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JMU Well-Represented at Undergraduate Research Conferences

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National Conference on Undergraduate Research logo

More information about the National Conference on Undergraduate Research can be found at

James Madison University was well-represented at a pair of undergraduate research conferences this month.

The Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Conference, hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University April 16-17 in Richmond, included presentations from nine JMU students while the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research, hosted by the University of Montana April 15-17 in Missoula, Mont., featured 13 JMU presenters.

The juniors and seniors who presented at the CAA conference represented the psychology, chemistry and political science departments. This was the eighth year of the conference, which features research from the schools that compete athletically in the Colonial Athletic Association.

CAA members are: University of Delaware, Drexel University, George Mason University, Georgia State University, Hofstra University, James Madison University, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Northeastern University, Old Dominion University, Towson University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the College of William and Mary.

Presenters from JMU were:

  • Lauren Krakosky, psychology, senior: Evaluating the Premise of the IAT Reasoning Test, adviser: JoAnne Brewster
  • Kristin MacKinnon, psychology, senior: The role of technological communication on perceived social support, adviser: Monica Reis-Bergan
  • Shari Matray, psychology, senior: The effects of aversive childhood learning on disordered eating behaviors in college women, adviser: Monica Reis-Bergan
  • Alan Mo, chemistry, junior: Gold Adhesion to PMMA Through Spin-Coated POSS-MA, adviser: Brian Augustine
  • Mary Anne Riley, psychology, senior: The Negative Impacts of Relationship Contingent Self-esteem and its Connection with Self-Objectification in Women: adviser: Arnold Kahn
  • Jacob Smith, chemistry, senior: Trace Elemental Analysis in Fish Tissue by Laser Ablation ICP-MS, adviser: Dan Downey
  • Benjamin Soltoff, political science, senior: Aging America: Public Policy Implications of Licensing Regulations for Older Drivers, adviser: Chris Koski
  • Ariana Vandetveldt, psychology, senior: Social Discounting of Non-Monetary Rewards, adviser: Bryan Saville
  • Curtis White, chemistry, senior: Proton chemical shifts for alcohols in the vapor phase and dilute solutions, adviser: Tom DeVore

The sophomores, juniors and seniors who presented at NCUR represented the chemistry, biology, physics and history departments. The conference generally attracts 2,600 scholars and their faculty mentors from colleges throughout the U.S. and features undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study.

Presenters from JMU were:

  • Anne Battaglia, chemistry, senior: Estimation Of Nutrient and Sediment Loading In Lake Shenandoah, Rockingham County, Virginia: A Continuation of a 1996-97 Study, adviser: Dan Downey
  • Matthew Bradley, chemistry, senior: Analysis of the Time Evolution of Structures in Poss-Ma Thin Films Deposited By Spin Casting, adviser: Brian Augustine
  • Brittany Danzig, chemistry, sophomore: The Effects Of Salt and DNA on RECA Stability and Unfolding, adviser: Gina MacDonald
  • Allison Galway, biology, senior: Influenza Pathogenesis and Epidemiology: A Study in Three Diverse Locations, adviser: Louise Temple
  • Kelly George, chemistry, junior: The Synthesis Of Nitrogen-and-Sulfur-Containing Heterocycles From Cyclopropanol Fragmentation, adviser: Kevin Minbiole
  • Joe Hardcastle, physics, senior: Fabrication of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube Oscillators for the Study of Torsion Properties, adviser: Scott Paulson
  • Winston Hensley, physics, senior: Characterizing Photomultiplier Tubes, Designing a Test Stand, and Implementing these Tests, adviser: Kevin Giovanetti
  • Nick Herge, physics, senior: Photomultipler tube testing, adviser: Kevin Giovanetti
  • John Kroon, physics, senior: Glue Testing for JLab CLAS12 Detector, adviser: Kevin Giovanetti
  • Jennifer Phillips, chemistry, senior: Success of liming a “sinking” stream versus a perennial surface stream, adviser: Dan Downey
  • Kelly Weber, history, senior: Cracks in the Pedestal: The Evolution of Virginian Women’s Gender Roles during and after the Civil War, adviser: Philip Dillard
  • Patrick Wiggins, chemistry/biology, junior: Natural Product Isolation Project, adviser: Kevin Minbiole
  • Christopher Willis, physics, senior: Direct Observation of the Sigma- Hyperon in Electroproduction Using the Clas Detector at Jefferson Lab, adviser: Ioana Niculescu

Published April 2010