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LU announces 2018 Research EXPO winners

Lamar University recently hosted the fifth annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities EXPO in the newly renovated Setzer Student Center presenting awards to a number of students for their research efforts.

The daylong event showcased the breadth and depth of undergraduate research, and was sponsored by LU’s Office of Undergraduate Research. The Expo included 112 presentations by 190 students working with 52 faculty mentors representing 25 academic departments, said Kumer Das, interim associate provost for research and director, Lamar University Office of Undergraduate Research. This year, students presented more than 80 posters and 30 oral presentations.

A banquet concluded the day and featured keynote speaker Christine Lambert, technical leader for emission control within powertrain research and advanced engineering at the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Michigan. Lambert, who holds a Ph.D. in catalysis from Tulane University, is an alumna of Lamar University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. She holds 35 U.S. patents and is a Fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Chris Martin, associate professor of chemistry, received the 2018 Faculty mentor Award.

The Office of Undergraduate Research is dedicated to promoting and supporting student success through faculty-mentored undergraduate research, creative inquiry, and other scholarly experiences.

Also included in the expo were a panel dedicated to creative writing and a modern dance showcase performed by students of the Department of Theater and Dance. Faculty members promoting and supporting a variety of research activities, creative inquiry, co-curricular work, and the overall student success mentored all projects, both by groups and individuals.

At the EXPO, faculty members served as judges and awards were given to either poster or oral presentations according to college representation and development stages (Early, In Progress, and Advanced.) Depending on category representation, some awards were adjudicated to posters presentations instead of oral presentations. Each award consists of the high praise and recognition for a job well done and a $100 award, Das said.

The winners of the 2018 Lamar University 5th Annual Research and Creative Activities EXPO are:


Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts POSTER, Early Stage: Andrea Bru, mentored by Dr. Sara Hillin (Poster #9: Compassion, Burnout, and Insurance: An In-Depth Analysis of the Doctor/Patient Relationship), liberal arts.

Liberal Arts POSTER, In Progress: Jasmine Razeghi, mentored by Dr. Sara Hillin (Poster #60: Anorexia-Nervosa: The Glorified Monster), liberal arts.

Liberal Arts POSTER, Advanced: Jordan Bryant, mentored by Dr. Ginger Gummelt (Poster #10: The Effects of Hurricane Harvey on the Community of El Vista A Social Work Research Case Study), social work.

Liberal Arts TALK, Early Stage: Samuel Rueda, mentored by Dr. Terri Davis (Session 2D: The Impact of Mexico’s National Housing Institution on the Country’s Working Class), political science.

Liberal Arts TALK, In Progress: Emily Smith, mentored by Dr. Rebecca Boone (Session 2D: From Nazi's to Hope: How London Pulled Off the 1948 Olympic Games), history.

Liberal Arts TALK, Advanced: Victoria Cornell, mentored by Dr. Cynthia Pipkins (Session 1B: Nurse Educators, Nursing Students, and Licensed Nurses Knowledge and Attitudes of Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A Comparative Study), nursing.


STEM POSTER, Early Stage: Alek Hutson, mentored by Dr. James Drachenberg (Poster #38: Charged Particle Tracking Efficiency in Proton-Proton Collisions at STAR), physics.

STEM POSTER, In Progress: Roshney Ali, mentored by Dr. Maryam Vasefi (Poster #5: Associations Between Periodontal Pathogens and Alzheimer's Disease), biology, pre-dental.

STEM POSTER, Advanced: Aleksander Sholl, mentored by Dr. Randall Terry (Poster #28: Analysis of Phylogenetic Relationships and Population Genetics of the Californian Cypresses Hesperocyparis; Cupressaceae), biology.

STEM POSTER, Early Stage: Caitlyn Clark, mentored by Dr. Jose Vega Guzman (Poster #13: Dynamics of the Brusselator System), chemistry.

STEM TALK, In Progress: Yves Jordan Kenfack and Jami Brown, mentored by Dr. Ashwini Kucknoor (Session 1D: Presence of flesh eating bacteria Vibrio vulnificus in water bodies of South East Texas aftermath of Hurricane Harvey), biology

STEM TALK, Advanced: John Ellis, mentored by Dr. Kami Makki (Session 1D: An Investigation of Successful Information Technology Practices for Nonprofit Organizations and Small Businesses (Based on Findings from YEA! And the Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps)), computer information systems.

Department of English and Modern Languages - Creative Writing

Poetry Award: Cedric Lyons II, mentored by Dr. Katherine Hoerth (Poetry of Neorealism)


POSTER, Early Stage: Levi Smith, Matt Timmer, Austin Krautz, and Evan Achee, mentored by Dr. Mahdi Safa (Poster #68: The Future of Construction Management Information Technology.), construction management.

POSTER, Early Stage: Nathan Adams, Cameron Walston, Jordin Pastorella, Pedro Escamilla, and Luke Potter, mentored by Dr. Mahdi Safa (Poster #3: Human Effect on Supply Chains), construction management.

POSTER, In Progress: Hannah Rumsey, mentored by Dr. Kumer Das (Poster #64: An Investigation of the Target Group for Portable Data Breaches), accounting and finance.

POSTER, In Progress: John Reichard, Shiblee Ahmed, and Patricia Lauritzen, mentored by Dr. Mahdi Safa (Poster #62: Strategic Port Asset Management Framework), construction management.

POSTER, Advanced: John Reichard, Ashley Bailey, Lester Juneau, Blake Kight, and Benjamin Hodges, mentored by Dr. Mahdi Safa (Poster #61: Electrical Lockout/Tagout), construction management.

POSTER, Early: Romero Cristian, mentored by Dr. Sara Hillin (Poster #63: The Patient-Doctor Relationship is shifting; Why?), finance.


TALK, In Progress: Zara Killman, mentored by Dr. Mamta Singh (Section 2C: Assessing Elementary Pre-Service Teachers’ Science Content Knowledge and teaching Readiness), interdisciplinary studie.s


POSTER, Early Stage: David Yeakey, mentored by Dr. Cristian Bahrim (Poster #81: Mysteries of the Universe Revealed through Cosmic Background Radiation), chemical engineering.

POSTER, In Progress: Emily Ingram, Caitlyn Clark, Weslym Taylor, and Ramanjaneyulu Seemaladinne, mentored by Dr. Ozge Gunaydin-Sen (Poster #39: Dehydrogenation Properties of Ammonia Borane Polyvinyl Pyrrolidone Composites: Comparisons Of Different Catalysts ), chemical engineering and chemistry.

POSTER, Advanced: Edward Doan and Jordan Curl , mentored by Dr. Ian Lian (Poster #18: Developing a Smartphone-Based, Low-Cost Device for Waterborne Pathogen Detection), chemical engineering.

TALK, Early Stage: Nathan House, mentored by Dr. Cristian Bahrim (Section 1D: Carbon Black: Properties and Applications), chemical engineering.

TALK, In Progress: Progga Chirontoni, Issac Angeron, and Michael Munther, mentored by Dr. Keivan Davami (Section 1A: Preparation & Characterization of Water Desalination Membranes using Grapheme-Oxide based Nano sheets), chemical engineering and mathematics.

TALK, Advanced: Austin Seaux, mentored by Dr. Gino Martin Canlas (Section 1D: Reusable Metal Ion-Imprinted Polymer Sponges for Selective Removal of Heavy Metals), chemical engineering/chemistry.


POSTER, Early Stage: Osha Jones, mentored by Dr. Sara Hillin (Poster #44: The Neglected Research: Gender and Sex Difficulties in the Medical Field), speech and hearing sciences.

POSTER, In Progress: Alishia Bukhari, mentored by Dr. Nandhakumar Radhakrishnan (Poster #11: Comparison of three voice analysis software and their measures), speech language pathology.

POSTER, Advanced: Mary Catherine Wilbur, Bra’ah Hamdan, and Aruba Bukhari, mentored by Dr. Mahdi Safa (Poster #76: Learning to Market Education), studio art.

TALK, In Progress: Brooke White, mentored by Dr. ChongMin Lee (Section 2C: American Sign Language Comprehension and Spatial Skills in Regards to College Students), American Sign Language.

TALK, In Progress: Hannah Hudgins, mentored by Dr. Mahmoud Salimi (Section 2C: Mental Health: Diving into the Minds), communications in film studies.

TALK, In Progress: Taylor Handy, mentored by Dr. Gwiniyai Muzorewa (Section 2C: The Demographic Collapse of the Indigenous Peoples of America), corporate communication.


Honors Composition II POSTER: Samira Ahmed, mentored by Dr. Sara Hillin (Poster # 4: Insight of the Gender Bias in the Higher Education professions of Medical Field), biology

Honors British Literature POSTER: Aurora Maldonado, mentored by Dr. Melissa Hudler (Poster # 48: Our Truth of Grendel: Social Concerns Seen in John Gardner’s Grendel), social work.

Honors University Physics II TALK: Nathan House, mentored by Dr. Cristian Bahrim (Session 1D: Carbon Black: Properties and Applications), chemical engineering.

Scholars Development Seminar POSTER: Antonio Gussman, Rebekah Gonzales, and Luke Nguyen, mentored by Dr. Mahdi Safa (Poster # 33: Creativity as Postoperative Therapy)