SURE Program Ceremony Highlights the Best of the Best Undergraduate Research

Students in computer science, fashion, biology, environmental conservation and psychology were among the first-place winners who gave three-minute presentations of their research during the Oct. 23 award ceremony for the Summer Under Graduate Research Experience (SURE).

The students represented a record 172 participants who participated in the summer program, an increase of 50 students from the previous year, according to Ann Gosky, director of the Office of Student Research at Kent State.

SURE is sponsored by the Division of Research and Economic Development and the Office of the President, as well as several individuals, departments, colleges institutes and others.

Kent State President Todd Diacon, Ph.D., and Douglas L. Delahanty, Ph.D., vice president for the Division of Research and Economic Development, congratulated the students on their research endeavors.

There were 23 first-place winners in seven large research categories, which in some cases included more than one discipline. Seven of the first-place winners were selected to present their research at the awards ceremony.

  • Anna Anello, senior, computer science; “Haptic Mixed Reality Button Press for Parkinson’s Rehabilitation;” mentor, Kwangtaek Kim, Ph.D.
  • Kurt Binder, junior, enology; “Can You Save the World with A Chicken? Communal Compost Methods Comparison;” mentor, Eric Cotton, Ph.D.
  • Rachel Bricker, senior applied mathematics; “Biophysics of Tightly Bent DNA;” mentor, Thorsten Schmidt, Ph.D.
  • Francis Brunner, senior, fashion design; “It’s All Fluff - Sustainable Textile Development,” mentor, Archana, Mehta, Ph.D.
  • Angele Nsoure-Engohang, senior biology/pre-medicine; mentor, LiqueCoolen, Ph.D.
  • Olivia Eader, senior, environmental studies, and Kalyn Reichling, senior, environmental conservation biology; “Creativity and Place: The Impact of Environment on Imaginative Play;” mentor, Aimee Ward, Ph.D.
  • Elinor Rayburn, junior, psychology; “Relations Between Computer Self Efficacy and Gender;” mentor, Arne Weigold, Ph.D.

Kent State Today spoke with Yug Patel, a sophomore computer science major, who came in first place.

The SURE program gives promising undergraduate researchers an eight-week period to engage in faculty-supervised research along with either full- or part-time employment and on-campus housing if needed, and a $400 stipend to offset the cost of supplies/materials necessary to support their research.

Last year, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education awarded Kent State the esteemed R1 Designation for research, which is the highest recognition that doctoral universities can receive. The prestigious designation affirms Kent State’s place as an elite research institution and puts the university in the company of universities such as Yale, Harvard and the University of California-Berkeley. 

Kent State is one of five universities in Ohio to be designated R1, joining Ohio State, the University of Cincinnati, Case Western Reserve University and Ohio University. Institutions with the R1 designation are considered to have “very high research activity.” Only 146 universities in the nation have R1 status. Kent State, Ohio University and the University at Buffalo are the only Mid-American Conference schools to carry this coveted and esteemed designation. 

Visit the university's SURE website for more information about undergraduate research.

POSTED: Tuesday, October 24, 2023 02:18 PM
Updated: Wednesday, October 25, 2023 02:02 PM
April McClellan-Copeland