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Six Undergraduate Students Earn Competitive Research Fellowships


JONESBORO – Six Arkansas State University students have received prestigious Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) grants in the annual competition administered through the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE).“SURF awards are such an important opportunity for A-State students to conduct funded research, and I’m so proud of the six students who were awarded this year,” said Dr. Travis Marsico, vice provost for research, innovation and discovery.“We have five students in engineering and one student in biology. I cannot wait to learn more about these students’ projects and their research outcomes.”Those who have been awarded SURF grants will conduct faculty-mentored undergraduate research projects across a variety of fields of study.“It is great to see science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students awarded for SURF this year, and I’m thrilled so many A-State students were competitive with their proposals. Ten percent of the 150 total STEM SURF submissions came from A-State students,” continued Marsico.Marsico, who also serves as executive director of the Arkansas Biosciences Institute, added there were only 33 STEM proposals awarded this year for the SURF grants, and A-State students made up 18% of those proposals with six submissions.

“In other words, our students are punching above their weight on awards,” he added.The six student projects are funded by ADHE’s SURF program with matching grants coming from A-State’s Research and Technology Transfer program.This year’s recipients, their major, project title, grant amount, and A-State faculty mentor are:Cade Bennett of Cabot, a senior civil engineering major, “Road Safety Analysis of Jonesboro, AR,” $2,750, Dr. Zahid Hossain, professor of civil engineering.

Isabella Davis of McRae, a junior biology major with an emphasis in evolution, ecology and organismal biology, “Effects of Lead Exposure to the Immune System of Turtles,” $4,000, Dr. Lori Neuman-Lee, associate professor of physiology.

Morgan Diamond of Jonesboro, a senior mechanical engineering major, “Mechanical Characterization of NiCr Coatings Using Nanoindentation,” $2,750, Dr. Drew Fleming, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

Luke Keen of Salem, a junior civil engineering major, “Efficacy of a Super Air Meter in Evaluating Quality of Air in Concrete,” $4,000, Dr. Zahid Hossain, professor of civil engineering.

John Lindner of Cabot, a senior mechanical engineering major, “Design and Construction of a Motion Sickness Stabilization Platform,” $4,000, Dr. Shivan Haran, associate professor of mechanical engineering.Jeannette Strano of Cherokee Village, a senior mechanical engineering major, “Development of a Vision-Based System for a Pick and Place Robot for Autonomous Sorting,” $2,750, Dr. Shivan Haran, associate professor of mechanical engineering.Any students interested in research and creative endeavors can reach out to the division of Research and Technology Transfer at research@AState.edu.

Carl R. Reng Student Union at Arkansas State University