Undergraduate students from across Tennessee, including MTSU researchers, witnessed state government in action and shared their research with legislators Feb. 24 on Capitol Hill in Nashville.
Joined by more than 50 of their peers from other state universities, the MTSU group talked about their scholarly efforts with state legislators during the 11th annual Posters at the Capitol event.
Posters at the Capitol lets student researchers visit with their senators and representatives and gives legislators a glimpse at what the academic achievers are pursuing at respective Tennessee Board of Regents and University of Tennessee system schools.
Daniel Cunefare, Lauren Heusinkveld, Alesha Hicks, Sam Hulsey, Trang Huynh, Mary Poss, Nausheen Qureshi, Kelly Saine and Ryan Tilluck represented MTSU.
Students from fellow TBR schools Austin Peay, East Tennessee, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and the University of Memphis also were a part of the event, along with students from UT-Chattanooga, UT-Knoxville and UT-Martin.
Their research included:
- Cunefare’s low-cost sensing and diagnostic system to continuously monitor the recovery process of heart failure patients.
- Hulsey’s comparisons of climate change affecting water resources in northern Peru’s mountainous regions.
- Huynh’s assessment of traditional Chinese medicine herbal extracts’ potential to inhibit herpes simplex virus type 1.
- Poss’ study of an effective way to rehabilitate a deteriorating Dominican Republic coral reef system.
“It’s really cool to have an insight on their jobs and how our research can potentially impact decisions made in our state,” Hulsey said of the legislators.
State Rep. Jim Tracy, R-Shelbyville, and an MTSU alumnus, said he was “very impressed with their knowledge of the subject,” adding that these students’ research “can help save lives all around the world.”
Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, talked to the entire group during their lunch and visited with students from ETSU, his alma mater, before returning to the session.
“When you look at the research they’ve done, I feel confident that the state of Tennessee is headed in the right direction,” Ramsey said.
During lunch, the students also heard from Dr. Tristan Denley, vice chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents. They capped their day with a photo with Gov. Bill Haslam before heading home.
Dr. Tom Cheatham, director of MTSU’s Tennessee STEM Education Center, coordinated the event. Other MTSU officials attending included Dr. Jackie Eller, interim dean for the College of Graduate Studies; Dr. Andrienne Friedli, director of the director of the Center for Advancement of Research and Scholarship; Todd Gary of the Office of Research; and graduate student Jeannie Stubblefield.
You can see a photo gallery from the 2016 Posters at the Capitol here.
To learn more about MTSU research, visit www.mtsu.edu/research.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)