Monthly Archives: May 2013

CSU Competition Highlights Student Research

A Humboldt State student found that stem cells have the potential to help the bones of older individuals heal faster after breaking.

A team of Cal State L.A. engineering students developed new experimental designs for supersonic rockets.

A Cal Poly Pomona student is testing a new vaccine for the flu.

These are just a few of the nearly 200 student researchers who presented projects at the CSU’s 27th annual Student Research Competition at Cal Poly Pomona May 10-11.

Ranging from social sciences to engineering to agriculture, the research was as diverse as the students and their academic fields. However, it all shared the power and potential to either help us understand our world, or make it a better place.

The annual CSU competition aims to foster student research and growth in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. All of the students who compete are already winners: in order to participate, they have to be selected by their campus or take top honors in their own campus research competition.

All student projects are judged by professional experts from major corporations, foundations, public agencies, and colleges and universities in California.

The first place winners are listed below. A full list of all participants and winners can be seen here.

Behavioral & Social Sciences

Carlos Gonzalez, CSU San Marcos (Undergraduate)
Ketamine-Induced Conditioned Taste Aversion Differs in Adult and Adolescent Rats

Elaine Clemings, Fresno State (Undergraduate)
The Effects of Classroom Acoustics on Reading Fluency in Primary School Students

Tony Ye, Cal State L.A. (Graduate)
Cognitive Inflexibility after Adolescent Methamphetamine Exposure

Kristi Hendrickson, San Diego State (Graduate)
You Can Look but Don’t Touch: The Real-time Dynamics Between Infants’ Visual and Haptic Responses

Biological & Agricultural Sciences

Amberle McKee, CSU Long Beach (Undergraduate)
Substrate Attributes Determine Gait in a Terrestrial Gastropod

Ashley Chui, CSU Fullerton (Undergraduate)
Aggregation of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins: An Investigation of the Behavior of Stathmin Aggregated in the Presence of Ficoll 70

Brandon Kim, San Diego State (Graduate)
Regulation of Tight Junction Complexes in Brain Endothelium by the Meningeal Pathogen, Group B Streptococcus

Brian Maurer, San Jose State (Graduate)
Optimization of a technique to measure bulk viable biomass, based on the hydrolysis of fluorescein diacetate (FDA) by ubiquitous enzymes

Business, Economics and Public Administration

Adam Sharma, San Francisco State
Patient No-Shows: Identifying the Determinants of a Patient’s Likelihood to No-Show

Creative Arts and Design

Todd Wilkinson, San Francisco State
Re-Connecting Manual Wheelchair Users With Nature


Allee Macrorie and Bijan Ghaffari, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
NMR-Based Kinetic Experiments for Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratories

Engineering & Computer Science
Azizkhan Pathan, Cal State L.A. (Undergraduate)
Experimental Sounding Supersonic Rocket Design

Jamie Adkins, Yuriy Bazylev, Jessica Lopez, and Henry Kwong, Cal Poly Pomona (Undergraduate)
Mechanical Properties of Spider Silk

Shad Kish, San Francisco State (Graduate)
Miniaturizing RFID for Biomedical Implants

Health, Nutrition & Clinical Sciences

Du Cheng, Humboldt State (Undergraduate)
Using a stem cell-based approach to restore bone-healing capacity to aged individuals

Joseph Henriquez, Cal Poly Pomona (Graduate)
Long term protection in Swiss Webster (SW) mice using a liposomal M2e Influenza A (L-M2e) vaccine

Humanities and Letters

Anna Marie Storti, Cal Poly Pomona (Undergraduate)
But You Don’t Look Like a Lesbian: The Portrayal of Queer Life Through a Feminine Experience

Alexandra Katherine Vicknair, CSU Stanislaus (Graduate)
Mountains and Mindsets: The Ideologies and Politics behind the Mineral King Controversy, 1965-1978

Physical & Mathematical Sciences

Christopher Patillo, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (Undergraduate)
Controlling Surface Energy and Wettability with a Light Responsive Linker System

Michelle Gevedon, CSU Fullerton (Graduate)
Zircon Hafnium and Oxygen Isotopic Evidence for Major Compositional Variation in the Mesozoic Mantgle Source Region of the Sierra  Nevada Volcanic Arc

SJSU, Cal Poly Take Charge in Energy Innovation

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama called on America to advance clean energy research and technology. Obama said that investment in clean energy innovation holds the most promise for both our environment and economy.

San José State and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo recently made announcements regarding their roles in such innovation: SJSU has launched a program to train students for the fast-emerging energy storage industry, and Cal Poly received a $1.3 million grant to help turn San Luis Obispo’s wastewater into energy.

Reducing our carbon footprint means making more powerful and longer-lasting batteries. Right now, there are roughly 40 battery-related companies in California—working to solve challenges that are critical to the electric vehicle sector, the solar sector, the wind sector, consumer electronics and more.

In an effort to educate the specialty workforce now needed for this rapidly growing industry, SJSU teamed up with energy storage innovation accelerator CalCharge to launch a “battery university.” The program’s courses are expected to be offered this summer through SJSU’s professional education program.

“The fast-emerging energy storage industry is key to the continuing success of the multi-billion dollar global clean energy economy,” said Jeffrey Anderson, interim executive director of CalCharge. “Ceding this important sector to another country would be a tragic and short sighted mistake.”

Cal Poly’s grant from the US Department of Energy will go toward the university’s involvement in the experimental raceway ponds at the City of San Luis Obispo Water Reclamation Facility—a pilot facility that has been invited to join the US DOE National Algae Biofuel Testbed program.

“Ultimately, we would like our research to help commercialize the use of algae in the wastewater recycling process and production of biofuel,” said Cal Poly civil and environmental engineering professor Tryg Lundquist.

Unlike fossil fuel, biofuel is produced by living organisms. Oils, carbohydrates or fats generated by microbes or plants are refined to create the green and renewable energy.

Lundquist and chemistry professor Corinne Lehr lead Cal Poly’s Algae Technology Group, which will coordinate the effort. The group is composed of faculty and students from six departments, including environmental engineering, chemistry, biology, animal science, food science, and electrical engineering.