Student Conference celebrates excellence in research

25th April 2017

(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)—The 2017 IU Southeast Student Conference concluded on Friday, April 21 with an awards ceremony to recognize outstanding undergraduate and graduate research across all academic disciplines.

The winners are listed below.

Graduate Session
Award Winner Title of Presentation Faculty Advisor
Chancellor’s Award for Creative Achievement  Jade Bilyeu “Effects of Emerald Ash Borer on Ash Tree Health and Economic Loss Due to Ash Tree Removal on the Indiana University Southeast Campus in New Albany, Indiana” Dr. David Taylor
Chancellor’s Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement Jennifer Mason “Green Housing: Social, Economic and Political Relations Between Environmental Sustainability and Public Housing” Dr. James Hollenbeck
The Outstanding Presentation Related to Diversity Award Cordia Pickerill “Increasing Proficiency in Reading and Math in African American Male Students”  Dr. Shifa Podikunju-Hussain
The Best Poster Presentation Award Kari Faustyn, Anita Kraft, Jordan Ricks “Is This Real Life or Is This Just Fantasy: Perception of Mental Health Based on Crime Television Viewing Habits” Dr. Deborah Finkel
The Best Oral Presentation in Education Award Bethany Cooper “Decreasing Discipline Referrals of Third Grade Students” Dr. Shifa Podikunju-Hussain
Undergraduate Session
Award Winner Title of Presentation Faculty Advisor
Chancellor’s Award for Creative Achievement MacKenzie Roberts, Lori Wyne, Savanna Ferrell, Sarah Anderson “Ohio River Greenway Commission Design” Dr. Kok-Cheow Yeoh
Chancellor’s Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement Van Knopf “A Force for Unity: The Austro-Hungarian Army from 1867 to 1914” Dr. Angelika Hoelger
Outstanding Presentation related to Diversity Jayce Beavin “Demon of Their Own Design: Jack the Ripper and Victorian Society in London” Dr. Angelika Hoelger
Outstanding Fine Arts Studio or Art History Katrina Dennis “Magnified Texture—Pineapple” Kristin Tuttle
Thomas Kotulak Outstanding Political Science Award Kristie White “La Mode: Fashion and Politics from the French Revolution to Napoleon” Dr. Angelika Hoelger
Vijay Krishna Reddy Outstanding Communication Studies Award Nathaniel Bowers “TwitterTrends” Dr. Christopher Kimmer
Outstanding Oral Presentation in Natural Sciences Award Belinda Petri “Investigation of Novel Interactions of PDX 1,2, Component of the Pyridoxal 5′-Phosphate Synthase Complex in Arabidopsis thaliana Dr. Elizabeth Rueschhoff
Outstanding Oral Presentation in Business Award Kendra Driver “Data Collection Influence on Client Interaction” Dr. Shridhar Ramachandran
Outstanding Oral Presentation in Psychology Award Ashley Moore “The Effects of Stereotype Threat on Mathematical Performance” Dr. Robert Lipinski
Outstanding Oral Presentation in Criminal Justice Award Jenna Bieker “Public Opinion of Plea Bargaining: Political Implications for Prosecutors” Dr. Sara Walsh
Outstanding Oral Presentation Award John Grant “Investigation of the Short Root Phenotype of sos4 and pdx1.3 Mutants by Grafting in Arabidopsis thaliana Dr. Elizabeth Rueschhoff
Outstanding Oral Presentation Award Synthia Carpenter, Megan Fries, Destinee Hockenbury, Aly Kintner “Silver Dollar Business Analysis” Dr. Aycan Kara
Outstanding Oral Presentation Award Nick Flynn, Jay Tyler, Sam Bland “Comfort House” Dr. Ronald Finkbine
Outstanding Poster Presentation in Natural Sciences Lindsey Earl “Highly Efficient Copper Insipired Acylation of Alcohols and Polyols” Dr. Enoch Mensah
Outstanding Poster Presentation in Psychology Award Jordan Eastridge “First We Dream: Dreams Function to Influence Waking Perception” Dr. Lucinda Woodward
Outstanding Poster Presentation in Sociology Award Paige Kruer, Morgan Mahoney, Brittany Dicus “A Silent Epidemic: Bringing Hepatitis C Awareness and Testing to At-Risk Populations in Washington County” Linda Wells-Freiberger
Outstanding Poster Presentation Award Tyler Bahan “Isolation and Characterization of Novel Caulobacter Bacteriophages from Local Water Samples” Dr. Pamela Connerly
Outstanding Poster Presentation Award Ashley Moore “Genetic Identification of Three Distinct Phages” Dr. Pamela Connerly
Outstanding Poster Presentation Award Aaron Day “Hafnium Inspired Acylation of Alcohols and Polyols with Hindered Anhydrides” Dr. Enoch Mensah
Outstanding Poster Presentation Award Emma Bays, Sarah Knowy “Sexual Behaviors and Alcohol and Drug Use in College Students” Dr. Diane Wille
Outstanding Poster Presentation Award Jeremy Abbott, Mitchell Brooks, Trevor Jackson “Talking Word Puzzle” Dr. Ronald Finkbine
Outstanding Poster Presentation Award Madison Miles “The New Diabetes: Beyond Type I and Type II” Rebekah Dement Farmer
Outstanding Poster Presentation Award Britin Abbot, Ashley Green “Let’s Make Youth Health Something To Talk About: Pine Ridge Indiana Reservation Pre-Prom Health Blast” Dr. Julie Mattingly

The ceremony brought to an end a busy and intensive conference that included some  212 posters, papers, fine art and performances from 330 undergraduate and graduate students. In all, 55 faculty members acted as mentors for these presentations over the past semester and beyond, guiding the projects from inception to completion, making themselves available for questions and encouragement. Presentations were judged by 49 faculty members, five retired faculty members, one professional staff member and a group of four alumni and community members. All of the volunteers took significant time at the busiest moment of the year to support the efforts of student researchers.

Students in the Honors Freshman Seminar, psychology and natural sciences also contributed to the success of the event. They stuffed conference bags, staffed the conference table, moderated the poster and oral presentation sessions and set up the Friday session. Holding up a sign that lets a speaker know she or he has one minute left might seem like a small thing, but it’s actually a big deal that keeps the event on schedule.

With so much personal investment on display, it’s impossible not to look ahead, not just to next year’s conference, but to the not-too-distant future when these academic labors, and more like them, will begin to impact the world beyond the campus.

To help the students imagine just how this might happen, two outstanding faculty members shared their own experience of the winding roads of research.

Dr. Bernie Carducci, professor of psychology and director of the IU Southeast Shyness Institute, recounted his journey from understated high schooler to world authority in his field. That journey began in research, as Carducci looked within to understand the psychology of his own shyness, and to help others manage theirs.

Dr. Melissa Fry, professor of sociology and director of the IU Southeast Applied Research and Education Center (AREC), told of how she was able to marry her love of inquiry with her passion for social justice by applying sociological research to issues of acute concern, such as poverty, racism and homelessness.

These words helped make the point that while the subject of research might be microscopic, its importance can be truly global.

“I heard over and over again from people who attended the conference that the work they saw and presentations they heard were truly outstanding,” said Diane Wille, dean of research and conference organizer. “I know that the students’ excellent research or creative work they presented at the conference will be just one of many great accomplishments in their lives.”

Below is a gallery of impressions from the 2017 conference. Please click on the thumbnails for full-size images.


Homepage photo: Biology student John Grant accepts the award for Outstanding Oral Presentation from Chancellor Dr. Ray Wallace. Grant’s topic was “Investigation of the Short Root Phenotype of sos4 and pdx1.3 Mutants by Grafting in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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