Student Conference: Everyone’s a winner

25th April 2018

By Steven Krolak

(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)—The 2018 IU Southeast Student Conference concluded on Friday, April 20 with a luncheon and awards ceremony to recognize outstanding undergraduate and graduate research across all academic disciplines.

This year, the conference boasted a record number of students displaying 114 posters and presenting 110 papers and performances. There were 62 faculty mentors and 70 judges.

The winners of awards are listed below, though it is important to note that everyone involved in or touched by this event—including students, their families, faculty sponsors, volunteers and the campus itself—is a winner.

Graduate Awards

Award Winner Title of Presentation Faculty Sponsor
Chancellor’s Award for Creative Achievement Brittany Becht The Effect of Choice on Attitudes and Achievement in Reading Faye Camahalan
Chancellor’s Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement Cristina Cordova Paz Dawn’s Eracism James Hollenbeck
Outstanding Presentation related to Diversity Award Meghan Luther The Effect of Big Question Integrated Units on English Language Learners Faye Camahalan
The Outstanding Oral Presentation in Public Service Rachel Huster Comfort Care and Comfort Theory: Promoting Palliative Care for Lung Cancer Patients Judith Myers

Undergraduate Awards

Award Winner Title of Presentation Faculty Sponsor
Chancellor’s Award for Creative Achievement Andrew Grider, Cody Morphis, Jay Oglesby 3 Kids in a Car Neil Brewer
Chancellor’s Award for Interdisciplinary Achievement


Matt Purlee The Increasing Gap Between the Public and the Police: How Media is Playing a Major Role          in Public Perception of the Police Diane Wille
The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Excellence Award Nicholas Cooper Equity Sensitivity and Motivation in Academic Workplaces Valerie Scott
The Outstanding Presentation related to Diversity Award


Jennifer Daniel Men can use the kitchen, too: Gendered food advertisements in magazines Veronica Medina
The Outstanding Fine Arts Studio or Art History Award Caroline Aponte, Jose Aponte, Ciera Ashley, Katrina Dennis, Samantha Earley, Jodie Furbee, Shelby Kaiser, Ginnie Lee, Jessie Martin, Cody Presley, Heather Rife, Courtney Ross, Paige Saint Germain, Noelle  Wilcox Crochet Coral Reef Donna Stallard
The Vijay Krishna Reddy Outstanding Communication Studies Jacob Delaney, Cody Harris Shyness and Facebook Usage Donna Dahlgren
The Social Sciences Award for Community or Civic Engagement LaRome Dickerson, Ryan Gosling, Eric Schulze Amazon Alexa APH Trivia Game Ronald Finkbine
The Louise Suleiman Outstanding Presentation in Nursing Award Chelsea Fathauer Remodeling the Patient Education in a Gastroenterology Practice Laura McIlvoy
The Outstanding Oral Presentation in Natural Sciences Kalia Pinkston Mammalian activity at an artificial water source in Wadi Rum, Jordan Omar Attum
The Outstanding Oral Presentation in Business Lily Dobbs, Sara Jones, Kayla Blumer Local Janitorial Company on a Mission Lisa Russell
The Outstanding Oral Presentation in Psychology Megan Salisbury, Tyler Dillman Big Five Personality and Drug Preference Valerie Scott
The Outstanding Oral Presentation in Public Service Allison Cloud Expanding the Writing Center: The Success of Writing Fellows in the Classroom Leigh Ann Meyer
Outstanding Oral Presentation Natasha Brooks Stress among Non-Traditional and Traditional College Students Valerie Scott
Outstanding Oral Presentation Kenedi Divine GC-MS Studies of Time-Dependent Compositional Change in Single-Plant Extract Victor Waingeh
Outstanding Oral Presentation Loren Sieg Survey of Red Sea Reef Fish Populations in the Northern Aqaba Gulf Omar Attum
The Outstanding Poster Presentation in Natural Sciences Lindsey Freiberger, Meeta Cesler Chemical Modeling of Artic Ozone Depletion over the Arctic Ocean John Halfacre
The Outstanding Poster Presentation in Business Ryne Tate, Andrew Meiners AI and Cryptocurrency:  Predicting the Future of Currency Based on Customer Sentiments Suranga Hettiarachchi
The Outstanding Poster Presentation in Psychology Abigail Dester, Chelsey Blair Your Brain Feels It Too! Brain Activity and Cortisol Levels Reflect Pain of Exclusion. Meghan Kahn, Diane Wille
The Outstanding Poster Presentation in Criminal Justice Jonathan Barrett, David Phaire Building a Low Cost Digital Forensics Workstation for Research and Discovery Sridhar Ramachandran
The Outstanding Poster Presentation in Computer Science Greg Mattingly Modern Software Development: Sequential Versus Parallel Programming, On a (mini) Super Computer John Doyle
Outstanding Poster Presentation Virginia Horsley, Emma Layne Generational Drug Perspective Analysis Donna Dahlgren
Outstanding Poster Presentation Jacob Jones, Greg Mattingly, Kristopher O’Bryan The Bot Butler Suranga Hettiarachchi
Outstanding Poster Presentation


Ezekiel Sands Identification of an Unknown Mineral from the Rabbit Ears Volcanic Neck, Grand County, Colorado Glenn Mason
Outstanding Poster Presentation Belinda Petri The Isolation, Expression and Characterization of a Putative S1 Peptidase from Halobacillus BBL 2006 Gretchen Kirchner

The IU Southeast Student Conference is the largest of its kind in the IU system, and touches just about every office and individual on campus.

As in years past, 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 registration table, moderated the poster and oral presentation sessions and helped to set up the awards ceremony.

The conference was also enlivened once again by visitors from area secondary schools, this year with 83 students from Jeffersonville High School, New Washington High School, Charlestown High School, and Pleasure Ridge Park High School.

Besides taking in oral and poster presentations, the students received a campus tour with information about admissions processes and school facilities, visited the Ogle Center, Meadow Lodge and the Athletic Center.

“The visit provides an opportunity to show the students first-hand some of the opportunities that could be available to them here at IU Southeast,” said Christopher Morris, admissions counselor.

Amid the traditions, a novelty: the IU Southeast Alumni Association table staffed by prominent graduates and conference veterans, Jade Bilyeu, Anita Kraft and Jennifer Mason.

For Mason, who graduated in 2012 with a B.A. in English and who will graduate in May with a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies, the conference has been a proving ground for academic and professional skills.

“The student conference gave me a forum beyond the classroom that made my research seem important and relevant to a broader audience,” Mason said.

As co-owner of Southern Indiana Abstract Company, Inc., a real estate title research and technology firm, and an incoming adjunct instructor in English at IU Southeast, Mason has seen the benefit of the conference in her career.

“I am confident when leading meetings or giving presentations. I look forward to, rather than dread, fielding questions from an audience, and even my PowerPoint slides are sharp!” Mason said. “Maybe more than all this, conferences were an opportunity to build connections with other smart, passionate people.”

At the luncheon and awards gathering, two outstanding IU Southeast faculty members shared their own experience of winding roads of research that can lead from modest beginnings to significant accomplishments.

Erich Stem, composer and associate professor of music, spoke on the topic, “Adventures in Creating Ideas Bigger Than Yourself.”

Stem related the evolution of his creative focus from student days to the present, highlighting the project that has brought him both acclaim and professional growth, the series of orchestral portraits of American cities and towns called “America By: A Symphonic Tour.”

Jacob Babb, assistant professor of English, spoke on the topic, “From First-Generation College Student to Writing Instructor.”

Babb recounted his own journey into the academic realm, and of the expansion of opportunity and impact this has enabled him to enjoy.

In his remarks to the gathering, IU Southeast Chancellor Dr. Ray Wallace emphasized the value that students may derive from participating in the conference, including the months of intensive immersion in subject matter that preceded it.

“You’re saying to people that you have the confidence and the ability to conduct research, to present research, to answer questions about your research, and to move from that first paper to the next level, whether it’s publication or another presentation,” Wallace said. “You’re proving your research worth, not just in your discipline, but also as practicing scholars.”

Wallace reinforced the point that the skills developed in preparing conference presentations travel well: employers and other professionals take note that students with research backgrounds can already perform these tasks at a high level, and can also successfully work as part of a team.

For Wallace, this means that everyone involved has already enjoyed the inherent reward of a job well done.

“You’re all winners in my book,” Wallace said.

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

Homepage photo: Psychology majors Tewsdaay Babicka and Zach Blasko are genuinely psyched about their research into “Social Involvement in Relation to Individual Emotion and Behavior.”


TAGS: , , , , , , , , ,