University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

EPSCoR announces AURA winners

The North Dakota Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (ND EPSCoR) announces the 2012 Advanced Undergraduate Research Award (AURA) winners at UND. The goal of AURA is to encourage undergraduate students to consider a career that involves research in Science, Engineering, or Mathematics. AURA provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to participate in faculty-mentored research projects at the state’s two research Universities. AURA participants are awarded up to $6,500 for full-time research activities during the summer session and for part-time research activities during the fall semester. Awardees are expected to apply for a nationally competitive undergraduate scholarship during their AURA experience. ND EPSCoR is a program supported by the National Science Foundation and the State of North Dakota at both UND and North Dakota State University.

UND AURA winners, their home towns, their faculty mentors, and the research projects in which they will participate are:

  • Sam Ficenec, Fargo, N.D., Kathryn Yurkonis and Brett Goodwin, Biology, “Where do the insects roam? Effects of prairie plant diversity on insect movement.”
  • Kari Kusler, Kulm, N.D., Alena Kubatova, Chemistry, “Analytical Method Development for Determination of Resveratrol and its Derivatives.”
  • Karl Lokken, Grand Rapids, Minn., Naima Kaabouch, Electrical Engineering, “Sense and Avoid Solutions for Small Unmanned Arial Systems.”
  • Ben Maliske, Beulah, N.D., Bryon Grove, Anatomy and Cell Biology, “Role of the A-kinase anchoring protein AKAP12 in endothelial cell migration.”
  • Andre Marin, Houston, Texas, Naima Kaabouch, Electrical Engineering, “Collision Avoidance System for Smart Vehicles.”
  • Jennifer Neva, Jamestown, N.D., Steven Ralph, Biology, “Biochemical analysis of a putative RING-H2 E3 ligase involved in poplar tree defense against defoliating insects.”
  • Adam Osowski, Kathryn Yurkonis and Brett Goodwin, Biology, “Where do the insects roam? Effects of prairie plant diversity on insect movement.”
  • Holly robak, Foley, Minn., Matthew Gilmore, Atmospheric Sciences, “In situ measurements of snow crystals and their associated polarimetric radar signatures.”
  • Matthew Schober, Grand Forks, N.D., Qianli Chu, Chemistry, “Construction of Novel Organic Nanotubes with Potential Green Energy Applications.”

For additional information concerning ND EPSCoR or the AURA program, please contact Mark R. Hoffmann, associate vice president for Research Capacity Building and ND EPSCoR co-project director, Twamley Hall 415, 58201-7093, 777-2492.

-- Cathy Lerud, EPSCoR, 777-2511,

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