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IU-MSI STEM Initiative

STEM Summer Scholars Institute 2014 Overview


The IU-MSI STEM Initiative celebrates its eighth year as the only program of its kind at a public institution. 24 students from our partner institutions and 17 faculty members engaged in vigorous academic research over the course of 8 weeks on both the Bloomington campus and the IUPUI campus. This summer, we kicked off the program with our annual weekend orientation session at Bradford Woods alongside our campus comrades at the School of Informatics, culminating into a wondering bonding experience for over 50 students. Orientation at Bradford Woods has continually allowed students to forge relationships with individuals they otherwise would never have interacted with. Lessons in communication, respect, and diligence were taught and put into practice over the duration of the Institute.

After the weekend ended, the STEM scholars departed to their respective campuses to begin their research experience in their research labs. The students are put up in apartment-style housing on campus, complete with necessary amenities expected from off campus housing. During the course of the summer, Scholars had access to the library resources, student recreation facilities, computing systems, research labs, campus bus service, and dining facilities.

students at Bradford Woods

Formal introductions to professors and laboratory assistants were made at the annual IU-MSI STEM SSI Welcome Luncheon on each campus. This year, we had 6 returning scholars. Over the course of the summer, students are expected to devote 80% of their time to research and practice inside and outside of the lab. In order to maintain a healthy balance, the scholars were encouraged to participate in multiple social, academic, and cultural excursions facilitated through by Institute staff. This year students attended:

  • GRE seminars
  • Academic Breakfast Seminars
  • Scholarly Research Presentation methods
  • Annual Joint-Campus Research Symposium
  • French Lick Historical Preservations Trip
  • Holiday World Trip

The students committed to growing while on campus and even coordinated social activities among themselves in order to support each other and provide relief during necessary times. The students also had access to mentors and graduates of the program—Byron Gipson and Crystal Boston-Clay—who are both enrolled in Ph.D. programs at Indiana University.

The summer concluded with a poster presentation of the research questions pursued by the students and their faculty researchers. Following the hour long presentations, faculty, friends, family, campus partners, and university administrators celebrated completion of the 2014 IU-MSI STEM Summer Scholars Institute at the closing luncheon in the Indiana Memorial Union. Guest speaker Dr. Maxine Watson, past director of the Ronald E. McNair Program, lauded the hefty accomplishments of the students. Dr. Jack Schmit recognized each scholar for their commitment and encouraged them to continue their pursuit of excellence on their individual campuses.

The 2014 IU-MSI STEM Summer Scholars Cohort

2014 STEM SSI Participants

Scholar Faculty Mentor Research Campus
Abenazer Abegaz Kay Connelly, Informatics Depression Screening App Bloomington
Susanna Adjei Kay Connelly, Informatics Serve It: An interactive cutting board that encourages social interactions amongst older adults Bloomington
Amelia Anderson George Rebec, Psychological & Brain Sciences The Effects of Cocaine-Induced Sensitization in Infralimbic Cortex and Nucleus Accumbens Shell After Short and Extended Abstinence Bloomington
Tsion Andine Yuichiro Takagi, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Nanobody-aided X-ray Crystallography of Mediator of Transcription Regulation Part III IUPUI
Meron Asnake Richard Nass, Pharmacology & Toxicology Identification of Acetylated Proteins that Modulate DA Neuron Vulnerability in a C. elegans model of Parkinson's Disease IUPUI
Shanika Daniels Claire Walczak, Medical Sciences Testing the Relationship between MCAK Expression and Taxane Resistance in Breast Cancer Bloomington
Maskerem Etebo Xie Jian, Mechanical Engineering Nanostructured FeOF/Graphene Composite Materials for Cathode of Lithium Ion Batteries IUPUI
Mesafint Fanuel Xie Jian, Mechanical Engineering Tin (IV) Chloride/Graphene Composite Material for Cathode of lithium Ion Batteries IUPUI
Kennth Fiawoyife Todd Royer, Environmental Science Water Quality Monitoring of Clifty Creek in Southeast Indiana Bloomington
Marvin Jones Babak Seradjeh, Physics Characterizing Properties of Electrons Through the Hofstadter Butterfly Bloomington
Esayas Kiros Bogdan G. Dragnea, Chemistry Monitoring Size Variation of Immature Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Like Particles (HIV-1VLPs) Bloomington
Joel Maddirala Kay Connelly, Informatics Dietary Intake Monitory Analysis (DIMA) Bloomington
Aleena McDaniel Andrew R. Kusmierczyk, Biology Mechanism of Assembly of 20S Proteasome IUPUI
Taha Merghani Kay Connelly, Informatics HealthyMe: Real-Time, Self-Monitoring Weight Loss App Bloomington
Mohamed Mohamed Jian Xie, Mechanical Engineering Study of Oxygen Reduction Reaction (ORR) on SO3-functionalized de-alloyed PtNi/Ketjen black catalyst in acid electrolyte IUPUI
Brooklyn Sloss Roger Hangarter, Biology Interaction of THRUMI-NI and ADF3 True Story? Bloomington
Isaiah Sloss Roger Innes, Biology Bloomington
Nardos Tadele Bogdan G. Dragnea, Chemistry Toward the Real-Time Studies of Protein Conformational Changes Bloomington
Nahom Tilahun James P. Hill, Computer Science Real Time Instrumentation on the Android Devices IUPUI
Heidi Williams Mary Murphy, Social Psychology Identify Safety or Economic Reward? How Stigmatized and Non-Stigmatized People Choose Job Opportunities Bloomington
Sade Wilson Michael Lynch, Biology Genetic Variation of DNA Polymerases using MK Tests Bloomington
Lidya Worede Emilia Martins, Biology Bloomington
Robel Worede Jian Xie, Mechanical Engineering Modeling and Calculation of Diffusion Coefficient of Lithium-Ion in the Cathode of Lithium-Ion Batteries IUPUI
Michael Yitna Steven Lulich, Sppech & Hearing Sciences Defining the Occlusal Plane for Three-Dimensional Laser-Scanned Palate Impressions Bloomington

Sarah Larson
Program Coordinator
IU-MSI STEM Initiative
Indiana University

Dr. Jack L. Schmit
Assistant Dean, University Graduate School
Coordinator, IU-MSI STEM Initiative