A private comprehensive liberal arts college in Salt Lake City, UT, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in liberal arts and professional programs. Website
2016 Undergraduate Research Fair

2016 Undergraduate Research Fair

The 2016 Undergraduate Research Fair will be held April 8, 2016 in the Emma Eccles Jewett Center and Meldrum Science Center.  All students and faculty are encouraged to attend and support the students who will be presenting their research that day.

Students who have conducted research are also encouraged to submit their work to Westminster's research journal Myriad.



Paper Presentations
10:00 AM – 1:45 PM
Meldrum and Gore

Poster Presentations
10:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Meldrum Foyer

Senior Art Exhibit Gallery Stroll
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Tanner Atrium, Jewett Center

Remarks and Awards
2:00 PM
Meldrum Foyer
Dr. Scott Gust, Associate Dean, School of Arts & Sciences

The Giovale Library Undergraduate Research Awards recognize and reward undergraduate students for excellent research projects that demonstrate information literacy and the effective use of Library resources.

The Dean’s Choice Award recognizes outstanding student artwork.

The Westminster QUARC Award (Quantitative Analysis and Reasoning Co-op) is presented by the STAT Group for the research project that best utilizes statistical methods.

View all abstracts »



Meldrum 110
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

10:00 – “It’s Just Me against the World”: Minority Identity and Resistance in Chicana Prison Narratives
Student: Marlene Mercado
Faculty Sponsor: Chris LeCluyse

10:15 – Auditory Interference Effects on Bilingual Code-Switching and Decision-Making
Student: Alexandra Ekshteyn
Faculty Sponsor: Russell Costa

10:30 – Attractiveness, Gender, and Perceptions of Criminality
Student: Brit Bringhurst, Taylor Christensen, Quentin Coppler, Colleen Fitzgerald, Hanna Lukes, and Kaitlin Pearson
Faculty Sponsor: Jen Simonds

Meldrum 220
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

10:00 – The Creation of Separate Ukrainian Identities Following the Introduction of Khrushchev’s Economic, Political and Social Reforms.
Student: Carson Thal
Faculty Sponsor: Gary Marquardt

10:15 – Summer Days (and Summer Nights): A History of The Beach Boys and Salt Lake City
Student: Trey Elvis Hansen
Faculty Sponsor: Gary Marquardt

10:30 – Southeast Asia Autoethnography
Student: Stefan Henscke
Faculty Sponsor: Rulon Wood

Gore B24
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

10:00 – Oil in the Watershed
Student: Abby Jorgensen
Faculty Sponsor: Robyn Hyde

10:15 – Federal Budget Cuts on VA benefits
Student: Jose L. Reyes
Faculty Sponsor: John Watkins

10:30 – Major League Baseball and Long Term Contracts
Student: Anthony Gilbert
Faculty Sponsor: John Watkins

10:45 – Evolution of the Entrepreneur traced through the History of Economic Talk
Student: Phil Hessler
Faculty Sponsor: John Watkins



Meldrum 110
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

11:00 – The Dark Side of the Red Light District in Amsterdam: Questioning the Impact of Regulation of Legalized Prostitution
Student: Sierra Kane
Faculty Sponsor: Kristjane Nordmeyer

11:15 – Constructive College Activism: How the Positionality of College Students can Help or Hinder Victims of Sex Trafficking in Utah
Student: Payton Schiff and Heather Hilton
Faculty Sponsor: Julie Stewart

11:30—Exploring Societal Misconceptions as a Means to Understanding Human Trafficking in Salt Lake City, Utah
Student: Stefan Henschke and Josie White
Faculty Sponsor: Julie Stewart

11:45—Survivor Centered Model: Motivations and Modalities of Activism of Sexual Assault and Sexual Exploitation
Student: Alex Nye, Whitney Walton, and Mariela Vazquez-Gordo
Faculty Sponsor: Julie Stewart

Gore B24
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

11:00 – Trial Runs on Piketty’s General Laws and Postulations of Capital Share
Student: Neng Shi
Faculty Sponsor: John Watkins

11:15 – Portfolio Theory & Rationality
Student: Nathan D. Holtman
Faculty Sponsor: John Watkins

11:30 – Applying Bayesian Econometrics to Austrian Economic Theory
Student: Lauren Waters
Faculty Sponsor: John Watkins

11:45 – Drones, Externalities and the Problem of Social Cost
Student: Joshua Stephenson
Faculty Sponsor: John Watkins



Meldrum 110
1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

1:00 – Simulating Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium and Change in Allele Frequency over Time Using Python
Student: Emma DeLoughery
Faculty Sponsor: Brian Avery

1:15 – Just a Bunch of Homos: Tumblr, Grindr, Scruff, and the New Gay Rights Movement
Student: Ryan LaRe and Levi Barrett
Faculty Sponsor: Eileen S. Chanza-Torres

1:30 – People on the Periphery: The Situation of Jewish Women in North Africa during World War II
Student: Avenel Rolfsen
Faculty Sponsor: Gary Marquardt

Gore B24
1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

1:00 – Economic Analysis of Federal Land Management in the West
Student: Anna Goodman
Faculty Sponsor: John Watkins

1:15 – The College Cost Paradox: Making Higher Education Affordable During Economic Recessions
Student: Hannah Williams
Faculty Sponsor: Richard Badenhausen

1:30 – No Child Left Behind: Implications for Special Education Students
Student: James Steur
Faculty Sponsor: Mike Zarkin



Meldrum Foyer
10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

The Effects of Uncertainty and Perceived Threat on Pro-Environmental Behavior
Student: Madeline Gere
Faculty Sponsor: Jonathan Amburgey

Brine Shrimp Genetic Diversity
Student: Jake Bergquist
Faculty Sponsor: Brian Avery

DNA Detection in Salt
Student: Edgar Chavez and Brett Denney
Faculty Sponsor: Bonnie Baxter

Microbial Diversity of Culinary Salts
Student: Galen Muske
Faculty Sponsor: Bonnie K. Baxter

Fresh Food in the City: Growing Warm Season Crops where People Live
Student: Kadyn Kimball, Julianna Jimreivat, Mena Davidson, and Daniel Goodman
Faculty Sponsor: Christy Clay

Determination of Sugar Metabolism Profiles for Non-Traditional Brewing Yeasts of the Genus Brettanomyces
Student: Kent Johnson
Faculty Sponsor: William Deutschman

From Fantasy to Reality: Commercial Sex Work in the 21st Century
Student: Amanda Howa
Faculty Sponsor: Han Kim



Meldrum Foyer
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Perceptions of Earthquake Risk and Preparedness at Westminster College
Student: Garret Wilcox, Quentin Coppler, and Kaity Clements
Faculty Sponsors: Jonathan Amburgey and Tiffany Rivera

Cestode Infection Rates of GSL Brine Shrimp
Student: Erin Chambers
Faculty Sponsor: Brian Avery

Photoprotective Genome Strategies: Bipyrimidine Limitations in Halophilic Archaea
Student: Daniel L. Jones
Faculty Sponsor: Bonnie K. Baxter

Working With State Longitudinal Data Systems
Student: Peter Seppi and Dave Tille
Faculty Sponsor: Richard Haskell

Surfactant Production via Organic Chemistry Synthesis
Student: Hannah Fasiang
Faculty Sponsor: Robyn Hyde

Food Adulteration Detection Methods for Maple Syrup
Student: Arielle Horowitz
Faculty Sponsor: Robyn Hyde

Urbanization Effects on Soil Communities and Plant Agriculture
Student: Brandon Cook
Faculty Sponsors: Betsy Kleba and Christy Clay

40Ar/39Ar Sanidine Dating of the Blue Creek Flow (Yellowstone Volcanic Field) and the Potential Recording of the Pre-Olduvai Geomagnetic Polarity Excursion
Student: Rachel Darata
Faculty Sponsor: Tiffany Rivera

Analysis of the Bishop Mountain Flow of the Yellowstone Volcanic Field
Student: Ryan Furlong
Faculty Sponsor: Tiffany Rivera

Differentiation of the Tuff of Lyle Spring within Yellowstone Volcanic Field, Idaho
Student: Jaime Vincent
Faculty Sponsor: Tiffany Rivera

Motherhood: Theory vs. Experience
Student: Raina Dalby
Faculty Sponsor: Mark Rubinfeld



Tanner Atrium, Jewett Center
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM


  • Lucy Blatt
  • Malory Curtiss
  • Sara Doelle
  • Amy Fairchild
  • Taylor Goff
  • Victoria Lee
  • Dave McNeill

Faculty Sponsors

  • Clayton Keyes
  • Matt Kruback


Senior Art Exhibit

In conjunction with the Undergraduate Research Fair, there will be a senior art exhibit. A Dean's choice award will be given and the art students will conduct a gallery stroll with comments from each artist about his or her work.

Giovale Library Undergraduate Research Award

Students who have utilized resources from the Giovale Library or its databases are encouraged to apply for the Giovale Library Undergraduate Research Award. The 2015 Giovale Library Undergraduate Research award winners can be found here.

The Giovale Library Undergraduate Research Awards recognize students producing outstanding research projects such as: papers, videos, and blogs that demonstrate information literacy and the effective use of Library resources.

A judging committee comprised of faculty, students, staff and librarians will select up to two students as first and second place winners of $200 and $150 prizes respectively. There is also a $50 emerging researcher award for projects done for 100-level classes. Please click here to view the judging rubric which will be used to evaluate submitted entries.