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Students to showcase research at state Capitol

Seven University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students will be among the more than 100 UW System students to present their faculty-student research projects April 22 to legislators, state leaders and UW System alumni during "Posters in the Rotunda: UW Research Powers Wisconsin" at the state Capitol in Madison.

"At UW-Eau Claire, 37 percent of seniors have had an in-depth faculty-mentored research experience by the time they graduate," said Dr. Karen Havholm, assistant vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs. "This is an opportunity for students to showcase the benefits of those hands-on experiences to our elected officials and the general public."

Faculty-student research is one of the high-impact learning experiences that is a hallmark of a UW-Eau Claire degree, said Chancellor James Schmidt, noting that 80 percent of graduating seniors reported having participated in at least one such experience, which also include internships, study abroad and international or domestic cultural immersion experiences.

"Posters in the Rotunda is an outstanding opportunity for our students involved in research to demonstrate to leaders in Wisconsin the ways UW-Eau Claire is contributing new knowledge and talented graduates, both of which will contribute to the growth and vitality of our region and our state," Schmidt said. 

UW-Eau Claire's second Rhodes Scholar, Tayo Sanders II, will present his materials science research at Posters in the Rotunda. Other UW-Eau Claire students will present from a variety of disciplines: psychology, languages, geology, kinesiology, and music and theatre arts. 

Participating students, their faculty mentors and research topics are: 

  • Reese Butterfuss, Tomah, with Dr. Mary Beth Tusing, psychology: "Early Literacy Screening: Comparing PALS-K with Computerized Assessments." 
  • Tayo Sanders II, Neenah, with Dr. Jennifer Dahl, material science: "Janus Nanoparticle Formation via Regioselective Ligand Exchange Reactions at Soft Interfaces." 
  • Benjamin Carpenter, Portage, with Dr. Joshua Brown, languages: "Language and Identity Among Somalis in Barron, Wisconsin."
  • Ellyn Swenson, Osceola, with Dr. Robert Hooper, geology: "Using morphology and chemistry to understand the retention and expulsion of heavy metals in natural Fe/Mn-oxyhydroxide nanoparticulates." 
  • Alyssa Kompelien, Eau Claire, and Amanda Nell, Delafield, with Dr. Saori Braun, kinesiology: "Impact of Non-Training Physical Activity on Menstrual Dysfunction in Collegiate Cross-Country Runners."
  • Kaitlyn Witherspoon, Monona, with Dr. Tulio Rondon, music and theatre arts: "Analysis of Top U.S. Orchestra Excerpts and Auditions for Violoncello." 

For more information about Posters in the Rotunda, contact Dr. Karen Havholm, assistant vice chancellor for research and director of the university's Center of Excellence for Faculty/Student Research Collaboration, at or 715-836-3405.