Symposium

 

The Undergraduate Project Symposium (UPS) is an annual event highlighting the research, scholarly and artistic works of undergraduate students at the University of Saskatchewan. The 2019 Symposium took place on Thursday, January 31, 2019, in the North Concourse of Place Riel.

From research posters to sculptures, presentations to musical numbers, community engaged learning experiences to dramatic dialogues.

If you have any questions, please direct them to Sheldon Moellenbeck at vpacademic@ussu.ca

2019 USSU Undergraduate Project Symposium Results

People’s Choice Award

Chelsea Lussier, Tiara Keith, Keara Lubchenko ($200 prize)

Topic: What are the protein powder consumption habits of University of Saskatchewan students?

Our objective was to determine current practices surrounding protein powder consumption habits among students at the University of Saskatchewan and examine trends between different groups. We drafted six questions to be included in an online survey, and utilized social media as our main recruitment method over a nine day period.  We inquired about usage frequency, the types of protein powder used, and the reasons behind use and disuse. We analyzed our data via descriptive statistical methods on the following comparison groups: males vs females, vegans and vegetarians vs omnivores, and athletes vs non-athletes.

Signature Research Area Award

Aurora Lepe Zepeda ($200 prize)

Topic: Utilization of molecular approaches to identify antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in N. gonorrhoeae

Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) is a bacterial pathogen responsible for gonorrhoea, the second most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Canada and the second most prevalent bacterial STI worldwide. NG has developed resistance to a broad variety of antibiotics, this means that NG may become untreatable by antibiotics. In this project, NG positive clinical urine samples and culture isolates were used to identify prevalence of tetracycline and penicillin resistance in Saskatchewan. Results using different molecular approaches were analyzed and compared.

The Vice-Provost’s Award in Indigenous Engagement

Jerilyn Alderman-Hansson ($300)

Topic: Intergenerational Effects of Residential School on First Nations Women: Second and Third Generation Survivors

This project is a precursory study on the intergenerational effects of residential school on second and third generation first nations female survivors. The purpose of this project is to highlight the need for a more in depth study, given that reconciliation has come to a near stand still in recent years.

The University President and Remai Modern Award in Artistic Engagement

Kyle Zurevinski, Kurt Wolfe, Kaitlin Wong ($400)

Topic: Arts Across the Borders

Examining the principles of psychogeography, and its resulting consequences on an urban environment and its inhabitants. Psychogeography is being used to understand the physical and emotional differences that are experienced between Saskatoon and Singapore. Exploring these differences through the media of photography, video and written observations to understand psychogeography’s impact on different environments

The University President and Mayor’s Award in City-Building

Aurora Lepe Zepeda ($500)

Topic: Utilization of molecular approaches to identify antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in N. gonorrhoeae

Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) is a bacterial pathogen responsible for gonorrhoea, the second most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Canada and the second most prevalent bacterial STI worldwide. NG has developed resistance to a broad variety of antibiotics, this means that NG may become untreatable by antibiotics. In this project, NG positive clinical urine samples and culture isolates were used to identify prevalence of tetracycline and penicillin resistance in Saskatchewan. Results using different molecular approaches were analyzed and compared.

Sciences & Engineering Placement Prizes

Aurora Lepe Zepeda – First Place ($500) 

Topic: Utilization of molecular approaches to identify antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in N. gonorrhoeae

Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) is a bacterial pathogen responsible for gonorrhoea, the second most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Canada and the second most prevalent bacterial STI worldwide. NG has developed resistance to a broad variety of antibiotics, this means that NG may become untreatable by antibiotics. In this project, NG positive clinical urine samples and culture isolates were used to identify prevalence of tetracycline and penicillin resistance in Saskatchewan. Results using different molecular approaches were analyzed and compared.

Kelly Christopher – Second Place (3 Way Tie $233 each) 

Topic: Development Potential of Scandium Radioisotopes for Theranostic Purposes at the University of Saskatchewan

The University of Saskatchewan is home to two very important, brand new medical isotope production facilities: the Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences and the linear accelerator operated by Canadian Isotope Innovations at Canadian Light Source. Currently, these facilities primarily concentrate on beta-positive and gamma emitters for imaging, however there has been increased demand for radioisotopes for therapeutic purposes. One such application is theranostics, where radioisotopes are bound to specific biological pathways as a form of personalized medicine. This literature review focuses on the potential for these facilities to develop and produce select isotopes of Scandium (notably Sc-44 and Sc-47) for theranostic use.

Emery Dlugan & Benjamen Smith – Second Place (3 Way Tie $233 each)

Topic: Modelling Gravitationally Lensed Quasars

For a gravitationally lensed system the appearance of the system is dictated by parameters describing the properties of the source and the lens. In a system consisting of a bright quasar source and a non-visible lens it can be difficult to fully describe the system, as without knowing the properties of the lens it is difficult to predict how it affects the light from the source. The basis for our method is the hypothesis that there is a simple geometric relationship between the coordinate of the lens and the coordinate of the luminosity centroid of the lensed source images. We test this hypothesis against lensed systems where the lens object is visible, then apply it to lensing candidates to predict where the lens should be.

Muhammad Shoker, Kirk Haan & Chelsea Healey – Second Place (3 Way Tie $233 each)

Topic: Phospholipase C1 is Involved in Osmoregulation

Deviations in body osmolality can cause neurological damage through osmotic shrinkage or enlargement of central neurons. To minimize changes in osmolality, humans engage behavioural thirst mechanisms and osmosensitive neurons called magnocellular neurosecretory cells (MNCs), which release the hormone vasopressin to limit water loss from the kidneys. Our lab previously demonstrated that increases in osmolality activate phospholipase C (PLC) cascades in MNCs in a Ca2+-dependent manner and that this potentiates MNC activation. Here, we demonstrate that osmotic activation of MNCs results in an increase in cellular F-actin, and demonstrate that this response is absent in transgenic mice that lack the Ca2+-dependent PLC isoform PLCδ1.

Social Sciences, Humanities & Fine Arts Placement Prizes

Durr-e Sameen – First Place ($500 prize) 

Topic: Sexual Orientation Microaggressions: The Experiences and Well-Being of Bisexual Persons in Canada

As a largely marginalized social group, bisexual persons experience various microaggressions, which refer to subtle and covert forms of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Research from the United States indicates that bisexual men and women are more likely to experience compromised well-being due to their discriminatory experiences. To contribute to the absence of such research within Canada, this nation-wide study will examine: 1) the relationship between bisexual persons’ microaggressive experiences and their psychological well-being (e.g., anxiety, depression, and life optimism); 2) whether greater interpersonal and community support, and bisexual identity centrality account for the variations within these associations; and 3) the coping and resilience strategies that bisexual persons use in response to microaggressions. This research will facilitate greater awareness among those who may unknowingly exhibit microaggressions toward bisexual persons, and assist in the development of recommendations for counsellors and educators who interact with sexual minorities.

Maria Cruz – Second Place ($400 prize)

Topic: An Analysis of Dominant Discourses within Canadian Law Enforcement

This project aims to identify masculinity as a barrier to seeking mental health assistance amongst Canadian law enforcement officers. Whereas various policies, strategies, and programs have been implemented nationwide, mental health complications continue to persist in a significant proportion of municipal/provincial officers and Royal Canadian Mounted Police. As studies of police culture have consistently identified masculinity as a dominant attitude that is reinforced throughout an officer’s career, it is therefore proposed that the culture of masculinity is a key socio-cultural barrier to this problem. This study is ongoing; preliminary findings will be presented at the USSU symposium, and the project will be completed by April 2019.

Emily Wiebe – Third Place ($300 prize)

Topic: How American Media Affects Perceived Racism in Canada

The primary goal of the study was to explore whether perceptions of racism in Canada are influenced by levels of American television, politics, news, or other media types versus levels of exposure to Canadian media sources. An experiment was conducted using a between-subjects design through which each participant contributed data by completing one of two versions of the same questionnaire: one version opened with a vignette describing an example of racism that has recently occurred in America (Group A), while the other did not (Group B). Following data collection, the findings were processed via ANOVA on SPSS. Through this, hypotheses were tested regarding how the vignette may have affected scores on the questionnaire, how the participant’s ethnicity influenced scores, and how pre-existing biases impacted results.