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Students Earn Various Student Senate-Funded Research Awards

December 04, 2019

ALLIANCE, Ohio — The Research Funding Committee of the University of Mount Union’s Student Senate presented its 2019-2020 awards to Haley Crews '20, a neuroscience and sociology double major of Wellsville, Ohio, Tatum Grover '20, a neuroscience major of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dana Lucas ’22, a mechanical engineering and physics double major of Seven Hills, Ohio, Talia Romeo '20, a Japanese and writing double major of Carrollton, Ohio and Caitlyn Tytler '20, a neuroscience major of Fort Mill, South Carolina.

The $500 award is to assist these students in their research efforts. Crews' project is titled, "Easy A: Academic Entitlement and Student-University Relationships" and examined relationships between academic entitlement and students’ relationships to their university. Grover's research project was entitled, "Association of Worry with Depression, Aggression, Emotion Regulation, and the Right/Left Hemisphere Performance" and examines the association of worry with depression, aggression, emotion regulation and performance in the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

Romeo's historical-fantasy novella features a storyline following a young girl and her hallucinations of a past life while traveling in Japan. Tytler's research is titled, "Increased LGBTQ Ally Behaviors and Close Friendships following Same Sex Marriage Legalization" and detailed a student-submitted survey about same sex marriage, relationships within members of the LGBTQ community, and LGBTQ ally identity and knowledge across five year-long waves.

Lucas' research is for her project titled, “Characterizing Structural and Material Properties of Nitinol, a Shape Memory Alloy.” Lucas began the project in spring 2019 during her Material Science course taught by Dr. Loay Al-Zube, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Mount Union, and will quantify various structural and material properties of a smart material called Nitinol. It is considered a smart material because it adopts new properties depending on surrounding temperature. The material has many applications in the medical field but has more recently found applications in the automotive and aerospace industries as well.

The research experience provides Lucas with hands-on opportunities using cutting-edge materials that will help prepare her for opportunities upon graduating.

“The many testing instrumentation devices and software that will be used throughout the research will provide me with experience that I can use in future internships and jobs,” Lucas said.

“Dana is an excellent student and this academic success is due to her ability to work hard and be able to set specific goals to achieve,” said Al-Zube. “However, what made her really excel is her thirst for learning and acquiring knowledge. She is a tremendous student with exceptional development in maturity and character.” 

Al-Zube also believes that the new techniques and equipment used during the research done by Lucas can also be applied to other courses offered in the School of Engineering. 

Learn more about the School of Engineering and see projects like these during Mount Union's annual SCHOLAR Day in April.