2022 Program

38th Annual Diebold Symposium
April 28-30, 2022

Keynote Address by Dr. Adriana Briscoe

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine

“The evolution of coloration and color vision in butterflies

Thursday, April 28, 2022
4:10-5:30 PM, Dow 226
Reception to follow

Dr. Briscoe’s home page

Keynote summary: Unlike aquatic animals, among terrestrial animals that use color as a social signal, there is surprisingly little evidence for the correlated evolution of color vision and coloration. Here I describe the color vision system of Heliconius butterflies, a genus of butterflies that evolved a unique ultraviolet opsin via gene duplication and adaptive evolution. At the same time that this new photopigment gene emerged in Heliconius, these butterflies evolved a new 3-hydroxy kynurenine-based yellow coloration on the wing. Intracellular recordings demonstrate that Heliconius eyes contain at least five spectrally-distinct classes of photoreceptor, including ultraviolet-, violet-, blue-. green- and red-sensitive photoreceptors. Behavioral experiments further demonstrate that the evolution of two ultraviolet opsins in Heliconius has paved the way for enhanced ultraviolet color vision in females of these butterflies, perhaps associated with feeding behavior, while visual modeling suggests that the evolution of the new violet receptor has enhanced male vision for yellow color discrimination. Taken together, these results suggest that the evolution of a new color receptor in the eye, together with a new yellow color on the wing, evolved as the result of both natural and sexual selection.

profile picture of Adriana Briscoe

About Dr. Briscoe: Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Adriana D. Briscoe grew up in Colton, California. She received a BA in Philosophy, a BS in Biological Sciences, and an MA in Philosophy from Stanford University and a PhD in Biology from Harvard University. She is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine. Briscoe is known for studies of how color vision mediates ecological interactions between butterflies, host plants, and the environment, in the context of mimicry and host plant recognition. Her discoveries have been featured on television, radio and in museums both in the USA and in Europe. She has written and spoken about the importance of teachers in developing future scientists and the need for increased funding for Black, Indigenous people of color (BIPOC) teacher training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in order to create a more just and diverse scientific workforce. Briscoe previously held a research fellowship at St. John’s College, University of Cambridge, U.K. and is a current Guggenheim Fellow. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the California Academy of Sciences, and she was honored with the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, the first woman and third person overall to have been given all three of these awards. Author of numerous articles and book chapters, Dr. Briscoe has delivered over 100 invited lectures. Her writing has appeared in The Conversation and LatinoRebels and in over 30 media outlets.

Friday, April 29
4:30-7:00 PM

Student Poster Presentations
Hornet Suite at the Field House

Poster Session 1, 4:30-5:40 PM


Anna Fetter

Trail based vegetation surveys of invasive plant species on Riparian Wetland Southwest Michigan

Anna Fetter (Dr. Binney Girdler, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

Riparian wetlands have a wide range of functions, they provide a unique home to many plants and animals and they often serve as a buffer between humans and nature. These wetlands face many threats; draining for agricultural purposes, waste entering them through the streams, the effects of climate change leading to a change in periods of drought, and the spread of non-native plants. While waste and the draining of wetlands is known to destroy them, there is not yet much known about the effect of invasive species spread in these areas and effect of human disturbance. We conducted our research on a wetland by Wolf Lake in Van Buren County privately owned by the Diget family. This study focused on surveying this mix of forested bottomland and riparian system. We also mapped man made trails and non-native plant species. Using Trimble GPS, we created a survey study looking at patterns of invasive plant species distribution, trail effect, and the location of native plant species. This information was then combined with the oral history of the land from its owners, the Diget family, who have been living on it for over half a century. The purpose of this study was to map most of the man-made trails on the study site and look at the patterns in the spread of native and invasive plant species. Our data showed that most open sky with high levels of sunlight was on trails due to lack of trees on the road, however there was a separate effect of the trail itself on the plants beyond just the increase in light levels. Native species abundance increased in low light and low anthropogenic stress areas that were off-trail, while invasive species abundance increases on-trail points with high levels of light and human disturbance.

Penelope Brewer

My experience collecting seeds of native wildflowers in the Kalamazoo area

Penelope Brewer (Dr. Ann Fraser, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

I collected and sorted the seeds of various native plants from the wildflower sanctuary and other locations around Kalamazoo College’s campus to prepare them for planting in the spring. I also learned about, and will discuss, the importance of native wildflowers in their ecosystems.

Rachel Cornell

Tracking insecticidal activity across entomologic assays informing peptide-based pesticide development

Rachel E. Cornell (Dr. Daniel Hulbert, Vestaron Corporation, Kalamazoo, MI).

At the forefront of addressing insecticide resistance is the development of peptide-based insecticides. These are highly effective at pest management without harmful environmental and non-target species impacts commonly associated with synthetic pesticide use. This study analyzes the development of Vestaron’s second peptide-based product, 7304; the original peptide (7300); and two other strains of the peptide family with beneficial mutations (7302 and 7305). The peptides were assessed in proportion knockdown injection and feeding assays with house flies (M. domestica), corn earworm larvae (H. zea), and fruit flies (D. melanogaster). Based on prior research, it was hypothesized there would be a significant difference in 95% confidence intervals between at least two of the 7300 family peptides across the assays (H0: No significant difference in 95% confidence intervals between the 7300 family peptides). KD50 values and 95% confidence intervals generated in R Studio revealed there was no significant difference between the 7300 family peptides in the injection assays and D. melanogaster feeding assay, failing to reject the null hypothesis. Conversely, the corn earworm feeding assay rejected the null hypothesis. These conclusions were consistent with preliminary findings. The corn earworm feeding assay elucidates 7300’s inability to withstand the Lepidoptera gut and exemplifies 7302’s increased gut stability due its strain mutation. Imidacloprid, Spinosad, and Vestaron’s product Spear were included in assays to compare 7300 family peptides with insecticides used in the pest-management industry. Peptide-based insecticides compete with chemical synthetics, minimize environmental and non-target species impacts, and contribute to insect resistance management practices.

Molly Ratliff

Amphibian Chytrid Fungus impacts Size Distribution of Boreal Toads in Rocky Mountain National Park

Molly A. Ratliff (Dr. Erin Muths, United States Geological Survey, Fort Collins, CO).

Amphibians have unique physical characteristics that increase their susceptibility to environmental disturbances. Their permeable skin and ectothermic manner of thermoregulation coupled with pathogen exposure are contributing factors to the global decline of amphibians. Additionally, most amphibians are biphasic, meaning they have two distinct habitat requirements over the course of their life. An aquatic environment is required for reproduction, while feeding and wintering as adults takes place on land. Amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]) is a skin pathogen affecting amphibian populations globally, including the populations of boreal toads in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in Colorado. We conducted population monitoring in tandem with size measurements of individual boreal toads found at two sites in RMNP. Lost Lake is a site that tests positive for Bd and Spruce Lake is a site with no evidence of Bd. Male and female toads found in the presence of Bd at Lost Lake had shorter snout-to-vent length (SVL) measurements and lower mass, suggesting that Bd may effect body size. Reproductive capacity may be altered by body size, so understanding the relationship between Bd and body size is important for species conservation of endangered boreal toads.

Lia Schroeder

Mass Spectrometry Analysis of Biomarker CA125 for Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer Recurrence

Lia A. Schroeder (Dr. Rebecca Whelan, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN).

High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is a commonly recurring form of epithelial ovarian cancer characterized by the detection of recurrent lesions and is frequently fatal (R21 proposal, 2021; Lisio et al., 2019). Early detection of HGSOC recurrence currently relies on a double-determinant immunoassay that analyzes levels of resurgence for ovarian cancer biomarker CA125 (MUC16) (Schuster-Little et al., 2020). Targeted mass spectrometry-based methods may be an attractive alternative to current methods for the ability to reliably identify and quantify low abundance proteins like MUC16 with higher sensitivity and accuracy. Similarly, bottom-up proteomics allows biological samples, such as MUC16, to undergo protein extraction, enzymatic digestion, and tandem mass spectrometry ion fragmentation to determine relevant sequence data. Using ovarian cancer cell line, OVCAR3, cells were cultured with and without fetal bovine serum (FBS) and filtered through 3 and 100 kDa molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) filters. Protein digests and desalting protocols developed by Schuster-Little et al., 2020 were performed to prepare samples for analysis on the Q Exactive (QE) LC-MS/MS mass spectrometer. Samples loaded on the QE were run for 48- and 90-minutes under data-dependent acquisition (DDA) and parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) methods for comparison. Optimized method conditions involved filtering FBS (–) samples through the 100 kDa MWCO filters with 90-minute runtimes using the DDA method. We hope to further optimize the PRM method to apply targeted, bottom-up proteomics and mass spectrometry analysis for various sample types to verify that these methods may provide another early detection method for ovarian cancer recurrence.

Emmelyn DeConinck

Mitigation of Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis in Rats via Augmented Immunomodulation of Endogenous Marrow-Derived Stem Cells

Emmelyn DeConinck (Dr. Mackenzie Fleischer, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI).

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures are an extremely common injury in young, often female, athletes. Whether reconstruction surgery is performed or not, ACL ruptures are a particularly devasting injury that leads to alterations in gait biomechanics. The pain, inflammation, and stress on the articular cartilage of the knee that accompanies gait after an ACL rupture is why these injuries are the leading precursor to post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). PTOA is a subcategory of osteoarthritis that occurs when a traumatic injury leads to deterioration of the tissue, ligaments, or bones of a joint. The aim of this study was to use DigiGait analyzing software to determine if the use of a stem cell mobilizer, AMD3100, and an anti-inflammatory enzyme, indoleamine 2,3- dioxygenase (IDO), could ameliorate the risk of PTOA induced by a non-invasive anterior tibial subluxation ACL injury in rodents. Female Lewis rats underwent an isolated ACL rupture before being assigned to one of four possible treatment groups: Saline & empty liposomes (control), Saline & IDO (IDO only), AMD & empty liposomes (AMD only), and AMD & IDO. Preliminary findings suggest that the therapeutic combination of AMD3100 and IDO provides an observable difference in returning gait biomechanics to pre-injury conditions. This study identified IDO having effects in the acute timeframe by augmenting the immune cascade after increased inflammation. The effects of AMD3100 are seen in the post-acute timeframe to promote articular cartilage prevention associated with improved gait biomechanics compared to untreated controls. Research regarding AMD3100 and IDO therapeutic treatment could ultimately reduce the severity or onset of PTOA in humans, which would decrease the need for total knee replacement surgeries.

Kai Ketola

The Construction of gRNA Using CRISPR Gene Editing in Transgenic Danio Rio

The Clustered Regulatory Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) system has become a powerful technique for genome editing due to its flexibility, simplicity, andaccuracy. It has been discovered that the CRISPR system can be used to perform site-directed mutagenesis in transgenic zebrafish lines while co- injecting a donor plasmid, short guided RNA (sgRNA), and Cas9 mRNA. Few transgenic zebrafish lines report harmful mutations from differences in cellular division processes that result in morphogenesis defects. In zebrafish, one of these mutations is known as the harpy (hrp) mutation. The hrp mutation is characterized by the occurrence of premature stop codons which leads to a cease of cellular division before all stages of development are complete (Riley et al., 2010). In this study, the CRISPR system will be used to genetically edit DNA sequences of hrp mutants by targeting the hatching gland promoter (hgg) responsible for the early arrest mutation. Here I report efficient site-specific DNA integration of target insert minustarget364. Through molecular cloning techniques, polymerase chain reactions (PCR) and sequencing events, cleavage of the donor plasmid and the integration of donor DNA for one out of two vector clones successfully took place. With the integration of target insert minustarget364, future directions may include injecting and observing protein fluorescence in zebrafish that have an upstream activating sequence (UAS) driving a color reporter. This study is representative of the flexibility and simplicity of DNA integration when using the CRISPR system.

Rosemary Bryant

Identifying positive brain development from bonding between infants and caregivers and implementing programs to achieve these results for high-risk infants

My experiential SIP will be a reflection on how consistent social interactions affect brain development in children ages 0-5 at the YWCA. My focus will be on enhancing social interactions to reduce the negative effects that are caused by a lack of consistent interactions for children who have a lack of familiar faces. I will be volunteering in the classrooms at the Edison location for 3-4 hours a week. The reason I have chosen the YWCA is because they have informed me in the past on how the employees are at a constant rotation and how the parents of the children usually have to work long hours. Because of this, these children are not having consistent interactions with familiar faces. The lack of connections built with people in their lives can have effects on their brain development and pave the way for their behavior later in life. I will be volunteering for over 100 hours and writing about my experience and what I am doing with the kids. In my SIP I will summarize research that identifies the negative effects resulting from a lack of familiar caregivers. I will also do some background research on how the brain is developing with consistent interactions through scientific articles.

Megan Williams

Animal Care Internship and Shadowing at the Racine Zoo

Megan Williams (Angie Sagert, Racine Zoo, Racine, WI).

During the summer of 2021, I dedicated much of my time working at the Racine Zoo as an animal care intern. In this position, I was granted the opportunity to observe, and then later mimic, the daily tasks and skill sets of most of the zookeepers employed there. The program they have established is constructed in a way that allows for interns to receive thorough training and experience in all animal routines. This is different and exceptional to most other animal care internships in which interns only work with one species or with a limited number of species at the zoo. Not only was I taught how to care for both exotic and domesticated animals at the level of a zookeeper, but in some instances, at the level of a veterinarian as well. Having had this opportunity has given me incredible insight into the field and has helped me to understand more about myself and my future career path.

Udochi Okorie

In the eyes of a Medical Scribe

Udochi N. Okorie (Dr. Anthony Lee, Borgess Brain and Spine Institute, Kalamazoo, MI).

This Fall, I had the privilege of continuing my position as a medical scribe with the Borgess brain and Spine institute in Kalamazoo. I was working under Dr. Anthony Lee, A neurologist for a 10 week period. During this time, I was involved in scribing all appointments that he provided for that day. I was tasked with documenting patient history of present illness, physical exam, their plan of action and their follow up procedure. In order to scribe effectively, I had to be able to discern between important vs unimportant information that the patient says. My position as a scribe is also important because it will be a key factor in whether the labs and test orders will be approved by the patient’s medical insurance and at times allow the patient worker compensation or time off work. Therefore, it was important for me to keep well organized and informative notes. As a Medical scribe I also mastered medical terminology, general medical knowledge, and the CERNER electronic medical record system. I was responsible for communicating the results and plan for the patient’s treatments and was able to work in a fast-paced environment. This experience allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the field of medicine.

Alaina Kirschman

Entomology Internship at the Original Butterfly House on Mackinac Island

Alaina M. Kirschman (Ruth St. Onge, The Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House and Insect World, Mackinac Island, MI).

Over the summer of 2021, I worked as an entomologist for the Original Mackinac Island Butterfly House and Insect World on Mackinac Island, MI. I took care of a plethora of insects including various beetles, stick insects, cockroaches, and, of course, butterflies. Over the course of the summer, I learned about butterflies in depth and worked with them in the lab every day. These butterflies would be shipped to us in their chrysalis stage from all over the world and my job was to pin them all to rods, making sure they had everything they needed to form a butterfly. Every day, I would go into the lab and collect the butterflies that had emerged, dried, and looked ready to fly. Some butterflies fell early, so I hung those ones back on the rods and let the ready butterflies go into the garden. My main job was to educate families and guests on the life cycle of butterflies, as well as inform them about the insects and animals we had in our Insect World. The lab was visible to the guests, so I spoke with them about the life cycle of butterflies and how they can transform into these butterflies. I was able to spark interest in children and open their eyes to the world of insects, which most people do not want to learn or even think about. In addition to education, I did start research on butterflies from Costa Rica and their life cycles depending on their diet. I tagged butterflies in our garden that had known diet differences, some being bananas and some being pollen and/or nectar and tracked their lifespan there. Overall, my internship was a great opportunity and helped me develop my interest in insects and entomology.

Natalie Barber

Macroinvertebrate Community Stream Survey of Campbell Creek, Van Buren Co., SW Michigan

Natalie P. Barber (Dr. Binney Girdler, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo MI).

Anthropogenic disturbances such as agricultural land use and bridge crossings negatively impact freshwater ecosystems. To determine the extent of the impact of these disturbances on freshwater systems, we collected data on freshwater macroinvertebrates, common bioindicators for freshwater streams. The goal of this study was to survey the macroinvertebrate community in Campbell Creek, a stream on private property owned by Pat and Dave Diget in Van Buren County, MI, and use this information to determine its water quality. To collect the macroinvertebrates, we performed the kick sampling method using a D-shaped net. All macroinvertebrates were identified down to either family or order, and we analyzed the data using five different indexes: total abundance, taxa richness, EPT index, Shannon-Wiener index, and biotic score. We found that footbridges did not have an impact on the macroinvertebrate community, but we did discover that the water quality of Campbell Creek decreased going upstream. We also found that ammonia levels increased, and depth decreased going upstream. We suspect that the increased levels of ammonia may be due to agricultural activity upstream of the property. In addition, Beaver Creek (a stream that flows into Campbell Creek) may be responsible for the improved water quality downstream because it is bringing in cleaner water from a wetland, diluting the ammonia. Future studies should survey both upstream of the property and Beaver Creek to get a better idea of the agricultural and wetland impacts on the two creeks. Information from this study can be used to guide future conservation and restoration initiatives.

Jack Loveland

Maternal Prenatal C. Trachomatis Infection Increases the Risk of NICU Admission in Neonates

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a specialized nursery unit in a hospital that focuses on care for infants that often are born with infection, complications, or other medical conditions. Chlamydia trachomatis is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. This STI has the potential to damage the female reproductive system and cause numerous poor birth outcomes if left untreated. C. trachomatis often has little to no symptoms which allows it to pass between individuals easily and unknowingly. There are higher rates of Chlamydia in people Of Color compared to White people. Racial disparity in the healthcare system has been evident throughout the United States. Infant mortality rates among the black community are significantly higher than in the white community. To understand the impact of Chlamydia infection on NICU admission, a retrospective analysis was conducted examining 35,755 birth records for women in Kalamazoo County. Biostatistical analyses were conducted to examine the impact of Chlamydia on the study population using 25 variables. Overall, there was an increased risk of NICU admission when a mother was infected with C. trachomatis. The percentage of women with a low-birth-weight infant, a preterm birth, and an infant admitted to the NICU were shown to significantly increase when a mother was infected with Chlamydia. When the data was stratified by race, the factors that contribute to poor birth outcomes remain similar suggesting that once an infant is in the Kalamazoo healthcare system, there is no further racial disparity in admission to the NICU.

Lily Rogowski

Using Point Arrays to Characterize Drug-Bound Hepatitis B Virus Capsids

Lily Rogowski (Dr. David Wilson, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

A virus capsid is composed of identical protein subunits which occupy chemically equivalent environments and assemble according to icosahedral symmetry. This protein shell holds critical roles throughout the viral life cycle including protecting the viral genome, facilitating binding to a host, and initiating viral replication. Because the capsid ultimately allows for infection, disrupting its symmetry has been identified as a promising strategy for antiviral treatments. This study focused on using point arrays to characterize the structural changes of drug-bound Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) capsids. Point arrays represent the geometric constraints that icosahedral viruses conform to and provide insight into key protein associations and sites of stability at multiple radial levels. In this study small molecule drugs intended to disrupt the capsid structure of HBV were analyzed and the results demonstrated that drug binding leads to a greater number of point array fits for the drug- bound structures. The broad range of fits were consistent with the gauge point used to characterize the native capsids, yet also introduced new gauge point fits. These observations suggest that binding increases the conformational flexibility of the capsid as well as its stability. Additionally, the multiple fits proposed new locations of interest which may contribute to enhancing the stability of the capsid structure. Overall point arrays were successfully fit to drug-bound virus capsids and these results demonstrate that point arrays are a valuable tool for assessing conformational changes caused by binding.

Claudia Escalante

Planned Parenthood South Texas Promotoras in Cameron County

Claudia Escalante (Ms. Paula Saldaña, Lead Patient Navigator, Planned Parenthood South Texas, Brownsville & Harligen, TX).

I will be doing my SIP with Planned Parenthood partner program Habla Con Tu Hermana. My time in Planned Parenthood will be spent shadowing Ms. Paula Saldana, a community health worker/lead patient navigator. My time there will be spent trying to close the gap, as much as possible, between Planned Parenthood health offers and with the communities in South Texas. Ms. Paula Saldana’s job is “program and patient navigator” who trains other health workers about sexual health education so they can go out to community events to educate and inform the community about what Planned Parenthood can offer. Not only that but, this is also done in hopes to get a positive viewpoint from the community’s perspective on Planned Parenthood, to reach out to all socioeconomic groups and to decrease the high levels of sexually transmitted disease in South Texas. I am shadowing Ms. Paula Saldaña because I am interested in the public health of the region I live in and the sexual health education in Texas. As well as learning and teaching others about women’s health and sexual health education. I hope that by shadowing a community health worker/lead patient navigator, I can get a better appreciation for the work done to improve sexual health education and the livelihood of the community.

Maci Bennett

Host plant selection and larval performance of the endangered Mitchell’s satyr butterfly (Neonympha mitchellii mitchellii) on two Carex species

Maci Bennett (Holly Hopper, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Kalamazoo, MI).

Mitchell’s satyr butterfly (Neonympha mitchellii mitchellii) is a federally endangered butterfly extant to Michigan and Indiana and is known to use Carex sedge species as host plants. In Fish & Wildlife’s Mitchell’s satyr butterfly (hereafter MSB) recovery plan, propagation programs are a critical component for the survival of this species. Understanding host plant suitability is the crux of such programs. Carex stricta is the traditional host plant used for rearing despite the existence of many Carex species in MSB’s natural fen habitat. There is only one other quantitative study examining MSB larval feeding preference. My study attempted to expand on this knowledge by examining 1st instar larvae host plant preference, development, and survivorship. Additionally, plant tissue samples were sent to a lab where carbon and nitrogen content of host plant tissues was determined. In the choice test between two sedge species, Carex stricta and Carex atlantica, I found that Mitchell’s satyr 1st instar larvae do not have a sedge preference. However, larvae feeding on C. stricta developed significantly faster than did those larvae feeding on C. atlantica. Survivorship within my study was 60% and was consistent with rates obtained from the larger population being reared in the same room. C. stricta was found to have a higher carbon content, while C. atlantica had a higher nitrogen content. These results acted as a reference for potential host plant preference and nutrition but were not an analytical focus. My study suggests the traditional use of C. stricta by propagation programs is beneficial for larvae development, though this study warrants repetition owing to its small sample sizes. However, by knowing which host plants are more suitable for rearing, propagation programs increase their success and therefore, contribute to the recovery of this endangered species.

Kennedy Christl

Orange Zest 2021: The creation, journey, and reflection in depicting the Class of 2021’s attendance at Kalamazoo College

Kennedy Christl (Lanny Potts, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

Orange Zest 2021 is a Kalamazoo College affiliated publication focusing on the graduating senior class. The 2021 edition of Orange Zest depicts many events students experience while attending K, ranging from Land Sea, Athletics, Study Abroad/Away, yearly events, SIPs, and commencement. The depiction of these events allows a collaborative publication containing photos of the graduating class themselves, while envisioning a cohesive story of their time and memories while attending K College as a community. Although the publication has previously not been published in five years, its hiatus emphasizes the need for a continuous College affiliated publication for Alumni events and use.

5:40-5:50 PM


Poster Session 2, 5:50-7:00 PM


Zachary Worthing

Point Arrays Characterize Antibody Interaction With HE71 Virus Capsid

Zachary Worthing (Dr. David Wilson, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

Utilization of icosahedral point arrays to characterize spherical virus capsids has offered further insight into viral structure than current methods of classification like triangulation number. Recent studies have illustrated that these point arrays describe certain structural features such as viral protrusions, areas of capsid stability, and maturation of a virus. Given the ability of point arrays to characterize structural changes in viral capsids, this study aims to investigate the effects of two recently discovered monoclonal antibodies of Human Enterovirus 71 and their mechanisms of viral neutralization using point array classifications. Expanding investigations using point array analysis of virus capsids illustrates further applications of this classification method beyond maturation studies. Results of this study indicated that point arrays can characterize distinct mechanisms of neutralization: steric interference and capsid destabilization and further suggests that point array analysis descriptors such as the number of admissible arrays and RMSD values are indicators of total capsid stability.

Madeline Guimond

The Effects of Elevation on Pseudacris maculata Presence in Rocky Mountain National Park

Madeline Guimond (Dr. Amanda Kissel, Conservation Science Partners, Fort Collins, CO).

Amphibian populations are declining rapidly due to habitat loss, disease, and invasive species, which will be compounded by climate change. The changing environment of the planet has led to an increasing variability in temperature, precipitation, and snowpack, which has caused an increase in mortality and a negative impact on individual amphibian metamorphosis and growth. Elevation is an environmental variable that has been studied widely, however it can be hard to tease apart the effects of elevation in comparison to climate change. Pseudacris maculata (boreal chorus frog) populations are distributed at various elevations, but it is unclear if this is due to elevation preference or in response to climate change. This study aims to investigate if there is a connection between elevation and amphibian presence, specifically proposing that increasing elevation would have a negative effect on the presence of P. maculata in Rocky Mountain National Park. This research was carried out using double visual encounter surveys at various sites in the park. At each site the elevation and whether or not P. maculata presence was detected was recorded. The binomial linear regression analysis run showed no significant results. Elevation did not have an impact on P. maculata presence, and although there was a negative correlation between P. maculata and elevation, the result was not statistically significant. Future climate change consequences indicate a continued rapid population decline, with high mortality and stunted growth in P. maculata. Conservation efforts and longer-term research must be carried out in order to protect this species and preserve the biodiversity of our planet.

McKenna Schilling

Importance of Implementing a Medical Curriculum for Pre-Health Students

Kalamazoo College promises an open and easily manipulated curriculum to allow for easy adjustment for a variety of students with different goals and future interests. What I found throughout my four years at this institution is that I was being left without experience, qualifications, exposure, or understandings to help me through the next steps of my life. This prompted me to initiate my time with Helix Scribes Solution, a program offering guidance through the healthcare system with direct teachings from physicians on site in Emergency Departments. This experience alone helped shape and prepare me for my future steps following undergraduate schooling, allowing me to feel confident in my preparedness.

MacKenzy Maddock

Researching the Effects of Prophylactic Antibiotics in Orthopedic Surgery

MacKenzy Maddock (Dr. George McKelvey, Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, MI).

After shadowing an Dr. Minard, an anesthesiologist at the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), I was given the contact information for Dr. George McKelvey, a Research Associate at NorthStar Anesthesia. Dr. McKelvey had many current projects, but the most intriguing to me was the effects of prophylactic antibiotics in orthopedic surgery. The project was a retrospective study using the database PubMed. Dr. McKelvey required my assistance conducting literature reviews, analyzing the data from each relevant study, and recording specific data in an Excel form. 120 literature reviews were conducted, 27 of which were deemed relevant for the scope of the study. Most of the studies focused on total knee and hip arthroplasties but expanded to other orthopedic surgeries as well. Parameters to deem relevance were: human studies, surgery type, antibiotics, and the specific focus of the article. After the research was conducted no final analysis was necessary, but the use of prophylactic antibiotics was a controversial topic in medicine. Some argue that it was expensive and not necessary, but other studies revealed that prophylactic antibiotics are promising for the prevention of infection and further intervention. I value the experiences and opportunities Dr. McKelvey and this project have provided me with, my research skills have become highly developed through this project as well as my ability to self-manage and analyze scientific information.

Matthew Swarthout

Acting Shakespeare

Matthew Swarthout (Ren Pruis, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

Most of us have a very similar experience when it comes to Shakespeare, some are exposed to the works when we are young if we have rather ambitious parents, but most of us read Romeo and Juliet our first year in high school aloud as a class, decide if we like it or not and let it be. This decision is made by a 14- or 15-year-old brain and most of the time never challenged again. And typically, that decision is that we don’t like Shakespeare. It’s dense and the language no longer makes sense. I wrote ‘Acting Shakespeare’ to challenge your outlook on the playwright. Hear about their life history and the works that they wrote, the kind of person they were, and broaden your understanding. I wish to re-introduce you to William in the hopes that next time you see one of these plays produced elsewhere, you go and give it a try. This is a one-man-show acted, directed, written, and designed by Matthew Swarthout.

Patrick Lavin

My time spent working on the Delano no till farm at KNC

Abigail Allen

My Experience Shadowing Dr.Larry Bauss and How it Changed my Perceptions of the Medical Field

Abigail J. Allen (Dr.Larry Bauss, Surgery Center of Kalamazoo, Portage, MI).

Mariah Sarelis

Three-dimensional illustration and installation of pollen spores represented through ceramics

Mariah D. Sarelis (Sarah Lindley, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

Pollination in angiosperms is crucial to many food systems including ours as well as sustainability in ecosystems. Agriculture depends on the transfer of pollen and fertilization to produce fruits and food. Variation of shapes and surface textures serve a function of tending to specific flowering plant’s needs structures. Pollen is thought of at an allergy level often times rather than the contribution to our natural world. At a closer look, pollen grains under 100x-1000x light magnification or placed under an electron microscopes have fascinating textures and shapes unseen by a normal eye. The exine, the outermost surface, of the grains are composed various furrows, lumina, sculptural. Many models of pollen grains expressing these textures are created through computer software, continuing the two dimensional format. This stylizing can also undermine the organic shapes and rendering due to perfect modeling. Through a ceramic rendition, this thesis explores the sculpting of pollen grain in a three-dimensional form.  The use of clay as a medium allows for manipulation and illustration of the pollen spores. The scale of the sculptures are exaggerated to be accessible and intriguing to the natural eye that is often over looked.

Madeline Harding

Serotonin Receptor Antagonist Has a Neuroprotective Effect in a C. elegans Neurodegenerative Model

Madeline C. Harding (Dr. Dwight Williams, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

Neurodegenerative diseases can be defined as the progressive degeneration or death of neurons for which there is no effective cure. The burden of neurodegenerative diseases is steadily increasing worldwide. There are a variety of different pathways that ultimately lead to neurodegenerative diseases. This paper investigates one pathway, glutamate excitotoxicity, specifically due to its role in nearly all neurodegenerative diseases. Glutamate excitotoxicity triggers a toxic calcium influx, through the binding of glutamate to its specific ionotropic glutamate receptors, which is thought to lead to neuronal death. It was previously hypothesized if glutamate receptors were antagonized this would lessen the toxic effect of extracellular glutamate on postsynaptic neurons because glutamate regardless of the concentration would not be able to bind to. However, antagonizing glutamate receptors has been studied and has failed to successfully treat glutamate excitotoxicity in vivo. Thus, a new model for modulating extracellular glutamate is needed. Past studies have found serotonin (5-HT) receptors knockouts have been able to reduce glutamate-induced neuronal death. This led to the present study which investigates the neuroprotective effect of 5-Hydroxy-2-(2-phenylethyl)chromone (5-HPEC), a known 5-HT antagonist, in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Three strains of C. elegans were used to investigate our research question, a wild-type, a 5-HT receptor (SER-1) knockout as a control, and a glutamate transporter 3 (GLT-3) knockout which was our neurodegenerative model. It was found that 5-HPEC at a concentration of 39.23 mM had a significant neuroprotective effect in the heads of C. elegans with the glutamate transporter knockout. These results demonstrate that 5-HT antagonists may be promising therapeutics for treating glutamate excitotoxicity. 

Isabella Shansky-Genovese

Dosing Human Dermal Fibroblasts with Diesel Particulate Matter Causes an Increase in Oxidative Stress

Isabella Shansky-Genovese (Stephanie Wheeler, Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics, Laboratory Supervisor, Genemarkers, Kalamazoo, MI).

Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) is a major component of declining air quality and can be especially dangerous for those working in areas with increased levels of DPM, such as miners or construction workers. Given the increasing presence of DPM in daily life, particularly in urban environments, it is important to analyze the effect of this pollution. In this study, the effects of DPM on gene expression on human dermal fibroblasts are examined. Cell viability after exposure, as well as gene expression changes in genes related to antioxidant stress responses, collagen production, and inflammation are analyzed. The results of this study show that DPM exposure is related to an increase in antioxidant stress responses from genes such as NAD(P)H dehydrogenase [quinone] 1 (NQO1) and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NFE2L2), as well as a decrease in collagen producing genes such as Collagen type 1, alpha 1 (COL1A1). These findings suggest that DPM exposure can induce oxidative stress and weaken skin through decreased collagen production.

Zhi Wee

Cux1 Regulation on PTCH1 gene in Polycystic Kidney Disease’s Progression

Zhi Tian Wee (Gregory Vanden Heuvel, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, Kalamazoo, MI).

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a fatal, hereditary disease that causes fluid-filled cysts primarily in kidneys. PKD is the most common kidney disease and can have recessive or dominant traits called autosomal recessive (ARPKD) or autosomal dominant (ADPKD). This current study investigated whether Patched1 effected the Cux1 gene in PKD. The Patched1 gene in the primary cilia is a tool used to discover if it increased or decreased cell proliferation, and if decreasing the Patched1 gene can slow down ADPKD in patients. Cilia length was measured on kidney tissue sections from wildtype, Cux1 transgenic, and Notch signaling mutant mice with alpha-tubulin labeling. Notch regulates Cux1 expression and deletion of the RBPJ gene, a key Notch pathway component, results in reduced or absent Cux1 expression. My studies showed a lower amount of Cux1 expressed in the RBPJ K/O mice than the wildtype mice. When measuring the cilia length, there were no significant difference between the wildtype and RBPJ K/O mice. Western blot analysis was used to evaluate Patched1 protein amounts in the kidneys of wildtype and transgenic mice overexpressing Cux1, called Cux TG. The results indicated that Cux1 transgenic mice had less Patched1 in the kidney than age-matched, wildtype mice. For future experiments, there need to be tests on the hedgehog pathway (Hh) in the wildtype and transgenic mice because Hh signaling pathway activates PTCH1. Further research in this is necessary to be able to find a treatment for ADPKD

Aramide Apo-Oyin

A Case Study of an Innovative Hospital Discharge Planning Program

Aramide Apo-Oyin (Alison Geist, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

From the summer of 2020 to 2021, I interned at the Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois. The Transition Support Program (TSP) is a discharge planning program designed to help patients navigate the healthcare system. TSP’s mission is to support patients from under- resourced communities with care planning, and provide the tools needed for autonomy to effectively navigate their own care. My role was to ensure that patients had a plan prior to their discharge from the hospital. If the patients
had barriers to care such as not having insurance, no access to transportation, or experiencing homelessness, it was also part of my job to assist each patient with overcoming these barriers. Privatization, for profit, underfunding, lack of initiatives absent to help populations and communities
that face a lot of barriers due to classism, racism, and xenophobia. My opinion is that every physician should be taught about the social determinants of health and other health disparities during their formal training. All healthcare practitioners should complete volunteer-based work (over six months) working in an under-resourced community. I think doing this can lead to the change of dismantling structural barriers in the U.S. healthcare institution. Additionally, it will equip doctors and other healthcare providers with additional tools to help every patient they encounter across the country. When it comes to the transitions of care in the U.S., there is a lot to contend with but it is not impossible to devise a solution. More discussions, research, and policy implementation should be had so that every patient regardless of their race, gender, sexual identity, ethnicity, language, residency status, income, or disability has a right to equitable healthcare.

Karina Aguilar

Las humanidades medicas/ The Medical Humanities

Karina J. Aguilar (Dra. Katie MacLean, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, Michigan).

The medical humanities are the interdisciplinary study of medicine from cultural and social aspects with a focus in social sciences, literature, culture and how this applies to medicine. This investigation helps define the medical humanities, argues the benefits of such a course, and creates a base to start a medical humanities course within the Spanish department at Kalamazoo College. The investigation will explore different areas of study such as linguistics, cultural studies, art, literature and religion all of which have an effect in the practice of medicine. The purpose is to demonstrate the value of this interdisciplinary study and to create a foundation for a future course. The idea is that this would interest students not only within the Spanish department but students with a background in the sciences and deviate from traditional literature courses. The study of medical humanities is in line with the pedagogical ideas expressed in the liberal arts education at K College. The point of a liberal arts education is to give students the
opportunity to learn from different disciplines to create intellectual students. This course would offer the opportunity for students to learn from different disciplines and become well-rounded individuals.

Pierce Burke

Signal peptide region of SAA1: misfolding propensity in different animal species

Pierce M. Burke (Dr. Jessica Fortin, Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI).

In amyloidosis, fibrils are formed from the misfolding of fragmented serum amyloid A (SAA) protein. These fibrils aggregate in tissues, causing diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Type II diabetes, prion diseases, and chronic inflammatory disease. It has been hypothesized that certain regions of the protein have a higher propensity to misfold, and this study will particularly focus on the signal peptide region of SAA. The SAA protein was fragmented and sequenced. A library of 35 peptides (fragments 1-19) from both domestic and wild animals was used to study aggregation propensity via in silico analysis and in vitro assays. After running an in-silico analysis as well as transmission electron microscopy, Congo red binding assay, and finally a ThT fluorescence assay, it was determined that each peptide aggregated in the given conditions of the experiment. With all peptides aggregating, that means the signal peptide region may play a role in amyloidogensis. This data points to the idea that further research in the signal peptide region can potentially play a role in future therapeutic strategies for amyloidosis.

Kyle Skiver

Neuroterus saltatorius (Jumping Gall Wasp) Phenology and Abundance in Native and Expanded Ranges

Kyle E. Skiver (Dr. Kirsten Prior, Binghamton University SUNY, Binghamton, NY).

Neuroterus saltatorius (jumping gall wasp) is a species of gall wasp that has expanded its range from the Pacific Northwest US into British Columbia since 1986.  Gall abundance, developmental stage proportions, and developmental time were assessed for seven weeks during the summer of 2021 in both its native and expanded ranges. Photographs of Quercus garryana (Garry oak) leaves were analyzed for numbers of galls in early, middle, and late development, as well as visible signs of failure to develop or reaching maturity and dropping from the leaf. Data for each stage were compared between region and survey period in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. Temperature data were also collected to determine if there is a correlation between climate and gall development. Overall, gall abundance was higher in the expanded range, consistent with previous results. Notably, gall development was slower in the expanded range. However, temperature does not appear to account for the differences in gall abundance and phenology between regions. This documentation of N. saltatorius motivates future surveys of this species’ developmental patterns in its current range and a possible new outbreak in the Midwest. Moreover, this stands as a case study demonstrating that both abiotic and biotic factors should be examined, to understand the course of phytophagous insect range expansions.

Caleb Waldmiller

Monitoring of White-tailed Deer Population using Citizen Scientists in Kalamazoo Neighborhoods

Caleb J. Waldmiller (Jen Meilinger, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Kalamazoo MI).

An overabundance of deer populations in urban are rural areas has been an increasing issue in the past recent years. With urban sprawl on a continual increase, tracking deer populations in urban areas is becoming increasingly common and difficult. In order to find a way to track these populations, scientists have recently been utilizing citizen participation, or citizen science. This method of collecting data allows citizens to participate in a scientific study by taking pictures of deer and uploading to a website. I am continuing a project started in Fall 2020, where students used an app called iNaturalist to catalyze community participation. The app allows for citizens to assist in the tracking of deer populations as they are traveling at an increasing rate due to habitat loss. Residents of Kalamazoo neighborhoods are able to upload pictures of deer that the spot to iNaturalist. The app then creates a map of the sighting locations. These locations were then plotted on Google Earth to estimate herd location and movement. I then compared the results to the results of last year’s project. I classified 4 new herds of deer, creating a tentative map of 18 different herds. There was statistically significant data to suggest a relationship between deer their hunt for resources. This study has been conducted andwritten with the intention that it will aid in the city of Kamazoo’s ongoing attempt to control the local white-tailed deer population.

Anthony Peraza

Bringing to Light the Oxidation of Sea Spray Aerosols: A Study of Model Systems for Marine Photosensitizer

Anthony Peraza (Dr. Juan G. Navea, Skidmore College/CAICE, Saratoga Springs, NY).

Sea-spray aerosols (SSAs) are released into the atmosphere from the sea surface. SSAs contain marine chromophoric dissolved organic matter (m-CDOM), a potential photosensitizer of atmospheric gases which opens alternative mechanisms for chemical reactions within SSA resulting most notably in fatty acid oxidation. Here we propose two photosensitizers, 4-benzoylbenzoic acid (4-BBA) and 4-imidazolecarboxaldehyde (imidazole), as potential models for m-CDOM.

Saturday, April 30, 2022
9:50 AM – 2:30 PM

Student Oral Presentations
Dow 226 and 232

9:50 AM Opening remarks


10:00-10:12, Dow 226


Alexander Bowden

LinkedIn: More than a “Professional Social Networking Site”

Alexander H. Bowden (Dr. Hannah Apps, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

LinkedIn is the largest professional network on the internet with over 750 million members from over 200 countries and regions across the world. Using LinkedIn to connect and strengthen your professional relationships is a great choice and LinkedIn’s most recognizable feature however, there are more opportunities on LinkedIn beyond social networking with other professionals. During the ten-week winter term of my senior year, I spent significant time using three features that LinkedIn offers beyond creating a professional network. These features were: LinkedIn Learning, the “jobs” tab, and the “groups” tab. LinkedIn Learning is an online course provider focused on enhancing creative, technological, and business skills. I used LinkedIn learning to better understand social media marketing and Google search engine optimization and to enhance my profile/resume. One of LinkedIn’s most helpful features is the “jobs” tab. The “jobs” tab helps job seekers find, research, and apply to jobs that fit their industry, interest, qualification, and location. Over 35 million people have been hired via LinkedIn and the “jobs” tab is how I landed my first job after graduation. After landing my first job as an associate financial advisor, I needed to start finding groups of people that could potentially need my financial advice once I become a licensed advisor. I used LinkedIn’s “groups” tab to find specific groups of people to potentially engage and market towards.

10:00-10:12, Dow 232

Paul Pavliscak

In the Shadow of Greatness

Paul A. Pavliscak (Dr. David Best, D.O., Best Medical Services, Traverse City, MI and Dr. Mark Silverman, D.O., Associates in Neurology, Farmington Hills, MI, Ascension Providence Park Hospital, Novi, MI).

In the Summer of 2021, I shadowed with Dr. Mark Silverman DO, and Dr. David Best DO. Dr. Silverman is a neurologist and also a professor at the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Best is a K College alumnus with a family practice. I spent two weeks with both Dr. Silverman and Dr. Best. This diversity of experience was beneficial to advancing my career as a healthcare professional, as the types of cases and patients seeking their services were broad and variable. My SIP reflection compared and contrasted these providers’ bedside matter, connection to patients, and patient follow up. In addition, I observed how they played the role of quarterback for their respective care teams. These experiences provided me a chance to discuss my medical school applications and interviews, as well as gaining personal insight into a physician’s life outside of work.


10:12-10:24, Dow 226


Noah Hecht

White-tailed Deer Monitoring in Kalamazoo Neighborhoods

Noah M. Hecht (Jen Meilinger, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Kalamazoo, MI).

Increasing deer populations have been a growing concern over the last few years in the Kalamazoo area. As part of my project, I went out over the summer to observe deer in the nearby Kalamazoo neighborhoods. In order to do this, the iNaturalist application was used to take a picture and pinpoint the times and locations of the deer. Observations were typically recorded at dusk and dawn to give the best possible chance to encounter deer. With growing deer populations in Kalamazoo neighborhoods, to better understand how they behave in this environment, this project could be expanded upon by observing behaviors such as foraging, locomotion, vigilance, socializing, etc. Future findings about deer not only in Kalamazoo, but in other urban neighborhoods would also be great moving forward. Understanding more about their behaviors may lead to possible solutions about how to better manage these populations.

10:12-10:24, Dow 232

Spencer Baldwin

Clinical Experience as a Medical Scribe

Spencer Baldwin (Brian Trickey, iScribeMD, Kalamazoo, MI).

For my Senior Individual Project, I worked as a medical scribe in the winter of my senior year. I secured the position through iScribeMD and worked at Bronson Hospital in the orthopedic unit. As a scribe I gained insight into bedside manner, medical terminology and how to communicate as a medical professional. This experience allowed me make decisions about my future career as a nurse and when I am ready for nursing school, I will know what to expect when stepping into the rooms with a patient for the first time.


10:24-10:36, Dow 226


Camilia Hernandez

The Role of a Specimen Accessioner in Response to Sars-Cov-2

Camilia M. Hernandez (Stephanie Wheeler, Master of Science of Pharmocogenomic, Genemarkers, Kalamazoo, MI).

I am fortuitous to have found a working position for my experiential SIP at Genemarkers via a peer who is currently working there. I started in January and will hopefully continue my position until graduation. It is a company located downtown in Kalamazoo that provides clinical testing services to healthcare professionals and patients based on pharmacogenomics (PGX). When the pandemic arrived, the company became more oriented to processing clinical samples from patients and reporting it to doctors. Stephanie is the head laboratory supervisor of the lab I work in, she worked with me patiently and helped train me, also I would be supervised and working directly with two experienced lab technicians, Brody and Gwen. In the lab, we follow an easy routine the first step is accessioning in which we receive COVID samples with its requisition form and accurately identify that the barcodes match. Then, I scan the forms into the ArLIMs database and catalog the number of samples we received by each pharmacy. After, I prep three deep well plates with elution, wash solution, and 80% of ethanol, I prepare a bead solution that will be used in isolation. If our tube rack is filled, I map the samples onto an excel spreadsheet then will be asked to make a sample plate. This plate includes the combination of Proteinase K and MS2 Phage Control. Each plate has two controls, and we leave an empty well. The sample plate has 20 minutes for it to be used, which will be in the isolating phase. We will pipette the test tube samples into the sample plate. Afterwards, we transfer the bead solution into the plate and finally we can run it into the KingFisher processor. The next part is getting the PCR ready which Brody and Gwen manage.  

10:24-10:36, Dow 232

Miriam Velasquez

Volunteering at a Assisted Living and Memory Care Retirement home at Heritage Community

Miriam Velasquez (Ashley McDowell, Assisted Living at Hawthorn, Heritage Community of Kalamazoo, MI).


10:36-10:48, Dow 226


Zaydee Menchaca

Human Negligence and its Effect on Animals (Can we have a content warning for portrayals of animal abuse/deaths?)

Zaydee Menchaca (Nayda Collazo-Llorens, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

“You Can’t Change the Past” is a collection of artwork about revisiting my own experiences with animal death and abuse. Over the course of 10 weeks, I gathered different stories from my friends and news outlets to really delve into the most inhumane and unethical ways that animals have been impacted by humans. As dark as this topic may be, I felt like it was something that needed to be discussed. This project was made using mainly watercolor and acrylic paint. With alcohol markers, neon-colored pencils, and UV paint as secondary materials.

10:36-10:48, Dow 232

Mikayla Kindler

Field Evaluation and Mesocosm Assessment of Invasive Round Goby Densities in Northern Lake Michigan

Mikayla Kindler (Dave Clapp, Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station Charlevoix, Michigan).

The invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) was first found in Lake Michigan in 1993 and has since proliferated and caused drastic ecological changes throughout North America. Understanding and accurately measuring their abundance and expansion throughout the lakes is crucial to many conservation efforts. Baited photoquadrats are a method to do this and provide some advantages over other sampling gear. In this study, we assessed summer round goby densities in East Grand Traverse Bay (EGTB), Michigan using baited photoquadrats to inform current and future conservation efforts. However, as round gobies characteristically burrow in both sand and cobble, indices of round goby abundance and density gathered from photoquadrats may be inaccurate. Therefore, we also adjusted these indices with large mesocosms in which known densities of round gobies were compared with measurements from photoquadrats. In the experimental trials (mesocosm), we found no effect of substrate on round goby densities measured in contrast to results from the EGTB photoquadrats. We found a significant effect of bait on round goby density estimates obtained from photoquadrats; however, future studies should test our results with different bait types. Further, future study designs should include more environmental components, like macrophytes or dreissenids; to closer mimic conditions from the field. Although more research is needed, our results provide a better understanding of round goby densities in EGTB and highlight the necessity of assessing different sampling methods and their biases as round gobies continue to have a massive impact on the freshwater ecosystems of North America.


10:48-11:00, Dow 226


Rushik Patel

A Fly On The Wall: Medical Scribing As A Valuable Pre-Medical Educational Experience

Rushik Patel (Ms. Hannah Fairchild, Helix Scribe Solutions, Kalamazoo, MI).

Coursework, while undoubtedly crucial, is only one facet of education. Students in any industry or field must also gain real-life practical experience. Students aspiring to enter a career in medicine know all too well the importance of clinical experience, but several barriers (financial and otherwise) face students hoping to engage in meaningful clinical experience. Here, I explore and outline medical scribing as a valuable and accessible opportunity for clinical experience in healthcare.

10:48-11:00, Dow 232

Abigail Gray

Olfactory-mediated Behavior Following an Excitotoxic Lesion on the Olfactory Bulb in Zebrafish

Abigail Gray (Dr. Erika Calvo-Ochoa, Hope College, Holland, MI).

Traumatic brain injuries, neurodegenerative diseases, and spinal cord injuries negatively impact millions of individuals, since mammals have a limited capacity to repair their brains. Conversely, zebrafish provide an excellent model for studying mechanisms of brain damage and repair because they generate neurons throughout life. Specifically, the olfactory system of zebrafish exhibits remarkable repair and regeneration since it faces constant damage from direct exposure to the environment. The olfactory system is composed of the olfactory epithelium (OE), containing olfactory sensory neurons that detect specific odors. These neurons relay olfactory signals to the olfactory bulbs (OB), which discriminate these odors and relay information to other brain regions to elicit corresponding behaviors. It is known that olfactory function in zebrafish is impaired after damage to the epithelium, but the effects of brain lesions on behavior have not been studied. In this study, we investigated the effects of an excitotoxic lesion on the olfactory bulbon on the olfactory-mediated response to cadaverine, an alarm inducing odorant found in decomposing animals. We tested control, 1-, and 21- day post-lesion (dpl) fish by recording behavioral responses before and after cadaverine delivery. Using animal tracking software, we measured the following alarm behaviors: average speed, distance traveled, and freezing. We found that 1dpl fish showed degeneration of the OE and loss of the olfactory response to cadaverine, and complete recovery of morphology and function of the OE by 21dpl, which supports our hypotheses. This research may give insight into recovery mechanisms or therapeutic approaches to brain injuries and diseases.

11:00-11:10 AM



11:10-11:22, Dow 226


Katie Gierlach

Exploring the Medical Field Through a New Lens: An Internship at the Eye Surgery Center of Michigan

Katie Gierlach (Shannon Wagner, Eye Surgery Center of Michigan, Troy, MI).

During the summer of 2021, I completed an internship through the Eye Surgery Center of Michigan that was integral to my professional growth and development. The Eye Surgery Center of Michigan is an ambulatory surgical center that offers services such as cataract and glaucoma surgeries from over 15 different specialized surgeons. During my time there, I worked in many different departments such as the registrar’s desk, surgical billing, and surgical scheduling. Being exposed to a wide variety of jobs helped me understand the complete flow of information within the center and gave me important insight as to what types of careers I would be interested in. 

While working at the center, I did not just learn about the medical field, I learned about myself and how I work under pressure. Within the surgical billing office, I made a mistake that cornered the attention of not just my supervisor, but the manager as well. Spending hours fixing my work and living with the thoughts of my first big workplace mistake was an extremely new experience and will always stick with me. However, I was grateful that I was able to learn, adjust my work, and move on from the experience as a better employee and student.

I expected this summer work to help me gain a better understanding of the exact career I would like to pursue. However, working, talking to other employees, and gaining more knowledge of the medical field have opened my eyes to a world of new career paths that I didn’t even know were possible. This knowledge and growth that I acquired from this internship will stick with me throughout my final year at Kalamazoo College and beyond as I continue to develop my interests within the field of health. 

11:10-11:22, Dow 232

Michaela Peters

The Impact and Prevalence of Obesity to Lower Back and Knee Rehabs, Following a Motor Vehicle Accident


11:22-11:34, Dow 226


Grace Hancock

The Effect of Temperature Fluctuations on the Sex Ratio of the Atlantic silverside (Menidia menidia), a Species with Temperature-Dependent Sex Determination

Grace Hancock (Santiago Salinas, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo MI).

Sex determination in vertebrates can occur via genetics, as found in humans, or based on the environment. In the most prevalent form of environmental determination of sex (ESD), the temperature of the environment during development decides the sex of the individual. This is known as temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). This phenomenon has been studied in reptiles and fishes using constant temperature treatments, but the effects of fluctuating temperatures remain underexplored. Fluctuating temperature treatments are more ecologically relevant and are known to create significant differences in organisms’ physiology. Therefore, it is important to understand how a fluctuating temperature regime interacts with the sex determination process in TSD species. As climate change continues to increase mean global temperature and temperature variance, TSD species are more at risk than ever. This study aims to unpack the ways in which diel fluctuating temperatures impact the sex ratio (and other physiological traits) of a TSD fish, Menidia menida. I exposed M. menidia to three different temperature treatments (constant: 28°C, small fluctuations: 28±2°C, and large fluctuations: 28±4°C) and compared the resulting sex ratios, length-at-age, and CTmax (upper thermal tolerance) values. When reared under fluctuating temperatures, the fish produced a higher proportion of females than the constant temperature treatment. They also had higher CTmax and lower length-at-age values. The results demonstrate that the effect of temperature fluctuations on M. menidia is significant, and that future research should account for fluctuating temperature regimes.

11:22-11:34, Dow 232

Austin Smith

Three Years as a Podiatric Medical Assistant

Austin Smith (Ingrid Stines, DPM, Red Cedar Podiatry, Lansing, MI).

Austin Smith spent almost three years working as a medical assistant at Red Cedar Podiatry, a
single-provider podiatric office in Lansing, MI. There, he gained exposure to the intersection
multiple biological systems–including the musculoskeletal, dermatological, and neurological systems–in the examination and treatment of feet and ankles. He assisted daily with in-office procedures. His other medical responsibilities included handling medical instruments, disposing of biologically hazardous material, taking X-rays, and collecting specimens to be sent to the lab.
Additionally, he was involved to multiple aspects of the medical industry aside from direct patient care: coordination of insurance coverage, collaboration between providers, preparation for outpatient procedures, and more. He recounts how, over those months, he developed meaningful relationships with both patients and colleagues. In this essay, he describes how this experience directly complimented his education at Kalamazoo College, contributed greatly to his
personal/professional development, and afforded him insight into his life and career going forward.


11:34-11:46, Dow 226


Mauricio Guillen

No Hay agua: Water Scarcity Affecting Farmers in Ensenada BC, Mexico Catalyzingthe Requirement for Adaptation Methods to be Implemented

Mauricio Guillen Olmos (Adriana Maria Garriga-López, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

Maneadero, a coastal town part of the municipality of Ensenada Baja California Mexico, is composed of land that is primarily used for agricultural production which relies on water from the aquifer. Most of the water that is extracted from the Maneadero aquifer is not used for agricultural practice in the area, rather it is sent to the city of Ensenda for domestic and industrial use. Due to the increasing population, water demand has heavily increased. The exploitation of the aquifer has caused extreme low water levels in the aquifer, and due to climate change and drought, the aquifers have not been properly recharged in years. This study addresses the various methods that farmers, researchers, and stakeholders have thought to implement in order to adapt to the change in climate, mitigate the harm done to the Maneadero aquifer, and find better methods of water management to support farmers.

11:34-11:46, Dow 232

Isaac Agranoff

Corticosterone Treatment During Critical Illness Alters Hippocampal c-Fos Signal after Recovery

Isaac Agranoff (Joanna Spencer-Segal, MD/PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan).

After recovering from the intensive care unit (ICU), many critical illness survivors are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or suffer PTSD-like symptoms from their experience. Research has shown that recall of ICU-paired traumatic memories is associated with PTSD. In human studies, the injection of high levels of glucocorticoids during the ICU stay has been shown to prevent PTSD after discharge. Due to their role in emotional memory acquisition within the limbic system, it has been proposed that early onset injection of glucocorticoids during ICU stay can protect against future recall of traumatic memories. Earlier behavioral experiments found that corticosterone treatment during critical illness led to an enhancement of factual memory without an effect on fear memory. In this study, we explored hippocampal immunoreactivity to contextual fear recall and neutral memory recall after recovery from a critical illness in an animal model by staining for c-Fos, a marker of neuronal reactivity. Histology of different areas of the hippocampus found higher c-Fos signal in mice given exogenous corticosterone treatment during the critical illness period after contextual fear conditioning. We propose that the enhancement of neutral memories under critical illness may be due to the higher neural activity observed in the hippocampus under corticosterone treatment. This study is especially important as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has increased ICU occupancy drastically. As it has been found that a higher number of delirious memories during ICU stay can create a higher chance for PTSD, further research into the formation of factual memory during critical illness may be important in prevention. This could be achieved through follow up surveys with survivors of critical illness that were treated with glucocorticoids.


11:46-11:58, Dow 226


Emerson Holmes

Elevated Triglycerides and Smoking: Lifestyle Decisions that Impact Cognition

This study investigated the role of the complex known as Metabolic Syndrome (MetS)
and its role on the cognition of older adults with a history of heavy smoking. and as
continuous independent variables on cognition as the outcome for older adults.
Because the syndrome consists of five factors (hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hypertension, hyperglycemia, and central adiposity), the impact was evaluated both as a dichotomous syndrome and as independent variables. The participants in the study had a mean age of 72 years and a minimum of a ten-year smoking history. Cognition was defined with four primary domains: learning/memory,
language, visuospatial, and executive function/processing speed. AIC analysis led to all linear regression models adjusted for the presence of COPD as a comorbidity and
WRAT-4 scoring as a measurement of premorbid intelligence, from which this study
found a negative association between executive function and elevated triglyceride
levels. This result signifies that hypertriglyceridemia slows the speed of processing and this effect is independent from the other factors of MetS. These findings support prior research that associates hypertriglyceridemia with impaired cognitive functions, however this study is unique because it is examining this relationship amongst heavy smokers. It is important to further investigate this often under-recognized yet detrimental form of dyslipidemia as a cause for early, but significant cognitive impairment as
triglyceride metabolism functions antagonistically neurologically. These results, if
combined with additional research, offer an opportunity for patients to rebuild their cognitive skills through modification of triglyceride levels with the help of medication and/or lifestyle intervention.

11:46-11:58, Dow 232

Petra Sierra

Attraction, mobility, and preference by cigarette beetle to fungal volatiles in stored grain

Petra Sierra (Dr. William R. Morrison III, USDA-ARS Center for Grain and Animal Health Research, Manhattan, KS).

Little research has linked how specific fungal species affect the behavior of the stored product pest Lasioderma serricorne. Enhanced knowledge about attraction to microbially-produced volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) may be used to manipulate insect behavior. Our goals were to 1) determine the frequency with which L.serricorne vectors microbes in the postharvest environment, 2) isolate, and culture one fungal morphotype, 3) characterize the volatile emissions from grain inoculated by the fungal morphotype (A. flavus or Fusarium verticillioides) compared to unmanipulated and sanitized grain, and 4) understand how MVOCs from the morphotype affects mobility, attraction, and preference by L. serricorne. Headspace collection revealed that the Fusarium verticillioides- and A. flavus-inoculated grain produced significantly different volatiles compared to sanitized grain or the positive control. Changes in MVOC emissions affected close-range foraging during an Ethovision assay, with a greater frequency of entering and spending time in a small zone with kernels inoculated with A. flavus compared to other treatments. In the release-recapture assay, MVOCs were found to be attractive to L. serricorne at a long distance in commercial pitfall traps. While there was no preference shown among semiochemical stimuli in a still-air, four-way olfactometer, it is possible that methodological limitations prevent robust interpretation from this assay. Finally, we found that L. serricorne readily vectored microbes in the postharvest environment after dispersing to novel food patches, but the amount of microbes imparted decreased with the dispersal period. Overall, our study suggests that MVOCs are
important for close- and long-range orientation of L. serricorne during foraging, and that MVOCs may have the potential for inclusion in behaviorally-based management tactics for this species.


11:58-12:10, Dow 226


Eva Deyoung

Functional Evolutionary Origin of BACE1 and the β-secretase Cleavage site in Alzheimer’s APP

Alzheimer’s disease is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder characterized, in part, by the presence of abnormal protein deposits (Aβ plaques) formed by the proteolysis of the amyloid precursor protein (APP). BACE1, the rate limiting enzyme in Aβ production, is a major focus in AD research. BACE1 originated approximately 360 million years (MY) before the Aβ peptide with the APP β-cleavage site emerging after Aβ, indicating that these components of APP proteolysis evolved separately and for different reasons. Understanding this enzyme from an evolutionary standpoint would shed light on the purpose these proteins serve. To pinpoint the origin of BACE1 functional activity, Cho 695 cells expressing human APP were transfected with Homo BACE1 or Monosiga BACE1/2. Conditioned media and cell lysate samples were examined for human Aβ 1-40 with ELISA and total protein levels were measured with a BCA assay. Results from BACE1 functional analysis showed that Monosiga BACE1/2 did not proteolyze APP, while Homo BACE1 did, indicating that BACE1 functional activity is not conserved as deep as the choanoflagellates. Separately, the origin of the APP β-secretase cut site was examined using Cho Pro5 cells and co-transfection of Latimeria APP and Scyliorhinous APP with Homo BACE1. Conditioned media samples will be examined by mass spectrometry for Aβ presence and cell lysates were analyzed via BCA assay for total protein levels. We are awaiting mass spectrometry results, but protein assay data show normal cell numbers and protein levels. Phylogenetic analysis has demonstrated that the BACE1/2 duplication event resulted in the functionally different BACE homologs, BACE1 and BACE2, and likely allowed for BACE1 functional activity on APP to emerge. Our functional analysis will help bolster this observation. BACE1 and Aβ’s asynchronous evolutionary pathways and the fact that the β-secretase cut site emerged after Aβ suggests that BACE1 has multiple substrates outside of APP, raising further questions about the reasons behind the evolutionary emergence of these proteins and their initial roles.

11:58-12:10, Dow 232

Sang Nguyen

Whole genome analysis of the Clostridium botulinum local strains in Vietnam

Sang D. Nguyen (Dr. Le Thi Hong Hao, National Institute for Food Control, Hanoi, Vietnam).

Botulism is a serious disease caused by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), which is typically produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and is widely considered to be one of deadliest poisons in the world. However, despite the toxin’s potency, the occurrence of foodborne botulism has been relatively rare compared to that of other foodborne diseases, making it one of the less documented food poisoning causes. In the last few months in Vietnam, there have been several cases of food poisoning outbreaks, which were identified as the first cases of botulism to be found in the country. Because of the lethality of the disease, learning more about the local strains is crucial for treatment and prevention of future cases. In this study, two samples of food and stool from foodborne botulism cases originated in Binh Duong, Vietnam were collected and isolated to extract DNA for whole genome sequencing (WGS); the result would be assembled and used to perform some basic analyses, such as detection of plasmids, virulence factors and antibiotic resistance genes, as well as a multilocus sequence typing (MLST) for characterizing these isolates. The isolation of the two samples were successful, which were sequenced and resulted in two whole genome dataset. The sequencing data were controlled for quality, assembled de novo and searched for genes against databases of virulence factors and antibiotic resistance genes. These analyses showed that at least one of the two genomes had toxin genes that matched the initial PCR results. Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) reveals that one of the two genomes belongs to a novel Sequence Type, which requires further studies to re-examine and understand the implications of such typing.

12:10-1:00 PM



1:00-1:12, Dow 226


Ella Knight

The West Indies: Environmental Transformation and Insect Ecology in the Early Modern Caribbean

Ella J. Knight (Dr. Christina Carroll, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

This paper will focus on landscape changes to the English West Indian islands of Barbados, Jamaica, Montserrat, and St. Kitts. The purpose of this paper is not to extrapolate on how mosquitoes affected the politics and societies of early modern Caribbean islands as previously demonstrated, but to show how environmental transformations through human population changes, deforestation, and erosion created an increase in breeding habitats for mosquitoes. A greater understanding of how mosquito populations affected the lives of colonizers increases the inferred niche that mosquitoes occupied in Caribbean history. This paper aims to combine multiple disciplines including biology, ecology, parasitology, environmental studies, and history. In doing so, modern-day biological knowledge of mosquito behaviors and their blood-host preferences can be reflected on the surviving historical record to give a more advanced understanding of how insects and the environment played a role in the developing islands of the early modern Caribbean. Thus, the significance of this research is to show that European colonizers not only fell victim to diseases vectored by mosquitoes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but by changing Caribbean landscapes through deforestation and urban development, they unknowingly created more suitable habitats for mosquito population growth. Therefore, in their quest for wealth, power, and supremacy, European deaths by mosquito-vectored diseases were in some ways the product of their own making.

1:00-1:12, Dow 232

Amanda Dow

“Growth”: Musings On Milkweed And Accessible Science

Amanda Dow (Dr. Marin Heinritz).

A creative nonfiction series of essays focused on plants, “Growth” is a medium through which I hope to connect the general public to science. In sharing my connection to the natural world, I aim to mix artful writing with scientific facts about plants ranging from milkweed to motherwort.


1:12-1:24, Dow 226

Antelma Acosta

Experiential SIP of my time working at Lawndale Dental Clinic

1:12-1:24, Dow 232

Rina Talaba

The spatial variation of leaf traits in Ipomopsis aggregate according to snowmelt and soil moisture

Rina Talaba (Dr. Diane Campbell (University Of California Irvine) Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratories).

Global warming threatens the distribution of water in montane ecosystems by causing snowmelt earlier in the year and drought later in the year. The disruption of the yearly water cycle in the Rocky Mountains is a potential concern for plants like Scarlet Gilia who may not have traits equipped for climate change. This study in particular analyzed how soil moisture and snow depth correlates with leaf traits of Scarlet Gilia, Ipomopsis aggregata, across and within seven populations in the Crested Butte and Gothic, Colorado area. Earlier snowmelt due to global warming is potentially affecting leaf traits that aid in photosynthesis. We expected thatScarlet Gilia plants with low water availability to have leaf traits that more efficiently photosynthesize and conserve water. Variation in soil moisture within sites had weak or no effects on the leaf traits, except that stomatal density increased with soil moisture in sites that also had low snowpack. Sites with lower snow depth had lower leaf water content, lower specific leaf area (SLA), and trichome density but showed no average change in stomatal density and diameter. The variation across sites in leaf water content, SLA, and trichome density could be attributed to aiding less transpiration in areas where there is drought-stress.


1:24-1:36, Dow 226

Omar Thaj

The Role of Cux1 on Ift122 in Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease

Omar Thaj (Dr. Gregory Vanden Heuvel, Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, Kalamazoo, MI).

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a common genetic disorder that causes the formation of fluid filled cysts in the kidney which eventually leads to renal failure. Autosomal dominant PKD (ADPKD) is the more common form of the fatal disease, and results from a mutation in either the PKD1 or PKD2 gene which respectfully encode for polycystin-1 and polycystin-2. These proteins are located in the membrane of renal nephron primary cilium, an important structure that plays a crucial role in regulating cell proliferation and differentiation. Located in the lumen of epithelial cells, they are thought to play a role in PKD cystogenesis. Cux1 is a transcription protein that regulates cell growth and cystic progression in PKD. New research has shown that Cux1 has a role in regulating ciliary genes such as Ift122 in the Galapagos Cormorant bird. The Ift122 protein is used in ciliary formation and maintenance. This study aimed to observe whether Cux1 has a role in regulating the Ift122 gene in mammals as was seen in other species. Ift122 protein expression was measured in this experiment by double labeling kidney tissue sections from various genotype RBP-J knockout mouse models. RBP-J is part of the notch signaling pathway, and when knocked out causes an increase in Cux1. The results found that in upregulated Cux1 environments, Ift122 protein expression was absent. This suggests that Cux1 plays a role in the downregulation of the ciliary protein Ift122 in mammals. As a change in Ift122 protein expression can cause ciliary disfunction, this study suggests another way that Cux1 is involved in the PKD ciliopathy. The data can be used with future experiments to identify therapeutic targets for disease treatment.

1:24-1:36, Dow 232

Andrew Wright

Medical Scribing at Ascension Borgess Heart Institutes

Andrew Wright (Chief Scribe Lian Glomski, Ascension Borgess Cardiology Institute, Kalamazoo, MI).

I completed my work as a Medical Scribe at Ascension Borgess Cardiology Clinics in Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, and Marshall, MI. With this clinical experience I intended to: (1) develop an understanding of the work ethic, work culture,
specialized careers, training and preparation within a healthcare setting, (2) challenge myself to apply skills learned from language learning and natural sciences, and (3) reflect on my own perspectives and identity; highlighting changes in professional aspirations and personal values. I worked primarily alongside Doctor Gregorio U. Tan, Doctor Chandramouli Madala and Chief Scribe Lian Glomski. Most of my working hours consisted of keeping accurate and detailed information regarding each patient. I would
compile the patient’s vital information and past medical histories before each visit. Past medical histories included surgeries, diagnoses, cardiac issues in a patient’s family, and medications. I would note the patient’s main complaint or reason why they came to the cardiology clinic. Following that, I would write a history of present illness (HPI). The HPI was a description of the onset, duration, type of pain, and symptom(s) the patient was experiencing. Usually after the visit, I would talk to the doctor to get their assessment and plan for the patient. The assessment included what diagnosis or diagnoses the doctor concluded the patient had. The plan consisted of noting any changes in current medication, ordering further testing or
surgical procedures, and scheduling the follow-up visit, as per the doctors request.


1:36-1:48, Dow 226

Evan Palmer

The Field: Sublime Objects

Evan Palmer (Dr. Amelia Katanski, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI).

Inspired by the works of Arthur Rimbaud, Daniel Johnston and the Invisible Committee, The Field: Sublime Objects is a work of surrealist poetry that is primarily concerned with three subjects: the self, the body and the field. Full of juxtaposition and bizarre imagery, this collection gives the unconscious mind room to breathe. Ideas like personal identity, body switching, surveillance, the violence of observation and the terrain of language are confronted. Reality is confronted at the level of the individual. Does guilt allow you to enjoy stolen apples? Can you tell the tree from the wood?

1:36-1:48, Dow 232

Syeda Tooba

Unveiling the Invasion of Afghanistan: Analysis and Creative Collection of Media Coverage Surrounding Muslim and Afghan Women through Orientalist and Imperialist Frameworks

1:48-2:00, Dow 226


Lydia Longton

A Reflection of My Personal Experience Shadowing in the Frankel Cardiovascular Center’s Cardiac Procedures Unit at Michigan Medicine

Lydia Longton (Gina Webber RN, BSN, Cardiovascular Center, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI).

During my senior individualized project, I shadowed members of the Cardiac Catheterization team at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center. I experienced the dynamic atmosphere of the day-to-day routine of the cath lab, including everything from when a patient arrives to when they are able to leave. Although many of the cases essentially followed the same two procedures, no two cases were ever alike. My inspiration for working in this particular hospital area was my mom, who has been a nurse my entire life and currently works in the UofM cath labs. Doing my SIP in the cath labs allowed me to work alongside my mom and see, firsthand, what her job entailed. I took turns shadowing many members of the floor; ranging from physicians to nurses and anesthesiologists to perfusionists, I was able to understand the job and duty of the many people involved in each surgery. I was also, under supervision and guidance, able to complete and perform select duties such as patient transport and intake, delivering and retrieving lab tests, and assisting in cath lab duties. Conducting my SIP work here gave me an opportunity to see and experience aspects of the medical field in an in-depth informative way while also sparking new interests in careers I had not considered or known about until my time there. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such incredible people in this exciting field; this experience truly inspired me and sparked new and exciting possibilities for me and my future.