Student Research Conference

20th Annual COAS Research Conference

 April 25-26, 2024

Indiana University Northwest invites the community to its 20th Annual College of Arts & Sciences Student Research Conference. 


Conference Locations 

Thursday: Continental Breakfast, Student Presentations and Keynote speaker at Anderson Library Conference Center

 Thursday: Poster session in the Anderson Library Lobby

 Friday: Anderson Library Conference Center and Online via Zoom


Thursday, April 25, 2024


8:00 am ALCC 105 B

Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 am ALCC 105 A

Faculty Moderator:  Dr. Jessica Warren

 Dylan Niblett - Coral Symbionts and Their Effects on Bleaching, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

 Luiscarlos Barraza - Solar Irradiance at IUN/ IVY TECH, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jessica Warren)

 Steven Keller - Inhibition of the DAF-2 signaling pathway increased lifespan in  Caenorhabditis elegans, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Michael LaPointe)



8:30 -9:30 am ALCC 105 C

Faculty Moderator: Dr. Tanice Foltz

 Abigail Moss - Women, Addiction, and Violence, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Monica Solinas-Saunders)

 Kristina Pamucar - Invisible Patients: The Need for Women’s Representation in Clinical Trials, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Tanice Foltz)

 Matthew Boucher - Caught in the Crossfire: Transgender Women's Place in Feminism, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Tanice Foltz)

 Cesar Torralva-Trejo - Importance of the Turpin site in Fort Ancient culture, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Margaret Pollak)



8:30 -9:30 am ALCC 110

Faculty Moderator:Dr. Patrick Johnson

 Kylie Cooper - Stepsisters: Contrasting the Lives of Black & White Women 1780 – 1860, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Patrick Johnson)

 Jade Johnson - The Spectrum of Gary's Black Sentiments, (Faculty Sponsor, IUN Archivist, Jeremy Pekarek)

 Mina Mahmood - I Am IUN: Capturing Campus History, (Faculty Sponsor, IUN Archivist Jeremy Pekarek)


 9:40 – 10:50 am  ALCC 105 A

Faculty Moderator: Dr. Frances Daniel

 Jacob Johansson - Elderly Volunteering at Second Life Resale Shoppe,  (Faculty Dr. Stephen Zolvinski)

 Stephanie Harden - Church Attendance: Understanding Why Parishioners Attend In-person Services Instead of Virtual Attendance or Distance Worship, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Stephen Zolvinski)

 Brandon Davis - Gary, Indiana: The City of Steel, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jack Bloom)


9:40 – 10:50 am  ALCC 105 C

Faculty Moderator: Dr. Harold Olivey

 Sana Alfrhan - Setting the Standard: Antibiotic Resistance Testing via qPCRm (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

 Mehak Sidhu - Septic Shock! Assessing the Impacts of Septic System Pollution on the Environmental Resistome of Northwest Indiana, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

 Enrique Marquez - The Impact of Bone Grafting on Implant Success, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

 Chloe Roberts - Schizophrenia in the Human Brain, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Harold Olivey)


9:40 – 10:50 am  ALCC 110

Faculty Moderator: Dr. Garin Cycholl

 Rachel Wallen - The Vampire's Set of Terms and Conditions, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Brian O’Camb)

 Jillian Sopcich - Women's Psychological Analysis of the Film Mona Lisa Smile, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Maria Fotopoulos)

 Karissa Moore - A Focus on Solitude in 1914-1960 American Literature, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Garin Cycholl)


11:00 – 12:00 pm  ALCC 105C

Faculty Moderator: Dr. Harold Olivey

 Kerollos Hanna - Dental Implant vs. Bridge on Patients with Periodontal Disease, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Harold Olivey)

 Yousef Nammari - An analysis of representative germline protein translation in me31B gene mutant

Drosophila melanogaster, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Ming Gao)

 Evan Kara - Me31B Key Motifs Role in Drosophila Germ Cell Formation and Germ Cell Quantity, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Ming Gao)

Madison Miner - Can Soil Microbes Save Lives? (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)


11:00 – 12:00 pm  ALCC 110

Faculty Moderator: Dr. Kristin Huysken

 Anna Delahunty - Why Olive Oil Reigns Supreme in the Kitchen: A Scientific Perspective, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Daniel Kelly)

 Emilee Eggebrecht - Mapping Campus Flood Extent: Using High-Resolution Imagery and GIS, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Joseph Blockland)

 Eliana Huizar - Archiving Historic mines and depressions with high resolution imagery in the Calumet Region, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Joseph Blockland)


12:00-1:15 Poster Session and Reception (Library Lobby)

Posters will be hung in the Library Lobby beginning at 9:00 am;  Authors will be at their posters from noon to 1:15 pm

Faculty Moderator: Dr. Kristin Huysken


  1. Aniqa Ali, Adam Addyman, Traci Webb - How Free is our Freedom of Speech?, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Daniel Kelly)


  1. Yadhira Andrade, Janai Munoz - Untangling the Relationship: The Effect of Sleep on Mental Health, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Natalie Vega-Finn)


  1. Gabriel Ashbach - Technology Addiction and Mental Health, (Faculty sponsor, Professor Natalie Vega-Finn)


  1. Olivia Cook, Megan Turner - Crystal Healing and Alternative Medicine, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Daniel Kelly)


  1. Esmeralda Cortes-Delgado, Alyssa Zapata - Is College overrated?, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Daniel Kelly)


  1. Daniela De Santiago, Anna Szafasz - Therapy: A Vital tool for Mental Wellness, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Natalie Vega-Finn)


  1. Ethan Delaney - American Muscle: The correlation between physical and mental health, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Natalie Vega-Finn)


  1. George Dous - Antibiotic Producers Beneath Our Feet, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)


  1. Alexander Eddy - The Stigma Surrounding OCD, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Natalie Vega-Finn)


  1. Ella Garcia - The Impacts of Commercial Food, Frozen Food, and Supplemental Live Feedings on Larval Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Survival, Weight, and Length, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Maureen Rutherford)


  1. Tareq Hamad - The Growing Mental Health Crisis in Young Adults, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Natalie Vega-Finn)


  1. Olivia Heuertz - The Benefits of Yoga on Mental Health, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Natalie Vega-Finn)


  1. Eliana Huizar - Wilderness Therapy: Fostering mental health and connection with nature through Ecotourism, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Natalie Vega-Finn)


  1. Jaylen Jennings, Larry Coleman - Artificial Intelligence:  Does the Good Outweigh the Bad?, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Daniel Kelly)


  1. Miriam Jewell - Returning to School as an Adult over 30: Navigating Family, Work, and School Full-time, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Natalie Vega-Finn)


  1. Brooklynn Molina, Anieyia Ruffin - The Beneficial Impact of Emotional Support Animals on Mental Health, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Natalie Vega-Finn)


  1. Cassandra Oderio - Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Natalie Vega-Finn)


  1. Natalya Ojwang - The Effects of Divorce on Children, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Natalie Vega-Finn)


  1. Kyle Waymire, Brett Richardson, Aiden Camp - The Failure of The Credit Score System, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Daniel Kelly)


  1. Demari Willis - How meditation can enhance aspects of your mental health, (Faculty Sponsor, Professor Natalie Vega-Finn)


  1. Kate Zientarski, Connor Zelasko, Elena Cruz, Orion Bohren - From Seafloor to Science: The Evolution of Mid-Ocean Ridge Basalts, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Kris Huysken)


  1. Isabel Andrade, Janica Van Ghunt, Safaa Tarakey, - How Facial Expressions Impact Warning Usage in the DRM Task, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Frances Daniel)


  1. Isabel Andrade, Janica Van Ghunt, Safaa Tarakey, Abigail Moss, Summer Vanaman - Perceived Engagement in Two Active Learning Tasks, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Frances Daniel)


  1. Catia Salazar, Ella O. Garcia and Maureen L. Petrunich-Rutherford - Novel Tank Collaborative Project, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Maureen Rutherford)


  1. Janica van Ghunt, Abigail Moss, Summer Vanaman, Isabel Andrade, and Safaa Tarakey - The Impact of Syllabus Reconnaissance and Directed Syllabus Reconnaissance Tasks on Short and Long-Term Memory of a Course Syllabus, (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Frances Daniel)


  1. Kaori Hamatani, Christina Sanchez, Antonia Linnane, & Catia A. Salazar - Do Interactions Between Clomipramine and Nanoplastics Impact Stress-Related Behavior in Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Larvae?(Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Maureen Rutherford)



1:30 – 2:30 pm  Anderson Library, Conference Center Room A-B

Keynote Speaker

Don Wildman


DON WILDMAN journeys the globe investigating the towering achievements and spectacular failures of human civilization.  Whether diving into the archives of a world-class museum, exploring musty, torch-lit catacombs, or trudging through the filthy sewers of a teeming metropolis, Wildman has spent decades seeking clarity in the dimmest domains of our past and present.  His many TV programs like Cities of the Underworld, Off Limits, and Mysteries at the Museum straddle the realms of fact, fiction and infrastructure, shedding new light on some of  society’s murkiest questions.


In 2023, Don took on a new role as the host/producer of American History Hit, a twice-weekly podcast series that considers what’s been required to build a superpower society called the United States.  To date, 160 episodes available...wherever you get your podcasts...

Introduction of Keynote Speaker: Dr. Christopher Young, Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy, and Religious Studies



Friday, April 26, 2024 


8:30 – 10:30 am   Virtual Session:  Online via Zoom link:

You are invited to view a live screening of the virtual sessions in LCC-105 C

Faculty Moderator: Dr. David Parnell

  Loredana Tirri Spano - La primera vez que me enamoré (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Ana Osan)

Roger DeLoof - A Decline of Triumph:  How the Loss and Abuse of the Roman Triumph Paralled the Loss of Roman Political Life and Competition (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. David Parnell)

 Kayla Gingerich - Embracing the Cross-Rome's Complex Journey from Christian Persecution to Imperial Faith (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. David Parnell)

 Nathaniel Childers - The Office of Dictator and the Early Roman Republic (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. David Parnell)

 Noah River-Jansky - Reinventing Rome: Transformative Leadership in the Third Century Crisis (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. David Parnell)

 Elizabeth Warwick - Libraries in Ancient Rome (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. David Parnell)

 Brandy Hayes-Manning - Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Infant Care in Ancient Rome (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. David Parnell)



11:00 – 12:45 pm    LCC 105 C

Faculty Moderator: Dr. Jen Fisher

 Faith Smith - The Odyssey: Homer's Influence in Modern Day Literature (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Brian O’Camb)

 Dylan Foster -The Fall of Rome:  Catastrophe, Late Antiquity, or Both? (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. David Parnell)

Johncarlo Perez - Tropodithietic Acid as an Antibiotic for Aquaculture (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Jen Fisher)

 Hope Stone - Ecological Importance of Fire (Faculty Sponsor, Dr. Spencer Cortwright)

 Cosme Herrera Jr - Once a scout always a scout: A study of adult leadership in the Scouting organization and how it impacts what how the organization's values continue to impact them (Faculty Sponsors, Dr. Steven Zolvinski/Dr. Kevin McElmurry)


2:00 pm    Bruce Bergland Auditorium, Savannah Center

College of Arts & Sciences Honors’ Tea

 The Honors’ Tea is a chance to recognize meritorious student achievement, current-year scholarship recipients, honor society inductees and Dean’s List students.

  The presentations of awards will be followed by a reception with light refreshments.