Four KU TRIO McNair Scholars earn undergraduate research awards

Friday, February 7, 2014

LAWRENCE – Four University of Kansas TRIO McNair Scholars – junior Greg Ervin and seniors Eric Rivera, Kristina Van Anne and Merritt Schenk – are among 50 Spring 2014 recipients of $1,000 Undergraduate Research Awards (UGRA) from the Center for Undergraduate Research.

The awards provide annual support for original, independent research, scholarship or creative work by Lawrence-campus undergraduates under the guidance of faculty members.

The KU TRIO McNair Scholars Program commends these students for their focused and rigorous work ethic, which demonstrates the potential to contribute to their fields of study.

The McNair Scholar UGRA recipients:

  • Greg Ervin, junior interdisciplinary computing major, for “Investigating the Role of miRNA on Selective Neuronal Vulnerability to Alzheimer's Disease,” a project aimed at uncovering the role miRNAs play in the biomolecular pathways that lead to variable resistance or vulnerability to Alzheimer's Disease. Research mentor: Elias Michaelis, pharmacology and toxicology.
  • Eric Rivera, architectural engineering major, for “Quantifying CO2 Removal in Living Walls: A Case Study of the Center for Design Research,” a project that will use field measurements and computer simulation to look at the CO2 absorption rate of a living wall located at the Center for Design Research (CDR). Research mentor: Jae Chang, Department of Architecture.
  • Merritt Schenk, major in applied behavioral science and minor in film studies, for “Behavioral Science Goes to the Arcade: A Translation of the Generalized Matching Law to Predict and Analyze Human Performance in a Simulated Environment,” a study that will employ video-game performance under varying avatar-attribute manipulations to answer fundamental questions regarding theories of choice and reinforcement. Research mentor: Derek Reed, applied behavioral science.
  • Kristina Van Anne, double major in Spanish and accounting, for “The Role of Lexical Stress in Word Recognition of English-Speaking L2 Learners of Spanish,” a study aimed at identifying the role of lexical stress in the word recognition process of late English-speaking L2 learners of Spanish in order to determine if lexical stress constrains word recognition for these late L2 Spanish learners. Research mentor: Annie Tremblay, linguistics.

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