Presenting at the Kentucky Honors Roundtable (KHR) at UK this Saturday, Feb 16, 2013


We are very excited about the four students who will present their CE/Ts tomorrow at KHR in Lexington. KHR is one of several great opportunities each semester to share your work in progress, gain valuable experience, develop your skills, and get to know and network with people. There is no cost to the students as it is fully funded. They will share their experiences and picutres on this blog, so stay tuned!

For now, here are the abstracts of their projects (in the order that they present them)

Characterization and Reaction of an Analog Anticancer Drug Oxaliplatin, Jonathan Hendrie (working with Dr. Kevin Williams, Associate Professor in the WKU Chemistry Department)

Cisplatin, carboplatin, and oxaliplatin are anticancer drugs that react with deoxyribonucleic acid, ribonucleic acid and proteins both in vitro and in vivo. Cellular reactions involving these compounds are being studied to determine the extent to which these drugs’ antineoplastic activities exist. Our research focuses on synthesizing analogs of oxaliplatin and understanding how bulky ligand groups affect reaction with amino acids. (R,R)–N,N’–dimethyl–1,2–diaminocyclohexane platinum (II) oxalate or Pt(Me2dach)(ox) varies from oxaliplatin (Pt(dach)(ox)) in that it has one methyl group attached to each platinum coordinated nitrogen. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has shown that the reactions of N-Acetylmethionine (N-AcMet) with Pt(Me2dach)(ox) and Pt(dach)(ox) react at similar rates suggesting that the methyl groups of Pt(Me2dach)(ox) have little effect on the initial reaction. Whereas reaction of Pt(dach)(ox) and N-AcMet can form 1:1 or 1:2 complexes, Pt(Me2dach)(ox) with N-AcMet can form only 1:1 products. Depending on Pt:N-AcMet ratios, Pt(dach)(ox) has the potential to form either a [Pt(dach)(N-AcMet-S)2] or [Pt(dach)(N-AcMet-S,N)] complex. The bis product is not found in Pt(Me2dach)(ox) reactions because the formation of a [Pt(Me2dach)(N-AcMet-S,O)]+ product retards the coordination of a second N-AcMet. It has therefore been deduced that the additional methyl groups of Pt(Me2dach)(ox) limit reaction to a 1:1 molar product.

Indications of Body Dysmorphic Disorder From Stroop Test Results, Molly White

The purpose of the current study is to discover whether the Stroop Test can be used to find symptoms of muscle dysmorphia. Muscle dysmorphia is defined as a disorder in which a person obsesses over not being muscular enough. Using E-Prime computer software, participants are presented with a group of 15 neutral and 15 body-related words presented in either blue, green, yellow, orange, or red ink. They must identify the color of the word using specified letters on the keyboard. Reaction time and number of errors are measured. Muscle dysmorphia symptoms are also analyzed by having participants complete a muscle dysmorphia questionnaire. It is hypothesized that participants with higher levels of muscle dysmorphia will have slower reaction times and commit more errors than participants with low levels of muscle dysmorphia.

Painting Connections, Wesley Miller

Over the past year, as part of my Honors College Thesis Project I have been creating a body of drawings, paintings, and prints that explore my personal history through symbolism and narrative elements. Repetition of characters leads to a stacking of context. The resulting self-reference of characters across different pieces leads to a literal communication between pieces, as well as a conceptual one. This strengthens the visual and conceptual weave of the body of work as a whole. Set in an environment separate from perceivable reality, a dream scape, the work sidesteps the didactic, and the works allow the viewer to engage in a personal exploration of the environment. The placeholders that I associate with certain elements of my past and my identity are now free to be projected upon by the viewer. I wish to present the body of work, and the process I underwent to realize it. This includes research into my past, as well as visual and intellectual influences.

Two of a Kind: The Death and Life of Patricia and Joan Miller, Monica Spees

Twin sisters, Patricia and Joan Miller, create an unusual story that few people know. In their youth, they had fairly successful singing and performing careers, but they became reclusive as they got older and continued their lives only with each other. No one knew much about or heard much from them for about 40 years. Then police found them dead in their South Lake Tahoe, Calif., home in February 2012. Autopsy reports showed they died within hours of each other several weeks before police found them. I intend to investigate the lives of the two sisters and their devotion to each other. Most people spend years looking for someone to spend a lifetime with, but these women have a unique story. Their life together gives a new perspective to the search for soul mates, true love and happiness. My goal is to begin to tell their story in two or three chapters of what I hope to turn into a longer work. I plan to take a creative non-fiction, journalistic approach to this subject. My intent is to unravel the details of their relationship.

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