Riveting research

UWL students shine at Wisconsin State Capitol

Posted 3:46 p.m. Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The State Capitol

From deciphering archaeological finds for the Red Cliff Band along the Apostle Islands in northern Wisconsin to analyzing the best stocks to make a campus student investment fund grow, UW-La Crosse students shared their findings in the 19th annual Research in the Rotunda at the State Capitol in Madison March 8.

            Six UWL students joined more than 100 other outstanding undergraduate researchers from across the UW System, along with their faculty advisers, to show findings to legislators, state leaders, UW alumni and other supporters.

            Professor Nicholas Bakken, UWL Student Research and Experiential Learning coordinator, says UWL has long been a leader in promoting and advancing undergraduate research.

            “Research in The Rotunda is such a unique opportunity to showcase the amazing research being done by UWL students to a diverse audience that includes Wisconsin legislators, state leaders and members of the public,” says Bakken. “Our students were incredible representatives for our university.”

            Bakken says by engaging in undergraduate research, students gain skills and opportunities that extend far beyond the classroom.

            “It allows students to apply the knowledge learned from their classes to discipline-specific research questions, provides more meaningful interactions with faculty mentors, and creates an array of networking opportunities,” he explains. “Undergraduate research involvement fosters so much personal and professional growth, including enhancing critical thinking skills, written and oral communication skills, and it promotes self-confidence and professionalism.”

            Bakken credits UWL’s faculty and staff for the countless hours they spend behind the scenes to make undergraduate research happen.

            “The culture around student research at UWL is special and is transformative for our students in so many ways,” he says.

            Bakken says students and faculty are excited for the upcoming National Conference on Undergraduate Research at UW-Eau Claire April 13-15. A total of 46 students and nine faculty from UWL are registered at the showcase event.

            Students interested in getting involved in undergraduate research may contact their professors or the Student Research, Creativity, and Experiential Learning Office at srcel@uwlax.edu.

            See more about this year’s students at Research in the Rotunda …

UWL students were joined by state legislators and others during the 19th annual Research in the Rotunda at the State Capitol March 8.


Brandon Micech, a finance major from Menomonee Falls, with his poster on “Security Selection Model for the Gordon Spellman Fund Phase 2.”


Brandon Micech details his research with State Rep. Steve Doyle.
UW System President Jay Rothman with UWL Finance Major Brandon Micech.
Sarah Fleegal, a microbiology major from Green Lake, with her poster on “Significance of brpS Gene Point Mutations on srtA Transcription and Biofilm Formation in Staphylococcus aureus.”
Sarah Fleegal, right, with State Rep. Jill Billings, left, and State Sen. Joan Ballweg.
Josie Lammers , a chemistry and biochemistry major from Waukesha, with her poster on “Investigating the Lipid-binding Properties and Structural Requirements of DcrB, a Salmonella Copper Resistance Protein.”
Josie Lammers with State Sen. Brad Pfaff.
Ky Ariano, a microbiology major, with his poster on “Determining the functional role of the GOX1969 protein in Gluconobacter oxydans.”
Ky Ariano shares information about his poster with UWL Chancellor Joe Gow.
Maddie Riddle, a sociology and criminal justice major from Waterloo, with her poster on “Reducing Risk upon Reentry: An Examination of Health Risk Behaviors among Incarcerated Women with a History of Drug Abuse.”
State Sen. Brad Praff looks at Maddie Riddle’s poster as she provides specifics from her research.
Faith Kalvig, an archaeology and anthropology major from Fitchburg, share information on her poster, “Comparing Historic Artifacts from Two Archaeological Sites on the Red Cliff Indian Reservation, Gaa-Miskwaabikaang.”
La Crosse area legislators join UWL students, Chancellor Gow and Professor Bakken for a photo on the steps of the North Gallery of the state capitol.
The Wisconsin State Capitol.