference. 

Here you may discover what undergraduate and graduate students have been studying and working on with the supervision of their Faculty Sponsors.

This year we commemorate Indiana University’s bicentennial. 


Thursday, April 30, 2020

8:30 am - 9:30 am

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Daniel Kelly

Ashlynn MorinDetermining Armillaria species across Mount Baldy  (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Peter Avis)

Samuel Ziants The overall effects of implementing jigsaw learning in a General Chemistry course (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Daniel Kelly)

Ethan Paul Aubuchon, Ian S. Taschner, Briana Shrage, Christopher J. Ziegler -  Synthesis and Cu(I/II) chelation of aza-thia[14]-ane containing N-substituted pendant amino phosphonic acid arms  (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Harold Olivey)

9:45 am - 10:45 am

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Ming Gao

Samantha NowakowskiADHD and the Glucose Metabolism (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Ming Gao)

Donnai CasillasObstructive Sleep Apnea in the Setting of Comorbidities (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Ming Gao)

Kyle BurchCancer Immunotherapy (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Harold Olivey)

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Gianluca Dimuzio

Niko PinaExistentialism: The Development and Psychological Benefit (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Gianluca Dimuzio)

Karley SpriggsContemporary Views on the Theory Evolution (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Stephen Zolvinski)

Ariana Villarreal -   Inflammatory Bowel Disease:  Invisible Disease (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Stephen Zolvinski)

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Faculty Moderator:  Professor Jennifer Greenburg

Kayleigh MargisOppression and Obeah:  Misnaming and Un-naming to Shift Power Dynamics in Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea (Faculty

Sponsor, Dr. Cara Lewis)

Heather EdmondsThe Implications of ZIKV in Lain America on Impoverished Women’s Equality (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Margaret Pollak)

Christopher HartzI Made This (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Jennifer Greenburg)

2:15 pm – 3:35 pm

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Spencer Cortwright

Erin CassidyDungeons and Dragons: The Gendered Allure of Fantasy (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Stephen Zolvinski)

Heather Harwood - Tattoos of Us (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Stephen Zolvinski)

Mariah Allen - Species Richness and Evenness and Their Influence on Ecosystem Diversity  (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Spencer Cortwright)

Benjamin MacugaSpread of Invasive Species via Deer  (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Spencer Cortwright)

Friday, May 1, 2020

8:30 am - 9:30 am 

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Jen Fisher

Angad SidhuInvestigating Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase Genes on Escherichia coli Plasmids from NWI Waterways (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

John Campbell - Lipid 2: A target for Antibiotics (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

George Beshara, Mahmoud Ahmed, Bryan Ubanwa, Taeok BaeScreening transposon mutant library of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus for mutants with altered sensitivity toward four antimicrobial agents (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

9:45 am - 10:45 am

Faculty Moderators: Dr. Maureen Rutherford

Rama Alsakaji,  Adeel Shafiq, Emma M. DiPasquo, Jessica A. Lara, and Maureen L. Petrunich-RutherfordEffects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on Anxiety-like Behavior and Whole-body Cortisol Levels in Adult Zebrafish Exposed to Chronic Crowding Stress (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Maureen Rutherford)

Niko PinaAnxiolytic Effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) in Socially Isolated Zebrafish (Danio rerio)  (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Maureen Rutherford)

Julian KettanehEpigenetics of Addiction (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

11:00 am -12:00 pm

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Michael LaPointe

Jerome WyrobekMultiple Sclerosis and the path to a cure (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Michael LaPointe)

Zulema MartinezNeutrophil Role in Periodontal Disease (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Michael LaPointe)

Mariam SilmanFactors Influencing Dental Osseointegration  (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Harold Olivey)

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm 

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Jen Fisher

Mark MasonSeptic system-associated Fecal Contamination in Lake Michigan Tributaries  (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

Palak PatelUtilizing Wastewater as a Screening Method for Emerging Colistin Resistance in Northwest Indiana (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

Avi SahiThe Role of Muscle Mass and Body Composition on Diabetes (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Michael LaPointe)

2:15 pm - 3:35 pm

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Peter Avis

Raskirth SinghBiomarkers in Alzheimer's Disease (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Peter Avis)

Brittany ArmstrongUsing a Microcomputer to Manage an Indoor Garden  (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Tia Walker)

Laila NawabQuantification of Nepetalactone in Nepeta cataria Grown Hydroponically (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Ian Taschner)

Jeffrey DykstraHydroponic Growth and Examination of Catnip and Catmint Species (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Ian Taschner)

Special Thanks To

Dr. Mark Hoyert, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Christopher Young, Dr. Peter Avis, Dr. Jen Fisher, Dr. Maureen Rutherford and all of the Faculty Sponsors who have guided our presenters on their paths of discovery.  We also thank many additional people who have worked behind the scenes to make this event possible:  Aaron Pigors and his team of people in Instructional Media Services, Nicolle Krause, and Mary Hackett.

We are especially grateful to Dr. George Bodmer for his illustration which commemorates IU’s 200th anniversary and our first virtual COAS conference. Together we will get through this pandemic as we have survived other crises over the last 200 years.