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ETSU Undergraduates Present
Research Finding to State Legislators
(February 2008)

ETSU undergraduate researchers in Nashville

 Pictured, from left to right:  Robert Russell, Taylor Burnham, Dr. Charles Manning (Chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents), Megan Ledbetter, Michelle Wood, Dr. Foster Levy, and Maleka Khambaty.

Five East Tennessee State University undergraduate students recently traveled to Nashville to present their research findings to state legislators. This annual event features the research accomplishments of undergraduates from six institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents system.

The ETSU students were selected to showcase the diversity of research activities in which undergraduates are engaged.

The students met with the legislators from their home districts, displayed posters of their work in the Legislative Plaza, and spoke with Tennessee legislative representatives during a lunch, where Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and TBR Chancellor Dr. Charles Manning welcomed students to the Capitol.

The ETSU students and their projects are:

Taylor Burnham, a geology major from Mountain City, who spent several weeks last summer studying the rock formations in the vicinity of newly discovered petroglyphs in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia.

Maleka Khambaty, a biology major from Johnson City, who is working to understand how mothers provision their offspring with calcium. Maleka is comparing calcium deposition in shells of egg-laying snakes with calcium transfer to developing fetuses in live-bearing snakes.

Megan Ledbetter, an art major from Signal Mountain, conducted a photographic study of people in the community where her family has roots—Reeltown, Alabama. Megan is working under the direction of the nationally acclaimed photographic artist Michael Smith.

Robert Russell, a psychology major from Church Hill, has been studying the effect of personality traits on behaviors that lead to dangerous driving. He found that a focus on negative thoughts is associated with aggressive driving habits.

Michele Wood of Jonesborough conducted her data collection at the Smithsonian Institution where she measured the long bones of skeletons. These measurements will be used to develop estimates of stature from bone sizes.

Undergraduate student research as a learning tool has received increased emphasis at ETSU because these projects allow students and faculty to create a personal, comfortable affiliation. Students gain first-hand research experience while working one-on-one with a faculty mentor in areas not traditionally involved in undergraduate instruction.

The Undergraduate Research Program is administered by the ETSU Honors College, although funding is not restricted to students in honors programs. Grants provide support for projects and for travel to professional meetings.

For more information concerning the Undergraduate Research Program at ETSU, contact the Honors College Director of Undergraduate Research Dr. Foster Levy at (423) 439-6926 or levyf@etsu.edu, or visit www.etsu.edu/honors/research.






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USPS Mailing Address:
  Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities
The Honors College at
East Tennessee State University
PO Box 70589
Johnson City, TN 37614-1708

Phone: 423.439.6926 or 423.439.6076
Fax: 423.439.6080
email:  Foster Levy

Street Addresses of The Honors College offices:
  Administration: Yoakley Hall, Room 129
161 S. Dossett Drive
University & Midway Scholars: Ada Earnest House
310 S. Dossett Drive
Honors-in-Discipline Programs: Yoakley Hall, Room 206
161 S. Dossett Drive
Fine & Performing Art Scholars: Yoakley Hall, Room 206
161 S. Dossett Drive
Undergraduate Research: Yoakley Hall, Room 129
161 S. Dossett Drive
International Programs & Services: Yoakley Hall, Room 122
161 S. Dossett Drive

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