2021 Undergraduate Honors Research Fair

honors research fair 21

Undergraduate Honors Research Fair 2021
November 11, 2021 | 4:30 - 6pm | Sensenbrenner Hall

Undergraduate research can be a transformative experience, valuable not only for graduate and professional school but for any career requiring initiative, independent thinking, and problem-solving skills.  Research fosters close working relationships between faculty, students, and among research teams, and offers students a window into some of the most pressing challenges facing society today. 

The University Honors Program’s Undergraduate Research Fair includes research from our 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship awardees and MU4Gold Research Scholars. Please peruse these talented student’s research posters by clicking on the name of their research title. We hope to see you in person on November 11!


Natalie Allen,  A&S, Biological Sciences Major
Testing for molecular convergence and selection on gecko opsin genes
Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Tony Gamble, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences – Evolutionary Biology


Shir Bloch, A&S, Political Science, Philosophy, and Applied Mathematical Economics Majors
Collegiate Democratic Deliberation: Political polarization as a lens for viewing the “other side”
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amber Wichowsky, Assistant Chair & Associate Professor, Political Science 


Grace Dawson, A&S, Writing-Intensive English and Digital Media Majors
Female Agency and Consent in Poems about Sexual Violence in the Middle Ages
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Elizaveta 
Strakhov, Assistant Professor, English


Abigail Dobbins, HESC, Speech Pathology & Audiology and Interdisciplinary Cognitive Science Majors, Literature Minor
Sentence Diversity and Sampling Context for Preschoolers Who Speak African American English
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Maura Moyle, Associate Professor, Speech Pathology & Audiology 


Avery Farmer, A&S, Political Science Major
Political Alignment and Activism of Free Black Men in Post-Revolutionary New York (1790-1830)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kristen Foster, History


Macnessa  Fidlin, A&S, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Philosophy Majors, Interdisciplinary Peace Studies Minor
Fluoridated Water Pollutants Effect on Apis Mellifera Linguistica
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Chelsea Cook, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences – Social Behavior, Neurobiology, and Behavioral Genetics 


Ryan Grace, ENGI, Biomechanics Major
The importance of local species interactions to relationships between species diversity and the environment 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Joseph 
LaManna, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences – Community and Population Ecology


Lexi Harwick, A&S, Social Welfare & Justice and Psychology Majors, Interdisciplinary Law & Society and Interdisciplinary Peace Studies Minors
Domestic Violence Shelters and Outreach in Non-urban Locations
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Theresa Tobin, Associate Professor, Philosophy


Lexi Harwick, A&S, Social Welfare & Justice and Psychology Majors, Interdisciplinary Law & Society and Interdisciplinary Peace Studies Minors and Amelia Zurcher, Director, University Honors Program and Associate Professor, English 
Student Perceptions of Grades and the Grading System 


Nick Howard, A&S, History Major, Interdisciplinary Public History Minor
The History of Milwaukee Through Objects
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Patrick Mullins, Assistant Professor, History 


Zelda  Kieser, A&S, Philosophy and Cognitive Science Majors, French and Political Science Minors
Celebrated Author, Maligned Philosopher:Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and Objectivist Philosophy
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gerry Canavan, Associate Professor, English 


Pouya  Mirzaei, HESC, Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience and Creative Writing Minors
KCNQ (Kv7) Potassium Channel Regulates Cognition in an Animal Model of Schizophrenia
Faculty Mentor: Dr. M. Behnam 
Ghasemzadeh, Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences


Rebecca Odeh, A&S, Phsyiological Sciences Major, Business Administration Minor
Spatial Sequestration of Alpha-Synuclein
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Emily Sontag, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences


Abbi Ouimet, HESC, Biomedical Sciences Major, Interdisciplinary Culture, Health, and Illness Minor
Sex-specific dysfunction of cognitive and habit circuits underlying opioid self-administration
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Matthew Hearing, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences


Qwanzo Rodriguez, A&S, Philosophy Major
Electronic Monitoring in the Milwaukee County Youth Justice System 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Robert Smith, Harry G. John Professor, History 


Heidi Schuler, ENGI, Biomechanics Major, Engineering Leadership Concentration
Patterns of Eye-Hand Coordination during Bimanual Reach-to-Grasp: A Pilot Study 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Leigh 
Mrotek, Research Professor, Biomedical Engineering


Alyssa Spies, A&S, Criminology & Law Studies and Sociology Major, Social Welfare and Justice Minor
Conceptualizations of Reentry Success In the Milwaukee Reentry Council 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Darren Wheelock, Social and Cultural Sciences


AditiiWakhlu, HESC, Biomedical Sciences Major, Neuroscience Minor
Role of D1-and D2-receptor prefrontal-accumbens circuits in cognitive flexibility 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Matthew Hearing, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Sciences 


Austin Walker, ENGI, Mechanical Engineering Major
Electrode Under Suit
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Philip Voglewede, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering 


Samuel Wilsdorf, ENGI, Mechanical Engineering Major, Engineering Leadership Concentration
Explorations in Vibrational Testing and Quasistatic Behavior of Additively Manufactured Lattice Structures 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Allison Murray, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering 


Gretchen  Zirgaitis, HESC, Exercise Physiology Major
Long-COVID Impact on Physical Function in Males vs. Females
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sandra Hunter, Professor, Exercise Science 

MU4Gold Scholars

Madelyn Davenport, A&S, Political Science Major, Economics and Urban Affairs Minor 
Farms Causing Fallout 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amber Wichowsky, Political Science 


Cameron Fronczak, A&S, Computer Science Major
Someone is Always Watching
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Zimmer, Computer Science


Lisa Gandolfi, A&S, International Relations and Economics Majors
Defending Democracy: Civil-Military Relations and Influence in Politics
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Risa Brooks, Political Science


Jai Hsieh-Bailey, A&S, Psychology Major
Genetic Risk Associated with Cognitive Decline
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kristy Nielson, Professor, Psychology  


Fiona Kelly-MillerA&S, Interdisciplinary Gender and Sexuality Studies Major 
Violence Against Women: Decolonizing Honor Killings 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Enaya Othman, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures 


Jordan Mewhorter, A&S, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major  
Structural Basis of Substrate Selectivity in Urea and Guanidine Carboxylases 
Faculty Mentor; Dr. Martin St. Maurice, Biological Sciences 


Maryn Schaefbauer, A&S, Spanish & Philosophy Majors
Sociolinguistic Perception of L1 and L2 Spanish in the University Classroom
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sonia Barnes, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures


Stephanie WaldschmidtA&S, Psychology, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Theology & Religion Majors 
Pray the Gay Away; Resilience in Christian LGB Young Adults 
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Grych, Psychology