20th Annual IU Southeast Student Conference and Showcase Celebrates Student Achievement

25th April 2024
Winners from the IU Southeast Student Conference and Showcase pose in the Hoosier Room on the IU Southeast campus.
Winners from the IU Southeast Student Conference and Showcase.

New Albany – Student success and achievement was on display at the 20th IU Southeast Student Conference and Showcase. Students were nervous and excited as they prepared for oral and poster presentations. The event was held April 17-19, 2024, with virtual presentations leading off the conference on Wednesday. Thursday evening and Friday morning featured oral presentations in University Center North and Knobview Hall, while poster presentations were featured in the Ogle Center Lobby.

The annual event highlights undergraduate and graduate research results, with 268 students presenting 184 projects. The projects were overseen by 41 faculty and staff mentor and 54 volunteer judges evaluated the presentations.

Rebecca Carlton, Interim Director of Research Events and Teaching Professor of Communication Studies, says the theme of celebrating student achievement speaks to the history of the event. 

“The longevity of this event has helped to create a campus culture of student research and creative activity,” said Carlton.

Thursday's winners at the IU Southeast Student Conference and Showcase pose in University Center South with EVCAA Michelle Williams.
Thursday’s winners at the IU Southeast Student Conference and Showcase.

Garrett Ervin gave an Informatics oral presentation entitled “Bridging the Gap: Understanding Robotic Prosthetics through Hands-On Learning” overseen by faculty mentor Sridhar Ramachandran. Ervin said that the connection between his faculty mentor and the effectiveness of his research was key to his success. 

“[Project mentors} have a lot of knowledge and they’re able to help a student progress faster than if they were on their own,” Ervin said. “I think it’s a great way to accelerate your learning and have a direction on where to go.”

Sustainability and Regeneration research partners Bailey Black and Jalen Gornek considered their relationship with their faculty mentor invaluable.

“[Dr. David Taylor] has provided us and many other students with important resources for our research,” said Black.

Dr. Rebekah Dement said working as a faculty mentor is one of the hallmarks of the IU Southeast experience.

“Our small faculty to student ratio allows us to work really closely with our students and to encourage them to research things that they’re passionate about. [We] have the opportunity, the responsibility, the privilege to coach our students and guide them in answering their research questions thoroughly and ethically using the methods appropriate for their discipline. It’s tremendously rewarding,” said Dement.

Dr. Margaret Wallen oversaw several biology projects and says the IU Southeast student research experience is one of a kind.

“I have the unique opportunity to work with students in my lab and really interact with them one-on-one, to be at the bench teaching them how to engage in the techniques of research in a way that they may not get at a larger university,” said Wallen.

Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Michelle Williams emphasized the importance of student research conferences.

“The research [students] do is the extension and the application of learning the students do in the classroom,” said Williams. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the students to see the value in all that they’re doing.”  

Alumni Panel and Awards

Chancellor Debbie Ford commended the students for their hard work and diligence during her opening remarks at the Awards Luncheon. The luncheon also included an alumni panel, featuring Wendy Cudmore, Jenna Bieker Jones, Chris Isaacs, Tanner Wortham, and Lauren DeGeorge. Cudmore is a 2013 graduate with a BFA in printmaking and is a working artist. Bieker Jones graduated from IU Southeast in 2017, went on to earn a Masters in Social Work from IUPUI and works as a Program Facilitator, adjunct Social Work instructor, and chair of the Dubois County Substance Abuse Council. Isaacs earned a B.S. in History in 2021 and works as the Multi-Site Program Manager with Workforce Development at Ivy Tech Community College. Wortham is a recent IU Southeast graduate and serves as Technical Director at The Perfumery. Lauren DeGeorge received her ELL/ENL endorsement to attach to her Elementary Education license from IU Southeast. Each alumnus spoke about how their experiences at IU Southeast helped them to succeed in their current positions. The alums also advised the conference participants to make the most of their time at IU Southeast.

Chancellor Ford said the conference is a valuable experience for students and faculty.

“It is vitally important here at Indiana University Southeast to see these connections between our students and their faculty mentors as they really explore big questions, not only enhancing what they will do in their professions, but also to help with society. The magic is happening here at IU Southeast.”

Complete list of winners:

Wednesday Virtual Presentation Awards 

Emma Striegel How “Stan” Culture Can Affect an Entire Group of People: A Deep Dive Into the Fan Communities of Minecraft Youtubers Mentor: Rebekah Dement, Education Outstanding Presentation Award        

Colby Bentley Comparative Analysis of Rent Affordability: Louisville and Its Neighbors  Mentor: Ranida Harris, Business Administration, M.B.A. Outstanding Presentation Award        

Connor Ferguson Police technology in a rural setting: Does automated license plate recognition technology increase case clearance rates? Mentor: David Lapsey Jr, Psychology Outstanding Presentation Award        

Luke Facer Youth Tobacco Usage in Indiana: The Trends, Effects, & Solutions Mentor: Ranida Harris                        Business Outstanding Presentation Award        

Xondrais Glenn Destruction, Revolt, and County Profiles  Mentor: Veronica Medina, Psychology Chancellor’s Award for Achievement in Diversity or Equity

Keziah Jones Supplemental Instruction for Third-Year Nursing Students: Improving Outcomes Through Evidence-Based Methods Mentor: Jennifer Teater, Nursing Outstanding Poster Award

Jacob Riggs, Elizabeth Mittel, Nicholas Gathof No Kill Inventory System Mentor: John Doyle, Computer Science Outstanding Poster Award

Thursday Oral Presentation Awards

Brittany Combs The Effect of a Documentary on Parents’ Intent to Vaccinate Their Children for HPV        Mentor: Carla Hermann, Nursing, M.S.N. Outstanding Presentation Award

Makenzie Emily Evidence of Student Learning Mentor: Steffany Maher, Education Outstanding Presentation Award

Courtney Kessinger, Alyssa Pumphrey, Sophi Mains, Brenna Henderson, Jilly Clan  Dunkin’ Promotional Campaign Research Project Mentor: Yunmi Choi, Journalism & Media Vijay Krishna Reddy Outstanding Presentation in Communication Studies Award

Taylor Lockhart Mass Hysteria in the Classroom: Using the Crucible to Build Connections to Reading       Mentor: Steffany Maher, Education Outstanding Presentation Award

Alexis Striegel Diabetes, not Diabetic: the Implications of the Education of Children Newly Diagnosed with Type 1 Mentor: Rebekah Dement, Nursing Outstanding Presentation Award

Kawehilani Leffler Using Differentiation with “Number the Stars” Mentor: Stefanny Maher, Education        Outstanding Presentation Award

Friday Poster Presentation Awards

Clay Jackson A Pre-Management Botanical Survey of Rare and Endangered Plants In Southern Indian Mentor: David Taylor, Sustainability and Regeneration Chancellor’s Award for Achievement in Community Engagement

Alex Settles  Antimicrobial Properties of Silver Nanoparticles Mentor: Nidhi Shah, Chemistry       Chancellors Presentation Award for a Poster Presentation

Rylee Leis Postpartum Depression and Potential Factors Mentor: Brittany Sizemore, Psychology     Bernie Carducci Outstanding Presentation in Psychology Award

Alyssa Perkins Developmental Milestones from Ages 2-30 Months Mentor: Teresa Stengel, Nursing           Louise Suleimann Outstanding Presentation in Nursing Award

Alicia McCart Empowering Balance: The Function of the Self-Determination Theory in Relation to Workplace Wellbeing Mentor: Rebekah Dement,  Business Outstanding Presentation in Business Award

Caitlin Boeschel  Proposal to Add Sustainability and Regeneration Components to Already Existing Core Classes at Indiana University Southeast Mentor: David Taylor, Sustainability and Regeneration         Outstanding Poster Award

Clara Sellers Proposal for IU Southeast to become recognized by the Tree Campus USA program       Mentor: David Taylor, Sustainability and Regeneration Outstanding Poster Award

Cora Cole, Hannah Brown, Emma Arnold, Isabell Claywell Knowledge Retention of OB Simulation Skills         Mentor: Tonya Broughton, Nursing Outstanding Poster Award

Kelsea Richmer Mutant KRAS and Effects of Chemotherapeutics in Human Lung Cancer Mentor: Margaret Wallen, Biology Outstanding Poster Award

Kelsey Goodwin The Struggle Within: Taboo Obsessions In OCD and Their Relationship to suicidality, Quality of Life, and Perceptions of Clinicians’ Judgment Mentor: Aimee Adam, Psychology Outstanding Poster Award

Madison Flick, Brookelyn Casey, Mariah Woods, Caitlyn Wilder Navigating Anxiety in Pediatric Simulation Mentor: Jane Hollowell, Nursing Outstanding Poster Award

Reagan Mock, Paige Davis    Depressive Symptoms, Sleep Quality, and Social Activity in College Students Mentor: Brittany Sizemore, Psychology Outstanding Poster Award

Zoe Wallace  The In’s & Out’s of Infection Control: Preventing Infection During Catheter Insertion and the Prevalence of Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTIs) Mentor: Christie Clare, Nursing           Outstanding Poster Award

Friday Oral Presentation Awards

Olivia DeKold The Progression of Victorian Women Mentor: Robert Rennie, History Chancellors Award for Achievement in Diversity or Equity

Avery Brewer Relationship between Diadema antillarum and coral cover in the Red Sea  Mentor: Omar Attum, Sustainability and Regeneration Chancellors Presentation Award for an Oral Presentation

Clara Sellers Assessing Population Demographics of Nubian Ibex in the Wadi Rum Nature Reserve, Jordan Mentor: Omar Attum, Sustainability and Regeneration Glenn Mason Outstanding Presentation in Natural Sciences Award

Andrew Roy Autosomal Dominant Dandy-Walker Malformation with Occipatal Encephalacele: A Brief Overview and Exploration of Implications Mentor: Michele Zimmerman, Biology Outstanding Presentation Award

Brittany Watteau-Gebby, Bailee Johnson, Kade Wohlleb, Lauren Stapp Louisville Metro Crash Course Analysis Mentor: Ranida Harris, Business  Outstanding Presentation Award

Cassandra Roman  The Mental Health of College Athletes: The Role of Academic Anxiety & Sleep Quality Mentor: Todd Manson, Psychology Outstanding Presentation Award

Kara Wright Held Together By the Sea: How Belfast Shipyards Shaped Tragedy Mentor: Robert Rennie, History Outstanding Presentation Award

Mallory McGlothlin   Boomers to Zoomers: Social Media Among Older Generations Mentor: Rebekah Dement, Education Outstanding Presentation Award

Natalie Hodge Use of Citizen Science to Study Demographics of Spinner Dolphins in Egyptian Red Sea Mentor: Omar Attum, Biology Outstanding Presentation Award

Preston Penny, Ibrahim Abdulrehman Genomic Annotation Research of Bacteriophage DoobyDoo Mentor: Beth Rueschhoff, Biology Outstanding Presentation Award

Shelby Dore Gender On and Offscreen: The Effects of Women on Film Production and Movie Success Mentor: Sara Hare, Sociology Outstanding Presentation Award

Trennt Overstreet Sustainable Management of Campus Grounds to Mitigate Factors Leading to Colony Collapse Disorder  Mentor: David Taylor, Sustainability and Regeneration Outstanding Presentation Award

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