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WIU Students Capture Awards at Illinois State Academy of Science Competition

May 28, 2015

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MACOMB, IL – Students from Western Illinois University's departments of biological sciences, physics, chemistry and computer science captured numerous awards at the annual meeting of the Illinois State Academy of Science, held April 10-11.

Many of these student researchers are part of and have been supported by the Research Inspiring Student Excellence (RISE) Program in the WIU College of Arts and Sciences.

WIU students who won awards in the Student Presentation category include:

• Chemistry Division - Posters

• Amanda Ellison, from Lebanon, IL, who received her master's degree in chemistry from WIU in May - "Evaluation of Synthetic Thiosemicarbazone Containing Compounds as Inhibitor of Cathepsin K"

• Souseelya Vedula, a chemistry graduate student from India – "A New Method to Synthesize Biaryl Compounds"

• Alexis Jones, a senior forensic chemistry major from Macomb – "The Role of Environmental Conditions on Forensic Soil Comparisons: HPLC, Conductivity, and Settling Rate Analyses"

• Chemistry Division - Oral Presentations

• Archana Pasupulety, a chemistry graduate student from India – "Synthesis and Oxidative Properties of a o-Iodoxybenzoic Acid (IBX) Derivative with a Pentaflurosulfanyl Group"

• Computer Science Division - Oral Presentations

• Sai Avensh Boggavarapu, a computer science graduate student from India – "Feature Location Using Visualization Techniques"

• Environmental Science Division - Posters

• Eric Haaksma, a senior biology major from Frankfort, IL – "Native Bee Diversity in Illinois Restored Prairies and Sand Prairies"

• Microbiology Division - Oral Presentations

• Cedric Ndinga Muniania, a biology graduate student from the Republic of Congo – "Distribution of Fungi in Arid Microenvironments and their Potential Role on Plant Growth"

• Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics Division - Oral Presentations

• Nicholas Breslin, a senior physics major from Galesburg, IL – "Study of Optical Band Gap in Lead Borate Glasses Containing CdSe Nanoparticles"

• William Heidorn, a physics graduate student from Sherman, IL – "Optical Properties of Sm3+ Er3+ and HO3+ Doped Lead Borate Glasses"

For more information about the RISE program, visit

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