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Life-enhancing projects on display at annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

LAWRENCE — Thirteen University of Kansas graduate students are putting their potentially world-changing research efforts on public display. Legislators and the public are invited to learn about the influence of research underway at KU during the 17th annual Capitol Graduate Research Summit from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, on the first floor Rotunda in the Kansas Capitol in Topeka.

KU graduate students are working to develop solutions to societal questions and challenges. Their research covers a broad range of topics that affect the state and the lives of Kansans, including:

  • Understanding the effect of distressed K-12 students on their teachers
  • Controlling the noise generated by jet aircraft engines
  • Assessing the effects of medical marijuana on college student mental health
  • Establishing and maintaining sustainable communities
  • Developing integrated care for expecting and new mothers addicted to opioids.

The students, representing both the Lawrence and the Medical Center campuses, will be joined by other graduate students from Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University, Kansas State University, Pittsburg State University and Wichita State University.

“KU’s graduate students are integral partners in our efforts to serve society and spur economic growth,” said Jennifer Roberts, vice provost for graduate studies. “As these students hone their research skills, they also bring fresh perspectives to our programs and contribute innovative solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time. The quality and impact of their scholarship deserves recognition and ongoing support. The exciting opportunity to showcase the work of KU graduate students will foster new connections and expand the reach of discoveries that are relevant to both our local and global communities.”

KU enrolls more than 7,000 graduate and advanced-degree professional students across all campuses. The university is one of just 65 invited members of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). It consistently earns high rankings for academics and recognition as a premier research university.

Participants in the Capitol Graduate Research Summit and their projects include the following individuals.

From the Lawrence campus:

  • Andrea Garcia, doctoral student in educational psychology, “Establishing Integrated Care for Improving Pregnant and Parenting Women with Opioid Use Disorder”
  • Gregory Leung, doctoral student in economics, “The Impact of Medical Marijuana Laws on College Students’ Mental Health, Drugs Substitutability and Academic Outcomes”
  • Noriko Nakamura, doctoral student in music education with an emphasis in music therapy, “Exploring How and Why Music Interventions Influence the Ability to Remember Spoken Information in Adults with Acquired Brain Injuries”
  • Sal Rahmani, doctoral student in aerospace engineering, “Reduction of Supersonic Jet Noise by Modifying The Nozzle Exit Geometry”
  • Beth Rankin, doctoral student in curriculum and instruction, “Teaching Amidst Trauma: Identifying the Impact that Traumatized Students Have on K-12 Teachers”
  • Amilee Turner, doctoral student in political science focused on international relations and public policy, “Developing Sustainable Cities in Kansas: A Framework and Methodology for the Successful Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions”
  • Swarnagowri Vaidyanathan, doctoral student in bioengineering, “Development of a Nanofluidic Device for Detecting Cancer”
  • Amirreza Zarnaghsh, doctoral student in environmental engineering, “High-Resolution Sensors for Assessing the Impact of Rapid Land Use Change on Water Quality Variability in Surface Streams.”

From the Medical Center campus:

  • Katie McKenzie, doctoral and medical student in biostatistics, “Concordance of Beta-Amyloid PET Images Using a Generalized Logistic Mixed Model Framework”
  • Olivia Provance, doctoral student in the Department of Cancer Biology, “Interferon Induced Transmembrane Protein-1 Plays a Vital Role in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer and Can Be Targeted by the Naturally Derived Compound Parthenolide”
  • Connor Chestnut, medical student, “Targeting Bladder Cancer with Cinnamaldehyde and Trans-Cinnamic Acid”
  • Megan Campbell, doctor of nursing practice student, “Screening Military Veterans for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the Civilian Primary Care Setting”
  • Eber Silveira Beck Jr., doctoral student in rehabilitation science, “Cognitive Assessment in Older Adults with Diabetes Mellitus: A Retrospective Analysis.”

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