This month, undergraduate students from Utah State University and the University of Utah will present their research to Utah legislators at Research on Capitol Hill. This event is held every year to celebrate the best of undergraduate research from the state’s two premier research institutions.

The event will take place on February 28 in the Rotunda of the State Capitol in Salt Lake City. Research on Capitol Hill demonstrates to legislators the importance of research to an undergraduate education and the contributions students’ work make in informing policy and understanding questions across disciplines. The event features only 25 students from each university, making in the event competitive.

The event, co-organized by USU and the U of U, is in its 17th year.

The presenters this year include:

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Micah Kwallek and Rissely Parra, Languages, Philosophy and Communication Studies Department

Morgan Sanford and Elise Maddox, English Department

Erin Searle, English Department


College of Science

Mikayla Austin, Biology Department

Joshua Hansen, Biology Department

Tyson Lumbreras, Biology Department

Garrett Rydalch, Biology Department

Riannon Smith and Melena Garrett, Chemistry and Biochemistry Department

Matthew Thompson, Biology Department

James Withers and Loren Linford, Biology Department


College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences

Tess Armbrust and Canyon Neal, Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences Department

Boston Swan, Plants, Soils, and Climate Department


Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

Colten Brown, Psychology Department

Alyssa Collins, School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Audrianna Dehlin, Psychology Department

R.J. Risueño, Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education Department

Isabella Stuart, Psychology Department



S.J. and Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources

Anders Hart, Wildland Resources Department

Andrea Johnson, Wildland Resources Department


College of Engineering

Kyle Hillman, Biological Engineering Department

Jack Kiefer and Paden Thompson, Computer Science Department

Andrew Walters, Biological Engineering Department


Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

Hayden Hubbard, Christopher Cottle, and Mcklayne Marshall, Economics and Finance Department

Jacklyn Sullivan, Economics and Finance Department


Caine College of the Arts

Ethan Seegmiller, Music Department


RJ Risueno, participant in Research on Capitol Hill 2018, said, “Undergraduate research has been a keystone of my college education. USU sees potential in their students and gives them the resources necessary to succeed. In the past year, I have applied for and received a research grant, submitted an IRB proposal, and even created and carried out my own case study. Through this experience, I have grown tremendously and have greater confidence in my ability to make a difference through research.”