Garrison Horton, English senior, presents his project during the Undergraduate Research Endeavors and Creative Activity Forum Kickoff at Clark Student Center on Thursday, April 26, 2018. Photo by Francisco Martinez

Francisco Martinez

Hundreds participate in 10th undergraduate research forum

April 26, 2018


Gayal Hewakuruppu, computer science junior, “Using the Fourth-Order Runge-Kutta Method to Determine the Dynamic Response of a Free Vibrating Laminated Composite Shallow Shell Panel” | “(We were) determining how steel panels work and to see as many applications in the real world what we did is got some data on how it behaves to apply it in the real world. We documented certain frequencies and we wrote a paper so whoever that wants to look at it can dip into our data and use in the real world  so there is no real conclusion (more like a reference). A set of data we laid down so anyone can have access to. It is the first time it has been done so I’d say it’s a big step in the science community. (It is) more theoretical because it’s all numbers done on a computer simulation. Which is why I personally chose this because it was related to computer science.”

Graciela Ruiz, accounting and management senior, “The Tragic End of Your Internet Freedom: Net Neutrality” | ” We want to make people aware of whats going on. Our intentions are not to push our view on anyone, we want to present them with information on both sides. We understand why people are against it and we understand why people are for it. This is what we believe and we want to take a stand.”

Natally Chavarria, business management junior, “The Tragic End of Your Internet Freedom: Net Neutrality” | “I chose to participate because of my professor, Dr. Kataria. She was giving us a challenge in our special topics class, #THINK, to go beyond and pick net neutrality as our group project topic. We were mainly challenged to go get signatures and educate students on campus about the repeal of net neutrality- if they know what it is and how to save our internet.”

Patrick Rowland, radiology technology junior, “TSA Implementation of Computed Tomography” | I had heard some kerfuffle about [them] implementing CT scanners in carry on baggage [and] so I looked into it and that’s when I started realizing this stuff is really dangerous and there’s almost no training, almost no monitoring and no oversight. When they previously implemented it in the early 2000’s they found that this stuff was spewing radiation and as far as I could find, there’s been no further research. It was never followed up on and the TSA never corrected it.”

“One of the things it made me think about is that at the airport, when you’re checking your carry on, I don’t really wanna push my hand through there anymore. So it’s gonna change my behavior a little bit and definitely going to alter the way I travel.”

Don Wijesinghe, mechanical engineering sophomore, “Puerto Rico Power Restoration Using Renewable Energy” | “It actually feels good [to present] because our project is for a charitable cause, as in, what we are trying to do here is build a device that can help out people in a disaster-struck zone. People who do not have electricity after something like Hurricane Maria that affected Puerto Rico, you don’t have anyone that you can run to, but a device like this could power your basic essentials.”

Garrison Horton, english senior, “Decadence Across Cultures: England, France, Russia, And Central Europe” | “I chose to participate because I got an email from my professor one day saying ‘would you like to participate in this project with me?’ and I thought it was a great and fun opportunity. As an english major I got a lot of research skills out of this project.”

Kelsey Lake, kinesiology senior, “Reimagining the Elementary Classroom: Implementation of the Kinesthetic Classroom” |  “I’m applying for grad school this next semester and [participating in the forum] looks good on a resume. I’m actually applying for jobs including student teaching. People are really interested when they see you do undergraduate research. This was my first time to present something like this so it’s a good experience to talk in front of people and be able to explain what you saw in the field. This is what I’ll be working with everyday.”

Kiley Beaver, marketing senior, “A Mixed Method Study of Factors Influencing Student Enrollment at MSU Texas” | I really learned how to do research because i’ve never really done it this in depth before. We learned a lot about students perceptions of MSU and how they are concerned with the feel of a college town as well as the traditions and events that the university holds. That will be something interesting to see if the university actually implements.”


Cierra Scott, marketing sophomore | “I attended because I needed extra credit . I learned more about the research here at Midwestern state and the students trying to make the world a better place trying to make the world a better place.”

Bryce Martinez, business management sophomore | “I’m hoping to learn some new things and see something that I’ve never seen before.”

Anthony Onwuegbuchu, mechanical engineering junior | “I need this for credit in [my] Foundations of Business class. We just visit an event for business with your passport, write notes, bring it class and you get a grade.”

William Besong, accounting junior | “It’s worth attending.  There’s this one guy who presented on DNA. He designed a program that could calculate DNA faster than what it is right now. It’s important because the world is changing, everything is moving faster [and] people need to get results right now. Presently it takes a while for you to get DNA results but according to what we saw, it’s going to give you the information…like that…instantaneous.”

Jessica Newman, nursing freshman | “The [standouts] to me was the [presentation regarding Sudden Infant Death Syndrome]. [Students are presenting] to get their point across, to show undergraduates that their research projects matter and they probably can make a difference.”

Alex Morgan-Anderson, economics sophomore | “It really sheds light on the work that our undergraduates are putting in to these very distinct and unique research projects of their own. It is really cool because my economics professor offered for me to work on something like this with him. Looking at the research and the data they put into these project, sheds light on ideas that I could use for my own.”

Kylan Harrison, sports leisure freshman | “I needed to come to the forum for extra credit and because I attended, I was able to learn new things that I didn’t previously know about.”

Ola Ayodele, applied science junior | “I came to this event for extra credit in my history and biology class. This event was worth attending, because I’ve learned a lot of new things.”

Zach Nemcek, psychology junior“I was actually just walking on through and I noticed this really cool artwork. All the stuff just kinda caught my eye. I was just on my way to class honestly. It’s super worth attending because research such an important part of going to school here and what we do in college and if we aren’t doing research or learning how to do research from each other we are wasting our tuition and our time.”


  • McCoy College of Science, Math and Engineering, Best Poster | Carson Barnard, Exploring the Medicinal Effects of Smooth Sumac; Faculty mentor: James Masuoka
  • McCoy College of Science, Math and Engineering, Best Oral Presentation | Jocelyn Brown, Brett Scheffe, Duli de Alwis, Increasing the Pressure Tolerance Limit of a Plate Heat Exchanger; Faculty mentor: Salim Azzouz
  • Dillard College of Business Management, Best Poster | Taylor McCreary, Graciela Ruiz, Rolando Diaz, Natally Chavarria, Joe Hankins, The Tragic End of Your Internet Freedom: Net Neutrality; Faculty mentor: Niyati Kataria
  • Dillard College of Business Management, Best Oral Presentation | Kiley Beaver, Ghislaine Bigot, Anni Scholl, Sarah Moore, A Mixed Method Study of Factors Influencing Student Enrollment at MSU Texas; Faculty mentor: Thuy Nguyen
  • Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts, Best Poster | Katherine Pendergrass, Effects of Music on the Listener’s Moods and Emotions; Faculty mentor: Ruth Morrow
  • Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts, Best Oral Presentation | Cortney Wood and Brendan Wynne, Going Behind the Scenes; Faculty mentor: Bradley Wilson
  • Robert D. and Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services, Best Poster | Meagan Sissom, Cassandra Gomez, Katelyn McQuerry,  Next Generation MRI Scanning; Faculty mentor: Jessyca Wagner
  • Robert D. and Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services, Best Oral Presentation | Camille Khan, Detection of Child Abuse in Medical Imaging; Faculty mentor: Robert Comello
  • Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Best Poster | Garrison Horton, Decadence Across Cultures: England, France, Russia, and Central Europe; Faculty mentor: Kirsten Lodge
  • Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Best Oral | Jennifer Holt Reviewing Parent-Child Interaction Therapy as a Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder; Faculty mentor: David Carlston
  • Gordon T. and Ellen West College of Education, Best Poster | Sheri Speegle. Rapping Up Math Fluency: A Multi-Sensory Approach to Improve Math Fact Fluency; Faculty mentor: Emily Rutherford
  • Gordon T. and Ellen West College of Education, Best Oral Presentation | Frida Arredondo, Montserrath Garay, From Margin to Center: Multicultural Picturebooks in Math, Science and Social Studies; Faculty mentors: Kelly Medellin, Dittika Gupta
  • Best Interdisciplinary Project | Frida Arredondo, Montserrath Garay, From Margin to Center: Multicultural Picturebooks in Math, Science and Social Studies; Faculty mentors: Kelly Medellin, Dittika Gupta
  • Most Creative (tie) | Jocelyn Brown, Brett Scheffe, Duli de Alwis, Increasing the Pressure Tolerance Limit of a Plate Heat Exchanger; Faculty mentor: Salim Azzouz
  • Most Creative (tie) | Elam Lazo, Kenia Rodriguez, Emily Stewart, Mireya Victoria, Using AI and MRI to Evaluate Children with Hearing Loss; Faculty mentor: Jessyca Wagner


The day before the undergraduate research and creative activities presentations, graduate students and faculty presented research. Two of them received recognition.

  • Best Graduate Student Podium Presentation | Tricia Neptune, “Divergence of a physiological phenotype: variation in metabolic rate among Anolis oculatus ecotypes on Dominica”; Faculty mentor: Charles M. Watson
  • Best Graduate Student Poster Presentation | Ibtissem Derouiche, “Cell Surface Hydrophobicity of Candida albicans Upon Release of Cell Wall Protein by Dithiothreitol Treatment”; Faculty mentor James Masuoka
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