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Thursday, November 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WSU, EWU students get support for innovative research

UPDATED: Wed., April 5, 2017

This Aug. 17, 2011, photo shows the Washington State University campus in Pullman. WSU’s board of regents has authorized lawyers for the school to negotiate a payment of up to $5.26 million to settle a lawsuit over a potential data breach in April 2017. (Alan Berner / Associated Press)
This Aug. 17, 2011, photo shows the Washington State University campus in Pullman. WSU’s board of regents has authorized lawyers for the school to negotiate a payment of up to $5.26 million to settle a lawsuit over a potential data breach in April 2017. (Alan Berner / Associated Press)

Five Washington State University students are among 2,000 students nationwide who will receive lucrative funding for graduate research in science and engineering.

Avery Lane, Shawn Trojahn, Jake Gray, Lindsey Lavaysse and Jenny Voss came out on top after a competitive application process for the National Science Foundation fellowships.

The fellowships provide three years of financial support, including a $34,000 annual stipend for research and a $12,000 payment to the student’s university.

Lane, a WSU Vancouver student from Tucson, Arizona, is pursuing a master’s degree in biocultural anthropology. Her research examines how social environments, child care practices and infant diets might influence the microbiomes of breast milk and gastrointestinal tracts.

Trojahn, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is working on a master’s degree in biology in Pullman. He’ll study the effects of logging, human encroachment, pollution and climate change on tropical mangrove forests, using a particular species of fish as a model.

Gray, who holds a WSU bachelor’s degree in engineering, will study a method of hydrogen production that uses electric fields as a catalyst.

Lavaysse, a psychology master’s student from San Francisco, studies the factors weighing against vulnerable groups of laborers such as pregnant women and minorities. Those factors include job insecurity, occupational health and safety threats, and stereotypes and prejudice.

And Voss, of Aberdeen, Washington, will study the catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide and hydrogen into long-chain alcohols. She holds a WSU bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.

Undergrads doing research, too

Eastern Washington University has sent a record number of students to the 31st annual National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

The conference runs Thursday through Saturday at the University of Memphis in Tennessee. This year’s group of 57 students is about twice as many as EWU sent to the conference in 2016.

“The opportunity to have so many of our students attend this respected national event is evidence of the long-standing tradition at EWU to involve our students in research and scholarly pursuits,” Chuck Lopez, an EWU vice provost, said in a news release.

Students are presenting research on a wide range of topics, including teenage mental health, head trauma in mixed martial arts, the refugee crisis in Europe, the oppression of Islam in France and whether Pokemon Go influences people to walk more.

EWU hosted the undergraduate research conference in April 2015.

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