Students present their research at the 2017 Summer Scholars showcase

Students presenting their research poster at the 2017 Summer Scholars Showcase. Photo by Amy Mullowney '19

President ReBecca Roloff '76 walked the length of the ballroom speaking with students, and their faculty mentors, and inquiring about their work. Photo by Ryan Johnson '19.

Summer Scholars 2017

Wednesday, August 2 brought high energy and excitement into the Rauenhorst Ballroom, and it wasn’t because of the free pizza, but the fusion of student-faculty research and dedication.

After 10 weeks of intensive research, 19 students were finally able to share their projects at the Summer Scholars closing celebration.12 student-faculty teams have been working on collaborative research of a diverse scope of projects since June. Disciplines varied greatly and included biology, psychology, art, chemistry, exercise and sports science, communication studies and more.

“Many collaborative undergraduate research programs focus only on the sciences. We encourage teams from all disciplines to participate, and all the students and faculty share challenges and strategies and learn from each other,” said Director of Collaborative Undergraduate Research, Lynda Szymanski.

Near 100 people attended the showcase, including President ReBecca Koenig Roloff ’76.

English major Emma Hargreaves '17 spent the summer developing a reading guide for Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans, a work known for being a difficult read. Hargreaves appreciated the variety and breadth of the student projects. She said, "It's been a unique experience to work with others who truly care about student work."

The Summer Scholars program provides not only a community, but a sense of meaning and engagement for students.

As a student employee in the Nutrition and Exercise Science department, Mary Jane Voss '18 has been entering data for the “Women’s Fitness and Wellness” class for almost two years. The Summer Scholars program provided her with the opportunity to expand on her student work, and she decided to incorporate the fitness class data into her research. "The project gave me a hands-on opportunity to apply what I've been doing and understand what the class has done for our students," Voss said.

And the hard work St. Kate scholars put into their projects isn't over yet! “It’s just the beginning of dissemination for these teams,” noted Szymanski.

Scholars will apply to present their research at conferences, one opportunity being the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), a showcase of the nation’s best in baccalaureate-level scholarly work held each spring. Since the Summer Scholars program launched in 2010, more than 100 St. Kate's students have presented their research to NCUR with an impressive acceptance rate of 98% — well above the national average of 85%.

Summer Scholars 2017 teams


Multimedia Documentary Shorts
Muna Scekomar '18, Ashley Alex '18, Todd Deutsch


Hox Gene Regulation of Sex-Specific Neurogenesis in Caenorhabditis Elegans
Taylor Olin '18, Andrea Kalis

Exploring the Effect of Exercise on Mood and Trust
Sara Brakke '18, Ngozika Ezenagu '19, John Pellegrini


Synthesis and Characterization of 2D Tin Sulfide Nanosheets
Elizabeth Juarez Diaz '18, John Dwyer

Communication Studies

Nationalism and Populism Abroad: France, Germany, and the United Kingdom
Addison Cross '20, Rafael Cervantes


A Reading Guide for Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans
Emma Hargreaves '17, Cecilia Konchar Farr

Exercise and Sports Science

Does Resistance Training Affect Speed of Movement in Older Adults
Natalie Barron '18, Michelle Perri '18, Joshua Guggenheimer


Extended Symmetric Spaces and Theta-Twisted Involution Graphs of the Alternating Symmetric Group
Emma Holzbach '20, Autumn Mortenson '20, Jessie Lenarz, Kristy Pelatt


Assessing Consumer Knowledge of Added Sugars
Rose Maniates '19, Courtney Vanderheiden '18, Nuala Bobowski

Campus Health and Ideas for the Future
Mary Jane Voss '18, Holly Willis


Stratospheric Thermal Effects Related to the August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse
Vina Onyango-Robshaw '18, Ana Taylor '19, Alynie Walter '18, Erick Agrimson


Community Response to Police Shootings: An Experimental Exploration
Katelyn Byers-Carter '18, Gabrielle Filip-Crawford


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Summer Scholars spotlight: Multimedia Documentary Shorts

Story by Amy Mullowney '19