Honors students present final projects during poster presentation

Win Cowger presents his research about trash accumulation in streams during the Honor’s Program spring poster presentation in the Great Hall on April 29, 2015. 

Jordan Reding

The Great Hall of the Memorial Union was filled Wednesday with honors students presenting their capstone projects to faculty and fellow students.

ISU honors students attend a poster presentation where they present and answer questions about their individual projects at the end of each semester.

Freshmen in the mentor program and seniors graduating from the honors program were both presenting their projects at the poster presentation.

The presentation was open campus-wide. Faculty members, academic advisers and students’ project advisers were all there to view the numerous presentations created by the students.

“I was paired with a faculty member and given the chance to experience research,” said Kaelee Plante, freshman in genetics and member of the first year mentor program. “It’s nice that we can present the research that we have been doing over the past semester.” 

Plante’s project showed research on the characterization of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell growth on biodegradable polylactic acid films used to facilitate peripheral nerve regeneration. 

Stephanie De Graaf’s capstone project looked at how visual and spatial skills relate to the understanding of statistical graphics. De Graff is a senior in the honors program majoring in mathematics. 

“I found that gender is a big predictor of how people understand statistical graphics, and your field of study is a predictor as well,” De Graaf said.

The seniors presenting their capstone projects could choose what they wanted to do their research on.

“It’s generally something that you’ve grown interested in over the years you’ve been in school,” De Graff said.

Ryan McDonnell, freshman in pre-business, created his project with an adviser. He did his research on tattoo-based noninvasive glucose monitoring.

“Instead of people with diabetes pricking their hand to test glucose levels, it’s a tattoo that goes on your arm and does the reading,” McDonnell said.

Freshmen or seniors, the students with projects benefited from the poster presentation.

“In some cases the students are challenged and asked questions that move their project forward, and in other cases, it gives students the opportunity to have that skill set of presenting and improve those skills,” said Laurie Law, administrative director of the ISU Honors Program. 

Students work hard all semester to create their research projects, and students and faculty think it is good for the students to be able to present their research.

“Anytime you are engaged in a capstone project that you have been doing preliminary research on, it’s good to be able to synthesize that information and explain it to a large group of people and get feedback,” Law said.