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Pictured with WIU President Jack Thomas and Interim Provost and Academic Vice President Kathy Neumann are the winners of the Performance Presentations, Vlad Hontila, Giorgi Khatalev, Luciana Hontila and Nathalie Hernandez.
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Pictured with Centennial Honors College Director Rick Hardy are poster presentation winners Hannah Knox, Briana Michaels and Janelle Hohenbery.
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Pictured is Podium Presentation winner Allison Hartman.
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Thomas E. Helm Undergraduate Research Day Award Winners Announced

April 24, 2017

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MACOMB, IL - Several Western Illinois University students earned recognition at the 2017 Centennial Honors College's Thomas E. Helm Undergraduate Research Day last week. Students were honored with first, second and third place awards for their podium and poster presentations and creative performances.

This year's winners were:

Performance Presentations

First place: Nathalie Hernandez, a freshman music major from Mexico; Luciana Hontila, a senior music major from Romania; Vlad Hontila, a junior music major from Romania; and Giorgi Khatalev, a senior music major from Georgia - "The American Quartet." WIU School of Music - Faculty sponsor Associate Professor of Music Istvan Szabo.

Second place: Ashlyn Carnes, a freshman music major from Bradley, IL – "Duo for Flute and Piano: Aaron Copland and the American Art." WIU School of Music - Faculty sponsor Assistant Professor of Music John McMurtery.

Poster Presentations

First place: Hannah Knox, a senior nursing major from Sycamore, IL; Janelle Hohenbery, a senior nursing major from Princeville, IL; and Briana Michaels, a senior nursing major from Mokena, IL – "Prevalence of Microorganism Growth on Name Badges of Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit Healthcare Workers." WIU School of Nursing - Faculty sponsors Associate Professor of Nursing Julie Baylor and Assistant Professor of Nursing Patricia Eathington.

Second place: Angelica Strack, a senior physics major from Stronghurst, IL – "Variability Characterization of Hydroxyl Maser in a Pre-Planetary Nebula." WIU Department of Physics - Faculty sponsor Associate Professor of Physics Esteban Araya.

Third place: Shawn W. McClenahan, a sophomore biology major form Monterey, LA - "Determination of Sulfur Concentration in Crude Oil." WIU Department of Chemistry -Faculty sponsor Assistant Professor of Chemistry Brian Bellott.

Podium Presentations

First place: Allison Hartman, a senior geology major from Muscatine, IA – "Examination of Pool Fingers from the Blauhohle Cave System, Germany." WIU Department of Geology -Faculty sponsor Professor of Geology Leslie Melim.

Second place: Emily Szott, a senior biology major from Orland Park, IL – "Quantification of Daily Otolith Increments in Young of Year Asian Carp." WIU Department of Biology - Faculty sponsor Kibbe Life Science Station Manager James Lamer.

Third place: Kagney Nudd, a senior agriculture major from Dallas City, IL - "Use of Pain Control in Swine During Early Age Procedures." WIU School of Agriculture Faculty sponsor Agriculture Instructor Jamie McClure.

For more information about the Thomas E. Helm Undergraduate Research Day, visit

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