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UW Students Selected for NSF EPSCoR Undergraduate Research Fellowships

December 11, 2009

Top University of Wyoming undergraduates have received research fellowships through the Wyoming National Science Foundation's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF EPSCoR).

NSF EPSCoR fellowships support highly meritorious undergraduate students in the biological, physical and social sciences, engineering and mathematics; in certain areas of health sciences; and students in science and mathematics education in independent research projects. UW faculty members mentor the students on selected projects.

Fellowships are awarded on the basis of scholastic achievement, the proposed research project and mentoring by the faculty member.

Since 1992, Wyoming NSF EPSCoR has supported more than 770 undergraduate students as EPSCoR fellows, with more than 450 being Wyoming residents.

Listed are the recipients by hometown, their major, project title and UW faculty mentor:

Cheyenne -- Kristie Capson, microbiology, "Rapid Virulence Annotation of Verrucomicrobium Spinsosum, Naomi Ward; Quintin Davis, molecular biology/electrical engineering, "Rapid Virulence Annotation of the Soil Metagenome Under Different Agricultural Production Appoaches," Naomi Ward; Amy DiRienzo, mechanical engineering, "An Experimental Verification of Polymer Microcracking," David Walrath; Ellen Thompson, chemistry, "Examining the Role of Apelin Receptor (APJ) in Obesity-induced Cardiac Dysfunction," Jun Ren.

Colombo, Sri Lanka -- Murtaza Shabbir-Hussain, chemical engineering/chemistry, "Spectroscopic Recognition of a Left-handed DNA in Short Oligonucleotides," Milan Balaz.

Denver, Colo. -- Mitchell Fyock, geography, "Glacial Recession in the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area and its Effects Occuring on Streamflow," Carl Legleiter.

Douglas -- Elisabeth Boersma, speech language and hearing, "Temporal Measures Between Lip Closure and Vocal Gestures for English Stop-plosive Consonants," Roger Steeve.

Kinnear -- Ernest Lawson, environment and natural resources, "Tree and Sagebrush Density and its Influence on Snow Accumulation at the Lower Forest Boundary," William Lauenroth.

Laramie -- Spencer Garland, mechanical engineering, "Thermomechanical Characterization of (Meth)acrylate Networks for Biomedical Applications," Carl Frick; Melissa Gelwicks, chemistry, "Development of Functionalized Semipermeable Membranes for Microfluidic Separations," Bob Corcoran/Debashis Dutta; Lauren Harrison, geology/geophysics, "Petrographic and Geochronologic Analysis of the Albany Granite in the Medicine Bow Mountains, Southeast Wyoming," Art Snoke; Paul Haselhorst, geology/geophysics, "Timing of Tooth Mineralization and Eruption in Nursing Extant Bovid: Implications for Elemental Composition and Stable Isotopic Analysis," Mark Clementz.

Littleton, Colo. -- Brian Weinfurtner, mathematics, "A Mathematical Model for HIV Focusing on High Risk Users in Yunnan, China," Rongsong Lui.

Nairobi, Kenya -- Chepchumba Limo, electrical engineering, "Investigation of Noise in Amplifiers Operating in Gain Compression, Eva Ferre-Pikal; Kigen Limo, chemical engineering, "Characterization and Assessment of Fouling Resistant Diamond-Like Carbon and Hydroxyapatite Membrane Surfaces for Water and Wastewater Treatment,' Jonathan Brant.

Powell -- Kaitlin McDaniel, microbiology/molecular biology, "Monoclonal Antibody Production against Synthetic Peptides Representing PrPC and Recombinant Prion Proteins," Lee Belden.

Shanghai, China -- Cheng Wan, second B.S. degree/chemistry, "CO Oxidation over Au Supported on CexZryO Mixed Oxides," Jing Zhou.

Sidney, Neb. -- Trista Niekum, earth systems science/biology, "What Are the Effects of an Invasive Snail (Melanoides Tuberculata) on Native Invertebrate Abundance and Diversity, and What Are the Implications for Native Fishes and Resource Management?" Bob Hall.

Sundance -- Whiney Ellsbury, microbiology, "Cloning, Expression, and Purification of Recombinant Yersinia enterocolitica O:9LerV and Its Application in a Serologic Assay for Yersiniosis in Infected Elk," Gerry Andrews; Jim Follum, electrical engineering, "Monitoring Electromechanical Mode Shape to Help Prevent Wide Spread Power Grid Blackouts," John Pierre.

Xian, China -- Xuejun Yu, pre-pharmacy, "Role of Nitrosative Stress and Heart Dysfunction in Obesity," Jun Ren.

For more information, contact Barbara Kissack in the NSF EPSCoR office at (307) 766-2033 or e-mail


Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009

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