College of Business Administration Student Participates in Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Kent, Ohio - Dec. 13, 2016

Angela DeibelKent State College of Business Administration marketing major Angela Deibel recently had the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary research alongside Kent State faculty and engineering graduates.

Kent State University's Office of Student Research hosted the eight-week Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). SURE provides an opportunity for undergraduate researchers to engage directly with a faculty mentor, gain valuable experience to clarify career and education goals, enhance research skills and obtain academic insight. A total of 35 students participated in the fellowship program.

"I learned from my internship that with every mistake I made, I was one step closer to reaching my ultimate goal," said Deibel, who recently declared a sustainability minor. "I've found a sweet spot where my talents and passions merge."

In her spring 2016 "Introduction to Sustainability" course, Deibel impressed her instructor, Assistant Professor of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, Dr. Yanhai Du.

Du said when he volunteered to be a SURE mentor, he knew the opportunity was perfect for Deibel. In Du's lab, Deibel learned about fuel cells - Du's specialty, and a technology he hopes is the future of energy efficiency and sustainability. Working on an individual investigation credit, Deibel was the only undergraduate on the three-person team, with electrical engineering graduate student Sriram Matturi from the School of Digital Sciences and mechanical engineering graduate student Chaitran Chakilam from the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology.

"Although she's not an engineer, academically, she looks like she's falling in love with engineering," Du said. "I don't need to spend much time standing over her. We talk about what needs done and how to do it, and she does it." As a faculty mentor, Du noted that his role is to encourage potential students, like Deibel, provide academic, technical and financial support and guide students to reach their goals and be successful.

For the project, the team plans to replace a golf cart engine with a hybrid fuel cell and lithium-ion battery system, powered by a solar panel on the roof.

Deibel will put her marketing knowledge to use as she promotes "ZEV" - the cart's name, short for "Zero-Emission Vehicle" -  and sustainability.

The cart will be outfitted with a state-of-the-art sound system and flashing light panel. The team will drive it around campus blasting music and bring it to large events such as Flash Fest.

"I've always been a natural at marketing, so I want to use my voice to better the world through media," Deibel said. "The goal is to raise awareness and generate engagement with students. The best way to do that is to make lots of noise."

Deibel said the team also plans to rent it out to student groups, but the first ride is reserved for a very special passenger.

"President Beverly Warren will receive an official invitation to be the first to tour campus in ZEV," Deibel said.

Deibel said ZEV will serve the Kent State community by providing tours and transportation for visitors, alumni and VIPs and those with disabilities. However, the main purpose of the project is to promote sustainability.

Following her SURE experience, Deibel intends to pursue a master's degree in sustainability.

"I have always been passionate about the earth and protecting our world," Deibel said. "I feel as though can help by actually working to save the resources we have."

SURE participants presented their research to faculty, staff and students in October. Deibel placed third for her work during the event.

For more information on SURE, visit