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Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium

Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS)

July 25, 2019 in the Kennedy Union Ballroom

Congratulations to the following award winners for their outstanding poster presentations at the 2019 Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium! The judging committee found their presentations to be among the very best. We believe their summer research and discovery experiences will benefit the common good by addressing emerging challenges affecting populations on a local, regional, and global level.

Outstanding Oral Presentations

  • Mackenzie Kincaid (CoRPS) with Dr. Amit Singh and Dr. Muhammad Usman: Understanding the link between sugar and Alzheimer's Disease in the Drosophila eye model
  • Ryan Laing (PSRE) with Dr. Imad Agha: 4-bit Memory Application of Telecom Wavelength Optically Switched GST
  • Taylor McCarthy (CoRPS) with Dr. Garry Crosson, Dr. Kenya Crosson and Dr. Erick Vasquez: Development of Electrospun Lignin Nanofibers for the Adsorption of Bisphenol-S from Water
  • Katie Perry (CoRPS) with Dr. Amit Singh and Dr. Muhammad Usman: Defective proventriculus, Dve regulates Dpp signaling during dorsal eye development

Outstanding Poster Presentations

  • Lean Allen, Stephanie Johnson and Mackenzi Martin (Dean's Summer Fellowship) with Dr. Yvonne Sun: The Role of Propionate during the Interactions of macrophages and Listeria monocytogenes
  • Alex Bassil (SURE) with Dr. Garry Crosson, Dr. Kenya Crosson and Dr. Erick Vasquez: Sonochemical synthesis of lignin-magnetite microcapsules for Bisphenol-S (BPS) removal from water
  • Riley Zelczak (SURE) with Dr. Amy Neidhard-Doll: TeleHealth Multi-Spectrum Lighting and Medical Devices

The goal of the one-day Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS) was to exhibit the quality and breadth of undergraduate research in science and engineering at the University of Dayton. The symposium included guest plenary speaker Fred C. Tenover, Distinguished Alumnus; Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Cepheid, as well as student presentations and a poster session. Breakfast and lunch sessions provided an opportunity for networking with peers.

The ability to communicate scientific ideas and results to a broad range of audiences are necessary skills for scientists and engineers. Presenting research results in a formal setting, whether through oral presentations or posters, is a constructive experience for budding researchers, which strengthens students communication skills and prepares them for careers in the sciences.


Since 2016, the University of Dayton School of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences have greatly expanded opportunities for undergraduates to spend their summers performing research with a faculty mentor. As a top tier research university, it is important for us to not only educate the next generation of researchers but to offer our undergraduate students the opportunity to learn if a career in research is the right path for them.

In the past, each summer research program has offered its own, independent culmination experience: poster sessions, oral presentations and symposia. This year, for the first time, five programs offering summer research programs in the sciences are coming together for a joint symposium.

We welcome you to the inaugural Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS). We are pleased to present 17 oral presentations and 20 poster presentations from 43 outstanding undergraduate researchers.

Participating Programs:

Berry Thesis Summer Institute (BSTI)

Engaging honors students in a full summer, on-campus program of intensive disciplinary research and scholarship, with professional development workshops, community engagement, public presentations and social activities.

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Dean’s Summer Fellowship

Providing an opportunity for University of Dayton College of Arts and Sciences undergraduate students to conduct summer research in any academic discipline under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

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ISE Summer Collaborative Research Project (ISE)

Addressing emerging challenges affecting populations on a local, regional, and global level through research and discovery.

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Physics Summer Research Group (PSRE)

A partnership between the University of Dayton and Morehouse College, Morgan State University and St. Mary’s University in which students perform mentored research under a University faculty member.

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Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE)

Designed to provide an opportunity for undergraduate engineering students who are rising sophomores through seniors to engage in meaningful, hands-on basic and applied research with a University engineering faculty member.

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Ohio Space Grant Consortium RUE

Advancing the nation’s capability in STEM leading to the continued development of a diverse workforce through NASA-related collaborations within Ohio’s network of scientists, researchers, engineers, and educators.

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Participating Universities

  • Arizona State
  • Morgan State University
  • Morehouse College
  • Sinclair Community College
  • St. Louis University
  • St. Mary’s University
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of Dayton
  • Valparaiso University
  • Wilberforce
  • Wright State University
Special Thanks:

We wish to thank all of the members of the Symposium Planning Committee for having the vision to bring all of these programs together in a collaborative manner. Each member has done wonderful work in coordinating this inaugural Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Symposium Planning Committee:

  • Dr. Doug Daniels, Executive Director, Integrative Science and Engineering Center
  • Ms. Judy Grant, Graduate Studies Program Coordinator
  • Dr. Jay Mathews, Assistant Professor, Physics
  • Dr. Phu Phung, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
  • Dr. Margie Pinnell, Associate Dean for Faculty and Staff Development
  • Ms. Carol Wilbanks, Administrative Support, Physics Department
  • Dr. Robert Wilkens, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation