UK Undergraduates to Present at 20th ‘Posters at the Capitol’

UK President Eli Capilouto with student researcher Madelyn Miles at the 2018 event.
UK President Eli Capilouto with student researcher Madelyn Miles at the 2018 event.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2022) — Ten undergraduate researchers from the University of Kentucky have been chosen to present their research at the 2022 Posters-at-the-Capitol event on March 3 at the Kentucky state capitol in Frankfort. Now in its 20th year, this event will have more than 100 student representatives from across the state displaying the results of their research and scholarly or creative work.

Posters-at-the-Capitol is an event hosted collaboratively by Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville and Western Kentucky University that offers students the opportunity to present the results of research they have conducted as part of their college experience before the state legislature.

“Posters-at-the-Capitol is an important event not only for UK, but all institutions of higher education in Kentucky, to showcase the research and creative work undergraduates in the Commonwealth," said Chad Risko, faculty director of the Office of Undergraduate Research. "We are particularly excited by this year’s cohort from UK, as their work demonstrates some of the excellent diversity of scholarly work that takes place on campus.”

Their work represents thousands of hours of faculty-mentored student scholarship. With unique research projects on display, Posters-at-the-Capitol helps to increase understanding of the important role undergraduate research plays in the education of our students among those responsible for higher education funding in Kentucky. Posters-at-the-Capitol enhances the undergraduate student experience by allowing them to showcase their hard work to those who make important decisions on issues that affect Kentuckians.

The UK students participating in Posters-at-the-Capitol this year include:

  • Raven Barleston, dietetics, junior. Faculty mentors: Tammy Stephenson, Ph.D., Mackenzie Barr, Ph.D., and Kendra OoNorasak. Project title: “Implementing and Evaluating a Farmer's Market Incentive and Nutrition Education Program for Families with Children.”
  • Matthew Bernard, chemical engineering, Honors junior. Faculty mentor: Dibakar Bhattacharyya, Ph.D. Project title: “Novel Improvements to Mask and Indoor Air Filtration Technology: Improved Personal Protective Equipment and Public Health.”
  • Lucas Bertucci, chemical engineering, Honors junior. Faculty mentors: Joshua Werner, Ph.D., and John Groppo, Ph.D. Project title: “Sustainable Materials and Recovery Technologies (SMaRT).”
  • Kayli Bolton, biology, Honors junior. Faculty mentor: Matthew Gentry, Ph.D. Project title: “Assessing Glycogen Metabolism as a Therapeutic Target in Ewing’s Sarcoma.”
  • Gracelyn Bush, public health, Honors junior. Faculty mentor: Dana Quesinberry, J.D., Dr.PH. Project title: “Drug Use and Brain Injury in Kentucky Acute Care Facilities in 2020.”
  • Taylor Davis, management and global studies, Honors senior. Faculty mentor: Janice Fernheimer, Ph.D. Project title: “Making Space for Women in Bourbon: Insights from Female Industry Insiders.”
  • Lauren Hudson, neuroscience and biology, Honors senior. Faculty mentor: Nathan Vanderford, Ph.D. Project title: “Developing Cancer Education Curriculum to Enhance Cancer Literacy in Appalachian Kentucky Middle and High School Students.”
  • Joseph Ison, agricultural and medical biotechnology, biology, and Spanish, senior. Faculty mentor: Heather Campbell-Speltz, Ph.D. Project title: “How Scientific Information is Communicated to a Spanish Speaking Public: A Descriptive Review of Agricultural Extension in Latin America.”
  • Anicah Smith, chemical engineering, senior. Faculty mentor: Zach Hilt, Ph.D. Project title: “Addressing PFAS Contamination in Blood Bank Supplies with Hydrogel Nanocomposite Sorbents.”
  • Kotomi Yokokura, social work, Honors sophomore. Faculty mentor: Natalie Pope, Ph.D. Project title: “Perceptions of Social Support Use: A Qualitative Study of Single Men Experiencing Chronic Homelessness.”

View the 2022 Posters-at-the-Capitol projects here.


The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.