HASBSEB wrap up and winners

Lamar University Office of Undergraduate Research announces winners of its third major conference this fall semester, the 7th Annual Humanities, Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Education and Business Conference.  The scholarly accomplishments of researchers from all non-STEM academic areas at LU were celebrated at the virtual event held on Sat., Nov. 21.

 More than 100 attendees participated in the ten-hour event, where a total of 21 undergraduate research presentations and one doctoral research presentation, were showcased representing disciplines including communications, speech and hearing, public health, history, finances, teacher education, arts and social work. 

In his opening remarks, Cristian Bahrim, acting director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and physics professor, thanked participating students and their faculty mentors as well as President Dr. Kenneth Evans, Provost Dr. Brenda Nichols, academic deans and chairs for their continuous support of undergraduate research.

“I would like to thank everyone who has generously put time and effort into performing research and creative activities, supported undergraduate research and encouraged others to perform it,” said Bahrim. “Despite the difficulties due to the current situation with the COVID-19 outbreak, and all the challenges and frustrations that came during this year, O.U.R. have successfully hosted three conferences and supported students in their research endeavors.”

Provost Nichols and Dr. Derina Holtzhausen, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications, offered remarks to open the morning session followed by eight presentations of the 2020 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship students.

Maria Stamatis, a Lamar University graduate of speech-language pathology, was an invited guest speaker who presented, “The Impact of Undergraduate Research on Becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist Professional,” as a transition to the afternoon sessions.

In the afternoon, talks were distributed into four breakout sessions featuring presentations by student researchers from the College of Business, the College of Education and Human Development, the Colleges of Fine Arts and Communication and the College of Arts and Sciences. Deans from each of the colleges attended their college’s presentations.

The afternoon session also featured presenter Kamali Clora from Wayne State University, who talked about “How to Develop a Black Student-Led Support Infrastructure at a PWI.”

Anna Sigur, a recent speech and hearing graduate and M.S. candidate of speech and hearing sciences was invited to give the last presentation of the day based on her research under the mentorship of Dr. Jamie Azios, “Understanding design features of aphasia-friendly written material: What matters most to people with aphasia?”

“The success of this conference would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Dr. Nicki Michalski, associate professor of communications; Dr. Monica Harn, professor and chair of speech and hearing; and Dr. Mamta Singh, associate professor of teacher education, all co-organizers of the 7th HASBSEB conference,” said Bahrim. “I am also grateful to several of my Advisory Board members and colleagues from various academic programs for their help in running the conference, and in particular, for judging presentations.”

Winner in the SURF category
William Perry / Major in Nursing
William Perry
William Perry

Mentor: Dr. Cynthia Pipkins
Department of Nursing
Project: Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders and Psychological Factors in Licensed Nurses: 
A Secondary Analysis.

Lamar University and the Office of Undergraduate Research has provided me a great opportunity to learn and appreciate the discipline of research. This has been a wonderful opportunity to discover the answer(s) to research questions and determine the facts that are useful in healthcare. Even when a research subject is thoroughly investigated, it seems its completion only spurns new questions and new investigations.

This time every year in November, the HASBSEB Conference is held. This is a special time when undergraduates, graduates and doctoral candidates share their discoveries and knowledge in research with other researchers, professors and all who wish to attend. Personally, this is a very special day where discovery and knowledge are celebrated. My peers, in research, are very talented and very inspiring. Therefore, I was very humbled and honored to be recognized at this year’s HASBSEB Conference. All of the presenters there were of exceptional talent and had an unequaled zeal in each of their subjects. Being an older student, I am amazed at the level of preparation and detail that each researcher brings to this wonderful Conference. These young people inspire me and give great hope for the future.

Without the support of Lamar University, Dr. Evans, Dr. Nichols, Dr. Bahrim and our mentors and many, many others, our success would be very limited. Personally, without the encouragement, patience and guidance of my mentor, Dr. Cynthia Pipkins, I would not have discovered the love of research that is housed within me. Thank you, Dr. Pipkins, for all you have done for me and all of the students that you inspire each day. Your diligence, talent and love of education has enlightened many and provided them with a path to success. – William Perry

Runner-up in the SURF category
Ashtyn Jones / Major in Speech and Hearing Sciences
Ashtyn Jones
Ashtyn Jones

Mentor: Dr. Lekeitha Morris
Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
Project: Influence of a Self-Paced Online Training Program on Caregivers Reading Habits.

SURF provided me with invaluable opportunities. It helped me build a great mentoring relationship with Dr. Morris who I regard so highly. I believe SURF was a great way to spend my summer and will help me in my grad school applications. I truly believe literacy development is a critical area of research and I am glad I was able to do research in this area. I hope more students at LU, through O.U.R., can continue research in literacy development. I believe this experience will make me a more valuable graduate student and more experienced clinician in the workplace. – Ashtyn Jones

Winners of non-SURF session
Aurora Maldonado
Aurora Maldonado / Major in Social Work
Mentor: Dr. Ginger Gummelt
Department of Social Work
Presentation about “Perceived Barriers to Persistence in Higher Education: The
Intersectionality of Acculturation and College Self-efficacy of Latinx/ Hispanic Students.”

My research journey has been one in which I've grown academically, professionally and personally. Throughout the research process, I have had the support of many; this support made the completion and success of my study possible. I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to attend and present at this year's HASBSEB Conference. Not only was I able to share my study findings, but I was also able to learn of my fellow presenters' amazing and impactful research studies. I look forward to seeing how we will all continue to pursue our interests and to contribute knowledge across disciplinary fields. Thank you to all who made this year's HASBSEB Conference possible. – Aurora Maldonado

Christina Segura1 / Major in Corporate Communication
Christina Segura
Christina Segura

Mentor:  Dr. Andre Favors1,2
1Department of Communication and Media, Lamar University
2Department of Communication and Film, University of Memphis
Presentation about “Uncertainty and Risk in The Anthropocene: Lived Experiences of Repeated Disasters in Southeast Texas.”

My experience at the 2020 HASBSEB conference was both richly rewarding and highly motivational. It was especially meaningful for me as a graduating senior to hear speakers like Dr. Holtzhausen and Ms. Maria Stamatis describe the impact research has had on their academic and professional careers. I am deeply grateful to Dr. Bahrim and the Office of Undergraduate Research for providing this opportunity to present and learn from my peers in such a significant way. While the virtual format is new, it allows us to share ideas and knowledge safely despite the obstacles we have faced this year. We were able to enjoy a smooth conference thanks to the diligent planning and support of the HASBSEB staff. – Christina Segura

Elizabeth Nimmons / Major in Music Education
Elizabeth Nimmons
Debra Greschner, Elizabeth Nimmons

mentor: Dr. Debra Greschner
Mary Morgan Moore Department of Music
Presentation about “The Pedagogy of Body Alignment.”

My experience in the HASBSEB Conference brought me excitement and inspiration. So many researchers mostly around my age discussed topics that were worthy of taking note. Everyone in attendance displayed careful attention for the issues raised. The mentors shared warm, constructive feedback and gave us advice on how to improve our research. The keynote speaker, Maria Stamatis, reminded us just how meaningful research is in our lives and for the health of our communities. The jewel that each person brought to the table was a sincere passion for people. It was an honor to take my turn and present my research alongside my peers. During the awards ceremony, I was surprised with the honor of being chosen as third best presenter among my section of colleagues. I am thankful to my faculty mentor, Debra Greschner, who informed me about this conference. It was a wonderful experience, and I highly recommend this conference for people interested in making improvements to our society. This conference highlighted the importance of transforming society for the better by informing oneself. – Elizabeth Nimmons

Special award for the doctoral research presented by
Dr. Julia A. Rabe / Doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership (graduation in Dec. 2020)
Mentor:  Dr. Johnny O’Connor
Department of Deaf Education
Presentation about “Perception of Attrition Factors of Teachers of the Deaf in Mainstream Public school.”

In addition, the Center for History and Culture of Southeast Texas and the Upper Gulf Coast presented awards for the best presentations at HASBSEB related to the history and culture of the region.  This year the Center offered two awards.  

Viviana Denova
Viviana Denova
Viviana Denova / Major in Business Management
Mentors:  Dr. Gevorg Sargsyan and Dr. Kabir Sen
College of Business / Department of Finances and Economics
Presentation: “The Economic Impact of Tourism on the Texas Gulf Coast and Costa Blanca.”

I really enjoyed being a part of the HASBSEB Conference 2020. Although it was a different environment than other years, I really appreciate the fact that presenters had a platform to showcase their research. I feel so fortunate to be a part of Lamar University who cares about making sure we have an opportunity to show off all our hard work. -Viviana Denova

Christina Segura1 / Major in Corporate Communication
Mentor:  Dr. Andre Favors1,2
1Department of Communication and Media, Lamar University
2Department of Communication and Film, University of Memphis
Presentation: “Uncertainty and Risk in The Anthropocene: Lived Experiences of Repeated Disasters in Southeast Texas.”