STEM Undergraduate Research

STEM Undergraduate Research

Undergraduate students get great opportunities they may not get at bigger schools. I was able to get real research experience in both biology and chemistry. When I was interviewing at graduate schools, I was among people who had gone to schools like Harvard, Duke, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, and Yale for their undergraduate education. I felt an equal among students from much larger and more expensive institutions. I was a competitive graduate school applicant because of my extensive research experience. I feel the reason I was there and stood out enough to be accepted above others is because of the opportunities I had at SEMO.  —Twila Mason ’08

/ Redhawks senior tight end and scholar athlete Bud Hilburn is part of a student research team working to determine how cover crops can help manage soil health. Keeping and replenishing nutrients in the soil is vital for farmers across the nation. One way to address this challenge is to make good use of cover crops. The Kennett, Missouri, native majoring in agribusiness, plant and soil science option, is participating in cover crop research as part of a USDA grant-funded four-year project at Southeast’s Barton Research Farm.

/ The microorganism associated with causing dental cavities is at the heart of McNair Research conducted by Breiona Catching, a senior from St. Louis, Missouri, double majoring in microbiology and medical laboratory science. She researched the combined effects of quercetin and nicotine on the metabolic activity of Streptococcus mutans at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis as part of the Diversity Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program.

/ Blake Trickey, a physics major from Jackson, Missouri, spent the summer in National Science Foundation  Research Experiences for Undergraduates, working in the microelectronics photonics program at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville to determine a more cost- and time-effective table top method to perform photolithography. The research involves using a laser to optically pattern an oxide to react with a metal to form a membrane, making artificial photosynthesis a reality.

/ Tyler Howard, a senior from Jackson, Missouri,  spent the summer in Paris, France, where he was awarded a National Science Foundation International Research Experiences for Undergraduates. He spent the summer working with 3D micro-lasers, fabricating barrel-shaped laser cavities and measuring the emission spectrum that results when excited via a laser. Then, he collected and analyzed the data to determine the laser’s operating modes.

/ The Citizen Continental American Telescopic Eclipse (CATE) project to observe the total solar eclipse in August 2017 was recognized during a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space and Technology. A group of Southeast students led by professors, Dr. Peggy Hill and Dr. Mike Rodgers, participated in the project as one of 68 citizen-astronomer groups located along the path of totality across the United States to take images and video of the inner solar corona.

/ Four Southeast Missouri State University students served as temporary research technicians last fall with Dr. Christian De Guzman, Rice Research Fellow. The student technicians included Andrew Collier and Dalton Manuel, both junior agribusiness majors, from Dexter, Missouri; Toby Miller, a junior agribusiness major, from Parma, Missouri; and Jon Walker, a senior agribusiness major, from Bernie, Missouri. The research involved rice variety development through breeding and genetics.

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