Undergraduate researchers reap awards, kudos

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There were smiles and pride all around at the awards ceremony May 18 for the winners of this year’s Undergraduate Symposium for Research and Scholarship. The winners were chosen from among the 80 students who gave poster presentations and another 24 who gave oral presentations at the April 23 event.

Also honored was Dr. Andrew Gregory of the School of Earth, Environment and Society, who received the Undergraduate Faculty Mentor of the Year Award. Gregory, a spatial geneticist, has involved students in his research into reproduction among sage grouse and prairie chickens as well as ecology and sustainability issues in Kenya.

Students and their faculty mentors and parents gathered for the presentation of original glass pieces created by BGSU School of Art faculty member Joel O’Dorisio. President Mary Ellen Mazey congratulated the winners on their work, telling them they would remember it their entire lives, as she has her own experience.

Winners in the poster presentation division were:
  • Andrew Witte, a geology major and student of Dr. Margaret Yacobucci, geology, for his quantitative analysis of the shape and size of trilobite fossils in the Great Lakes region to understand geographic distribution of genetic populations across the Appalachian and Michigan basins
  • Lydia Dempsey, a music composition major and student of Distinguished Artist Professor Marilyn Shrude, for her contemporary music composition “The Wishing Well: A Children’s Ballet,” which was staged in April in a collaboration with BGSU student choreographer Sophia Schmitz and conductor Robert Ragoonanan
  • Gregory Grecco, a neuroscience major, for his study of life-threatening hyperthermia as a side effect of illicit designer phenethylamines, drugs commonly known as bath salts. Working with Dr. Jon Sprague, director of the Ohio Attorney General’s Center for the Future of Forensic Science at BGSU, Grecco compared the hyperthermic effects of six permutations to the more well-known MDMA.
  • Anthony Colosimo, a physics major and student of Dr. Farida Selim, for his research into scintillation mechanisms in wide and direct band gap oxides
Oral presentation winners were:
  • Elizabeth Herring, a student of psychology faculty member Dr. Anne Gordon, for her work “Role of Humor Production and Humor Receptivity in Relationship Satisfaction”
  • David Westmeyer, a student of Dr. Heath Diehl, Honors College, for his presentation on the Bachelor of Liberal Studies Degree Option for Pre-Dental Undergraduate Students

Dr. Cordula Mora, director of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURS), hosted the awards event. The symposium was hosted by CURS and the Northwest Ohio Center of Excellence in STEM Education (NWO).

View the program and abstracts.