May 8, 2020 at 1:45pm
Dane Lisser

Students present research utilizing digital technology

Millikin University's Celebrations of Scholarship is the culmination of the academic year. It's an all-day event that puts the outstanding achievements of students from all majors front and center for the entire campus community to witness. The event is a forum that not only recognizes the results of Performance Learning, it honors personal success.

Typically held in late April, students at Celebrations of Scholarship present a year's worth of research, scholarship and creative efforts to the campus community.

Among the events at Celebrations of Scholarship is the annual Poster Symposium, in honor of Judith and Dr. G. Richard Locke. During the symposium, students share their scholarly activities and practice communication skills essential for professional success. The event has also become an excellent means of encouraging students to explore and participate in research opportunities at Millikin.

Millikin Celebrations of Scholarship

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Millikin was not able to host this year's Celebrations of Scholarship and conduct the Poster Symposium on campus. But the University carried on this important tradition by having students submit their poster presentations virtually using YouTube.

Judges observed over 50 poster presentations and voted for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes.

"It's exciting to see the outstanding work honored by these poster prizes. As always, I am glad and grateful for the dedication, hard work and important outcomes reflected in the projects these award winners and their faculty sponsors have contributed to the university community and the larger community of researchers and scholars," said Millikin Provost Dr. Jeffery P. Aper. "On behalf of the entire university, I offer my sincere congratulations and appreciation to the students, the faculty members who have mentored them, and to the judges who dedicated time and expertise to reviewing these excellent projects."

Dr. Aper noted, "The coronavirus may be keeping us apart, but it cannot dim the bright light of Millikin's ongoing commitment to active student engagement in research and scholarship, as these posters and this competition demonstrate so well."

Among the award winners was Lane Caspar, a senior communication major from Sherman, Ill., who was honored for her research project, working alongside Dr. Amy Delaney, assistant professor of communication. Caspar and Dr. Delaney teamed up to conduct a research project that looks into the benefits of the social network that Greek Life organizations provide, more specifically sororities.

"I'm very happy and honored to be considered for an award. I have truly enjoyed working on Dr. Delaney's research team for the past year and collaborating on a research project with her," said Caspar. "Not everyone has the opportunity to be a part of a research study as an undergraduate, so to see it all come to fruition was an amazing learning opportunity. I would not have been able to make the poster presentation without the guidance of Dr. Delaney, and I would not have been able to work on the study without the undergraduate funding I was given by Millikin. I'm very grateful for the opportunity to present some of our findings."

Mackenzie Martin, a senior biology/pre-optometry major from Paris, Ill., earned a 2nd place award for her research.

Mackenzie Martin Millikin

"I feel that this year's move to a virtual poster symposium speaks volumes about our faculty and staff – in that they were flexible enough to still find a way to spotlight outstanding research," said Martin. "My research means a great deal to me, as it is the culmination of two years of focus, patience and practical applications of the science I've learned throughout my time at Millikin. Given the unusual circumstances of the semester, I'm especially honored to have participated and for the recognition."

Congratulations to the following award winners of Millikin's 27th annual Research Poster Symposium.

1st Place Award

Phi Kappa Phi Award

Student: Juliana Guaglianone, a senior chemistry major from Decatur, Ill.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Anne Rammelsberg Rodriguez, associate professor of chemistry

Discipline: Chemistry

Title: "The Development of a Quantitative Ammonia Assay for Nicotinamidase"

1st Place Award

Student: Samuel Billig, a senior biology major with a psychology minor from Johnsburg, Ill.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Travis E. Wilcoxen, associate professor of biology

Discipline: Biology

Title: "Time Course of Immunomodulatory Effects of Stress in Northern Leopard Frog Tadpoles"

2nd Place Award

Student: Matthew A. Frank, a senior chemistry major from Goodfield, Ill.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Paris Barnes, associate professor of chemistry

Discipline: Chemistry

Title: "Ionic Conduction in Li5A11-2xTixZnx04 and Li6Zn04 Antifluorites"

2nd Place Award

Student: Mackenzie Martin, a senior biology/pre-optometry major from Paris, Ill.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Laura Zimmerman, assistant professor of biology

Discipline: Biology

Title: "In vitro Synergistic Activity of Antibiotics and Trachemys scripta Plasma on Bacterial Growth"

3rd Place Award

Student: Isabella Newingham, a junior biology major from Decatur

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Marianne Robertson, professor of biology

Discipline: Biology

Title: "Does the Millipede, Orthoporus texicolens (Spirostreptida: Spirostreptidae) Exhibit Habituation to Tactile Stimuli"

Honorable Mention Award

Student: Emily E.G. Kemp, a sophomore psychology major from Tuscola, Ill.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Linda Collinsworth, professor of psychology

Discipline: Psychology

Title: "The Role of Social Support and Domestic Violence in Trauma and Self-Disturbance in Female Prisoners"

Honorable Mention Award

Student: Justin Craig, a senior physics major from Naperville, Ill.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Casey Watson, professor of physics

Discipline: Physics & Astronomy

Title: "Constraining the Properties of Milky Way Dwarf Spheroidals with Surface Brightness and Velocity Dispersion Data"

Honorable Mention Award

Student: Lane Caspar, a senior communication major from Sherman, Ill.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Amy Delaney, assistant professor of communication

Discipline: Communication

Title: "Investigating Stress and Coping in Millikin's Panhellenic Sorority Members"