SURF's Up!

Posted on: July 27, 2012

Kim SetiliJessica NavarroNate ZemanekWhile some students are spending their summer vacations "surfing" the Great Lakes' waves, others spent the summer researching and prepping for SURF, the Summer Undergraduate Research Forum. 

Our CAS students, all on track to graduate in May, Kim Setili, Nate Zemanek and Jessica Navarro spent the last ten weeks participating in extensive research. They displayed their final products at Tuesday’s second annual forum in the Engineering Building.

Kim’s project, alongside mentors Rick Wash and Emilee Rader, was called “Innovative Donation Process for Crowd-Funding Applications.” Kim is a media arts & technology major with a concentration in web design and a specialization in digital humanities. She conducted research this summer in the Behavior Information and Technology Lab (BIT Lab) to design a crowd-funding web page that will actually be implemented and used by MSU students, faculty, staff and alumni. The app will allow students to receive funding for projects in an innovative way.

Nate Zemanek is a media and communication technology major. Nate’s project is called “Content Analysis of Security Education Materials Created for User Consumption.” His mentors were Rick Wash, Emilee Rader and Alcides Velasquez. Nate’s project researched data and system securities and security education. His content analysis examined materials from a variety of sources to determine different approaches to computer security education.
Our third student, Jessica Navarro, is a communicative sciences & disorders senior who gave a presentation entitled “Role of Context Pitch and Timing Cues in Word Recognition in Spanish.” Jessica was mentored by Laura Dilley and Tuuli Morril throughout her research. Jessica discussed the differences in English and Spanish phonetics in forms of acoustic cues, word segmentation, distal prosodic characteristics and monosyllabic and disyllabic words and lexical stress patterns. She discussed perception of words and phrases in both languages by native and non-native speakers in written versus spoken language. 

Our faculty members involved in mentoring students for SURF included Emilee Rader, Rick Wash, Alcides Velasquez, Wei Pang, Laura Dilley, Tuuli Morril, Rabindra Ratan, Kurt Demaagd, Jennifer Olson and Jacob Solomon.
Research is a great way to collaborate with students and faculty throughout the university with whom we may not necessarily otherwise interact. It provides an excellent opportunity for students to be exposed to and involved in research during their undergraduate careers—an experience many undergrads do not receive. Congratulations to all participants on a job well done!

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