FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Six Indiana University Bloomington students have been chosen to receive the Provost’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity. The award recognizes undergraduates who collaborate on or spearhead excellent or original academic work.
Recipients of the 2014-15 awards are Radhika Agarwal, in the category of Natural and Mathematical Sciences; Rachel Cooper and Neil Craney, Professional Inquiry; Ryan Galloway, Creative and Performing Arts; Jordan Goodmon, Humanities; and Gabrielle Malina, Social and Applied Sciences.
The Provost’s Award for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity was created in 2010 to recognize exceptional student work and the importance of undergraduate research and creative activity. Students are nominated by professors and are then selected by a committee of administrators and faculty. Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel will present the awards at a reception April 23 at the Indiana Memorial Union.
Recipients of the award receive a certificate and $500. Their faculty mentors receive a commemorative pin, $500 in personal research funds and $500 to support future mentoring of undergraduates. Award sponsors include the offices of the provost, vice provost for undergraduate education and vice provost for faculty and academic affairs.
Radhika Agarwal, from Carmel, Ind., is a senior majoring in biochemistry and biology. Her career goals include conducting research in bacterial antibiotic resistance and biofilm formation and teaching medical students. Her mentor is Yves Brun, Clyde Culbertson Professor of Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Agarwal is recognized for her work investigating the mechanism of bacterial adhesion to surfaces. She completed almost all of the research on her own and wrote her research paper on her own as well, an uncommon feat for an undergraduate microbiologist.
“The depth of thought and knowledge of the literature in the area of her project are impressive and more of the level of a second- or third-year graduate student,” Brun said.
Rachel Cooper, from Bement, Ill., and Neil Craney, from Ivesdale, Ill., are both majoring in nursing. Their mentor is Desiree Hensel, assistant professor in the School of Nursing.
Cooper and Craney are recognized jointly for their study “Operating Room Personnel’s Perceptions of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.” Their research discovered three distinct patterns of perception among the CRNAs’ co-workers: highly supportive, seeing the necessity for supervision and preferring an anesthesiologist. This research is particularly impactful because most of the literature surrounding barriers to CRNA practice to date has focused only on the physician and nurse interface.
“A lot of rigor was demonstrated in this body of work. The finding that technicians may be a barrier toward this nursing role gives way for further research,” the review committee said.
Ryan Galloway, from Crawfordsville, Ind., is a senior dance major. He has been a featured solo and lead dancer in works by internationally renowned guest artists while at IU. In spring 2014 he appeared in the lead dancing role in IU Theatre’s production of “Guys and Dolls.” His mentor is Elizabeth Shea, associate professor in the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Galloway is recognized for his performance in “Minor Bodies” at the National College Dance Festival, the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival and the American Dance Festival and with the professional dance company Dance Kaleidoscope.
“Mr. Galloway's technical expertise, combined with his grace, fluidity and expressiveness were so impressive. The level of dancing by both performers is extremely high, and I would never have guessed I was watching an undergraduate performance,” the review committee said.
Jordan Goodmon, from Bloomington, Ind., is a senior vocal and performance major in the Jacobs School of Music. Goodmon is recognized for her creative poetry originally written for a Medieval Dream Visions course taught by Karma Lochrie, professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Lochrie said that not only did Goodmon embrace what she refers to as a “dreaded course,” but she exceeded the demands of a poetry assignment by using rhymed poetic meter that explicitly imitates the 14th-century middle English poem that is her project’s source. Goodmon copied the stanza structure of the original poem, using 12-line stanzas and a rhyme scheme while successfully imitating the alliteration of the original poem.
“What truly made this project shine was the creativity and originality of the piece produced coupled with a clear and coherent understanding of the original work," the review committee said. "As the faculty mentor points out, there is evidence of knowledge of technical details as well as themes and the historical context. Finally, I simply enjoyed reading this work. This student has a gift of expression and has tremendous potential for continued achievement.”
Gabrielle Malina, from Columbus, Ind., is a political science and Spanish major. Her mentor is Christopher DeSante, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Malina is recognized for her political science departmental honors research project, in which she investigated whether conservative Christians feel cognitive dissonance between the Republican Party’s stand favoring the reduction of government social welfare programs and the Biblical injunction for believers to feed the hungry and help the homeless, and if so, whether they resolve that dissonance in favor of their partisanship or their religious affiliation.
DeSante and Malina are co-authoring a paper, based on Malina’s findings, that has already been accepted for presentation at the Midwest Political Science Association’s annual meeting this April in Chicago.
“It's difficult to be unimpressed with the caliber of Ms. Malina’s work and the contribution that Dr. DeSante has made to her development," the review committee said. "Ms. Malina’s work is truly exceptional. Professor DeSante has truly given her an introduction into the processes of planning, funding, executing and reporting on research with human subjects.”