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The University of Alabama

Randall Research Program Honors 31 UA Students

TUSCALOOSA. Ala. — Thirty-one University of Alabama undergraduate researchers received recent recognition through the Randall Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award Program.

The program recognizes the best research activity conducted by UA undergraduates, who are nominated by faculty and staff research directors.

Seated: Shuwen Yue, Elizabeth Haley, Samantha Tilson, Yuliya Birman and Sarah McFann Standing from left:  Dr. Shane Sharpe, dean of the Honors College; Dr. Cathy Randall; and Courtney Ricciardi, Meredith Rickard, Daniel Klein, Sean Miller, Annemarie Lisko, Michael Carton, Cooper Vajner, Grant Fairchild, Maria Chavez, Justin Magrath, Robert David Ward, John David Roveda, Amanda Bennett, David Wallace, Erin Nicole West, Andrew Raddatz, Courtney Rentas, Michael Raddatz, Alexander Jenkins, Grace Silverstein, Kyle Glisson, Jonathan Laufe, Mr. Mike Reilly, Walker Philips, Randy Arnold, Thomas Ludwig, Mark Ortiz

Seated: Shuwen Yue, Elizabeth Haley, Samantha Tilson, Yuliya Birman andSarah McFann
Standing from left : Dr. Shane Sharpe, dean of Honors College, Dr. Cathy Randall, Courtney Ricciardi, Meredith Rickard, Daniel Klein, Sean Miller, Annemarie Lisko, Michael Carton, Cooper Vajner, Grant Fairchild, Maria Chavez, Justin Magrath, Robert David Ward, John David Roveda, Amanda Bennett, David Wallace, Erin Nicole West, Andrew Raddatz, Courtney Rentas, Michael Raddatz, Alexander Jenkins, Grace Silverstein, Kyle Glisson, Jonathan Laufe, Mike Reilly, Walker Philips, Randy Arnold, Thomas Ludwig  and Mark Ortiz

In 1997, the Randall Publishing Co., now Randall-Reilly Publishing, and the H. Pettus Randall III family created the Randall Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award Program in memory of Henry Pettus Randall Jr., a distinguished UA alumnus and creator of Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

A panel of UA research faculty and past winners of the Burnum Distinguished Faculty Award selects the winners.

Samantha Tilson, a chemical engineering major from Littleton, Colorado, received the Henry Pettus Randall Jr. Endowed Research Scholarship for her senior year at UA. This scholarship is awarded to the top vote recipient who also is a member of the Computer-Based Honors Program.

Tilson presented research titled “The Effects of Y-27632 on the Propagation of Glioblastoma Stem Cells.” Her mentor is Dr. John Kim, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering.

The other winners are:

Randy Arnold, Northport: “Iconography of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex: Tracing the Mono-myth of the Heroic Twins.” Nominator: Dr. Catherine Roach, professor in New College.

Amanda Bennett, Stone Mountain, Georgia: “Through the Eyes of Another: Representation of African American Women in Native Son and Invisible Man.” Nominator: Dr. Trudier Harris, professor of English.

Yuliya Birman, Carol Stream, Illinois: “Investigation of Charged Residues in the Active Site of Isopropylmalate Synthase in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.” Nominator: Dr. Patrick Frantom, assistant professor of chemistry.

Michael Carton, San Diego: “Optimization of Magnetic Tunnel Junctions and Growth of Heusler Alloys.” Nominator: Dr. Subhadra Gupta, professor of metallurgical and materials engineering.

Dr. Shane Sharpe, Dr. Cathy Randall, Samantha Tilson and  Mike Reilly

Dr. Shane Sharpe, Dr. Cathy Randall, Samantha Tilson and Mike Reilly

Magdalena Chavez, Birmingham: “iPad: A Tool for Distraction for Children Receiving an Immunization.” Nominator: Dr. Sherwood Burns-Nader, assistant professor of human development and family studies.

Grant Fairchild, Geneva, Illinois: “Identification of miRNAs that modify α-synuclein-induced neurodegeneration.” Nominator: Dr. Guy Caldwell, University distinguished research professor of biological sciences.

Kyle Glisson, Auburn:Calorimetric investigation of the interaction of hyperbranched polyelectrolytes with small organic molecules in water.” Nominator: Dr. Marco Bonizzoni, assistant professor of chemistry.

Elizabeth Haley, Huntsville: “Importance of acidic pH and basic fibroblast growth factor for glioblastoma stem cell media optimization.” Nominator: Dr. John Kim, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering.

Alexander Jenkins, Suwanee, Georgia: “Design and Simulation of 3-D Printed Devices for Gas-Liquid Contacting.” Nominator: Dr. Jason Bara, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering.

Daniel Klein, Oakland, Tennessee: “A Web-Based Tool For Exploring Supreme Court Opinions.” Nominator: Dr. Joseph Smith, associate professor of political science.

Jonathan Laufe, Pittsburgh: “Evaluating Criminal Opportunities on the Tor Network.” Nominator: Dr. Diana Dolliver, assistant professor of criminal justice.

Annemarie Lisko, Gallup, New Mexico: “Citizens of the South.” Nominator: Dr. Lauren Cardon, assistant professor of English.

Thomas Ludwig, Brunswick, Ohio: “Mechanism of Bismuth Telluride Exfoliation in an Ionic Liquid Solvent.” Nominator: Dr. C. Heath Turner, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering.

Justin Magrath, Mandeville, Louisiana: “Effect of Salinamycin on Glioblastoma Cancer Stem Cells.” Nominator: Dr. John Kim, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering.

Sarah McFann, Arlington, Tennessee: “Metabolic Flux Model to Optimize Butanol Production in Clostridium tyrobutyricum.” Nominator: Dr. Margaret Liu, assistant professor, chemical and biological engineering.

Sean Miller, Chesterton, Indiana: “Gas-Phase Acidities of Phosphorylated Amino Acids and Their Corresponding Amides.” Nominator: Dr. David Dixon, Robert Ramsay professor of chemistry.

Mark Ortiz, Birmingham: “What Dreams May Come: Toward a Radical Politics of Becoming in the Anthropocene Era.” Nominator: Dr. Ellen Griffith Spears, assistant professor in New College.

Walker Philips, Birmingham: “Evaluating Criminal Opportunities on the Tor Network. Nominator: Dr. Diana Dolliver, assistant professor of criminal justice.

Andrew Raddatz, Austin, Texas: “Optimization of Glioblastoma Cancer Stem Cell Culture.” Nominator: Dr. John Kim, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering.

Michael Raddatz, Austin, Texas:Glioblastoma Cellular Membrane Proteomic Analyses Reveals the Subtype-specific Expression of Vimentin and CD44.” Nominator: Dr. John Kim, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering.

Courtney Rentas, Naperville, Illinois: “Two different research efforts: (1) Bacterial products cause cell stress and neurotoxicity and (2) Discovery of a novel RNA splicing protein that is protective in a Parkinson’s animal model.” Nominator: Dr. Kim Caldwell, professor of biological sciences.

Courtney Ricciardi, Tallahassee, Florida: “Study 1: Children’s Involvement in Meal Planning: Effects on Physical Health, Food Choices, and School Engagement; Study 2: Teacher and Principal Perspectives on the DCGP School Garden Curriculum.” Nominator: Dr. Caroline Boxmeyer, associate professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine.

Meredith Rickard, Atascadero, California: “From Waste to Fuels and Feedstocks: Reduction of CO2 Using Main-Group Catalysts.” Nominator: Dr. David Dixon, Robert Ramsay professor of chemistry.

John David Roveda, Mobile: “New Ionic Polymers for Advanced Material Applications.” Nominator: Dr. Jason Bara, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering.

Grace Silverstein, Paducah, Kentucky: “Numerical Modeling of Laser Plasma Plume Expansion.” Nominator: Dr. Alexey Volkov, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

Cooper Vajner, Bay Minette: “Seebeck Coefficients and Electrical Conductivities of PEDOT:PSS/Te Nanowire Organic/Inorganic Composites.” Nominator: Dr. Hung-Ta Wang, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering.

David Wallace, Brentwood, Tennessee: “Tethered Imidazole-Amines for CO2 Capture and Polymer Building Blocks.” Nominator: Dr. Jason Bara, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering.

Robert David Ward, Madison: “Molecular evolution and ecology of algae.” Nominator: Dr. Juan Lopez-Bautista, professor of biological sciences.

Erin Nicole West, Terre Haute, Indiana: “Characterization of active site variants of isopropylmalate synthase.” Nominator: Dr. Patrick A. Frantom, assistant professor of chemistry.

Shuwen Yue, Tuscaloosa: “Computational Studies of Catalytic Processes for Conversion of Biofuels and Controlling Organic Reactivity.” Nominator: Dr. David Dixon, Robert Ramsay professor of chemistry.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Richard LeComte, media relations, rllecomte@ur.ua.edu, 205/348-3782
  • SOURCE: Jane Batson, program manager, Computer-Based Honors Program, 205/348-5029, jbatson@ua.edu