BOONE—Whether an Appalachian State University graduate pursues a career in research or becomes a consumer of research in their chosen profession, they benefit from conducting student research alongside a faculty mentor.
“Both of those groups are important, and it is important that our campus focuses on both those groups,” Provost Lori Gonzalez said at the university’s 16th Annual Celebration of Student Research and Creative Endeavors held April 18.
The daylong event showcased more than 150 oral and poster presentations by undergraduate and graduate students, counting five to 10 walk-ins who had not registered for the event ahead of time. The students were mentored by more than 80 faculty members and represented 25 academic disciplines.
“I believe the work we do at Appalachian is in part why the governor has recognized April 15-19 as Undergraduate Research Week and that this as an important part of higher education,” Gonzalez said. “We always shine when we go to regional and national meetings because so many of our undergraduates are engaged in research, which means our faculty are active in research and interested in bringing students along. I’m really proud of that.”
The Celebration of Student Research and Creative Endeavors is sponsored by the Office of Student Research, with support from the Division of Student Development.
Top Poster awards
The university presented awards to the top three posters by undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate winners were:
- Sophomore geology major Josh Feierstein, “Manganese: The New Black”; mentor, Dr. Sarah Carmichael
- Senior biology major Amanda Hastings, “Phytotoxicity and Trace Metal Accumulation from Long-term Chicken Litter Amendment in Wilkes County, N.C.: A Field Study”; mentor, Dr. Shea Tuberty
- Junior physics major Ryan Lambert, “The Young Solar Analogs Project”; mentor, Dr. Richard Gray
Graduate winners for top posters were:
- Renee Blacken, technology, “Collection and Composting of Food Waste from Independent Food Service Businesses in Boone, N.C.: A Feasibility Study”; mentor, Dr. Marie Hoepfl
- Robin Hale, geography and planning, “The Role of Decision-Maker Perceptions on Water Conservation in Western North Carolina”; mentor Dr. Christopher Badurek
- Daniel Payseur, exercise science, “Differential Effects of Continuous Versus Discontinuous Aerobic Exercise on Oxygen Uptake and Augmentation Index in Young Versus Older”; mentor, Dr. Scott Collier
Sigma Xi award
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society presented an award to two researchers for their interdisciplinary research examining “Resolution Effects and Uncertainty in Power Plant Emissions.” They are seniors Dawn Woodard and Meredith Branham from the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Their mentor was Dr. Eric Marland.
Computation and Visualization Award
The College of Arts and Sciences presented its Outstanding Research in Computation and Visualization Award to recognize excellent research in the area of scientific computing. The undergraduate award was presented to junior Maureen O’Donnell and senior Eitan Lees for their poster “Using Statistical Learning to Predict N.C. County Voting Patterns.” Their mentor was Dr. Alan Arnholt in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. The graduate award was presented to geography student Maya Hutchins for “A Comparative Analysis of Power Plant Carbon Dioxide Emission Inventory Databases in the Continental United States.” Her mentor was Dr. Christopher Badurek in the Department of Geography and Planning.
3-Minute Research Competition
In a new event within the Celebration of Research and Creative Endeavors, graduate students participated in the 3-Minute Research competition. They had to explain their research to a general audience in three minutes with the help of only one PowerPoint slide.
The winner, selected by judges from the local community, was Daniel Payseur in exercise science for research comparing the cardiovascular health benefits of continuous aerobic exercise versus aerobic exercise that includes periodic breaks. He reported that health benefits are greater for middle-aged adults when a 30-minute aerobic workout is broken into 10-minute segments.
Two other competitors, Jennifer Jarrett in psychology and Karolyn Huffman in nutrition, tied for a People’s Choice Award.
For more information about student research at Appalachian, visit http://osr.appstate.edu.