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Working with experts in their fields: ASU student-faculty projects

November 12, 2013

Arizona State University's emphasis on research, innovation and hands-on learning and problem-solving permeates the curriculum in colleges and departments throughout the university.

According to the ASU Office of Institutional Analysis, 91 percent of undergraduate degree recipients in the Spring 2013 semester had participated in individual study or research projects with faculty. 

Here are a few student-faculty research collaborations currently under way. 

Andrew Alberthonors thesis gives students jump-start on career
Kinesiology major Andrew Albert used his love of cycling as inspiration for his thesis, which focused on the effects of cycling exercises on the improvement of cognitive and motor function of persons with Down syndrome – work he was introduced to as a research assistant in the lab of Shannon Ringenbach, associate professor of kinesiology and director of ASU's Sensorimotor Development Research Lab.

Murphy Bannermangraphic design meets surrealism in collaboration
When Murphy Bannerman answered art history professor Claudia Mesch’s ad for an internship possibility with an e-journal that focused on Surrealism, she knew next to nothing about the subject. It was through a handful of one-on-one meetings with Mesch and the studying of recommended texts and artists that Bannerman came to appreciate Surrealism in a way she says wouldn’t have been possible in the classroom alone.

Shannon Cleary and Tara BoydTeaching children with autism drives research
As the number of American children with autism spectrum disorder continues to escalate, ASU undergraduates Shannon Cleary and Tara Boyd are combining their interest in autism with research projects guided by faculty expert Juliet Hart Barnett. The students plan to use their autism research to fulfill the thesis project requirement for all Barrett, the Honors College students. 

Sarah CronkStudent explores ancient volcanic flows
An earth and space exploration major with a concentration in geology and a student in the Barrett Honors College, Sarah Cronk carries herself with great poise and confidence – for good reason. She has already conducted fieldwork with a well-respected geologist and has experienced the rigors of a research expedition in the Himalayas.

Ashley JohnsonDoes mentoring help the mentor? Student helps find answers
Like nearly 200 students before her, Ashley Johnson has served as a peer mentor for ASU’s Communication Assessment and Learning Lab. Now she is involved in a research project that aims to determine the impact of being a peer mentor on a student’s communication skills after he or she completes a bachelor’s degree.

Faye McGechiestudent works with top scholars in anthropology
Last fall, undergraduate student Faye McGechie spent six weeks in Ethiopia as part of the ASU Hadar field school, led by Institute of Human Origins director and paleoanthropologist William Kimbel. Working with world-renowned anthropology faculty from ASU – as well as students, Afar locals and Australian and Israeli researchers – she surveyed the desert land for fossilized bone.

Tsafrir MorStudents play critical role in research lab's success
Tsafrir Mor, an associate professor in ASU's Biodesign Institute, works extensively with undergraduate researchers. The diversity of the lab is a crucial point in its success. "One clear benefit of having a large student body is the fact that among the many students we have, we have many truly exceptional students," he says. Mor is also affiliated with the ASU Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology.

Luu Nguyenstudent receives real-world training behind the camera
Film and media studies student Luu Nguyen is working hard to accomplish her dream of becoming a film editor. With the help of associate professor Kevin Sandler, she has already completed an internship with the Scottsdale Film Festival and is currently working as a public relations film intern at Olson Communications.

Gerald O'NeillHands-on learning leads student to real-world impact
When Gerald O’Neill decided to pursue engineering as an undergraduate, he primarily saw it as a way to “make it through and get a degree.” However, he soon discovered that the field offered him an opportunity to fuel his wonder. O’Neill worked with Raytheon Missile Systems for his senior capstone project. He attributes much of his success and personal development to his faculty mentor Panagiotis Artemiadis.

Kyle TrebitowskiStudent studies contaminants in urban waterways
An opportunity to expand his knowledge of field and laboratory techniques while helping to learn more about pollution in urban bodies of water was too good for Kyle Trebitowski to pass up. He is one of several undergraduate students working on research with Beth Polidoro, assistant professor of environmental chemistry in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.