Students present at ‘Scholars at the Capitol’

Four CSB and SJU students and their faculty advisers presented results of their scholarship at the Private College "Scholars at the Capitol" program on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the Minnesota Capitol rotunda, St. Paul.

The event celebrates the research and creative scholarship from Minnesota's private colleges. A total of 27 projects by 39 undergraduate students from 14 private colleges displayed their research and creative scholarship at the event.

The Minnesota Private College Council is the primary sponsor of Scholars at the Capitol. Each college selects and sends its own students to the event.

The CSB and SJU students who presented their research at the event include:

Heather Beckius, a CSB sophomore English major, presented "Environmental Citizenship in the Media Age." Her project investigates how environmental agency groups and companies engage citizens on environmental issues. Using three case studies, research was conducted on the purpose of the required persuasion, the rhetorical constraints the persuader needed to overcome, the techniques the groups used to convey their message and the outcome of the persuasion.

Pierce Edmiston, an SJU senior individualized major in cognitive science, presented "The Neural Correlates of Adaptive Information Acquisition." His project, through the University of Iowa's Interdisciplinary Summer Undergraduate Research Program in Neuroscience, involves the lesion-deficit method, which studies patients with localized brain damage. Though largely normal, these patients have certain cognitive deficits. By studying these deficits, researchers learn how the damaged part of the brain works in a "normal" brain. In particular, his project examined how people search for information when making a tough decision.

Shannon McEvoy, a CSB senior art and Hispanic studies double-major, presented "Public Art and Social Change in Latino/Latin American Culture." Her research is part of her honors thesis in an effort to further explore modern muralism, the field of art applied directly to walls, in the Americas. In the summer of 2011, McEvoy partnered with Casa Guadalupe Multicultural Community to organize a mural for Cold Spring, Minn. The mural's goal was to reflect the identity of the Latinos in the area and create a culturally inclusive visual celebration of the town's history. McEvoy's collaboration with youth and community members during brainstorming and painting built cross-cultural relationships.

Christopher Seiler, an SJU senior chemistry major, presented "Identification of Novel Inhibitors of Low Molecular Weight Tyrosine Phosphatase via Virtual Screening." His research is part of his honors thesis. The overexpression of protein tyrosine phosphatase is responsible for the metastasis in many human cancers. The goal of his research is to find a compound which can slow the activity of the protein to normal levels to help prevent metastasis and treat cancer.