Alumni | Give to BC | Athletics | Fine Arts | Thresher Connect | Search


Annual URICA Symposium includes science, art, internships

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Every year, Bethel College celebrates its emphasis on undergraduate research with the URICA Symposium on campus.

URICA stands for Undergraduate Research, Internships and Creative Activity. The symposium’s main day, April 28, is devoted to presentations from student research in science and social science.

The event kicks off April 27 with the reception for the Student Art Exhibit, which is in the Regier Gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center through April 28. The reception is from 6-8 p.m. outside the gallery.

On display is work by 46 students, in media including book arts, ceramics, drawing, jewelry and small metals, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

On April 28, concurrent senior award and honors presentations will take place at 11 a.m., during the normal convocation time slot.

In Krehbiel Auditorium, Spencer Bailly, Wichita, will present “Exclusion of Poles in Kaiserreich Prussia, 1871-1914,” and Jacob Miller, Westmoreland, will speak on “Narrative Trumps Reality: A Narrative Paradigm Approach to the Mainstream Media’s Coverage of Climate Change Preceding the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.”

The Administration Building chapel is the venue for presentations by Azucena Gonzalez, Newton, on “Cognitive and emotional effects of football and spiders: Reaction time and event-related potentials in a Go/NoGo task,” and Kelsey Peterson, Plano, Texas, on “Effects of the removal of the invasive species Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) from Sand Creek Trail.”

In Room 141 of the Mennonite Library and Archives (the projection room), Daniel Ratzlaff, Moundridge, will present “Concentration analysis of chromium ion-induced DNA damage upon the pBR322 E. coli plasmid,” and Chase Stucky, Moundridge, will speak on “The damaging effects of aspartame and its components upon the pBR322 E. coli plasmid: A replication study and further analysis.”

Research posters will be on display in the lower level of the Will Academic Center (WAC) starting at noon April 28. Different groups of students will be giving poster presentations.

From 1-2 p.m., presentations are by Garrett Lindley, Garrett Smith, Stephanie McGhee and Jalal Gondal, “Effects of Concussions on Feelings of Support and Isolation in the Context of Team Dynamics”; Maya Kathrineberg, Ryan LaCombe, Austin Coulter and Santiago Aragon, senior research mentor, “Effects on Soil Lead Concentrations from Tatarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) Removal”; Abby Harders, Logan Heinrichs, Amber Schmidt and Benjamin Abel, “Furthering the Research on Adsorption of Wastewater Contaminants on Magnetic Composites”; Cassie Voth, Riley Schmieder and Daniel Ratzlaff, senior research mentor, “Concentration Analysis of Cobalt Ion-Induced DNA Damage upon the pBR322 E. coli Plasmid”; Alexander Haas, Kaci Wilson and Brianna Newport, “An Analysis of the Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Factors in Student Success as Influenced by Various Interventions Across Four Years”; Lil Padro, Mallory Meier and Azucena Gonzalez, senior research mentor, “Two Case Studies of Brain Responses to Go/NoGo Tasks”; Brianna Newport and Taylor Simmons, “Assessing Fear Responses with Event-Related Potentials and Reaction Time in a Go/NoGo Task” (this poster was presented at the 2017 National Conference on Undergraduate Research, April 6 at the University of Memphis); Benjamin Wiens, Candy Dao, Heath Goertzen and Westen Gesell, senior research mentor, “The Effects of Roundup® Herbicide on Soil Ecology”; Benjamin Wiens and Tyler Shima, “Population Genetics of the Feral Cat Community in Harvey County”; Kiley Varney, Jeni Reichenberger and Katie Schrag, “Bethel College Treescape”; Shaelyn Atwood, Garrett Lindley and Paul Lewis, faculty adviser, “Mental Illness, Schizophrenia and Behavioral Interpretation in Everyday Life: Proof of Concept Study”; Abigail Kurtzer, Naomi Epp, Georgia Anderson, Callie Drescher and Paul Lewis, faculty adviser, “Experiences of Choice, Control and Schizotypy in Everyday Life by Persons with Diagnoses of Schizophrenia, Persons with Other Diagnoses of Mental Illness, and Persons with No Diagnoses”; Cayla Lawless, Randall Schmidt, Elizabeth Tran and Brittany Carter, senior research mentor, “The Relationship between Bethel College Students’ Personality and Their Childhood Trauma: Exploratory Analyses”; Sam Bertholf, Nathan Gamache and Grace Bradfield, senior research mentor, “Analysis of Bentonite Clay and Coriander Efficacy in the Uptake of Cu+2, Fe and Pb+2 from an Aqueous Solution Using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy.”

Starting at 1:30 p.m., concurrent oral presentations will take place in different WAC classrooms.

Seven students in two panels will describe their internship experiences and take questions about them. The panels are in WAC 203, with Megan Kershner, Bethel director of career services, as the moderator.

First are Zach Preheim, Peabody (First Bank of Newton), Jaden Schmidt, Moundridge (Hesston Golf Course), and Kelsey Peterson (The Land Institute, Salina).

At 2 p.m., Taylor Simmons and Connick Roe will present “Interspecies Bonding: The Reciprocal Effects of Pair Bonds between Green Iguanas and their Human Caretakers on Physiological and Perceived Stress,” a URICA Award presentation. A poster based on this research has been accepted for presentation at the 54th Annual Conference of the Animal Behavior Society to be held at University of Toronto, June 12-16.

On the second internship panel, at 2:30 p.m., are Brittany Carter, Sylvia (COMCARE Crisis Center), Tia Goertzen, Goessel (school social work at Santa Fe 5/6 Center, Newton), Kylee Schunn, Whitewater (substance abuse prevention and treatment, Mirror Inc., Newton), and Spencer Bailly (Harvey/McPherson County Community Corrections Teen Court).

This panel will be followed by two more URICA Award presentations: at 3 p.m., Santiago Aragon, “Effects of the Removal of the Invasive Species Tatarian honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) and the Analysis of Lead in Soil on Sand Creek Trail” and, at 3:30 p.m., Brittany Carter, “The Relationship between Bethel College Students’ Personality and Their Childhood Trauma.”

At 1:30 p.m. in WAC 208, the session titled “I’ve Seen Stranger Things with Modern Critical Theory,” has Heather Chaney, “Stranger Structuralism”; at 1:45 p.m., Shekhinah Jones, “Rain Drop, Drop Top, This Binary is Only a Flip Flop”; at 2 p.m., Elizabeth Ratzlaff, “Gender Something or Other”; and at 2:15 p.m., Reece Hiebert, “Deconstructing Fantasy/Reality in Stranger Things.

In the session titled “Stranger/Bethel Things,” beginning at 2:30 p.m., are Kate Jolliff, “Are You Afraid of the Dark?: A Structuralist Look at Stranger Things”; at 2:45 p.m., Tara Schwartz, “Fredric Jameson’s Schizophrenia Applied to the Character Eleven”; and at 3 p.m., Jacob Miller, “There is Nothing Original about Bubbert’s.”

Finally, there are visual arts presentations, beginning at 3:15 p.m.: Katherine Fry, “Shadows as Art: A Photographer’s Perspective” and, at 3:25 p.m., Matthew Rodenberg, “Designing a Party Game from Start to an Indefinite Finish.”

In WAC 216, starting at 1:30 p.m., are presentations by Kimberley McLaughlin and Morgan Murphy, “Social and Play Behavior in Juvenile Ovis Aries (Domestic Sheep)”; at 2 p.m., Grace Bradfield, “Analysis of Bentonite Clay and Coriander Efficacy in the Uptake of Cu+2, Fe, and Pb+2 from an Aqueous Solution Using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy”; at 2:30 p.m., Westen Gesell, “The Effects of Roundup® Herbicide on Soil Ecology”; at 3 p.m., Cayla Lawless, “The Effects of the Perceived Patient-Physician Relationship on Medication Adherence in a Rural Family Practice”; at 3:20 p.m., Melissa Wimer, “The Importance of Beginning Breast Exam Education in Adolescence”; and at 3:40 p.m., Randall Schmidt, “The Epidemic of Opioids: An Analysis of Rising Deaths and Usage.”

At 4 p.m. in WAC 208 is a presentation by the Faculty Fellowships Committee (Rachel Epp Buller, associate professor of visual art and design, Kathryn Layman, associate professor of chemistry and physics, and Kip Wedel, assistant professor of history and peace studies) on “Strategies for Student Success in Competing for Undergraduate and Graduate Fellowships.” This is especially for students who have received an invitation indicating they are eligible to apply for fellowships.

The symposium’s creative activity also includes literary arts, theater and music.

April 28 from 5-6 p.m. in Mojo’s Coffee Bar is the launch party for the spring 2017 issue of YAWP!, Bethel’s student and alumni literary magazine. Weather permitting, the party will be on the Mojo’s porch and street outside.

The party will feature readings by contributors, and folk and bluegrass music.

The spring drama, Unity (1918) by Kevin Kerr, opens April 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium. It repeats April 29 at the same place and time.

While most URICA events are free and open to the public, ticket purchase is required for the play. Tickets are available in Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center weekdays 8 a.m.-5 p.m., or at the door, subject to availability. Due to adult content and strong language, the play is recommended for mature audiences.

The Unity (1918) cast is Kate Jolliff, Ryne Preheim, Shaelyn Atwood, Mikala Wertz, Abby Phillips, Madison Hofer-Holdeman, Polly Carlson, Logan Hughes and Matthew Garber, with a crew of Anna Wiens, Lily Funk and Callie Ross. Ethan Koerner directs.

Finally, the weekend wraps up with the April 30 spring concert by the Bethel College Wind Ensemble, featuring music by Pulitzer Prize winners, at 3 p.m. in Memorial Hall. It is free, with a freewill offering taken.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2016–17 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

Bethel College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, parental or marital status, gender identity, gender expression, medical or genetic information, ethnic or national origins, citizenship status, veteran or military status or disability. E-mail questions to

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.