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Dennis Dean Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Conference

Save the Date!

April 29, 2022

The VT community is invited to attend the 2021 Dennis Dean Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Conference.



Faculty Grant Awards

Pablo Sobrado, Biochemistry- Enzyme Engineering
Rosanna Breaux, Thomas Ollendick &Tyler McFayden
, Psychology - Training the Next Generation: An Undergraduate Research Opportunity for Future Clinicians
Gillian Eastwood & Alexandra Cumbie
, Entomology- Spring Tick Species Diversity and Prevalence
Christopher Arena
, BEAM & Dr. Andre Muelenaer, VTC- Virginia Tech - Carilion Innovation Internship
Andrew Lowell, Chemistry & Anne M. Brown
, Biochemistry- Integrating Computational and Wet-Lab Research Techniques into a Comprehensive, Flexible Research Training Environment

Special mention:
Cindy Smith, Human Development
Benjamin Chambers, Engineering Education


Mentor Awards

The recipient of this year’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research FACULTY Mentor Award is Koeun Choi, PhD from Human Development, who received two nominations. Students described her as empathetic, informed, patient, supportive and passionate.

The recipient of this year’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research GRADUATE STUDENT Mentor Award is William Singer, School of Plant and Environmental Sciences, who was described as patient, engaging and adaptable.

Conference Awards!

Undergraduate Research Excellence Awards

Sponsored jointly by the Office of Undergraduate Research and University Libraries, the prestigious Undergraduate Research Excellence Award recognizes students who holistically engage in research, as evidenced by completion of the Undergraduate Research Excellence Program (UREP), and are able to effectively communicate their results to a broad audience. This year's winners are:

Austin Murray, Biochemistry, Understanding the Roles of Amphipathic Alpha-Helices in Membrane Association and Viral Genomic Replication of Brome Mosaic Virus Protein 1a
Tanvi Haldankar
, Computer Science, A Walk Down Memory Lane: Analysis of Memory and Computer Systems From 1995 to Present-Day
Nicole Defoor
, Experimental Neuroscience, Under-expression of immune system genes in ovarian tumor samples with a rare mutation in FAM104A

And we also recognize the following students for special mention:
Danielle Alms
, Biological Sciences, The effect of Mycoplasma gallisepticum infection on feather quality and maintenance in house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus)
Elizabeth Duncan
, Statistics, Differential Expression Analysis and Modeling of T Cell Differentiation Pathways


Awards for Adaptive Brain and Behavior Destination Area

Sponsored by ICTAS, this award recognizes research projects dealing with topics relating to the adaptive brain and behavior destination area. This year’s winners are:

First Place: Mariam Hasan, Biomedical Engineering, COVID-19 As Social Murder: An Investigation of Racialized Bodies in America (Session: Liberal Arts and Human Sciences)

Second Place: Nicholas Dunn, Psychology, ADHD Status and Biological Sex as Predictors or Change in Adolescent Executive Functioning(Session: Psychology)

Third Place (tie):
Sarah Carter
, International Relations, America or America? A study of topic-based shifting in US expat in London (Session: Liberal Arts and Human Sciences)

Anvitha Metpally, Clinical Neuroscience, Using a mindful lifestyle intervention to help improve maternal and infant outcomes in obese pregnant women (Session: Agriculture and Life Sciences)


Awards for Critical Technologies

Sponsored by ICTAS, this award recognizes research projects dealing with critical technologies. This year’s winners are:

First Place: Kathlynn Lewis, Environmental Science, Carbon Storage in Northern Virginia Grasslands: Effects of Land Management and Plant Diversity (Session: Agriculture and Life Sciences)

Second Place: Christine Faunce, Experimental Neuroscience, Single Nucleotide P129T Mutation Shows Susceptibility to Problematic Substance Use in Mice (Session: Science)

Third Place: Lauren Duma, Clinical Neuroscience, Proposed Injury Threshold for Drone Blade Lacerations (Session: Engineering)


Awards for High School Students

Sponsored by ICTAS, this award recognizes research projects from students who are in high school. This year’s winners are:

First Place: Katerina Leedy, Blacksburg High School, Differential expression of genes associated with innate immunity in individuals with and without Alpha-gal Syndrome

Second Place: Brock Duma, Blacksburg High School, Whitewater Helmet STAR: Evaluating the Biomechanical Performance and Risk of Head Injury for Whitewater Helmets

Third Place: (tie)
Eric Xie
, Blacksburg High School, Classification of Neurons by Activation Stages using an Artificial Neural Network

Joey Zobel, Blacksburg High School, Determining Perceptions of Appalachian English among Non-Speakers Living in Appalachian Virginia


2018 Dennis Dean Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship Conference Pictures.

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