Symposium Awards, 2018

Noah Blower presents his poster to John Cullen at the 2018 Honors's Senior Symposium. Courtesy of the Ferris State SmugMug.

Noah Blower presents his poster to John Cullen at the 2018 Honors’s Senior Symposium. Courtesy of the Ferris State SmugMug.

In 2018, several winners were chosen to be awarded for their Symposium projects for Spring 2018. Below are the abstracts of this year’s winners who were recognized at the Senior Award Banquet on May 3rd.

Spring 2018 Winners: 

Noah Blower, Pharmacy, Growth of Sulfamethazine/Carboxylic Acid Cocrystals in Ethanol

Cocrystallization of compounds is a chemical phenomenon that received a lot of attention from researchers of pharmaceuticals. A cocrystal of an active ingredient in a pharmaceutical product can have different physical properties than the active ingredient alone, including a different solubility, bioavailability, or stability, while maintaining its desired activity. Sulfamethazine, the sulfa drug we were testing in our experiment, has a relatively low solubility in ethanol. In an attempt to overcome this solubility barrier and form sulfamethazine/carboxylic acid cocrystals in an ethanol solution, we tested several carboxylic acids in 2:1, 4:1, and 6:1 carboxylic acid: sulfamethazine ratios.

Thomas ColvinPre-Optometry, Assistance of Williamson-Ether Synthesis Experiments

The purpose behind this research is to determine the effectiveness of allyl bromide against 1-bromoproane during a Williamson-ether synthesis reaction alongside an in-depth consideration of the rate of reaction for o-chlorophenol compared to o-nitrophenol. Based upon the known mechanism for Williamson-ether synthesis reactions, it is expected that allyl phenyl ether will form more readily than phenyl propyl ether. Also, based upon what is known about the impact of electron donating compared to electron withdrawing groups, it is expected that o-chlorophenol will react faster than o-nitrophenol. The importance of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance will be thoroughly stressed throughout this experiment. Nuclear Resonance and Infrared Spectroscopy will be the two most utilized tactics of data collection. The research presented will be collected by students assisted by Thomas Colvin throughout the course of the Spring 2017 semester at Ferris State University under the supervision of Dr. Daniel Adsmond.

Emily Hackbarth, Chloe Masterson, and Megan McGrath, Pre-Optometry and Pharmacy, Cocrystallization of Carboxylic Acids with Sulfamethoxypridazine

Drug action is an integral part of pharmacological studies. Much of a certain drug’s mode of action is dependent on it’s geometry and binding patterns. This study allowed us to understand the crystallization patterns of sulfamethoxypyridazine, a sulfonamide antibacterial, with different carboxylic acids.

Paige Kramer, Pre-Medicine, An Arabidopsis Mutant with Spontaneous Cell Death

Arabidopsis thaliana is a model organism that can be used to identify genes involved in the hypersensitive response in plants. A screen of ~4000 mutated plant lines produced ~30 independent mutants with various defects in short development. One of the mutants exhibited discolored lesions on young plants. Future work will focus on identifying the mutated gene, and how this gene regulated cell death in the hypersensitive response.

Kortney Richardson, Psychology, Does higher Education Really Override Family Influence on Political Attitudes?

Conservatives often claim that colleges are brainwashing students, luring them away from traditional conservative values towards progressive liberal values. Research suggests that while community members, friends, and colleagues have a significant effect on individual’s political preferences, family members heavily influence individuals in terms of their political part affiliation (Boonen, 2017). Some research suggests that both parents have an equal influence on political party affiliation of children (Boonen, 2017), while other research has shown a greater impact from one parent or the other (Zuckerman et al., 2007; Nieuwbeerta and Wittebrood, 1995; Boonen, 2017).

Using a modified version of the AASCU, American Democracy Project, Political Engagement Project Post Survey, this study sought to determine how much influence parents actually have on a students’ political leanings, party affiliation, and political engagement, and whether this changes across the academic career (freshmen v. seniors). Results suggest that student republicans were very likely to have republican parents. In other words, republican students’ party affiliation appeared to align with parental influence,  but this was not true of democratic students. Interestingly, students’ likelihood of belonging to the same party as their parents decreased across their academic careers for both parties. In other words, rather than luring all students toward liberal democratic values, education (or age) appears to move students away from parental views, regardless of which party the parents belong to.