Student research in spotlight at conferences, Journal of Student Research

State, national events and university publication highlight in-depth academic efforts, with faculty support
​Jerry Poling | April 8, 2022

At University of Wisconsin-Stout, every undergraduate and graduate program has an experiential learning component. One of those components, research, takes center stage each April and May.

Students who have worked months or even most of the 2021-22 academic year on special projects with faculty advisers are in the spotlight with a chance to showcase their work at national and state conferences and in a UW-Stout publication.

Research projects by nine undergraduates were accepted as part of the virtual National Conference on Undergraduate Research April 4-8, which featured more than 3,200 students, faculty and staff from across the U.S. Submissions must pass an approval process.

Eight UW-Stout students will have their work published in the university’s Journal of Student Research, an annual juried publication.

An untitled artwork made of paper, ink and acrylic paint on panel is part of Kayla Haugen’s fine art submission “When it Speaks” that was chosen for UW-Stout’s Journal of Student Research.
An untitled artwork made of paper, ink and acrylic paint is part of Kayla Haugen’s art submission “When it Speaks” in UW-Stout’s Journal of Student Research. / Contributed photo

Copies of the journal will be available on Tuesday, May 3, at UW-Stout’s annual Research Day, where more than 100 student projects will be presented. Additional work by School of Art and Design students will be presented at the Senior Show from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 6.

Also, on Friday, April 22, the UW System Symposium for Undergraduate Research will feature research by 16 UW-Stout students.

Student, faculty and staff research and the journal are coordinated through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. ORSP provides grants, funded by Stout University Foundation, to help students conduct and publish their research and travel to present it.

The university has seen a surge in research interest this academic year after the pandemic.

“UW-Stout values student research and feels these experiences can be nearly limitless, including learning more about their field and discovering their passions within it, with an opportunity to collaborate with faculty mentors as experts, giving back to the community, identifying themselves as scholars and increasing student skills such as communication, leadership and project management,” said Anne Hoeltke, ORSP director.

“Research seeks to advance the existing body of knowledge in virtually all disciplines, and UW-Stout is proud through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to promote these opportunities,” she added.

Will Pomeranke, of Conrath, who graduated in December in applied science, appreciated the opportunity to do research. His project, “Understanding the Effects of High Temperature Stress and Weathering on Concrete Strength,” was chosen for the Journal of Student Research.
 

Will Pomeranke, an applied science major whose research was featured in UW-Stout’s Journal of Student Research.
Will Pomeranke, an applied science major whose research was featured in UW-Stout’s Journal of Student Research. / UW-Stout

I have benefited as a person through gaining knowledge related to both the research experience as a whole as well as the materials I researched. It means a lot to me because it is tangible evidence of the skills I have developed and the knowledge I have provided to others,” said Pomeranke, who plans to further his education in graduate school.

He was featured in a video discussing the applied science program.

Pomeranke’s adviser was Professor Matthew Ray, chemistry and physics department. He has advised and worked collaboratively on research projects with two to six students a year for the past 12 years, he said.

I enjoy being able to expand upon the basic concepts that we discuss in lecture and lab classes to go much deeper into the synthesis and testing of new materials, or development of simplified methods to prepare existing materials,” Ray said.

“Many of my research students pursue postgraduate degrees and are able to leverage and apply the experience gained through research while continuing their education. Most go directly into industrial positions where they utilize their research skills as they embark on their career. I greatly enjoy seeing my students succeed after graduation; it’s like seeing the investment finally pay dividends,” Ray said.
 

UW-Stout Professor Matthew Ray conducts a lab experiment. He enjoys helping students conduct research each year “to expand upon the basic concepts that we discuss in lecture and lab classes.”
UW-Stout Professor Matthew Ray conducts a lab experiment. He enjoys helping students conduct research each year “to expand upon the basic concepts that we discuss in lecture and la / UW-Stout

NCUR

NCUR, the largest symposium of its kind, featured UW-Stout students from a variety of disciplines.

The students, their projects and faculty advisers are:

  • Ron Barutha, of Hales Corners, senior, applied social science, “Highways: Lifelines of the Economy”; adviser Zach Raff
  • Sasha Bellot, of Cumberland, senior, applied social science, “Effects of COVID-19 Lockdown on Views of ‘Going Out’”; Tina Lee
  • Simon Brown, of Spring Valley, junior, applied social science, “Relationships Between Peace Education and Student Activism”; Lee
  • Jasmyn Collins, of Cameron, senior, applied social science, “History Courses and Their Role in American Exceptionalism”; Lee
  • Odessa Hemmersbach, of Sparta, senior, applied social science, “The Effects of Political Party Based on Support for Capital Punishment”; Raff
  • Xavier Hopp, of Manchester, senior, applied social science, “Demagoguery in Action: American Political Opinions in the Age of Populism”; Raff
  • Chueseng Lo, of Schofield, junior, human development and family studies, “Defining Esports Student-Athletes and the Behaviors that Affect Academic Performance”; Kevin Doll
  • Dylan Neilson, of Appleton, junior, applied social science, “Coping with COVID: Analyzing the Experience of Students with Mental Health Issues During a Pandemic”; Lee
  • Logan Willits, of Genoa City, senior, applied social science, “The Effects of Funding on Senior Students’ Postsecondary Education Rate”; Raff

Journal of Student Research

A total of eight students had their projects approved for publication in the Journal of Student Research.

They are:

  • Alexandria Cornella, of Burlington, senior, human development and family studies, ‘“My Scars are My Battle Wounds; I Made it Through’: Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in a Gender Diverse College Population”; adviser, Candice Maier
  • Malcolm Howard, Cincinnati, Ohio, senior, game design and development-art, “Creating 3D Game Characters”; Joshua Seaver
  • Chueseng Lo, of Schofield, junior, human development and family studies, “Defining Esports Student-Athletes and the Behaviors that Affect Academic Performance”; Kevin Doll
  • Will Pomeranke, of Conrath, senior, applied science, “Understanding the Effects of High Temperature Stress and Weathering on Concrete Strength”; Matthew Ray

Fine art:

UW System Symposium

The UW System Symposium for Undergraduate Research will feature research posters, oral presentations and visual arts. UW-Stout students presenting and their advisers are:

Visual arts:

  • Ty Weiss, of Ellsworth, senior, computer science, “Brought To Life”; Xanthi Gerasimo

Oral presentations:

  • Alexander Brost, of Menomonie, sophomore, applied social science, “ESL Education: A Case Study at UW-Stout”; Tina Lee
  • Abigail Cullen, of Menomonie, junior, environmental science, “Genomic Analysis of Acrididae Gut Microbiome”; Arthur Kneeland
  • Nue Thao, of Wisconsin Rapids, senior, computer science and electrical engineering, with Wesley Larrabee and Cole Glassing, “Design of Autonomous UAV”; Abhiskek Verma

Poster presentations:

  • Sasha Bellot, of Cumberland, senior, applied social science, “Effects of COVID-19 Lockdown on Views of ‘Going Out’”; Lee
  • Noah Carson, of Minneapolis, senior, industrial design, “Modular Storage for an Evolving Home Market”; Jennifer Astwood
  • Margaret Dechant, of Tomah, senior, industrial design, “Canine Care”; Astwood
  • Jacob L. Gasner, of Medford, senior, applied science, “Synthesis of Chemical Probes for Detection of Amino Acid Citrulline Using Ester/Nitrile Condensation”; Dmitry V. Kadnikov
  • Lauren Jaunich, of Delano, Minn., junior, industrial design; “Camping Waste Elimination”; Astwood
  • Christopher Jones, of Racine, business administration and environmental science, with Kyle Baemmert, “Effects of Hydrologic Alteration on Invasive Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) in a Restored Wetland”; Keith Gilland
  • Jack Stubb, of Green Bay, senior, industrial design, “DogBox”; Astwood
  • Logan Willits, of Genoa City, senior, applied social science, “The Effects of Funding on Senior Students’ Postsecondary Education Rate”; Zach Raff
  • Michael Wolff, of River Falls, senior, industrial design and studio art, “Car Vac”; Astwood

Another state research event was held March 9. Six students from UW-Stout presented at the state Capitol during the UW System’s annual Research in the Rotunda event.

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