Best of 200+ Projects Recognized During 2017 PNW Student Research Days

Best of 200+ Projects Recognized During 2017 PNW Student Research Days
By: Purdue University Northwest Last Updated: May 30, 2017

The best of Purdue University Northwest student research was recognized this spring during the university’s 2017 Student Research Days.

The projects encompass scholarly activity by Purdue Northwest undergraduate and graduate students. Scholarly research is a component of PNW’s strategic goal of advancing learning through engagement and discovery.

More than 200 student research projects, conducted under the guidance of PNW faculty members, were presented at both PNW campuses. Award-winning-projects are listed as follows:

Undergraduate Student Research Oral Presentations
1st Place – Adam Ruckman of Hebron and Kelsi Zalavadia of Crown Point, “Developing Marketing Decision Support System in Organizations Through the Use of Enterprise Simulation Model” (Hammond Campus); Nicholas Chimitt of Crown Point and William Misch of Wheatfield, “EEG-Based Brain Machine Interface System with Control Applications” (Westville Campus).

2nd Place – Christopher Perry of Valparaiso and Juan Juarez of Merrillville, “Phase I Pixel Detector Upgrade” (Hammond Campus); Angelia Jeka of Chesterton, “Photodynamic Evaluation of Chlorin-Rexinoid Derivatives in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cell Line” (Westville Campus).

3rd Place – Daniel Cubillos of Hammond, “PECS-based Interactive, Visual Application to Facilitate Comprehension and Communication for Autistic Children” (Hammond Campus); Stephanie L. Hostetler of La Porte, “The Monster under the Bed: Children’s Movies and Their Influence on the Young Minds Perceptions of Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Heterosexuality” (Westville Campus).

Undergraduate Student Research Poster Presentations
1st Place – Kristen D. Jones of Highland, “Isolation and Purification of Enterohemorrhagic E. coli EspB Protein to Identify Plant-Binding Partners” (Hammond Campus); Rachel Kunnen of Plymouth, “Endophytic fungi isolated from organic spinach exhibits antibacterial properties towards Gram negative and positive bacteria” (Westville Campus).

2nd Place – Ellen Yos of Lansing, IL, “Analysis of GIRK channel subunit properties that contribute to ethanol association” (Hammond Campus); Melanie Shebel of Westville, “Determination of efficient and strategic starting structures for the simulation and structure optimization of small peptides” (Westville Campus).

3rd Place – Chen-Hsuan Chiu of Hammond, “Comparison of Sporulation and Calcite Production by Sporosacina pasteurii, Lysinibacillus sphaericus for Self-healing Concrete” (Hammond Campus); David Fox of Valparaiso, Jean Wanmer of La Porte, and Justin Randolph of Hebron, “Bright Insight: Improving Mental Health Awareness, Treatment, and Shattering the Chains of Stigma” (Westville Campus).

Graduate Student Research Oral Presentations
1st Place – Ikenna Ezeugwu of Hammond, “Concrete Bridge Deck Service Life Optimization by the Incorporation of Phase Change Materials using Lightweight Aggregates” (Westville Campus); Emiliano Aguilar Jr. of East Chicago, "Or did Christ die in Vain?:" Ricardo Cruz, Católicos por La Raza, and the St. Basil's Demonstration” (Hammond Campus).

2nd Place – Xiang Liu of Hammond, “CFD Modeling of a Pursher-Type Reheat Furnace” (Hammond Campus); Samuel Ozeh of Hammond, “Smartphone-based Quantitative Detection of Chemical Contaminants in Aqueous Media using HSV Color Space” (Westville Campus).

3rd Place – Yongqi Xu of Hammond, “Virtual AMTEC Simulator” (Hammond Campus); Michael K. Okorie of Hammond, “Photocatalytic Degradation of Pharmaceutical Contaminants in Complex Water Matrix” (Westville Campus).

Graduate Student Research Poster Presentations
1st Place – Haodong Chang of Highland, “An Empirical Comparison of the Impact of China Stock Markets on the US and Global Economy: A Systems Dynamics Simulation Model” (Hammond Campus); Ukoha Emekwo of Hammond, “Improving photo-degradation of pharmaceuticals by immobilizing TiO2/AC composites on PVDF membrane sheet using low temperature heat treatment” (Westville Campus).

2nd Place – Yuchao Chen of Hammond, “Modeling of EAF for Process Optimization and Safety Training” (Hammond Campus).

3rd Place – Juan Francisco Hernandez of Hammond, “Effect of Temperature and Water Activity on Aflatoxin B1 Production and Growth of Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus on Niger seeds” (Hammond Campus).

Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest (PNW), a comprehensive regional university within the Purdue University system, has two Northwest Indiana campuses in Hammond and Westville. With more than 15,000 students enrolled last fall and nearly 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, Purdue Northwest is Indiana’s fifth largest public university. For more information about PNW, visit