Top Scoring Students

2023 Top Scoring Student Presentations

Undergraduates and high school students  receive scores for their presentations at the KAS/ KJAS Annual Meeting.
The following students received our highest "Thoroughbred" rating for their oral or poster presentation. This list reflects scores that we have been able to verify based on score sheets that judges turned in.

See additional Special Recognitions at the bottom of this list.

KAS scoring rubric

*Junior Academy Student presenters are denoted with an asterisk*
2024 Junior Academy Delegates to AJAS are listed HERE

Students, if you would like to receive the judges' feedback about your presentation please email us.

Cellular & Molecular Biology

Calhoon, Drake. Western Kentucky University. "The Effect of Sulforaphane on Chromium-Induced Toxicity in Human Lung Fibroblasts"

Campbell, Conner. Campbellsville University.  "Optimization of the Reconstitution of  KCNE3/KCNQ1 Complex into Lipid Bilayer Vesicles for EPR Spectroscopic Measurements "

*Hamilton, Brittany Mae. Rowan County Senior High School. "Stability of circularized chromosomes lacking telomeres in Saccharomyces cerevisiae"

*Kumar, Nikhil. Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science. "Exploring the influence of polarity proteins on the Elm1 protein kinase- mediated cell shape control"

*Mbanfu, Albert-Presley. Gatton Academy. "c-Jun protein expression in the regenerating lamprey spinal cord"

*Neagle, Presley. Gatton Academy. "Cell shape is mediated by a joint effort between a septin-associated kinase and endocytic protein"

Reynolds, Draven. Campbellsville University. "EPR Spectroscopic study of KCNE3 in the presence of interaction impairing mutations using EPR Spectroscopy"

Stempa, Callie. Western Kentucky University. "Cell morphogenesis controlled by genetic interaction between a septin kinase and MAP kinase"

Stout, Mara. Morehead State University. "The role of topoisomerases in circularized chromosome strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae"

Warinner, Lindsey. Northern Kentucky University. "Sensitivity to Hygromycin B Due to Loss of One But Not the Other of the S-Adenosylmethionine Synthetase Paralogous Genes"

Chemistry: Analytical/ Physical

Peiffer, Amanda. Murray State University. "Dissolved Calcium Concentrations in Streams and Lake Waters in Western Kentucky- An Update"

Chemistry: Organic/Inorganic

*Ashley, Asa.  Bowling Green High School.  "Novel Synthesis of Maghemite Nanospheres on Nickel Foam as a Bifunctional Electrocatalyst for Alkaline Water Splitting"

Koons, Kalyn. Northern Kentucky University. "Synthesis and Computer Modeling of Heteroaryl Methyl Ketones"

Computer & Information Sciences

*Kim, Youngwoo. Model Laboratory School. "Exploring Digital Distraction Among High School Students"

*Li, Summer.  duPont Manual High School. "Vital Signs Based User Authentication Using Radar Sensing"

McCoy, Savannah. Berea College, "Impact of RGB Color Values on Astronomical Object Count in Astrophotography: Analyzing Threshold Determination"

*Nath, Sara. Gatton Academy  "The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science, Classifying Alzheimer's Disease Outcome in Single-Cell RNA-Seq Datasets"

*Nguyen, George and Om Patel.  The Gatton Academy. "Comparing Coherence Metrics for Determining the Number of Topics in Topic Modeling"

*Pan, Amy. Gatton Academy Student.  "iEquity: An Augmented Reality Theatre Production"

Puerto, Kennett. Kentucky State University. "A Preliminary Study on 3D temperature Simulation and Visualization for Beehives"

Dinosaurs Under the Microscope

Fulmer, Benjamin. Northern Kentucky University. "Einiosaurus procurvicornis Growth Curves: Better Understanding the Growth of the Horned Dinosaurs"

Bryant, Rosemary and Owen Messerly.  Northern Kentucky University. "How Osteons Can Help Us Determine Growth Patterns of Einiosaurus procurvicornis"

Kitzmiller, Max. Northern Kentucky University.  "A sculpture of a newborn dinosaur based on tibia dimensions at its time of hatching":

Whitley, Christianna. Northern Kentucky University.  "An Accurate Imagining of the Cranial Ontogeny of Ceratopsian Dinosaur Einiosaurus procurvicornis"

Perkins, Brynden. Northern Kentucky University.  "Using Phylogenetic Eigenvector Maps to Determine the Metabolic Rate of the Horned Dinosaur Einiosaurus Procurvicornus"


Brewer, Sara. Asbury University. "eDNA detection of four-toed salamanders (Hemidactylium scutatum): Mitochondrial evolution rates in assay development"

Brown, Hope. Asbury University. Development of environmental DNA (eDNA) qPCR assays for the detection of darter species: Significance of phylogeography"

Carey, Rose. Murray State University, "Diurnal Patterns of Methane Emissions in Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)"

*Connelly, Ian,  Mayani Montanez, Franklin Matics, Lorelai Purvis, Blue Rudick, Joshua Sandifer, Alex Martin, Lathan Herzog, Cailin Kernan, Eli Hurley, Anna Holder. Taking Flight Next Level. "Sex differences in morphology and site use by Northern Cardinals obtained through the Taking Flight bird banding program"

Daniel, Lillie.  Thomas More University. "A comparison of bat acoustic monitoring survey methods within an Ohio river riparian forest"

Hatton, Talon. Georgetown College. "Aggression Plasticity within G. Rubens"

Heath, Natalie. Western Kentucky University. "Influence of prescribed burns on populations of small mammals in the South African bushveld"

Keeling, Cassidy.  Eastern Kentucky University. "Effectiveness of Nature Camps on Children's Knowledge and Attitudes towards Nature"

King, Caylon. Eastern Kentucky University, "Characteristics of Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) Nest Trees in South-central Kentucky"

Damron, Kaitlyn. University of Louisville. "Differences in reproductive timing and fecundity in two fly species adapted to different host plants"

Hovermale, Ethan. Eastern Kentucky University. "Using songbirds as indicators of the condition of managed forests on the Cumberland Plateau."

Morgan, Abilene and Kalkidan Alemu. Northern Kentucky University. "Effect of the Insecticide, Fipronil, on Culex Female Mosquito Oviposition Choice"

Turner, Allison. Northern Kentucky University. "How do invasive plants take advantage of timing to facilitate their invasion?"

Turner, Bianca. Northern Kentucky University. "How does breeding phenology of wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) respond to climate change?"

Wiley, Ewing.  Asbury University. "Restoration of a Lonicera maackii invaded forest: Can native species compete in order to restore the forests?"

Zinsmeister, Trey.  Northern Kentucky University. "Feeding Preference of Adult Monarch Butterflies on Native Kentucky Wildflowers"


*Chadha, Annika,   DuPont Manual high School.  "Omni Wheel: An innovative wheel design for improved walker safety and stability and bi-mode fall notification system"

Do, Tuyet and Andrea Cardenas.  Northern Kentucky University, "Development of cost optimization tool for Smart Integrated Renewable Energy System (SIRES)"

*Paladugu, Chaturya. duPont Manual High School.  "Computationally Developing Methods to Better Develop Antibodies for Alzheimer's Diagnosis"

*Patterson, Laurel.  Gatton Academy.  "Examining factors determining neurite outgrowth through computational modeling"

*Ramesh, Vallabh. duPont Manual high school.  "4-D Printed Low-Cost Novel Shape Memory Polymer Compositions for Industrial, Robotic and Disaster Relief Applications"

Whittington, David, Jaycie Bussell and Avery DeVore. Northern Kentucky University. "Developing MISL-DAQ and MISL-Expansion Layers for CubeSat Research"

Environmental Sciences

*Carden, Mykah. Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science. "Geological and hydrogeological 'red flags' that influence land-use hazards in karst: a case study in Warren County, KY"

Snyder, Kaitlyn. Northern Kentucky University. "Revival of diatom usage in monitoring the health of northern Kentucky waterways"

Tekoe, Adjete. Western Kentucky University. "Precipitation Variability across Kentucky"


Woods, Daniel, Jada Jones, Malik Thompson, Jinniah Ali, and Gerail Pickett.   Kentucky State University. "Studying Climate Change Impacts in the Caribbean: A panel presentation"


Richie, Matthew. Eastern Kentucky University. "Sources of contamination in the Otter Creek Watershed, Madison County, Kentucky"

Health Sciences

*Akangbe, Tobi. Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science.  "Assessment of the Neuromuscular and Motor Coordination of Female Mice in Response to Acute Sleep Fragmentation"

*Hovis, Casey. Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics. "The Reduction of the Intensity of Gamma-Rays as They Traverse Through Humimic's Medical Gel #2"

King, Haley. Georgetown College.  "Characteristics of Neural Projections in the Pulvinar Nucleus"

*Sharma, Arjun. duPont Manual High School. "
Potential therapeutic use of Azadirachta indica (neem) leaves extract to combat inflammation"

Weafer, Kate. KY INBRE.  "Early Assessment of Autism Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) Analysis with Machine Learning Application"

Jung, Joanne.  Asbury University. "Inhibition of NHE1 Reduces Self-Renewal in TALL LICs: Potential Mechanism by Mitochondrial Alterations"



*Arnold, Savanna.  Gatton Academy. "The Discovery Of Gwendoluna, a Viral Predator of Mycobacterium smegmatis

Newsom, Ethan. Morehead State University. "Identifying DdrR-interacting proteins with two-hybrid system assays"

*Sileo, Sofia. Gatton Academy, "Characterization of a bacteriophage protein that is toxic to Mycobacterium smegmatis"

Thind, Jessie. Eastern Kentucky University.  "Targeting HSP60 for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Management: An In Vitro Analysis on Human Caco-2 Cells"

Rivera, Vivian. Western Kentucky University.  "Effect of dietary flavonoids on growth in Saccharomyces cerevisiae"

Physics/ Astronomy

Jones, Brannon. Morehead State University.  "An Updated Survey of Candidate Radio Supernova Remnants and Their Properties in Nearby Galaxies"

Hensley, Alexis. Berea College. "GPS Satellite Observations of a Radiation Belt Dropout Event in the Post-RBSP Era"

Kramer, Hannah. Western Kentucky University. "Helping students successfully integrate physics thinking with coding in Visual Python"

Mahmood, Samia. Bellarmine University. "Measurement of Muon Flux, Muon Lifetime and Fermi Coupling Constant Using a Cosmic Ray Muon Detector"

Patel, Joshua. Berea College. "Determining the Global and Local Angles of Repose on a Bead Pile"

Physiology/ Biochemistry

*Kim, Jiwoo. Model Laboratory School. "The Effects of Temperature Changes on Habituation of Crayfish Tail Response"

Reed, Ashton. Georgetown College. "Effects of Epoxide Hydrolase Inhibition on Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease in Mice"

*Weaver, Vivianna. Gatton Academy.  "Understanding the Impact of Environmental Pollution on Brain and Vascular Systems on the Zebrafish Model, Danio rerio"


Salloum, Grace.  Western Kentucky University. "Media influences and societal perceptions: The impact of stigmatizing portrayals of mental illness"

Science Education

*Black, Alexandria. Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics. "Can centicubes measure up? Comparing simulated exponential decay curves for teaching radioactivity and half-life"

Lee, Kamryn. Eastern Kentucky University. "The Effectiveness of Conservation Camps on Children's Knowledge and Attitudes of Wildlife and Outdoor Recreation"

*Litton, Ivy.  "Rowan County Senior High School, What misconceptions do future elementary science teachers have about the weather?"

*Mynk, Matthew.  Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics. "The Survey of Meteorology Concepts: Identifying weather misconceptions at the postsecondary level"

*Nelson, Kaitlyn. Rowan County Senior High School.  "Meteorology misconceptions held by college students in a general education earth science class"

Zoology / Botany

Baker, Zoe and Caitlyn Senters. Morehead State University. "Age, Growth, and Reproductive Cycle of the Highland Shiner (Notropis micropteryx) in the Rockcastle River, Kentucky"

Black, Shelbie and Jared Vise. Morehead State University.  "Life History of a Minnow: Growth and Reproduction of the Popeye Shiner (Notropis ariommus) in the Rockcastle River, KY"

Boyd, Kaley and Evie Cecil. Eastern Kentucky University. "Determining insect community dissimilarity among Chinese chestnut and hybrid Chinese and American chestnuts"

Carrasco, Sasha. Eastern Kentucky University."Exploring the morphological and photosynthetic traits of the leaves of American and Chinese Chestnuts at the EKU Orchard"

Clark, Noah.  Asbury University. "Floristic species richness survey along hiking trails of Kentucky River Palisades"

Denney, Ashley.  Northern Kentucky University. "Who does more diaper duty? Comparison of fecal sac removal rates of male and female tree swallows."

Ebbecke, Claudia.  Murray State University. "Understanding temporal changes in leaf traits of Lonicera japonica using long-term herbarium records"

Fitzpatrick, Julia.  Morehead State University. "Characteristics of Kentucky sandstone rock shelters and their effects on the makeup of vascular plant communities"

North, Samantha. Northern Kentucky University. "The effects of water conductivity on the respiration rates of larval salamanders."

*Patra, Ainjini. Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. "Effect of Electric Stimulation on Seed Germination and Hypocotyl Growth"

Special Recognitions

These presentations earned scores over 25 points, but judges returned only one score. We ask for three, and accept a minimum of two scores. We wish to recognize these presenters but we are posting these as a separate category from other Thoroughbred - rated presentations.

Special Recognition - Chemistry: Analytical / Physical

Bogle, Rebekah. Asbury University. "Modeling the structure of molten and glassy silicates from X-ray and Neutron Diffraction studies"

Stanley, Katherine. Asbury University. "Characterization of a Molybdenum Carboxylate Catalytic Precursor for Hydrodesulfurization"

Special Recognition - Chemistry: Organic/ Inorganic

*Cline, Kal-El. Gatton Academy. "The Adherence of Photocatalysts to Biodegradable Polymer Beads"

*Ladwig, Jacob. Gatton Academy. "Hetero-dinuclear metal-organic coordination polymers constructed from ruthenium(II) polypyridyl complexes"

Patterson, Kellen. Western Kentucky University. "Polystyrene Beads with Incorporated Photocatalyst"

Purvis, Robert. Western Kentucky University. "Reaction of carboplatin analogs with guanine and methionine derivatives"

*Veith, Evalynn. Gatton Academy. "Effects of organic phase on surface morphology in emulsion polymerization of poly (methyl methacrylate) beads"

Special Recognition - Environmental Sciences

Guercio, Harmony. Western Kentucky University. "Snowfall Processes in the Ohio River Basin"

Powers, Jackson. Western Kentucky University. "Climatological Trends of Nocturnal and Out-of-Season Tornadoes"

Special Recognition - Physiology & Biochemistry

Sterling, Susan. Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory. " Phosphoserine Phosphatase and Malignant Transformation in Human Breast Tissues"

Davey, Ashton. Northern Kentucky University. "Bioinformatics approach for the identification of a box C/D guide RNA responsible for the Nm39 modification of tRNA"

Special Recognition - Psychology

Cole, Lynnsey.  Western Kentucky University. "Age-Related Differences in Dynamic Emotion Perception"

Keehan, Kamryn. Northern Kentucky University. " Comparing agonist treatments for maternal mice postpartum in attempt to reduce maternal overdose deaths."

Russell, Andrew and Brandi Stone.  Morehead State University. "Parental behavior and teen self-compassion"

Weber, Gabrielle.  Northern Kentucky University. "The impact of organizational expectations and important people in employees' lives on psychological detachment from work"

Special Recognition - Zoology & Botany

Chandler, Mason. Berea College. "Evaluation of artificial diets for monarch caterpillar development"

Gibson, Ricelle. Eastern Kentucky University. " Microclimate impacts on Vandenboschia boschiana gametophyte and sporophyte distributions and demographics"

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