INBRE Students Recognized at Annual Conference

Published: August 30, 2019

Congratulations to College of Western Idaho (CWI) INBRE students, Charity Watson and Brandi Sweet, who won third place in the INBRE Scholars category for their work examining the physiological effect of social media on people.

Eight students participated in this year’s INBRE Scholars program. Students earned $1,500 for their work and the experience gave them a chance to immerse themselves in scientific research for three weeks. Two groups examined heart rate as the physiological factor, and two groups examined the stress hormone, cortisol, as the physiological factor, and then looked at additional modifying factors such as age and gender.

During the INBRE Summer Research Conference in Moscow from July 29 to 31, students shared their research and exchanged ideas with students and faculty from institutions throughout the state. Suzanne Oppenheimer, Assistant Professor of Biology, said the networking and research opportunities are significant because it prepares students to transfer to science programs at four-year schools.

“I just love the fact that we get to do research and explore something new, it's not a traditional lab class where the outcomes are known,” said Oppenheimer. “Having to think and solve problems we encounter during this research is important to the development of our students.”  

According to Oppenheimer, their study found 20 minutes of social media use, with Facebook or Instagram, did not cause stress; instead, it reduced stress levels, as measured by cortisol levels and heart rate.

2019 INBRE Scholars:
Abdi Mohamed, Brittany Beers, Cristiana Holmes, Riley Woodworth, Zoey Carr, Brandi Sweet, Charity Watson, and Elizabeth Carter

Teresa Rich, Suzanne Oppenheimer, Holly Paquette, and Brian McClain

The INBRE summer research program is supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health and is contingent upon continued funding to CWI.

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