Great presentations at the Kentucky Honors Roundtable in Lexington (Sat, Feb 16, 2013)

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Johnny Bergman, Wes Miller, Wolfgang Brauner, Monica Spees, Jon Hendrie, Molly White

We had a wonderful time at the Kentucky Honors Roundtable (KHR) in Lexington this past weekend and our students did a great job presenting their CE/Ts – very professional, clear, concise and compelling! They will share their experience of KHR in the next few days, so stay tuned!

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. The next KHR will be held at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) near Cincinnati in late October/early November (date yet to be determined).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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5 Responses to Great presentations at the Kentucky Honors Roundtable in Lexington (Sat, Feb 16, 2013)

  1. Molly White says:

    I had a fabulous time at the Kentucky Honors Roundtable Conference this year! It was a great opportunity for me and my fellow group members to get more experience presenting in front of others and answering questions about our capstone projects. It was a great way to prepare us for defending our theses. I also enjoyed attending other students’ presentations to see what kind of research undergraduate students are doing around the state. Lastly, I had some great memories with this group! Every time I eat a Fuji apple or answer a trivia question I will think of them!

  2. Jonathan Hendrie says:

    I attended KHR in order to gain professional experience and run-through my slideshow in preparation for future conferences. It was a fabulous experience! Mr. Wolfgang Brauner drove us, so naturally we called ourselves “the wolfpack”. We had a competitive trivia night, met students from other KY universities, and rode in a spaceship (our van). The presentations were interesting, the food was great, and everyone was extremely supportive. Needless to say, I had a great time and look forward to participating again in the future!

  3. Johnny Bergman says:

    This past weekend, I had the great opportunity of being able to travel with four great honors students to the University of Kentucky for Kentucky Honors Roundtable (KHR). The event was quite successful. Each of WKU’s honors students did a fantastic job presenting and answering questions during Q&A. Through this trip, I feel like I was able to get to know the Honors students. I learned more about what they were studying, their interests, and plans after graduating. I also feel like we made a lot of great memories on this trip. The car rides, the trivia match, the Wolf Pack, and our small inside jokes are a few of my favorite memories. Next semester, KHR will be held at Northern Kentucky University! It will be a great opportunity and adventure you will not want to miss out on.

  4. KHR was a really informal environment and easy to present at. Our group was a lot of fun, we compared very well to other schools’ groups. A lot of the talks are on stacked schedules, but we all got to see our group’s presentations and support each other. I had a great weekend, exhausting as it might have been!

  5. Monica Spees says:

    There isn’t much I can add to the comments my fellow KHR attendees have said. Everything they have said is completely true. It’s a great atmosphere that really fosters a professional, scholarly environment. Presenting was a lot of fun, and it was very rewarding to showcase the things we’ve worked hard on. But as others have said, the WKU Honors camaraderie is awesome. Put a few awesome, hilarious people in a van and see what happens. It’s a treat you’ll never forget.

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