Student Research Day shows what we're made of

Student Research Day was busy with posters and crowds of people. Morgan Mitchell showed her research on an apparatus to clean soil around groundwater resources, while Moses Darkey presented his work into disease prevention for toxoplasmosis. Photos by Katie Stinnett, IU Communications

If, like me, you're experiencing the stress and discouragement that often comes with impending finals, have I got a cure for you. Student Research Day, which took place April 6, was jam-packed full of students presenting the very best they had to offer. With topics ranging from German World War I literature to bone health in people with Down syndrome, it was clear that these were students truly making strides against the problems of today.

Student Research Day, sponsored by the IUPUI Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Center for Research and Learning, was an opportunity for students to present the findings they've worked so hard for all year. Taking place in Hine Hall and University Tower, the event was bustling with students, pizza and poster boards. There were two different sessions during which students presented their work to judges, with lunch in between and a scavenger hunt for more-adventurous researchers. 

Pacing the poster-lined walkways, it was hard not to be impressed with what students were coming up with. One student, Morgan Mitchell, a senior energy engineering major, was working on an apparatus to clean soil around groundwater resources, thus giving people access to clean water. "What I'm most excited about is just to get the word out," she said. "Many people don't know about it. Even in Indianapolis, there are plenty of places where there's contaminated groundwater, and people can get sick, so I'm really excited to get the word out." 

Another student, IPREP fellow Moses Darkey, was working on disease prevention for an infection called toxoplasmosis. His research took place on the cellular level, gathering information on the infection in the lab. He hopes to one day use the information to help create a more targeted treatment for this infection, which currently takes months to treat. One day he might even cure it altogether.

With deadlines piling up and summer just over the horizon, it can be easy to forget why it is we're here at college in the first place. Looking at all of IUPUI's young researchers, notecards in hand and facts at the ready, I was reminded of just how much power students have to make the world a better place. As the semester wraps up, I can't wait to take a cue from these students and get started. 

Katie Stinnett is a junior majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing who interns for IU Communications.