Highlights from BYU colleges

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Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering

Matte black nail polish may be the key in quickly identifying antibiotic resistant bacteria in the bloodstream. (Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)

Lab-on-a-chip disease diagnoses, which are used to test patients for bacterial infections, can take days to process a patient’s blood content and determine if the blood is immune to antibiotics. BYU students have found an odd solution to speed up the process: black matte nail polish. Bacteria is read in the bloodstream by extracting bacteria from the blood and its DNA sequence and pinpointing antibiotic resistant gene codes. A fluorescent light then attaches to the codes, projecting them with a laser beam. The nail polish covers the chip with a blackout layer that blocks out irrelevant projected light rays. Lead study author and Ph.D. candidate Matt Hamblin said the team used the method when nothing else seemed to be working. “It’s kind of funny because it first came up as a joke,” Hamblin said. “But sometimes complicated problems can be fixed with simplistic solutions.”


Marriott School of Business

BYU Marriott School of Business faculty presented the Gary C. Cornia award to University of North Carolina public administration professor Leisha DeHart-Davis. (Heather Chewning)

The BYU Marriott Romney Institute of Public Service and Ethics presented longtime research colleague and University of North Carolina public administration professor Leisha DeHart-Davis the Garcy C. Cornia award during the Gary C. Cornia Lecture Series for her contributions as an industry thought leader. As the award recipient, DeHart-Davis spoke about the importance of engaged scholarship, a research model encouraging both academic scholarship and practical guidance. She shared personal experiences with performing academic research for local government organizations and said she hopes other institutions will apply the engaged scholarship research model.


College of Fine Arts and Communications

Justin Kunz’s 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin received the Best Gold Coin award at the 2019 World Money Fair in Berlin. (Justin Kunz)

BYU illustration professor Justin Kunz won the Best Gold Coin award at the 2019 World Money Fair in Berlin. Kunz has worked with the U.S. Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program since he saw an television advertisement for artists in 2003. Since then, he has worked on numerous projects and collaborations with fellow artists to produce coins. Kunz’s winning coin is the 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin, which features a modern day depiction of Lady Liberty on the face and an eagle on the back. Kunz said he is grateful for the experience to work both on the national and international level with the Mint and encourages other artists. “Become better than you currently are — but please take it one day at a time. Try to see every situation and assignment as an opportunity to learn and prepare,” he said. 

Graphis Inc. recognized four BYU students for their design work. Todd McAllister was the only BYU student to be awarded the highest recognition of platinum. (Courtesy of Todd McAllister)

The New Talent Annual competition by Graphis Inc. recognized 22 out of 25 BYU student submissions for their design work out of 1,160 total visual designs submitted statewide and internationally. BYU design student Todd McAllister was one of only 21 students and the only BYU student to receive platinum, the highest award. The competition recognized McAllister for his minimalist redesign of Dwell Magazine. Dwell asked McAllister to recreate its image while staying true to its theme. He chose to use sleek, sharp architectural images and place the title and masthead running along the left edge of the cover. “I definitely think this experience will have a positive impact on my future career,” McAllister said. “If nothing else, it has helped me feel a bit more confident in my abilities.”

From left: Christina Brandt, Josie Larsen, pianist Peter Blackham, Anna Low and Camilla Andelin placed in their divions at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Regional Conference. (Diane Reich)

Four BYU vocal students placed in their divisions at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Regional Conference at the University of Nevada, Reno. Anna Low and Camilla Andelin took first and second place, respectively, in the Lower College Division (18 years), while Josie Larsen placed first in the Lower College Division (up to 22 years) and graduate student Christina Brandy placed second in the Advanced College Division. The placements qualified the students to compete in the national competition this summer.


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