Student Research Conference

17th Annual COAS Research Conference

 April 22-23, 2021

Indiana University Northwest invites the community to its 17th Annual College of Arts & Sciences Student Research Conference. 


Thursday, April 22, 2021

8:25 am

Welcome - Dr. Mark Hoyert, Dean, College of Arts & Sciences


8:30 – 9:30 am

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Spencer Cortwright

Samantha King— The Wood Frog's Winter Survival Strategy (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Elizabeth Hoskins and Dr. Spencer Cortwright)

Serene Fakhoury—The Neurobiology of Sleep and Wakefulness (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Harold Olivey)

Nadeemkram Awawda— Molecular Machines (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)


9:45-11:05 am

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Jen Fisher

Gabriella Richey—Undecanoic Acid, Lauric Acid, and N-Tridecanoic Acid Inhibit Escherichia coli Persistence and Biofilm Formation (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

Anja Stanic— Iron Utilization of N. fowleri (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

Brianna Dingey— Leptin-signaling and Obesity (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Michael LaPointe)

Leonardo Del Valle - Gradual Weight Loss Homeostatic Metabolism (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Michael LaPointe)


11:15 – 12:15 pm

Faculty Moderator:  Professor Jennifer Greenburg

Paige Whitaker— Critical endangerment (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Jennifer Greenburg)

Lauren Frick— "The Exclusive Forest: The Shaping of the Environmental Movement in Richard Powers' The Overstory" (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Garin Cycholl)

Ryan Post— Art and Satire (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Jennifer Greenburg)


12:30 pm - 1:30 pm - Keynote Speaker

Dr. Marie Eisenstein – Associate Professor of Political Science and Recipient of the IU Northwest Distinguished/Creative Activity Award - Review of Research 2003-2020: Religion, Political Tolerance, Social Trust, and Ongoing Projects


2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Faculty ModeratorDr. Laura Lauzen-Collins

Ashley Lugo— Do Psychological Measures Actually Predict Our Everyday Experience? Methodological Issues in Psychological Assessment (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Hannah Lee)

Mercedes Andrade— Understanding the role of the gut microbiota on Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Maureen Rutherford)

Harjeet Singh— Effects of Procrastination and Stress (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Maureen Rutherford)

Elyssa Pinks— Taboo or Trending:   The Effect of Oversharing on Mental Health (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Laura Lauzen-Collins)


3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Peter Avis

Fady Attalla - Comparative study of different concentrations of Epinephrine in Local Anesthetics and their cardiovascular effects in dentistry (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Peter Avis)

Patrick Snooks - Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Tall grass Prairie Restorations (Faculty Sponsors, Dr. Spencer Cortwright and Dr. Elizabeth Hoskins)

Nancy Garay - Eye Health: In the Age of Technology (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Peter Avis)

Xiara Moreno— Treatments of Cerebral Aneurysm (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Peter Avis) 

Friday, April 23, 2021

8:30– 9:30 am

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Michael LaPointe

Maria GikoskaTSHR as a Therapeutic Target in Graves' Disease (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Michael LaPointe)

Samantha Ostrom— Predicted effects of climate change on deep-sea microbial communities (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

Carol Dilts— Analysis of Aubergine interaction with Me31B in Drosophila germ plasm (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Ming Gao)


9:45– 10:45 am

Faculty Moderator: Dr. Ming Gao

Abdul Enayeh— Genetic vs environmental effects on lactase persistence and lactose intolerance (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

John Eshak— In Silico CRISPR-induced Point Mutation me31B Gene Editing in Drosophila (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Ming Gao)

Nicholas Olchawa— Studying the Genes that Affect Me31B’s Expression in Drosophila Germ Cells (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Ming Gao)


11:00 am – 12:05 pm

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Yllka Azemi

Anthony Garcia - Nonnegative Matrix Factorization Algorithms with an R Package: A Comparative Study (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jie Wang)

Janeth Gutierrez— Women in Policing (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Tanice Foltz)

Daniel Riordan— Impact of the Free Lunch Program at Public Schools from K-12 on Student Learning Performance: Evidence from Northwest Indiana (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Tin-Chun Lin)

Veronica Flournoy— Exploring the benefits of Cultivating Virtual Communities (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Yllka Azemi)


12:15 – 1:15 pm

Keynote Speaker

Dr. T. Celeste Napier, Professor Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Director, Center for Compulsive Behavior and Addition

Rush University Medical Center - Neuroscience of Addiction


1:30 - 2:30 pm 

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Jen Fisher

Angad Sidhu— Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase Genes Identified on Escherichia coli Plasmids from Northwest Indiana Aquatic Environments Linked with Clinical Disease (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

Rasha Siddiqui— LPS-Induced Insulin Resistance by Intestinal Flora (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Michael LaPointe)

Natalie Kaczka — Stem Cell Therapy for Epilepsy (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Ming Gao)


2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Nelson Deleon

Haroon Mohiuddin— Electrokinetic Analysis of the Effects of Various Ultra-Dilute Salt Solutions on the Nature of the Water/Silica Interface (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Nelson Deleon)

Mason Markovich — What happened to Cold Fusion and the Importance of Peer Review (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Nelson Deleon)

Abdul Enayeh — Peer-Led Team Learning Activities Effects on Student’s Understanding of Select Chemical Topics (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Daniel Kelly)


4:00 pm – 5:20 pm

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Harold Olivey

Precious Parker - Understanding the Connections between Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Alzheimer's Disease (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Harold Olivey)

Neal Govani - The Creation of Novel me31B Gene Alleles in Drosophila melanogaster via CRISPR Gene-Editing (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Ming Gao)

Adela Coy - Proposed Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Harold Olivey)

Anna Reed - Stress and Immunity (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

Special Thanks To

Dr. Mark Hoyert, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Chancellor's Professor David Klamen, Interim Dean, College of Arts & Sciences and Dean, School of the Arts, Dr. Christopher Young, Dr. Maureen Rutherford and all of the Faculty Sponsors who have guided our presenters on their paths of discovery during this challenging year.  We also thank many additional people who have worked behind the scenes to make this event possible:  Aaron Pigors, Eric Bottger, Rob Seals and their team of people in Instructional Media Services, Nicolle Krause, Marissa Villalobos and Niki Bal in Marketing and Communications and Mary Hackett.

A very special thank you to Tyler Kaufman, our student in the Fine Arts/Graphic Arts  for the cover illustration on our program and this website, and the zoom presentation background.