Research has never looked so good


Showcasing NC State research at its best, the NCSU Libraries exhibits the winning posters from the annual Graduate Student Research Symposium in the Hunt Library’s iPearl Immersion Theater from Monday, Aug. 28 to Sunday, Sept. 3. The exhibit is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by the Graduate School and the Graduate Student Association.

Each March, the annual Symposium celebrates the exceptional and diverse graduate-level research going on at NC State. Graduate Program directors nominate standout master's and doctoral graduate student researchers for the opportunity to display their research and practice and enhance their communication skills.

The Symposium includes poster presentations from more than 200 graduate students across NC State in eight categories: Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, Design, Education, Engineering, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical & Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences & Management.

Faculty chose the top three posters in each category, and Desireé Unselt, Vice President of the University Graduate Student Association, collaborated with Library Technician Mara Mathews and Associate Head of Research Engagement and Graduate Services Mohan Ramaswamy to show the winning posters in the Immersion Theater.

“The questions that graduate students are tackling may be ones that individuals have never thought about before,” Unselt says. “I know personally quite a few caught me by surprise either because the experiment has never been conducted before on what seems to be an easy question or because I never thought to pose the question and follow through with finding the answer.”

“The posters are displayed in the library to showcase the outstanding research being conducted at NCSU in a variety of fields,” Unselt adds. “It is truly something to be proud of.”

The winning students are as follows:

Architectural Sciences and Natural Resources
1st Place: Angel Cruz, Crop Science, “A Case Study: Examining the Relationship Between Soil Health and Food Security in Smallholder Farming Systems in El Salvador”
2nd Place: Ashley Yow, Horticultural Science, “Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes for Mummy Berry (Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi) Resistance in Blueberry”
3rd Place: Laurel Kays, Forestry, “Planting Progress? Evaluating the Economic Growth Potential of Western North Carolina Forest-Based Sectors”

1st Place: Nancy Rekhelman, Industrial Design, “Companion Adoption matching for strong life-long bonds between pet and owner”
2nd Place: John Cochran, Industrial Design, “Slow Design, Smartphones, & Sleep: A Product Intervention to Reduce Screen-Time Before Bedtime”
3rd Place: April Maclaga, Graphic Design, “Prompting In-Person Conversation Toward Empathy: Interaction Design in a Networked Environment”

1st Place: Nicolette Filson & Charlotte Roberts, Curriculum & Instruction, “English Teachers’ Epistemic Beliefs and their Impact on the Use and Valuing of Constructivist ELA
2nd Place: Angela White, Curriculum & Instruction, “Understanding the Relationships Between the Racial Identity, Science Identity, and Science Self-Efficacy Beliefs of African American Students at HBCUs”
3rd Place: Derek Williams, Mathematics Education, “Student Experiences in Community College Precalculus: A Mixed Methods Study of Student Engagement and Understanding”

1st Place: Amber Hubbard, Chemical Engineering, “Curvature of Light Responsive, Shape Memory Polymers for the Production of Biologically-Inspired, Functional Devices”
2nd Place: Brett Pearce, Aerospace Engineering, “Autonomous Aerobatics: A Linear Algorithm and Implementation for a Slow Roll”
3rd Place: Sean Smith, Biomedical Engineering, “Mechanisms of Chitosan/Interleukin-12 Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Bladder Cancer”

1st Place: Karen Eisenhauer, English, “Quantitative Analysis of Directives in Disney Princess Films”
2nd Place: Cecilia Tomasatti, English, “Constructing Identity among Italians at NC State”
3rd Place: Ekaterina Bogomoletc, Communication, “Are we entering the Second Cold War? Media agenda and public opinion about the U.S. in Russia”

Life Sciences
1st Place: Tyler Allen, Comparative Biomedical Sciences, “Circulating Tumor Cell Clusters Extravasate Through Angiopellosis Leading to Increased Secondary Tumor Formation”
2nd Place: Jennifer Fideler, Food Science, “Discovery of bioactive peptides in fermented cucumbers by direct analysis IR- MALDESI mass spectrometry”
3rd Place: Jonathan Giacomini, Zoology, “Sunflower pollen defends bees against parasites”

Mathematical and Physical Sciences
1st Place: Keith Sherburn, Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, “Advancements in the understanding and prediction of high-shear, low-CAPE tornadoes”
2nd Place: Brian Gaines, Statistics, “Algorithms for Fitting the Constrained Lasso”
3rd Place: John Lagergren, Applied Mathematics, “Hybrid Modeling of Chaotic Systems with Uncertainty Quantification”

Social Sciences and Management
1st Place: Allie McCreary, Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management, “Attributes, activities, & meanings: Exploring climate impacts to nature-based tourism through the lens of ‘place’”
2nd Place: Deniza Mulaj, Anthropology, “Navigating the Bridge: An ethnographic study of Kosovar-Albanian and Serbian Youth living in the divided city of Mitrovica, Kosov”
3rd Place: Matthew Jurjonas, Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management, “Rural Coastal Community Resilience: Developing and Testing a Framework for Evaluating Climate Change Vulnerabilities and Adaptive Capacities in Eastern North Carolina”