Spotlights

Kooper Taylor

OU Major: 
Spanish
Research Mentor: 
Julie Ward
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

My research aim is to investigate the representation of femicide in various films and theatrical productions. Femicide is the term used to refer to the period of brutal violence towards women in Juarez, Mexico from 1993 to the early 2000s. Since that time, it has received significant international attention and has become the inspiration of many cinematographic and literary pieces. In order to investigate its representation in contemporary works, I analyzed a selection of documentaries, fiction films, and plays in order to see how each author attempts to convey the topic as well as highlight any underlying messages in relation.

Awards and/or presentations:

Taylor, Kooper. "Representation and Criticism of Femicide in Contemporary Film and Theatre." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Elizabeth Van Swearingen

OU Major: 
Spanish/Modern Languages, Literature, and Linguistics
Research Mentor: 
Julie Ward
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

I analyze a theatrical piece done by Perla de la Rosa that is called "Antígona: las voces que incendian el desierto". This work addresses the violence against the women in Ciudad Juárez, México. According to her text and other articles, I conclude that she adapted Antigone from Sophocles in order to draw attention to the idea that not only is the violence against women a problem, but also that the government is aiding and abetting this violence by denying the women their due justice. I also suggest a solution for the violence, according to Perla de la Rosa's work and related articles.

Awards and/or presentations:

Van Swearingen, Elizabeth. "Antígona en Juárez: Perla de la Rosa y las culpables por la violencia." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Ben Whipkey

OU Major: 
Biology
Research Mentor: 
Elizabeth Bergey
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

The Tiger Snail (Anguispira alternata) is an eastern land snail that extends into northeastern Oklahoma. Beyond this range, a large disjunct population occurs in the central Oklahoma (Cleveland and McClain Counties). We assessed possible mechanisms for long-distance dispersal, using timed searches of preferred habitats in woodlands in 19 counties extending westward from the eastern Oklahoma range limit. No snails were found in between historical and disjunct populations. However, empty shells were found in Bryan County (southcentral Oklahoma), washed up along the shoreline of Lake Texoma. These shells originated in the Washita River drainage and were carried downstream to Lake Texoma during floods – indicating that the disjunct population is widely spread (e.g., possibly in Garvin County). Because snails move slowly, the lack of tiger snails between the known and disjunct sites indicates movement via human activities, such as the transport by firewood or the plant trade, rather than...

Awards and/or presentations:

Whipkey, Ben. "Long distance travel - at a snails pace." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Florence Hamper

OU Major: 
Criminology
Research Mentor: 
Angela Person
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Poster presentation of research produced during "Environment and Society," situating an object of concern (Cruise Ships) at the intersections of environment and society.

Awards and/or presentations:

Hamper, Florence. "Cruise Ships." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Jacob Richardson

OU Major: 
Chemical Biosciences
Research Mentor: 
Chung-Hao Lee
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Heart valves are composed of three main constituents: collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). While collagen and elastin contribute mostly to the biomechanical properties of heart valves, the biomechanical role of the GAGs in the atrioventricular valves is a topic that is very underrepresented. The goal of this research project is to determine whether GAGs influence the biomechanical properties of the heart valves. To accomplish this, we will need to acquire tissue from each leaflet of each valve. This includes the anterior and posterior leaflet from the mitral valve (left atrioventricular valve) and the anterior, posterior, and septal leaflet from the tricuspid valve (right atrioventricular valve). Porcine (pig) hearts will be the hearts of choice for this project.

Awards and/or presentations:

Richardson, Jacob. "The Essential Role of Glycosaminoglycans in the Biomechanics of Heart Valve Leaflets." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Ana Santeliz

OU Major: 
Spanish
Research Mentor: 
Julie Ward
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Although power, oppression, and social protest have always existed at all times in history, with victims of yesterday and now in different parts of the world. Young people like Antigone, Lupita and Miguel bet on revolutionary change and civil strife. However, the art of lying remains a favorite tactic of men with power to obtain the approval and obedience of the masses without them realizing that they are being deceived, manipulated and oppressed. However, youth want changes, for example, Antigone, Lupita and Miguel represent the now where young people fight for social justice, the value of individual conscience and end the tyranny of state power.

Awards and/or presentations:

Santeliz, Ana. "Antígona, Lupita y Miguel Mártires del ayer y el ahora." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Miranda Schene

OU Major: 
Biochemistry
Research Mentor: 
Shanteri Singh
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

The prenyltransferase CdpNPT, a member of the DMATS superfamily, was investigated as a tool for chemoenzymatic synthesis of prenylated secondary metabolites. Site-directed mutagenesis was performed to generate mutant enzymes that had expansions of the enzyme’s hydrophobic binding site. Pseudo-first order kinetic studies were then performed with all the mutant enzymes and a variety of non-native synthetic alkyl donors in order to determine the effects of the mutations on the enzyme’s promiscuity towards alkyl donors. From these results, three major criteria were found to determine CdpNPT’s affinity for an alkyl donor: carbocation stability, steric hindrance, and hydrophobic interaction within the active site. The mutations performed here not only expanded the promiscuity of CdpNPT, but also altered its regiochemistry, creating a wider range of prenylated products than the wild-type enzyme was able to.

Awards and/or presentations:

Schene, Miranda. "Rational Design and Substrate Specificity Study of Prenyltransferase CdpNPT." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Emilee Sullivan

OU Major: 
Spanish/Modern Languages
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

This project is an analysis of the psychology of women in times of conflict, as depicted by Colombian playwright Enrique Buenaventura in his work Los papeles de infierno.

Awards and/or presentations:

Sullivan, Emilee. "La Mujer en Los Papeles de Infierno." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Devin Laurence

OU Major: 
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Research Mentor: 
Dr. Chung-Hao Lee
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

The tricuspid valve (TV) helps facilitate the unidirectional blood flow through the heart during regular function. About 50,000 Americans undergo surgical repair annually to correct leaflet regurgitation; however, there is a disappointing recurrence rate (15-20%) of tricuspid regurgitation approaching 10 years after the initial repair1-3. The objective of our research is to better understand the distinct leaflet contributions to TV mechanical behavior through a multi-scale computational model. The computational model is built and refined through an experimental-computational approach with three key ingredients: (i) biaxial experiments to quantify the TV leaflets' mechanical behavior, (ii) development of a post-mortem beating heart apparatus for imaging functioning valves, and (iii) application of the acquired experimental information to validate the computational model. This approach will provide the groundwork for future extensions into patient-specific heart valve modelling...

Awards and/or presentations:

Laurence, Devin. "Development of a Multiscale Computational Modeling Framework for the Tricuspid Valve." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

Brandon Maples

OU Major: 
Geology/Geology & Geophysics
Research Mentor: 
Hernan Moreno
Describe your undergraduate research or creative project:

Given that classical in-situ direct surveying for geomorphological subsurface information in rivers is time-consuming, labor-intensive, costly, and often involves high-risk activities, it is obvious that non-intrusive technologies, like UAS-based, LIDAR-based remote sensing, have a promising potential and benefits in terms of efficient and accurate measurement of channel topography over large areas within a short time; therefore, a tremendous amount of attention has been paid to the development of these techniques. Over the past two decades, efforts have been undertaken to develop a specialized technique that can penetrate the water body and detect the channel bed to derive river and coastal bathymetry. In this research, we develop a low-cost effective technique for water body bathymetry. With the use of a sUAS and a light-weight sonar, the bathymetry and volume of a small reservoir have been surveyed. The sUAS surveying approach is conducted under low altitudes (2 meters from the...

Awards and/or presentations:

Maples, Brandon. "Combining Cluster Analysis and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) for Accurate and Low-cost Bathymetric Surveying." Curiosity to Creativity Spring Symposium, 25 April 2018, Oklahoma Memorial Union, Norman, OK

Published Work:

n/a

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