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Student Research Symposium Highlights Academic Achievement

May 21, 2019

On April 26-27, students from a variety of majors gathered to share research and exploration with the University and the community of Dillon, Mont. This year's 13th Annual Research Symposium was organized by Biology Professor Michael Morrow with the UMW Biology Club and the Associated Students of the University of Montana Western.

MW students showcase
UMW students showcase what they have learned and accomplished at the undergraduate level.

Students share research, internship experiences, senior theses and some are awarded scholarships for their hard work and presentations during the two-day symposium selected by a special review panel for the event.

The Montana Western Foundation provided four $100 scholarships that were awarded to the top two posters and the top two oral presentations. The scholarships were donated by Beth Weatherby, Chancellor, Deb Hedeen, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Matt Raffety, Director of Communications, and UMW Foundation Director Roxanne Engellant.

Students had the opportunity to present their findings in an interactive poster segment. Visitors were able to ask questions to students about their specified topics and experiences.

Jarred Kvamme’s “How Nest Site Selection Influences Habitat Characteristics: Inside the Mind of a Goshawk” and Erin McGowan’s “Glacial Deposits of the Isaac Meadows Quadrangle” each won a scholarship with their outstanding poster presentations.

Erin McGowan, UMW student
Erin McGowan, UMW student, in front of her poster titled “Glacial Deposits of the Isaac Meadows Quadrangle.”

Oral presentation winners included Tristin Bullshoe’s “Effect of Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3) on Kidney Injury Markers in Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD)” and Paul Helfrich’s “BHI-Post Florence: A Study of Natural Disasters’ Effects on Biodiversity.”

Tristin Bullshoe
Tristin Bullshoe shares his intensive research he participated in last summer at the University of Utah.

Bullshoe discussed his experience interning at the University of Utah and the Veterans Affairs of Salt Lake. During his internship, Bullshoe helped conduct a study on the effects of sodium bicarbonate on kidney injury markers in diabetic kidney disease.

Karina Lathouris interned for multiple health care positions exploring the possibilities in the medical field.

Reilly English spent time in Africa, learning about the challenging and rewarding aspects of dentistry. His time shadowing and learning from professionals in Ghana has furthered his passion in pursuing dentistry after graduation.

Reilly English, UMW student
Reilly English, UMW student, volunteered abroad with the Montana Dental Outreach Team this past spring.

Biology major Cierra Lamey served as a Laboratory Technician Assistant for World West Sire Services, a beef bull collection business.

The symposium also featured a guest keynote speaker to end the first day of the event. Dr. Andrij Holian, Professor of Toxicology at the University of Montana, spoke about nanomaterials research and how they interact with our daily lives.

Dr. Andrij Holian

His speech “What is it like living with Nanomaterials?” explored the benefits and dangers of engineered nanomaterials (ENM). ENM are materials created by scientists that are typically between 1-100 nanometers in size, and are used in many products. Dr. Holian’s laboratory has been studying these materials and the possible diseases that could result from ENM exposure.