Award Recipients

The top departmental honors theses in the College of Natural Science and Mathematics at the University of Central Arkansas are decided upon by a committee of faculty within each department. Summer Research Stipends are evaluated by a ad-hoc committee of faculty formed by the CNSM dean's office. All awards were sponsored by The Advancement of Undergraduate Research in the Sciences Endowment.


Undergraduate Thesis Awards: ($100)

Note: Biology had two outstanding theses and so AURS will award both with funds for the second coming from the Biology Dept.

Biology - Ha Ram Kim for a thesis entitled "Investigating regulation of gene expression during rice-Azospirillum interactions" w/ Dr. Arijit Mukherjee.

Biology - Hannah Parks for a thesis entitled "The Growth of Glyphosate-Resistant Amaranthus Palmeri in Response to Increased Temperature and Water Stress " w/ Dr. Richard Noyes.

Chemistry - Rachel Haislip for thesis entitled "FD&C Dye Content of Popular Beverages" w/ Dr. Rob Mauldin.

Computer Science - No Award.

Geography - No Award.

Mathematics - Azaryah Wilson for a thesis entitled "PDE Methods for Population Movement in an Epidemic" w/ Dr. Long Le.

Physics & Astronomy - No Award.

Summer Research Stipends: ($5000)

Chance Garrett for the proposal entitled "Habitat and diet association of riffle fishes in an Ozark river having a dynamic gravel bed load" with Dr. Ginny Adams and Dr. Reid Adams in the Biology Department.

Mackenzie Hoogshagen for the proposal entitled "The Characterization of Smoke Particulates and Water Quality in Kanembwe, Rwanda" with Dr. Leah Horton in the Biology Department.


Undergraduate Thesis Awards: ($100)

Biology - Ericka Vogel for the thesis entitled, "FtsZ Homolog, FszB’s Role in Dictyostelium discoideum Mitochondrial Dynamics" with Dr. Kari Naylor.

Chemistry - Hayley Heacox for the thesis entitled, "Changes in Mechanical and Chemical Properties of Rate Bones Exposed to Simulated Microgravity and Cosmic Radiation" with Dr. Rahul Mehta.

Computer Science - No Applicant.

Geography - Mackenzie Goff for her thesis entitled, "The History of Christianity in Japan" with Dr. Jeff Allender.

Physics & Astronomy - Brandon Miller for the thesis entitled, "A Geometric Approach to Determining Conservation Laws for Waves on a String" with Dr. Balraj Menon.

Mathematics - Andrew Jensen for the thesis entitled, "Comparing Efficiency of Roundabouts to Traffic Lights in Conway, Arkansas: A Probabilistic and Simulation Approach" with Dr. George Bratton.

Summer Research Stipends: ($5000)

Biology - Frank Griffin with a project entitled "Comparative genomics and host specificity of the Paraburkholderia bacterial symbionts of the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum" working with Dr Tamara Haselkorn in the Biology Department.

Chemistry - Rachel Senn with a project entitled "Synthesis of Multi-Modal Drugs Toward Treatment of Chagas Disease" working with Dr. Gregory Naumiec in the Chemistry Department.


Undergraduate Thesis Awards: ($100)

Biology - Johnathan A. Martindale for the thesis entitled, "E-cadherin expression in prostate cancer cells is modulated by adhesion status" with Dr. Calin O. Marian.

Chemistry - Clement Mugenzi for the thesis entitled, "Synthesis and Characterization of Coordination Polymers Supported by Pyridylamide Ligands" with Dr. Lei Yang.

Computer Science - No Applicant.

Geography - No Applicant

Physics & Astronomy - No applicant

Mathematics - No applicant

Summer Research Stipends: ($5000)

Biology - Natasha Ledger for the project entitled, "Using Comparative Genomics to Study the Formation of Nodule-like Structures in Grasses" with Dr. Arjit Mukherjee.

Computer Science - Aditya Dendukuri for the project entitled, "Real Time Fluid Dynamics in Artroscopy Surgery Simulation" with Dr. Tansel Halic.


Undergraduate Thesis Awards: ($100)

Biology - Michelle Ellington-Burns for the thesis entitled, "The influence of ammonium polyphosphate fertilizer on the metal-glyphosate complexation activity of Roundup" with Dr. Laurie Warren.

Chemistry - Sergio Perez Bakovic for the thesis entitled, "Unprotected Treasure, Buried Secret:  UPLC-TQMS Analysis of Fatty Acids in Ancient Pictographs" with Dr. Karen Steelman.

Computer Science - Bryce Nicholson for the thesis entitled, "Label Noise Correction Methods in Crowdsourcing" with Dr. Victor Sheng.

Geography - No Applicant

Physics & Astronomy - No applicant

Mathematics - No applicant

Summer Research Stipends: ($4000)

Biology - Charles Deckard for the project entitled, "The Effect of Plasma Estrogen on the Biophysical Properties of Bone Using Ovariectomized Mice" with Dr. Brent Hill.

Chemistry - Sam Petty for the project entitled, "Plasma Oxidation and Radiocarbon Dating of Rock Painting from the Orkney Islands" with Dr. Karen Steelman.


Undergraduate Thesis Awards: ($100)

Biology - Madalyn Van Valkenburg for the thesis entitled, "Histology of ecology: How do caterpillars of Theroa zethus (Notodontidae) deactivate host defenses?" with Dr. David Dussord.

Chemistry - Aaron Owen for the thesis entitled. "Synthesis and Application of Metallic Nanostructures: Surface Chemistry and Its Impact on Biologically Important Systems" with Dr. Don Perry.

Computer Science - Clifford Tawiah for the thesis entitled, "Empirical Comparison of Multi-Label Classification Algorithms" with Dr. Shengli Victor Sheng.

Mathematics - No Applicant

Physics & Astronomy - Aaron Johnson for the thesis entitled, "Symmetries and Conservation Laws in Classical Field Theories" with Dr. Balraj Menon.

Summer Research Stipends: ($4,000)

Biology - Hannah Posey for the project entitled, "Comparison of hormone-induced nodule-like structures in cereal roots" with Dr. Arjit Mukherjee.

Biology - Brittanie Kling for the project entitled, "Assembly and Comparative Study of Chloroplast Genomes in Plants: Bioinformatic Analysis of Next Generation Sequencing Data," with Dr. Richard Noyes.


No Applicants.


Undergraduate Thesis Awards: ($100)

Biology - Wilson Alobuia for the thesis entitled, “Axon Degeneration is key Component of Neuronal Death in Amyloid-beta Toxicity” with Dr. Bhupinder Vohra.

Chemistry - Tsung Yen Chen for the thesis entitled, “Influence of Silver and Gold Nanostructures on Adsorption Characteristics of Organic Molecules” with Dr. Don Perry.

Computer Science -  Cody Hudson for the thesis entitled, “Predicting Protein 3D Structure via the Adaptively-Branching Fuzzy Greedy K-Means Decision Forest Model” with Dr. Bernard Chen.

Mathematics - No award given.

Physics & Astronomy - Niravkumar Patel for the thesis entitled, “Elemental and Strength Analysis of the Bones Introduced to Simulated Microgravity” with Dr. Rahul Mehta.


Undergraduate Thesis Awards: ($100)

Biology - No award given.

Chemistry - No award given.

Computer Science - Jason Barnes for the thesis entitled, “Optimal Phase Ordering of Traffic Signals toreduce Stopped Delay” with faculty mentor Dr. Vamsi Paruchuri.

Mathematics - No award given.

Physics & Astronomy - Asami Nishikawa for the thesis entitled, “Aeroacoustic Source Strength Measurement ofa Helmholtz Resonator” with Dr. William Slaton.