Saturday, May 22, 2010

UW-River Falls students attend the 2010 ‘Posters in the Rotunda’ event in Madison.

From left is Bryan Bodrog, Rep. Kitty Rhoades, Brittany Lee, Samantha Jakel (a UW-Madison student collaborator on the UWRF Ice Cube project), Drew Anderson, Kyle Jero, and Ted Cannady.

Seven UW-River Falls students attended the seventh annual “Posters in the Rotunda” event at the Capitol Rotunda in Madison on May 5 to share their original research with legislators and other state leaders.

These students joined more than 100 University of Wisconsin System undergraduates from all 26 UW System campuses at the Capitol. State leaders had the opportunity to view poster presentations of the research projects, speak with students and faculty mentors to learn more about how high impact undergraduate research enriches the educational experience.

Students attending from UWRF include:

Bryan Bodrog, a senior psychology major from Hudson, presented his poster, “A Comparison of the Attitudes, Education Experience, and Engagement of Military Veterans and Nonveteran College Students.”

Kyle Jero, a senior mathematics and physics major from Marshfield, presented his poster, “The Oden Ice Breaker Calibration Cruise: Extending the Icetop Array for Solar Study.”

Jennie Maciosek a senior majoring in political science from Stillwater, Minn., presented her poster titled: “Do Specific References and Words Matter to the Public? State of the Union Addresses and Presidential Job Approval Rating.”

Brittany Lee, a senior animal science and biology major from Chatfield, Minn., presented her poster, “Modeling Complex Cervical Carcinoma Cell-Derived Structures in 3D ‘Artificial Tissue’ Cultures.” Brittany also represented the UWRF TCIC in presenting a poster for Victor Piazza, who was attending the Bio2010 International Convention in Chicago.

Victor Piazza, a post-graduate student with a degree in biotechnology from UWRF, had his poster,“Tissue and Cellular Characterization of Long-Term Cardiac Artificial Tissues Cultured in 3D Using Natural ECM Materials.” presented by lab partner Brittany Lee.

Ted Cannady a senior agriculture business major from Milwaukee, presented his poster, “Analysis of Estimated Costs and Investment Feasibility of Transitioning to an Ellepot Production System.”

Jennifer Haug, a senior TESOL major from Manitowoc, presented her poster, “2009 UWRF Climate Change Survey, co-authored by Jonathan Lyksett, and Cory Heaton.

As the UW System works to increase the number of graduates by 30 percent over the next 15 years, many campuses are expanding opportunities for undergraduate research as one way to boost retention and graduation rates. Considered a “high impact practice,” this kind of experience has been demonstrate to enhance student success in college, according to the National Survey of Student Engagement.

More information on the event, including a list of all participating students, is available at

UWRF physics students present their research on the Ice Cube Project in Washington D.C..

Recently, on April 13th, 2010 three UWRF students (Kyle Jero, Samantha Jakel and Drew Anderson) from physics Professor Jim Madsen's Ice Cube project presented their work at Posters on the Hill, a prestigious undergraduate research event sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research.

The event was held in the Rayburn House Office building in Washington, DC, and many members of congress--including Wisconsin's Ron Kind--attended to view the posters. The group visited five congressional offices---Obey, Ryan, Kind, Feingold, and Kohl. Senator Feingold spent time talking with the students as did staffers in the other offices.

Drew, Samantha, and Kyle were also selected to present a Council on Undergraduate Research award to NSF Director Dr. Arden Dement. The CUR event showcasing the undergraduate research and scholarship of 60 selected students from across the nation honored Dr. Dement for a lifetime of service to the NSF and to undergraduate research through a long and distinguished career.

For information on the IceCube project, visit

Saturday, May 8, 2010

UWRF Tissue and Cellular Innovation Center at Bio 2010 Convention in Chicago!

On May 5-6th two UWRF TCIC student researchers, Victor Piazza and Tim Morris along with the TCIC Director, Dr. Lyden traveled to Chicago to participate in the “Bio 2010” Convention at McCormick Place. The TCIC contingent joined others from across Wisconsin in representing the Biotechnology Industry of the state. In particular, the TCIC crew manned the “Momentum West” portion of the state pavilion in this global event. More than 1700 exhibitors representing countries, states and companies from around the world presented the state of the art in Biotechnology. The meeting also featured presentations by former Presidents Clinton and Bush as well as Vice President Gore. Altogether the meeting attracted some 17,000 participants over 5 days.

Momentum West, the regional economic development organization based in Eau Claire invited the TCIC to participate in this world class event to showcase the significant work being done here in western Wisconsin to develop the biotechnology and biomedical research and training capacity of the region. At the Momentum kiosk we were joined by individuals and materials from UW-Stout, UW-Eau Claire and CVTC as well as information on numerous industries in the area. Also presenting within the state pavilion was TCIC collaborator, Marshfield Clinic in addition to several units associated with UW-Madison.

This was an extremely productive short trip to Chicago that we expect to see grow new opportunities and potential collaborations. Thanks go out to the Dean of CAS, the Director of the UWRF Biotechnology Program and the Grants Office for their funding support of this trip. For additional details and pictures see the new TCIC Blogspot at :

Sunday, May 2, 2010

UWRF hosts the 10th Annual UW-System Research Symposium.

On Friday April 30th, more than 200 students, faculty and administrators from across the UW system converged on the UC for the “10th Annual UW-System Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Activities”. This premier System-wide event is held nearly every year (unless NCUR is in Wisconsin) somewhere around the state as campuses of the UW-System gather to share their scholarly works with one another.
This year and in 2008, UWRF was honored to host the event in our excellent meeting facilities in the UC. Both oral and poster sessions went on throughout the day from around 8:30 to nearly 3:30 in the afternoon. Special quests included the Chancellor Van Galen and UW-System Student Regent, Aaron Wingad. Regent Wingad is currently serving a 2 year term on the Board and hails from our sister western Wisconsin campus in Eau Claire. Regent Wingad was recently awarded a very prestigious “Truman Scholarship” by the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation and plans to attend Medical School upon completion of his undergraduate studies in 2013.

Also featured at the Symposium was the keynote speaker, Dr. Brian Fife, from the
University of Minnesota. Dr. Fife is a new and already well known specialist in autoimmune diabetes who presented a talked entitled, “Biology happens in 3D: What can imaging teach us about autoimmune diabetes?” Dr. Fife is also a UWRF alumnus and began his research career as an undergraduate researcher here at UWRF back in the early 1990’s. Graduating in 1995, Dr. Fife was encouraged and challenged by the excellent mentorship of Dr. Karen Klyczek in the Biology Department to go on for his Ph.D. and is now a world class research scientist back in Minnesota. Dr. Fife presented a fascinating talk on imaging immune responses in 3D and the role of various immune system components in both normal and pathologic immune responses. Despite the seriousness of the topic, Dr. Fife made everyone laugh with his “trunk monkey” examples of immune system functions.

Overall the event was a great success with numerous discussions and new friendships established while old colleagues met and discussed the new ideas flowing from all the great presentations. UWRF Society for Undergraduate RSCA officers assisted the Grants office organizers with preparations, logistics and functioned as ushers for the program. Chalk-up another statewide undergraduate RSCA success for UWRF!!!