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Undergraduate Scholar and Research Symposium

Undergraduate Scholar and Research Symposium


student and mentor
Kelly Keith Royal, left, visual arts major, and Heather Ryan Kelley, professor of art, stand in front of some of the artwork Kelly has completed for his research project on art styles for the 8th Annual Undergraduate Scholar and Research Symposium March 6 sponsored by the McNeese State University Alumni Association.  

(March 1, 2013) The public is invited to take a glimpse into the engaged minds of 29 McNeese State University students from departments across campus who are competing for recognition and cash awards at the 8th Annual Undergraduate Scholar and Research Symposium sponsored by the McNeese Alumni Association.

The student research proposals will be on public view from 1:30-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, at the McNeese Stream Alumni Center. Judging for students, with their faculty mentors, will take place from 4-6:30 p.m. 

The recognition ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at the alumni center. 

"The McNeese Alumni Association has invested more than $135,000 in research projects since the program began in 2005, said Joyce Patterson, alumni affairs director. "The program was established to promote opportunities for our motivated undergraduates to participate in research, scholarly activities and creativity while here at McNeese in order to further their career and educational goals." 

The top five oral presenters and the top five poster presenters will then advance to participate in the statewide Academic Summit April 12-13 being hosted by the University of Louisiana System on the University of Louisiana at Monroe campus.  

Students, faculty and staff from the nine universities in the UL System will attend this event that will include an entire day focused on undergraduate research, according to Patterson. McNeese hosted the first Academic Summit last spring.

This year's projects cross the various disciplines that showcase academic interests from biology and agricultural sciences to art and engineering.

The following are student recipients, departments, faculty mentors and projects for 2013:

Omar Abudiab, biology and health sciences, Dr. Connie Kersten, "Heart Regeneration in Carrasius auratus: Histology and Response to Epinephrine"


Maina Bhagnani, accounting, finance and economics, Dr. Dan Groft, "An Economic Impact Analysis of the Southwest Louisiana Entrepreneurial and Economic Development Center"


Johnathan Bolton, engineering, Dr. Ning Zhang, "Investigation of Discharge Source Characteristics of Calcasieu Ship Channel Confined Disposal Facilities"


Taylor Carlson and David Picard, agricultural sciences, Dr. Tom Shields and Dr. Chip LeMieux, "The Effects of Diet Composition, Dietary Intake and Fleece Thickness on Growth and Carcass Traits of Gulf Coast Native Lambs"


Kyndal Comeaux, agricultural sciences, Dr. Edward Ferguson, "Cortisol Levels During Roping Acclimation in Rodeo Calves"


Ervin Cutright, engineering, Dr. Zhuang Li,  "Road-Tire Noise and Sound Absorption Properties of CFB Road Surface Material"


Kendra Dillard, agricultural sciences, Shields and LeMieux, "The Effects of Fleece Density and Environmental Temperature on Various Physiological and Reproductive Traits of a Tropically Adapted Breed of Sheep"


Jacob France and Erik Sneddon, engineering, Zhang, "Sediment Measurement and Chemical Analysis in Calcasieu Ship Channel and Surrounding Waters"


Jared Matthew Fusilier, engineering, Dr. Jarnardanan Uppot, "Research on the Effects of Crumb Rubber on the Permeability of Soil, Fly Ash and Clay"


Brandon Haynes, biology and health sciences, William Dees, "Iron Transport in Neisseria gonorrhoeae - the FbpABC Operon: Construction of an FbpA knockout Mutant. Iron Transport in Neisseria gonorrhoeae: FbpA Knockout Mutant Complementation in the lctP-aspC Intergenic Region"


Sydney Horne and Shreedu Pradhan, chemistry and physics, Dr. Omar Christian, "Prenylated Benzophenones from Hypericum hypericoides"


Sara Allyn Hunt, mass communication, Dr. Tracy Standley, "College Students and Internet Addiction:  Do Indicators Exist?"


Valen Johnson, mass communication, Standley, "Cyberbullying: Does Age Play a Factor?"


Lindsay Kravchuk, biology and health sciences, Dr. Charles Matt Watson, "Background Matching in Cryptic Snakes Species:  Do They Know They Are Hiding?


Lucas LeDoux, biology and health sciences, Watson, "An Evaluation of Specific Dynamic Action of a Small Leaf-Litter Vertebrate, Scinella lateralis, Eating Common Prey Items"


Steve Longoria, agricultural sciences, Dr. David Kee and CC Richmond, "A Growth Chamber Study of Various Methods of Enhancing Germination of Eastern Gamagrass Seed"


Maria-Josee Mendez, English and foreign languages, Dr. Wendy Whelan-Stewart, "The Architecture of William Faulkner's 'Absalom, Absalom!': A Study on the Decay of the Sutpen Household and the Novel's Narrative Structure"


Robert Patten, biology and health sciences, Dr. Kathy Jo Jackson and Dr. Jay Comeaux, "Salmonella Infection Rates in Green Anoles of Southwest Louisiana"


Tung Minh Pham and Anita Rahman, chemistry and physics, Christian, "Antioxidant Activity of Coastal Plain St. Johns Wort (Hypericum brachyphyllum)" 


Adam Richard and Jesse Dupre, biology and health sciences and chemistry and physics, Dees and Christian, "The Effects of Botanical Extracts on Adult Mosquitoes"; "The Effects of Botanical Extracts on Mosquito Oviposition"; The Effects of Freshly Cut Plant Parts on Female Mosquitoes"


Brett Richard, agricultural sciences, Shields and LeMieux, "The Effects of Hide Thickness, Hide Looseness, Environmental Temperature and Ultrasound Scanning Technique on the Accuracy of Carcass Ultrasound Measurements in Purebred Brahman Steers"


Kelly Keith Royal, visual arts, Heather Kelley, "Our Unheard Melodies"


Eric James Smith, agricultural sciences, Kee and Richmond, "A Greenhouse Study of Techniques to Increase Eastern Gamagrass Seed Germination"


Torrie Thibodeaux, social sciences, Dr. Thomas Laehn, "Unbalanced Power:  The Rise and Decline of Legislative Authority in the State of Louisiana"