Student Projects Presented at Student Research Symposium

Ely Cook 

Manchester University held the annual Student Research Symposium on Friday, April 28, for both undergraduate and graduate students to present their research projects—either in an oral presentation or a paper session.

This was the 25th year of the symposium and 53 students presented their findings. Presentation topics ranged from mental health, to classroom setting effects on students, to chemical and pharmaceutical drug designs for physical deficiencies.

The Student Research Symposium started in the Academic Center with oral presentations from students. Following the oral presentations, it moved on to the Jo Young Switzer Center with poster presentations. To finish off the symposium, a keynote speaker presented their research.

The keynote speaker this year was senior Oluwasefunmi Babatunde, and she presented her summer research, “Investigating the Systemic Effect of Jasmonic Acid Wounding Pathways in Soybean Seedlings” in the final portion of the symposium.

At the end of the symposium, awards were given out: the Jo Young Switzer Writing Award, the Undergraduate Poster Award, the Graduate Poster Award and the Keynote Award. Alexia Hernandez and her “Racism and Patriarchy: How Chicanas Fought a Two-Front Battle for Equality” presentation won the Jo Young Switzer Writing Award. James Corgan and his team won the Undergraduate Poster Award. Arman Harutyunyan, Huessin Soueidan, Nicholas Klouvas and Rayan Noureddine and their research on “Anti-Neuroinflammatory Activity of a Novel, Nitrile Containing Dithiolethione” won the Graduate Poster Award.

Senior Kylie Castator, who presented at the Student Research Symposium, explained that her favorite part of her project. “It was finishing each derivative,” she said. “There were alot of long parts throughout the synthesis, so to see that it worked was immense gratification.” Her presentation was “Towards the Synthesis of Heteroatom-Active Sulfa Analogues.”

She also said that if she were talking to someone considering doing the symposium, she would say it’s a good opportunity to show what you’ve accomplished. “It’s also a good way to practice those skills for your future,” she added.

Professor Beate Gilliar also explained that she was “impressed” with the students that presented in the Student Research Symposium. “The work advances curiosity towards knowing more and matters more deeply, seeing how innovative and progressive thinking allows students to present either through single-authored work or aligned with others,” she said “I attended the session with Kora Beasley and Alexia Hernandez and I was very impressed by both presentations! One investigated the health parameters found within a Northeast health community for the Amish and the other presentation explored how feminism within the Chicana context deserves a deeper level of investigation and inquiry.”

Professor Gilliar said that when presenting at the symposium: “if it matters to you, it will matter to others, regardless of the subject or discipline.” She expressed a lot of respect for the students. “In addition to coursework, students take diligence and pride in advancing to make us more informed citizens, academicians, creative and critical thinkers, and above all: innovators as we see societal, ideological, medical and historical concern with eyes informed by new lenses,” she said.

Members of the symposium committee who planned this year’s event were co-chairs Dr. Dennis Brown and Dr. Jennifer Robison, as well as Dr. Marcie Coulter-Kern, Beth Driscoll, Dr. Katharine Ings, and Heidi Lovett.