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2024 Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium: Winners and Runners-Up

2024 Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium: Winners and Runners-Up

Congratulations to the category winners and runners-up from West Virginia University's 8th Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium held on Saturday, April 20, 2024. Thank you to all of our presenters for sharing your research and scholarship from this past spring semester!

2024 Spring Symposium

8th Annual Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium Category Winners and Runners-Up:


Arts, Humanities & Design

  • Winner: Savannah Reese, Geography. and James Fisher, Geography. “Geography Syllabi as a Tool for Student-Centered Academic Transformation Course Based Undergraduate Research”. Course-based undergraduate research, Mentor: Maria Perez 

Biological & Health Sciences

  • Winner: Madalena Daugherty, Biochemistry. "Elucidating Mechanisms of Upregulating Proteasome Function by Structural and Biochemical Methods. Biochemistry Capstone". Funded by: National Institute of Health. Mentor: Janelle Chuah

Physical Sciences, Engineering & Technology

  • Winner: Christopher Smith, Biomedical Engineering. “Development of a Novel Microfluidic Device for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer”. Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). Funding: KY-WV LSAMP, NIH-WV-INBRE. Mentor: Soumya Srivastava 

Social & Behavioral Sciences

  • Winner: Kylie Saxton, Psychology. “Resurgence of Response Chains”. Experiential and Community Engaged Learning (EXCEL) Program, Mentor: Kennon A. Lattal

Arts, Humanities & Design

  • Winner: Jacqueline Brice, Political Science and Philosophy. “Exploring the Relationship Between External Events and the Frequency of Ukrainian Civilian Attacks by Russia”. Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Mentor: Dr. Cody Corliss 

Biological & Biochemical Sciences

  • Winner: Emily Rice, Biology. “Resolution of a Hox Gene-Mediated Size Control Mechanism in the Planarian Schmidtea mediterranea”. Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP), Mentor: Dr. Christopher Arnold
  • Runner-Up: Katrina Hernandez, Biology. “Changes in amygdala activity in mitoNEET knockout mice”. Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Funding: First2 Network HRD-1834575, Mentor: Dr. Gina N. Wilson
  • Runner-Up: Lauren DuPerow, Biology. “Phylogeography of plastid genomic structural variation in a leafless, parasiticorchid, Corallorhiza maculata”. Funding: West Virginia University and NSF career grant, Mentor: Craig Barrett
  • Runner-Up: Cloe Ratliff, Biology & Psychology. “Overview of the General Metabolism in the Eye Using Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry”.  Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Funding: National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute, Mentor: Jianhai Du 

Environmental & Agricultural Sciences

  • Winner: Noah Bryne, Wildlife and Fisheries Resources. “Relative abundance trends of North American canids”. Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Mentor: Christopher Rota 

Health Science & Community Health

  • Winner: Niah Shultz, Exercise Physiology. “The Accessibility of University Recreational Centers”. Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Funding: NIRSA, IRSA, Federal Work Study, Mentor: Samantha Ross-Cypcar
  • Runner-Up: Eva Marie Spencer, Public Health. “Horticultural Therapy in the Corporate Sector: A Program Evaluation”. Experiential and Community Engaged Learning (EXCEL) Program. Mentor: Christiaan Abildso
  • Runner-Up: Gracie Monachello, Neuroscience. “Active Exchange of Cerebrospinal Fluid with IRRAflow is a Safer Alternative to Standard EVD". Mentor: Nicholas Brandmeir
  • Runner-Up: Josilyn Pilkerton, Animal and Nutritional Sciences. “Hepatic Pathway Linking a Component of Air Pollution with Systemic Oxidant Stress”. Mentor: Evan DeVallance
  • Runner-Up: Morgan Rosensteel, Exercise physiology. “Mindfulness and Chronic Pain”.  Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Mentor: Dr. Cara Sedney

Physical Sciences, Engineering & Technology

  • Winner: Claire Dolton, Forensic Examiner. “Evaluating evidence integrity in the analysis of tape evidence when using latent print development and µXRF analysis”. Mentor: Dr. Tatiana Trejos
  • Runner-Up: Samuel Stalnaker, Physics & Math. “Two-photon Absorption Laser Induced Florescence of Krypton Fueled Resistojet Thruster Interaction with Ambient Neutrals”. Funding: NASA Award 80NSSC23M0067 and the Center for KINETIC Plasma Physics. Mentor: Earl Scime
  • Runner-Up: Liliana Barbosa, Forensic Chemistry. “Characterization of Ammunition via LC-MS/MS Analysis of Smokeless Powders, Spent Cartridges, and Hand Residues”. Funding: NIJ Award #15PNIJ-23-GG-04218-SLFO. Mentor: Tatiana Trejos

Social & Behavioral Sciences

  • Winner: Nya Feinstein, Data Science, International Studies & Russian Studies. “Topic Modeling to Analyze Reporting Trends in Russo-Ukrainian Conflict”. Experiential and Community Engaged Learning (EXCEL) Program. Mentor: Dr. Vito D'Orazio
  • Runner-Up: Bailey Dyson, Psychology. “Treatment of Suicidal Ideation for Adults with Bipolar II Depression”. Research Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Funding: National Institute of Mental Health. Mentor: Bridget Bailey