By Joe Garvey

More than 150 students presented their work at the Douglas and Patricia Perry Honors College's 12th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium on Feb. 8 at the Perry Library Learning Commons.

"As I say every year, this is my favorite event," David Metzger, dean of the Honors College, said in introductory remarks. "This is a unique opportunity for you, not only to meet faculty and students who are doing undergraduate research in areas of interest. You have a chance to find out what's interesting about something you didn't even know existed. And If you want to know what thinking in and out of the box might look like, check out the exciting exhibition of student art."

Eddie Hill, director of undergraduate research, said, "The art exhibit was amazing. The oral sessions were fantastic. Some rooms had nearly every seat taken by folks excited to learn from the students."

Cash prizes were awarded to the top three poster presentations, which were judged by interdisciplinary teams of faculty and campus leaders.

Alden Rinehold and Astha Pohkrel took first place for their poster presentation, "Single-Cell Characterization of Clostridiodies Defficile Motility Using Anaerobic Live Cell Microscopy." Their research examined the anaerobic bacterium responsible for common infections in hospitals due to its resistance to usual treatments and its appetite for sugar byproducts in the intestine. Their research mentor is Erin Purcell (chemistry and biochemistry).

Lauren White, a senior in exercise science, tied for second place. Her research studied the "Effects of Ginger on Performance and Perceptual Responses to Maximal Sprint Cycling." Ginger has been used as a nausea and pain remedy; this research tested its effectiveness when taken before a 30-second Wingate, a cycling test that can induce nausea and leg pain or discomfort. Her research mentor is Patrick Wilson (human movement sciences).

Emily Russell, a senior psychology major who is minoring in dance, also tied for second. She studied the "Validity and reliability of Eye-Tracking as a Measure of Impasse Problem Solving." "What we're trying to do is very experimental," said Russell, whose faculty mentor is Ivan Ash (psychology). "Only about two other articles are identifying fixation and eye tracking for impasse."

The students' work covered a wide range of topics. Summaries of all of the presentations are available at the ODU Digital Commons, and works from the art show will soon be visible there.

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