SUNY Provost Alex Cartwright, who also holds an appointment as professor of electrical engineering at UB, meets with UB students Matthew Falcone and Lily Talal at the Undergraduate Student Research and Creative Activities Forum held in Albany. Photo: Tim Tryjankowski
By LAURA HERNADNEZ
Published March 3, 2016
“I think the future of New York State is in great hands with these great young minds.”
Tim Tryjankowski, director
Center for Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities
Two UB undergraduates found themselves on a mission last week in Albany: to show SUNY leaders that their investment in student research is money well spent.
Matthew Falcone and Lily Talal presented their research to SUNY leaders at the biannual SUNY Undergraduate Student Research and Creative Activities Forum, held Feb. 24 at the Legislative Office Building. They were accompanied by Tim Tryjankowski, director of UB’s Center for Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities (CURCA).
The forum celebrates undergraduate research by inviting two students from each of the SUNY campuses to present their work to members of the New York State Senate and Assembly, as well as representatives of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and SUNY administrators, including Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.
“SUNY is educating and training the next generation of researchers in a multitude of fields,” Tryjankowski says. “State support is crucial in allowing for a top-tier, yet affordable university education. By bringing the ‘results’ — the tangible research outcomes and discoveries to our elected officials — a strong case is made to elicit more support from Albany.”
Falcone, a sophomore double majoring in environmental and civil engineering, presented research titled “Design of Parabolic Solar Trough for Empowered Sustainable Water Treatment in Developing Countries.” The aim of the project was to develop the most efficient parabolic solar trough design that can disinfect water in developing countries and during emergency conditions.
Falcone’s mentor on the project is James Jensen, professor of civil, structural and environmental engineering.
“This year we hit a home run with Matthew Falcone,” Tryjankowski says. “His project hits home with legislative leaders, not only because of its international outreach, but locally there are implications of this work, he says, noting that the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, “makes New York officials take notice of Jensen and Matthew’s work.”
“UB is at the forefront of examining and providing solutions to our basic need for clean water,” Tryjankowski says.
Talal, a freshman studying biomedical sciences, presented her research, “The Acute Effect of Shiitake and White Button Mushrooms on Postprandial Lipemia and Lipid Peroxidation,” with her mentor Peter Horvath, associate professor of exercise and nutrition sciences. Their work focuses on developing a treatment strategy to reduce the risk of cardiometabolic diseases. They have been focusing on mushrooms and how the fungi could improve dyslipidemia — an abnormal amount of lipids in the blood — by being a dietary substitution for meat.
“I think the future of New York State is in great hands with these great young minds,” Tryjankowski says. “I am thrilled to have these two UB undergraduates representing our campus.”
Three students trying to make it through Europe with only cans of Red Bull
Students hope to participate in ‘Red Bull Can You Make It?’ challenge
When traveling to a foreign country, it’s common for travelers to exchange currency. Three UB students are purposefully not doing this.
Rather than money, they’ll be using an energy drink to pay their way through Europe.
Three UB students are attempting to make the cut of participating in the “Red Bull Can You Make It?” challenge, in which 165 student teams from more than 50 countries will travel across Europe for seven days with only Red Bull energy drinks as currency. The winning team will win a paid summer vacation in Europe.
When dropped off at their first destination, all competitors will have their phones and wallets taken. In exchange, they will receive 24 cans of Red Bull, which they must budget and use in creative ways in order to make their way through seven checkpoints and ultimately to the final destination: Paris.
Three UB students, Chris Komin and Jake Dixon, both junior media study majors, and George Gombert, a junior mechanical engineering major, have hopes of competing in this year’s challenge, which runs from April 12-19.
Komin, Dixon and Gombert, who refer to themselves as “Queen City Can Make It,” must be in the top 18 of the eastern region of the United States to make it through to the next round of the competition. From there, four teams from each region – north, south, east and west – will be chosen by Red Bull judges to determine who goes to Europe.
Each team must submit a one-minute video that creatively displays why they should be chosen for the challenge.
The winning decisions will be based on “video creativity, charm and energy,” according to the challenge’s official website.
All three students are a part of UB’s Outdoor Adventure Club (OAC). Komin and Dixon, both Buffalo natives, have been close friends since middle school, bonding through their mutual love of the outdoors and adventure. Earlier this year, they met Gombert through OAC, and the three of them immediately clicked.
“This is the perfect competition for us. We all backpack, we all travel and we love adventure,” Dixon said.
Komin, Dixon and Gombert said that their backgrounds in outdoor activities and media study would give them an upper hand in the competition. They said they have the knowledge, interest and drive to succeed at this unique competition because of their numerous trips with the OAC and their videography skills.
Dixon said he frequently watches videos from previous years, which help to “really amp him up.” He said that, if chosen, the three of them would have an exciting experience and possibly even win the whole challenge.
Unlike many competitions, the winner is not chosen by who reaches the final destination first, but rather by who had the best adventure throughout. Komin explained that each team’s adventure is based off a point system.
“You are given a camera and when you’re there you share your story and what you’ve been trading for Red Bull. There are different point values for different items traded,” Komin said.
Past participants have traded Red Bull for items such as tattoos or skydiving. In terms of points, Dixon said the more unique the better.
Komin, Dixon and Gombert have taken to advertisements in order to receive as many votes as possible.
Their video will be on a 24/7 loop on Time Warner Cable News until Feb. 25.
They have also developed a Facebook page where every step on their journey is documented and followers are encouraged to spread the word. Fliers have been placed all over campus on bulletin boards and tables. The “Queen City Can Make It” website has been projected on the screens of many lecture halls.
“The main thing now is to get the community’s support,” Gombert said. “UB is so big that it’s hard to get the word out to everyone, but we are trying hard.
The Arts and Humanities Division of CUR is pleased to announce the availability of travel grants to students to present their work at a regional or national research conference. CURAH will award up to four grants for up to $375 per grant. To apply for the grant, students must submit or have submitted the following to Dr. Sara E. Orel (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 8pm (EST) onFriday, February 12, 2016:
Contact information: Name, university affiliation, academic major, e-mail address, cell #
The name, date, and location of the conference being attended
The abstract submitted to that conference for acceptance
Proof of acceptance of the abstract to the program of that conference
A detailed budget estimate for travel to that conference (including travel, lodging, food, registration, etc); please itemize!
A brief statement as to alternative sources of funding (1-2 sentences)
A brief statement as to how this conference presentation fits into the students overall academic and/or career plans (50-75 words)
A brief statement submitted by your project advisor directly to the grant coordinator (above) regarding the student’s qualifications and how this conference will benefit the student in his/her academic and/or career goals.
1. Students attending CUR sponsored events will be given priority.
2. Students should receive responses about funding no later than March 1, 2016.
For additional information, please contact:
Council on Undergraduate Research
734 15th St, NW, Suite 550
Washington, DC 20005
The SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference (SURC) is a multidisciplinary event hosted each spring semester by a different SUNY institution. SURC brings together undergraduate student researchers and faculty mentors from across the SUNY system for a full day of activities, including sessions devoted to student presentations (ranging from panel presentations, artistic displays, and poster presentations), luncheon with keynote speaker(s), a SUNY Graduate School and career fair, and professional development workshops for students and for faculty.
All undergraduate students engaged in research and their mentors across SUNY & CUNY are invited to attend!
This year’s keynote speaker, renowned cancer researcher, Jill Bargonetti, will give the keynote address at SURC 2016. Dr Bargonetti is Professor of Biological Sciences at Hunter College. She earned her B.A. at SUNY College at Purchase and her Ph.D. at New York University, followed by postdoctorate work at Columbia University.
Application deadline has been extended to Friday, February 12th! Submit your application today!
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 from 11:45am to 1:00 pm
Are you hungry for empowerment?The UB Women in STEM Cooperativeis sponsoring a brown bag, noon time lecture series that explores gender differences in STEM careers. Our featured speakers will share their insights and challenge your assumptions. Bring your lunch and a friend!
Introduction: Karen King, PhD, Program Manager, Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Partnership, University at Buffalo
Presenter: Ramla Qureshi, Founder, Women Engineers Pakistan & MSc, Civil Engineering, University at Buffalo
Description: Breaking Glass Ceilings: Empowering Pakistani Women in STEM
The dearth of engineering talent is a major concern not just in Pakistan, but the world over. It is now imperative for the industry to rapidly attract more women into engineering to increase its talent pool. In Pakistan, women make up over half of the population. This ratio should ideally equate to fifty percent or more of engineers, designers, technologists, scientists and inventors. Unfortunately, the country faces a humongous gender gap. The Women Engineers Pakistan (WEP) believes that the prevalent lack of gender balance within Pakistani engineering sectors can be alleviated by a number of initiatives. This talk will be centered on the enablers and barriers faced in the path of including women in STEM fields and the best methods for conducting above mentioned methodologies.
This brown bag lunch lecture is hosted at the Center for Educational Innovation, located in 207 Capen Hall, inside the Silverman Library. Admission is free and open to the public. Space is limited so advanced registration is requested.
The Bronze Age Körös Off-Tell Archaeological (BAKOTA) Field School is a summer undergraduate research program sponsored by Quinnipiac University and the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site program. Students accepted into the program will work with an international, multidisciplinary research team on the bioarchaeological analysis of a Middle Bronze Age cemetery in eastern Hungary. Student travel, housing, food, field trip fees, etc. will be covered by the NSF in addition to a $500/week stipend (total $3,000). Eight Fellows will be selected from the pool of applicants. Students must be a US citizen or permanent resident, and currently enrolled in an undergraduate program to be eligible.
Website and Online Application: http://bakota.net Application Deadline: March 18, 2016 Field School Dates: July 4 – August 14, 2016 Field School Location: Quinnipiac University & Hungary Contact Information: Dr. Julia Giblin (email@example.com)
The University at Buffalo, Center for Geohazards Studies is pleased to solicit applications for the Center for Geohazards Studies Student Research Award (CGSSRA). These awards enable outstanding graduate students in science, engineering, and other fields, who are enrolled at the University at Buffalo to improve and expand their research skills while directing their efforts towards natural hazards in the United States and/or abroad. The Program especially encourages individuals who want to better link our understanding of geological hazards with pressing policy and management applications to apply. Award recipients will be selected on the basis of ability to conduct innovative research that promises to improve the effectiveness of natural hazards science. The application process is tailored after the proposal development process for the National Science Foundation, giving applicants exposure to the grants process. The grants are intended to only cover costs directly related to research, and as such other types of proposals (e.g., for conference attendance) will not be considered.
Individual graduate students, from any department at UB, with outstanding, innovative skills in research and communication are encouraged to submit applications with research proposals aimed at the above or any other issue relevant to extreme events. Students in any department who are conducting research related to natural hazards (for example, Geology, Engineering, Urban Planning, Management, and others) are encouraged to apply. The Program expects to select one or two award recipients, in March, 2015. The total amount available for the CGSSRA is $2,000.
All applications materials must be received by February 29, 2016. Funds are available for projects to start on July 1, 2016. Projects must be completed by April 30, 2017. The funds for individual research awards will be administered by the Center for Geohazards Studies. Awards are contingent upon continued funding of the Center for Geohazards Studies.
Please contact Barbara Catalano firstname.lastname@example.org for applications
The Cornell University LSAMP REU is accepting applications!
Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation
12 June – 12 August 2016
CU LSAMP-REU is a paid summer research opportunity that provides undergraduate participants the opportunity to work with distinguished faculty and staff as well as network with others in their field of interest through weekly luncheons.
Undergraduate students interested in gaining a deeper understanding in an engineering-related field have the opportunity to conduct and present research over a ten-week duration under the auspices of a Cornell Engineering faculty research mentor.
Through this one-on-one partnership, participants will gain theoretical knowledge and practical training in academic research and scientific experimentation. CU LSAMP-REU was developed to aid in the retention of traditionally underrepresented minority groups in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
CU LSAMP-REU Offers:
A research stipend of $4,000
A round-trip travel stipend up to $300 for students living outside of Ithaca, NY
A double room in a residential hall
A campus bus pass or a campus parking pass
Access to state-of-the-art laboratories, libraries, computer/study lounges, etc.