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Tennessee's state capitol building in Nashville

Eight University of Tennessee undergraduate students are traveling to Nashville for the annual Tennessee Posters at the Capitol on Wednesday, February 26.

The Posters at the Capitol project was started in 2006 as a way for legislators to meet undergraduates and see the caliber of research being done throughout Tennessee.

“Posters at the Capitol allows our students to share their research directly to our state legislators while engaging with top research students from across the state. We are proud to showcase a small fraction of the diverse research being conducted at UT,” said Marisa Moazen, assistant vice chancellor of research and engagement and director of undergraduate research.

UT’s participants reflect a wide range of research disciplines:

Lauren Bachman, of Aurora, Ohio, is a senior in kinesiology, recreation, and sports studies. Bachman’s research seeks to increase access to long-acting reversible contraception for eligible women at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. This type of contraception has the potential to reduce unintended and short-interval pregnancies and is an effective option for postpartum contraception.

Mia Grace Cantrell, of McMinnville, Tennessee, is a junior in physics. Cantrell’s research uses the SOLenoid and Supersonic Target in Structure Experiments (SOLSTISE) experimental system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to test the implementation of a supersonic gas jet target, which can help scientists understand astronomical processes such as stellar explosions.

Thomas Clarity, of Piney Flats, Tennessee, is a senior in neuroscience. Clarity’s research seeks to understand how acute stress causes inflammation in the brain, and if certain antibiotics can help elucidate the neural mechanisms of resilience to stress-related mental illness such as PTSD.

Travis Cornell and Ashley Cornell, of Knoxville, Tennessee, are both seniors in religious studies. They are working together on the ‘Ayn Gharandal Archaeological Project, an effort to excavate a Roman military fort in southern Jordan that contains well-preserved human skeletal remains and pottery sherds.

Codi Drake, of Milan, Tennessee, is a senior in the College Scholars program. Drake’s research analyzes the growth and development of five southeastern US cities (Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, Chattanooga, and Raleigh) to better understand transit and housing policies and their impact on suburban poverty.

Peyton Hickman, of Dyersburg, Tennessee, is a senior in biological sciences. Hickman’s research looks to understand how a specific DNA modification can play a role in the regulation of gene expression in fruit flies, with the potential to extrapolate that understanding into how that modification regulates gene expression.

Caleb Keoho, of Knoxville, Tennessee, is a sophomore in microbiology. Keoho’s research uses small unmanned aerial systems with special imagery equipment to identify invasive species in high resolution, suggesting that unmanned aerial vehicles can be valid data collection tools for invasive vegetation management and mitigation.

Students interested in presenting research can apply to participate in EURēCA, the Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement, held at UT each spring semester during Research Week. This year, the 24th annual EURēCA will be held April 13–17.



Raphael Rosalin (865-974-2152,

Karen Dunlap (865-974-8674,