WSU students present research at annual Undergraduate Research Day in Topeka


Note: The below events happened prior to the social distancing mandates instituted in response to COVID-19.

In early March, approximately 40 undergraduate students from Kansas universities participated in the annual Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol, including five from Wichita State. Selected students traveled to Topeka to present their research and creative activity posters inside the Capitol building. 

Student presenters were selected through a competitive abstract submission process. The projects were chosen based first on the quality of research, then with attention to the range of fields represented overall and relevance to current law makers. 

Kimberly Engber, dean of the Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College, and Erin LeBegue, WSU campus coordinator, traveled with the students to Topeka.

“We know that students engaged in faculty-mentored research and creative activity are better prepared for professional success,” said Engber. “We are grateful for the opportunity to showcase the high quality of undergraduate work across Kansas to state legislators and other guests visiting Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol.”

Congratulations to the WSU students selected to present this year:

  • Morgan Bretches, a junior in biological sciences, presented “Peripheral Nerve-derived Pluripotent Stem Cells as Potential Cell Sources to Treat Segmental Bone Defect.”  Their faculty mentor was Dr. Shang-You Yang, associate professor of biological sciences.

  • Wyel Halimeh, a senior in chemistry, presented “Dependence of Proline Isomerization on the Kinetics of Folding of Anthrax Lethal Factor.” Their faculty mentor was Dr. James Bann, associate professor of chemistry. 

  • Kayla Schmidt, a senior in biomedical engineering, presented “Effect of Blood Flow Restriction on Physical Fitness in Individuals over Fifty-Five.”  Their faculty mentor was Dr. Nils Hakansson, associate professor of biomedical engineering.

  • Ashley Stroh, a senior in biomedical engineering, presented “Evaluating Astronauts’ Cognitive Performance in Space using Hybrid Brain-Computer Interface System.”  Their faculty mentor was Dr. Jaydip Desai, assistant professor of biomedical engineering.

  • Inneké Vargas, a senior in public health sciences, presented “Women’s Health Network: An Evaluation of a Community Program.” Their faculty mentor was Amy Chesser, associate professor of public health sciences.