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U-M students to present research in Lansing

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Undergraduate students from the University of Michigan's three campuses along with Michigan State University and Wayne State University will celebrate their contributions to the state of Michigan through cutting edge research at the Michigan Undergraduate Research Forum in Lansing March 24.

Twelve students from throughout the state will present the important role of undergraduate research in higher education, as well as underscore the role of research in addressing critical state issues and needs.

The student's presentations will cover various areas, from the impact of business incubators in spurring Michigan's future economy to health care disparities and medical advances in treating stroke patients, to environmental sustainability, education, and prison reform.

The sixth annual event begins at 10 a.m. and will be held in House Committee Room 424 in the State Capitol Building. It is free and open to the public.

State Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith, MSU President Lou Ana K. Simon, Jackie Jerome Marks, special adviser to the governor, and Jeff Mason, executive director of Michigan's University Research Corridor, will speak about the vital role research universities play in educating and training future researchers, teachers, policymakers, and corporate leaders. Their remarks will also highlight the contributions' University researchers make to the quality of life of Michigan's citizens and the future economic vitality of the state.

U-M students are part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), which creates research partnerships between students and faculty researchers campus-wide. UROP director Sandra Gregerman said faculty members nominated students to present their research in Lansing and the honorees were selected based on several factors, including the relevance of their research to the state.

"This event shows state legislators the benefits of research to both undergraduate education and the State of Michigan through the training of a talented cadre of future researchers," Gregerman said.

Sita Syal, a freshman chemical engineering major at U-M Ann Arbor, will present her research on sustainable options to reuse incinerated municipal solid waste ash.

"I am very excited to participate in MURF," Syal said. "I look forward to presenting my results to the legislators and educating them on ways to improve our state.

UROP will hold its spring research symposium at 11 a.m. April 21 in the Michigan League.

Students, along with their hometowns and projects who will give presentations in Lansing, include:

? Sita Syal, (East Lansing). Sustainable options to reuse incinerated municipal solid waste ash.
? Catherine Laurion (West Branch) and Andrew Farron (Traverse City). Business incubation in Michigan: Initiating entrepreneurial development and new venture creation in local Michigan communities.

? Christy Steffke (Gibralter). Examining streamflow and sediment transport processes within the lower branch of the Rouge River Watershed.
? Elizabethe Shnerpunas, (Garden City), Characterization of thermally sprayed nano-structured materials for lithium ion batteries.
? Mona Kadouh (Dearborn Heights), Vehicle electrification.

? Andrea Garber (Brighton), The Michigan Study of Life After Prison.
? Cameron Waites (Flint), Oliodendrogenesis after a hypoxic-ischemics stroke in the mouse brain.