Summer Scholars share research at end-of-summer showcase

Teams of students presented their projects at the Collaborative Research Summer Celebration.

On August 4, students across a host of disciplines shared their Summer Scholars projects with faculty, staff, and friends who gathered in Coeur de Catherine’s Rauenhorst Ballroom for the Collaborative Research Summer Celebration. 

The celebration featured presentations from Summer Scholars teams (listed below) along with presentations from other students who collaborated with faculty on research projects. Summer Scholars projects were developed during an intensive 10-week program over the summer. Project topics spanned a wide range, from research into atmospheric effects during eclipses to a study on sustainability and fashion. 

Summer Scholars student Valerye Peterson ’25, a psychology major and Katies for Aging Research and Equity (KARE) Scholar, worked with associate professor Stephanie de Sam Lazaro, OTD, and Madeline Youngman, OTS, on a project titled “Utilizing the Existing Literature on Psychosocial Vital Signs to Design an Interprofessional Training Program.” Psychosocial risk factors, which reflect the ways social and psychological conditions can impact physical health, are often overlooked in assessing patients. The team reviewed psychosocial screening tools available for use with general adult populations and identified several populations that benefited from psychosocial screening. 

“The most surprising thing was how many tools do exist to assess psychosocial vital signs, but how different they can be,” said Peterson. “But I was also surprised to an extent by what populations were affected the most. Cancer is obvious, but dermatology was more surprising.” The ultimate goal of the project is to create an interprofessional training program to educate healthcare students on assessments involving psychosocial factors. 

Summer Scholars students Salma Ali ’23, a public health major and KARE Scholar, and Abbey Haveman ’26, a psychology major and KARE Scholar, worked together with associate professor Elizabeth Allen, PhD, on their project, “Investigating Food, Greenspace, and Mental Health Access in Covenanted and Non-Covenanted Communities.” In their research, they looked at disparities in resources between racially covenanted and non-covenanted neighborhoods in Ramsey County.

“This was not my first research opportunity, but it was my first going into racial covenants and I’m really glad that I did it,” said Ali. “It’s probably the most fruitful experience that I’ve had being at St. Kate’s. It was disheartening at some points, while looking at the archival data and seeing how covenants have affected people, but I’m glad that work is being done to uncover these and bring them to the communities.” 

The Summer Scholars program, part of St. Kate’s Collaborative Research, provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to work alongside faculty on collaborative research, gain experience across disciplines, and make contributions to scholarship. Summer Scholars students will submit their work for presentation at national conferences in the upcoming year. 

 “This summer, we had incredible projects that allowed students to explore their passions and discover new applications for their interests,” said Katie Campbell, PhD, director of Collaborative Research. "As a faculty member, there is nothing better than watching students discover their unique skills within a complex and intensive research project — and Collaborative Research at St. Kate’s provides ample opportunities for students to build these skill sets, through Summer Scholars, the Assistantship Mentoring Program, and Research and Creative Inquiry (RCI) courses.”


Summer Scholars 2023 Teams


Preclipse Stratospheric Ballooning with Radiosonde
Odunola Adewale; Kadiatu Kaya; Erick Agrimson

Editing CDKN1A and RASD1 in a Cell Culture System
Hope Vue; Kellie Agrimson, PhD 

Optimizing in vitro Editing of SPP1 & NXF2
Regan Rockswold; Kellie Agrimson, PhD

Investigating Food, Greenspace, and Mental Health Access in Covenanted and Non-Covenanted Communities
Salma Ali; Abbey Haveman; Elizabeth Allen, PhD

Understanding the Effects of Accessible Medically-Tailored Food Boxes Containing Fruit and Vegetables on Cardiometabolic Markers in Immigrant Hispanic/Latine Individuals with Hypertension
Angela Cuccio; Ambria Crusan, PhD 

Utilizing the Existing Literature on Psychosocial Vital Signs to Design an Interprofessional Training Program
Valerye Peterson; Stephanie de Sam Lazaro, OTD; Madeline Youngsman  

Craftsmanship of Worth
Veronica Wakefield-Young; Neve Palubicki; Carol Mager

The Legacies of Neighborhood Segregation in St. Paul, Minnesota’s Independent School District 625
KC Meredyk; Eva Ngono; Rachel Neiwert, PhD

Impacts of Marriage Equality on Time Use
Melody Kosbab; Mollie Pierson; Kristine West, PhD

The Effect of Sodium Chloride (Road Salt) Stress on Floral Nectar Sugar Concentrations and Gene Expression in Brassica rapa
Naturelle Vang; Ya Yei Xiong; Rahul Roy, PhD

Strategies Used in Minnesota for the Unwinding of Medicaid Post-Public Health Emergency: July 2023
Tim Schulz; Julie Sabo, PhD


Collaborative Research is part of the Office of Scholarly Engagement, St. Kate’s hub for engaged learning, which also includes the Antonian Honors Program, Community Work and Learning, Competitive Fellowships, and Global Studies


Photos courtesy of the Office of Scholarly Engagement.