JOHNSON CITY (Posted Feb. 24, 2011) — Each year, student researchers from Tennessee Board of Regents institutions are invited to present their findings in poster format to state legislators in Nashville as part of “Posters at the State Capitol Day.” This year, East Tennessee State University sent seven undergraduates to explain their work in the fields of art, astronomy, biology, health sciences, human development, nursing and psychology.
Each undergraduate student completed an independent and original research project under the direction of a faculty mentor. Members of the group met with six state representatives and five state senators from the regional delegation, along with Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and State Treasurer David Lillard.
Participating student Haley Stinnett noted, “This was a great opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of higher education in Tennessee. Undergraduate research is vital in helping students learn and grow, and it deserves the attention of our state legislators. My participation in undergraduate research has helped me decide on a future career. If I had not had the opportunity to spend time in a laboratory, learning about the scientific process, I may never have found the passion I have for research and for biology in particular.”
Although ETSU’s undergraduate research program is administered by the Honors College, funding is available to any ETSU undergraduate student. Grants provide support for projects and for travel to professional meetings.
The participating students and the topics of their research are:
Laken Bridges of Greeneville, an art major, explored the role of animals as symbols in art, drawing inspiration from her own artwork and from the theories of psychologist Carl Jung.
Chris Hauser, a psychology major from Knoxville, is working on the development of a computer interface that will allow people with severe communication impediments to express themselves and interact with others.
Ryen Lapham, a student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is from Johnson City. He uses wavelength emissions from stars to understand star formation in distant galaxies.
Lindsey McAmis of Elizabethton studies health sciences. She conducted experiments on the effect of stress on the onset of diabetes.
Desiree Raynor of Jonesborough, a nursing major, observed hand-washing compliance among visitors in a hospital neonatal intensive care unit.
Anna Richesin, a Sweetwater native studying human development, conducted an assessment of staffing of a non-profit organization in the face of organizational changes.
Haley Stinnett, a biology major from Maryville, uses lizards as a model system to understand how calcium is provisioned in egg-laying and placental animals.
For further information, contact Dr. Foster Levy of the ETSU Honors College at (423) 439-6926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.