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Participation, presentations up in Undergraduate Research Expo

Lamar University’s Third Annual Undergraduate Research Expo, which took place on April 20, saw a rise in attendance, presentations, student involvement and the number of academic departments represented from the 2015 expo.

Expo participants“This year, our conference included 59 presentations by 98 students working with 43 faculty mentors, representing 28 academic departments,” said Kumer Pial Das, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR). “This is a significant increase from last year, where 43 scholarly research projects were presented by 62 students from 20 academic departments. We think in following years, the numbers will only continue to rise.”

Thirty-five presentations were in the form of posters, while 24 presentations were academic talks. Das and the faculty on the OUR advisory expressed their gratitude for the varied and committed involvement of both students and faculty.

“I think the campus is becoming more interested in undergraduate research as time goes forward,” Das said. “Students are coming to see me much more frequently than in the past asking for information regarding research. I think they’re becoming much more aware that high impact activity such as undergraduate research will vastly help them graduate on time, get into graduate school, connect more with the university, or enter their careers with something special.”

The expo began with a presentation from keynote speaker Jim Jordan, professor and chair of the department of earth and space sciences. Jordan discussed his background and interest in earth and space science research.

Following lunch, a poster exposition and oral presentations allowed attendees to view and learn about the students’ research. An award ceremony closed out the expo. Each winner received a monetary award from their respective dean and a certificate from the Office of Undergraduate Research. The winners and their corresponding colleges are as follows:

College of Engineering: Students awarded for talks were Anthony Dundee (civil engineering, Galveston) under faculty mentor Qin Qian, and Huy Luong (industrial engineering, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam), Scorpio Collins (industrial engineering, Beaumont) and Khalid Almutwa (industrial engineering, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) under mentor Berna Tokgoz. Students awarded for posters were Manisha Patel (chemical engineering, Katy) and Progga Chirontoni (chemical engineering, Dhaka, Bangladesh) under mentor Evan Wujcik, and Nicolas Nikoloutsos (electrical engineering, Vidor) and Meredith Chilton (electrical engineering, Vidor) under mentor Ian Lian.

College of Arts & Sciences: Students awarded for talks were Stephanie Bermudez (psychology, Beaumont) under mentor Edythe Kirk; Savannah Anderson-Bledsoe (psychology, Missouri City) under mentor Donna Sheperis; Natalie Hudson (mathematics, Pasadena) under mentors Freddie Titus and Robert O’Connor; and Jason Miller (mathematics, Vidor) under mentor Jennifer Daniel. Students awarded for posters were Bette Paredez (nursing, Beaumont) under mentor Gina Hale; Rachel Simmons (history, Groves) under mentor Yasuko Soto; Jeremy Fam (biology, Beaumont) under mentor Ashwini Kucknoor; and Michael Shepherd (biology, Harker Heights), Yasmin Hamdan (biology, Beaumont) and Autumn Hardin (biology, Deweyville) under mentor H.R. Yoder.

College of Education & Human Development: Shelby Garbee (teacher education, Lumberton) and Lyndsey Dumesnil (teacher education, Port Neches) under mentor Mamta Singh.

College of Fine Arts & Communication: Amanda Prince (art, Groves) and Gwendolyn Mumford (art, Nederland) under mentor Sherry Saunders-Freyemuth; Julia Richardson (speech and hearing, Beaumont) under mentor Nandhakumar Radhakrishnan; and Christina Guerra (speech and hearing, Port Neches) under mentor Monica Harn.